Skiing in the Cuneo Alps: Riserva Bianca and Limone Piemonte
It’s smart to go to the Cuneo Alps for a holiday in the mountains.
1. A smart, green location
Not far from the French border, the Langhe and the Ligurian sea, the village of Limone Piemonte is located in the Vermenagna Valley at an altitude of 1,000 m.
Inhabited since Roman times, it was one of the first locations to become fashionable in the Alps.
Today it is part of the circuit of Alpine Pearls that includes 19 Alpine resorts committed to promoting sustainable holidays and innovative mobility options to protect the environment.
One of the historic communication routes between France, Piedmont and the Ligurian coast passes here, originally used to transport salt. The Antica Via del Sale is now a bike path: it still connects the mountains to the sea and can be travelled in summer.
And lastly if you’d like a taste of its history, make sure you try the local cuisine: it’s based on the so-called cucina bianca (white cuisine) of the nomadic shepherds and is based on cheese, potatoes, turnips, leeks and grains. Don’t miss Saracen polenta with cream, leeks and dried mushrooms.
In winter,enjoy skiing around the Colle di Tenda pass, which connects the Maritime and Ligurian Alps. And after a day in the snow, end on a high note by enjoying the historic centre with its small restaurants, warm and cosy huts, wellness centres, small shops and nightlife venues.
2. 42 slopes and majestic Alpine nature
With 80 km of slopes and itineraries for those who want to immerse themselves in majestic alpine nature, Riserva Bianca is the right place for a skiing holiday in Piedmont.
The first ski lift in the area, called slittone, was installed here as early as 1937. Today the lifts are state-of-the-art and provide access to the 42 slopes in the area. Many are so close to the village that you can walk there with your boots on.
Lovers of winter sports will find what they are looking for: downhill, cross-country and ski mountaineering provide all the fun you’re seeking, and in dreamlike landscapes. A Nordic skiing trail not to be missed is in the Panice Sottana area: 3 km of medium-easy difficulty with a panorama of peaks between the Roya and Vermenagna Valleys.
Those who prefer snowboarding won’t be disappointed either, the area is full of gullies for freeriding and there is a dedicated snow park in Prato Nevoso. The more daring can try snowkiting. With a six-hour course, you’ll be ready to fly: adrenalin guaranteed. Ski schools, school camps and special areas are available for the little ones.
Don't feel like skiing? Enjoy a snowshoe hike through the beech forests, a ride on a snowmobile or go ice skating.
If you're feeling adventurous, try icefall climbing. The perfect place to try it is Falesia di Napoleone in Panice Soprana.
3. A terrace between the mountains and the sea
The best place to soak up a breathtaking panorama? There are four: Monte Alpetta, Bric Campanino, Cima Pepino and Cima Pernante.
The view from up here is spectacular, as you’d expect. Looking south, you can see the sea and Corsica in the distance. Looking north, the Maritime and Cottian Alps with Monviso, and further away, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa can be seen.
4. The villages of San Dalmazzo and Vernante
Before leaving the valley, two neighbouring villages are worth a visit.
Visit Borgo San Dalmazzo at sunset and go up to the Monserrato sanctuary to admire the snow-capped peaks turning pink in the day’s last rays of sun, with the plain lighting up as darkness falls. Visit Vernante with your kids to discover the story of Pinocchio on 150 murals painted on the walls of houses.
5. Certosa di Pesio, the Saut Waterfalls and the Forts
If you’re seeking tranquillity after a day on the crowded slopes, Certosa di Pesio is the ideal for enjoying the peace of a sacred place immersed in the green of the Marguareis Reserve.
Don't miss the Saut Falls in the area either, which are more beautiful than ever in the snow. Or you can visit the numerous 19th-century forts located up high around Limone Piemonte: there’s the Alto Fort near Colle di Tenda, the Pernante, Giaura and Margherita Forts to the west of the hills, and the Taburda and Pepino Forts to the east.