I love mountains and I am a big fan of skiing and of white enchanted landscapes that snow can give, even just for walking around and take some pictures in the middle of it :).
A very easy trip from Bologna to jump into this kind oc sceneries is going up to the Appennino Bolognese; on of the ares the can offer lots of activities on the snow during wintertime is surely Lizzano in Belvedere, with also its ski slopes at Corno alle Scale.
Lizzano in Belvedere is a small and charming town, a mountain oasis at between the provinces of Bologna, Modena e Pistoia. Nature is the queen here, tahnks to the wonderful Natural Regional Parc of del Corno alle Scale that give amazing winter or summer landscapes. For my weekend I stayed in Vidiciatico, just 10 minutes away from Corno alle Scale.
When you come here you have to know that this was the place where the Italian ski champion Alberto Tomba used to practise, that’s the reason why two of the slopes are dedicated to him. They say that he still comes here now and then to ski and that he deeeply love this area :). The 8 ski slopes have various difficulty level, and are 15km long; perfect for learning to ski for some practice.
There are also 2 cross country rings and some amazing ski mountaneering and freeride routes. I stopped admiring, at the very top of a mountain, the beautiful scenery that expands over Liguria and Appennini tosco-emiliano.
I was very lucky because I got the chance of skiing with Armando, an adorable ski instructor that has always lived here and that told me a lot of stories of the past, even regarding famous people that skied with him! Armando has also a unique ski rent shop (called Ski System), where they will follow you step by step for renting the perfect ski set (which is a really good idea if you want to travel lightly or get here by train).
You can have a delicious and typical pit-stop on the slopes stopping at Rifugio alle Malghe… traditional dishes ready cooked in a welcoming and simple atmosphere. Here they also organize dinners, if you go up at night by snowshoes or with the snowcat.
Take note: if you ski here for you birthday the skipass is free during the week and just 10€ during the weekend.
If you decide not to eat in one of the mountain chalets I suggest you to try Ristorante Vidi at Vidiciatico, they are specialized in raclette and local dishes, don’t miss the “crescentine” (a kind of fried bread to fill with cheese or cold cuts).
You absolutely have to go for a lunch or dinner at Agriturismo Ca’ Gabrielli, a famous agritourism where you eat super well typical mountain dishes and you really fell like home… go also for a walk around the the little village, look at the stone houses, the old washtub, the charming renewed apartments (there’s also a B&B), the woods all around… such a perfect place to relax!
Other activities to do are snowshoe walking (called ciaspolata) and long walks in the nature. I suggest you the snowshoe walk to Lago dello Scaffaiolo (amazing during a full moon night) with dinner at Rifugio Duca degli Abruzzi and the walk route from Santuario della Madonna dell’Acero to Dardagna’s Waterfalls, that can get really amazing if iced during a really cold winter.
Have also a walk around Lizzano in Belvedere e Vidiciatico, with their little streets, the churches, the typical old shops (called “botteghe) that make you go back in time. I fell in love with the “chincaglieria”, a little incredible shop that sells every kind of object ;).
Here everybody is very welcoming and they stop happily to have a little talk with everyone 🙂
Thanks to a suggestion of a local person, I went to visit there is Carpani Sci, an amazing shop in Vidiciatico where they hand make the ski! The owner, Filippo Carpani, told me his story and big passion for snow and skiing that led him to this ambitious enterprise, as obviously is not easy to face the market in this business being such a small company.
His studio, with also 70s’ machines, is fantastic… every pair of ski is a unique piece, tailor made on the client’s needs. Amongst its clients there are also luxury brands but also all the local people and soon… also me! Love this personal enterprises where everything is moved by passion!
Spending a weekend here is perfect if you want to reach in a short time from Bologna a wonderful nature, an authentic place where you can really take a break! I look forward to come here again for some nice spring-summer walks between flowers and under skies full of stars :).