Apres Ski in Via Lattea

Apres-ski throughout the Via Lattea is often family-friendly and a relatively laid-back affair – relaxing with aperitifs and a snack after skiing – and all Via Lattea ski resorts offer a choice of several good bars and reasonably priced restaurants.

Via Lattea’s many ski resorts and villages, each has something different to offer. Some are historic, some purpose-built for winter sports, and full of character and charm.  However, shopping and other leisure facilities are often limited and getting from one end of the Via Lattea to the other is time-consuming so it’s worth carefully considering which village is best for you. 

There are plenty of pizzerias and some good restaurants and in comparison with other ski resorts, eating out in Via Lattea ski resorts is still reasonably priced. 

Apres Ski in Claviere

Claviere is a small village, on the Italian/French border, where some say the sport of skiing began in Italy. It is positioned in a snowy bowl, at an altitude of 1760m.  Claviere used to be dominated by the international through road but that has now been diverted, leaving a main street that’s nice to stroll around in the evening. There are restaurants and bars but this is not a resort for hard-core night clubbers.

After a hard day on the slopes of Claviere, relax with a drink on the sunny terrace of the Ski Lodge at the bottom of the piste. Many of the local bars serve the famous Italian ‘Aperitivo’ including an assortment of snacks with your pre-dinner drink.  Popular pizzerias in Claviere include The Kilt (Tel: +39 0122 878051). The Ristorante da Sandro in Claviere (Tel: +39 0122 897884) provides good quality cooking in a relaxed restaurant close to the ice skating rink.

You may also like to visit the Golf Club in Claviere (Tel: +39 0122 878917) for good food in a pleasant environment. Lunch on their sunny terrace overlooking the cross-country ski tracks is enjoyable if you fancy a break from skiing or boarding.

The entire Via Lattea circuit is accessible from Claviere. Many people choose to divide their skiing between Claviere and neighbouring Montgenevre as reaching the other resorts involves taking a lot of lifts.

Some of the historic villages in the Via Lattea area have some excellent restaurants and if you have transport you may like to visit La Selvaggia in Mollieres (Tel: +39 0122 89290), La Locanda di Colomb in Champlas Seguin (Tel: +39 0122 832944), or La Gerla in Fenils (Tel: +39 0122 90400). Booking is advised.

Apres Ski in Sauze d’Oulx

Sauze d’Oulx, at an altitude of 1509m, is a lively resort that has long been popular with both young British skiers and Italian weekenders from Turin.  Though largely modern in appearance, the historic centre retains some of the original charm of the village and features an attractive 16th church and some interesting old buildings.

Sauze d’Oulx is most lively and known for its apres-ski scene including numerous bars and good nightlife as well as plenty of reasonably priced pizzerias and restaurants. In the 1980s and 1990s before it made a concerted effort to move upmarket, it risked becoming the ski resort of choice for British lager-louts (‘Suzy Does It’ was its nickname) and some of its clubs and bars still get boisterous, so check where you’re staying if that’s not your scene. There are plenty of cosy, traditional Italian restaurants as well.

Sauze d’Oulx has several good restaurants including Il Cantun (Tel: +39 0122 858593), the Old Inn (Tel: +39 0122 858541) and the Chalet del Sole.

Apres Ski in Jouvenceaux

Jouvenceaux is a small hamlet of character, just 1.5 km south of Sauze d’Oulx. It is served by a new chairlift (which also allows non-skiers), which takes you to the beginner’s area of Sauze Sportinia, and from there links into the extensive Sauze and Via Lattea ski area.

The hamlet is very quiet and relaxing but has informal pizzerias, restaurants and bars, meaning that there is no need to travel to nearby Sauze d’Oulx (unless you wish to!). There is a frescoed 16th-century chapel and stone fountain in the centre of Jouvenceaux. In Jouvenceaux both the Etoile des Neiges (Tel: +39 0122 858422) and La Fontaine (Tel: +39 0122 858150) offer good home-cooked food at reasonable prices.

Apres Ski in Sestriere

Purpose-built by the Agnelli family, owners of Fiat, in the late 1930s, Sestriere became one of Europe’s most popular skiing destinations. Its early development also became its downfall as newer, more modern resorts started to emerge – but it has recently been much improved and is now an up-to-date, cosmopolitan resort with a good range of leisure facilities, restaurants, pizzerias and bars. It’s still functional rather than pretty, though. Popular pizzerias in Sestriere include Lo Scoiattolo (Tel: +39 0122 750811),

Apres Ski in Cesana

Despite its central location offering easy access to both the western (chair lifts to Claviere) and eastern sides (gondola to San Sicario) of the area, Cesana is little used as a ski destination by British skiers. It is a pretty small town, with a historic centre, positioned at an altitude of 1350m.  Cesana has a very pleasant wine bar La Nata, on the central main street where snacks and simple meals are served alongside a glass of wine. The hotel La Ginestra (Tel: +39 0122 897884) also has a restaurant which serves traditional home-cooked food.

Other Villages in Via Lattea

Montgenevre (France)

This is a quiet resort over the border in France and on the Western edge of the Via Lattea ski area, featuring some pleasant bars, pizzerias and restaurants.

Montgenevre is inexpensive and also has the best snow record, not only of all the Via Lattea resorts but also of all the neighbouring French ones. The through road is now buried which has hugely improved the ambience. Although Montgenevre is earning a reputation as a freeride destination for expert skiers, beginners will find its village centre nursery slopes both convenient and a great place to start skiing. There are plenty of long blue and wide red runs to progress on to. For intermediates, the local slopes are good and usually uncrowded, but taking advantage of the whole Via Lattea area and visiting the villages beyond Claviere is much harder than it is for skiers based in the central or eastern Via Lattea resorts. It’s still possible but you have to start early and often catching a bus is a better option than going all the way on long slow ski lifts. Compared to other high-altitude ski resorts in France with access to a large ski area, 


Sansicario itself is a very attractive old town, but most of the holiday accommodation is in modern hotels close to the piste. Though there is a baby lift for beginners, the resort is more suitable for intermediates or good skiers. The handily placed Besson Sports shop is a good option for ski and board hire and gives generous discounts if you book online in advance. 


Linked to Sestriere by a new cable car, Pragelato has been transformed into a modern ski village, dominated by the Club Med complex. The resort, which hosted the Nordic ski events of the 2006 Winter Olympics, also has some good cross-country skiing.

Other Activities in Via Lattea

Via Lattea ski resorts primarily cater for winter sports enthusiasts with only a limited choice of other activities and facilities for non-skiers, and few shops apart from those selling and renting ski clothing and equipment and souvenirs.

Cross-Country Skiing in Via Lattea

Pragelato has some excellent cross-country skiing and this is where the 2006 Winter Olympic cross country-ski events were hosted. There is also a sunny cross-country ski circuit in Sestriere and a pleasant 15km cross-country ski circuit from Claviere that takes you into Mongenevre, France.

Ice Skating in Via Lattea

Ice skating is available in Sestriere, Sauze d’Oulx (check if it’s open) and Claviere and there is an Olympic-sized ice skating rink in nearby Bardonecchia. 

Shops in Via Lattea

Most of the shops in Via Lattea ski resorts focus on ski and board wear and equipment, with some fashion, antiques and souvenirs. Shops in Claviere, Pragelato and Sansicario are limited.

Tourist Offices in Via Lattea

The Via Lattea lift company website has fairly comprehensive information, as well as up-to-date news on lift openings, snow park news, weather and events. Each resort has its own Tourist Office with plenty of useful information including resort maps, bus timetables, events and activities, information on weather and snow conditions etc. Many also sell local bus tickets.

Sestriere Tourist Office
Via Louset
Tel: 0122 755444
Email:  [email protected]

Sauze d’Oulx Tourist Office
Viale Genevris, 7
Tel: 0122 858009
Email: [email protected]

Claviere Tourist Office
Via Nazionale, 30
Tel: 0122 878856
Email: [email protected]

Cesana Torinese Tourist Office
Piazza Vittorio Amedeo, 3
Tel: 0122 89202
Email: [email protected]


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