A few weeks ago we went snowboarding in Frabosa Soprana. It’s a tiny, super friendly mountain town with a couple of lifts, including an ancient one-person chair which goes right to the top of Monte Moro. It takes a somewhat leisurely 20 minutes to get to the top and just ten minutes to get back down. We spent one day just circling this lift, riding the powder in between the trees and barely crossing any tracks other than our own. Apparently it used to be the longest lift in Europe. I’d hazard a guess that it’s still the slowest, but it’s a relaxing ride and has a certain ‘olde worlde’ charm. If nothing else, it gives your aching legs a chance to recuperate.
You can also link in from Frabosa to the larger Mondole Ski area, which includes the resorts of Prato Nevoso and Artesina. I didn’t find anything particularly steep, but the snow was fantastic, the slopes were uncrowded and the off-piste was almost completely untracked. Much like Limone Piemonte, if you can go just after a big storm has moved through, you’re in for a real treat.
Anyway, I digress. We stayed at a hotel called Hotel Skilift. It’s not a particularly clever name, it’s a hotel and it has a view of the ski lift. It’s owned and run by a charming man by the name of Riccardo who, it turns out, before moving into the hotel trade was Mayor of the nearby town of Mondovi. “You have to visit,” he insisted. “It’s beautiful.”
So, we did. I’ve never been invited to a town by its former mayor before, so we couldn’t not go. And he was right, it is beautiful. Sat right at the foot of the mountains, about 25 minutes south of our house, it has a bustling lower town, while up above, perched on a hill with stunning views towards the mountains, and Riccardo’s hotel, is the old town, all cobbled alleyways and ancient buildings. We only stopped long enough to take a few quick photos, but we’ll definitely be back to explore more.