A terrific new find. Plenty of places claim to be mountain hideaways but this really is. You could drive here from the Champoluc valley floor up very bumpy tracks in summer with a four-wheel drive, but in winter not. When the snow comes, you approach, with your luggage, by bubble from Champoluc and owner Sergio comes to fetch you on a Sno-Cat. Fifteen minutes later you are in a lost medieval farming hamlet, perched on a little plateau half way up a mountain.
It is a magical place, restored with skill and imagination by Sergio. His grandfather was the last working farmer here, but the settlement dates from the 1400s and the present buildings from 1580. Entering at ground floor level you’re in a stone-walled cavernous eating/drinking area, smelling of woodsmoke and charmingly Alpine. The food is homely and superb – on our visit we ate the best Alpine cold meat platter in memory, which included delicious honey-coated cooked chestnuts.
Up another level there is a tiny reception area leading to a homely sitting room for guests, with music, TV and games and narrow horizontal windows looking out on to the wonderful scenery. On the top floor are the seven bedrooms, all restored by Sergio in 2010, using natural materials. They’re snug, unshowy and charming – and well priced at 80-140 euros per person including breakfast, dinner and transfers.
The service here is complete. Climbing and walking? Sergio arranges it. Skiing (and, indeed, heli-skiing)? Sergio buys the passes and arranges ski school in advance. See facilities for skiing logistics.
There’s more. Rising above this haven is the famous row of taller-than-4,000 m peaks along the Swiss/Italian border that starts with Monte Cervino and ends with Punta Gnifetti.