Thursday, December 06, 2007

"Roughing It" or shameless self promo 101




The View just keeps getting better. When I started this blog about a year and half ago, after I discovered what in the world a blog was (flat rate Internet only arrived to us here in our part of Italy 2 years ago, limiting Internet exploration), the idea that it was an affordable means to try and promote our B&B, Bella Baita, and our area, Val Chisone in general. There wasn't much information out there about Val Chisone where we reside in Piedmont's alps, prior to the 2006 Winter Olympics.
Every guide book I had looked in, either gave us a complete miss, or were mentioned as the Waldensian valleys and nothing else, zip, zero, nada, niente!. The Olympics finally put us on the map as Mondadori wrote a wonderful guide about Turin and the Valleys, of which Val Chisone is a part and comes out looking pretty good in that guide. I would have to say, the title is a bit weak in English.
We are a part of the Province that is Torino, and as far as any other mainstream guide our mentioned is usually as the Pinerolese valleys. Still no mention of even of our Fenestrelle fortress, that is the largest fortress in Europe, took over 125 years to build and has almost 4, 000 stairs snaking up the mountainside looking not unlike the great wall of China. And still no whispers of reasons to visit Val Chisone. There really are other things of interest in the area, and it is really beautiful. We were delighted when we recently learned that the writer we hosted last year, who was doing the research for northern Italy for the 8th and latest edition of the British "Rough Guide" agreed with us that our area warranted more in the guide and actually did add more on this area, even mentioning the fortress. They were actually more flattering to us, "the Piemontese ski resorts", than our more well known parallel valley, Susa.
You can purchase the guide from the link to the right of this post part ways down. I also have a couple of Amazon links to cookbooks and books and movies about this areas and Italy in general. Please do have a nosey round the two stores for those of you living in the states and those for Europe. Some of the titles are only available in one store and not the other.
We also hosted a couple of bloggers from About.com this summer and they shared the same opinion and have written a few mentions about visiting this area and what all there was to see and do here. James writes about Europe and Martha writes about Italy. Nice to have some other folks discovering our "off the beaten path", valley and now a few more folks are beating a path to us and the surrounding areas. It's satisfying to see our area get more it's due. We do have more winter recognition with Pragelato and Sestriere at the top of our valley known for their world class Nordic and downhill skiing.
Not too many people though know that Prali in Val Germanasca has some great skiing also, with some spectacular 360* views of the alps on top stretching all the way to Monte Bianco, or Mont Blanc as it is more commonly known. The top and bottom photos of the view from our balcony are looking over into Prali, home to some great hiking in the summer and great skiing in the winter. They're already open this year for the season. These photos of the prali ski area are from a couple years ago.All the other photos are recent. I haven't been up to prali this season so far, but the view from here looks like the snow has started early and portends for a good ski year. And then there's always Bella Baita to stay and relax to your hearts content and enjoy the view. We hope you do.


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