In The Piedmont region of Italy Alagna (or Alagna-Valsesia to give it its full name) is known for its off piste snowboarding and traditional old world feel. Buildings in the Walser style dominate the village architecture and the towns origins date back to the 12th century. Although suitable for levels of snowboarder, Alagna snowboarding holidays are known best for the range of off piste opportunities that have made it know as a freeride paradise.
Alagna-Valsesia is at the base of a monster 2000m vertical, of which 1700m can be reached by catching just 2 lifts (the highest vertical in the world for 2 lifts). Catch 3 lifts and you reach the Indren Glacier which sits at 3275m. This is were much of the off piste snowboarding begins with a range of descents available.
Alagna is not just about the freeriding, as part of the Monte Rosa ski area there are over 180km of runs available combing the 7 resorts of Gressoney-La-Trinité, Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Brusson, Champorcher, Champoluc, Antagnod and Alagna. The snowboarding is sweetened by stunning views across Piemonte and Aosta Valley from a height of over 3000m so make sure you bring your camera.
Snowboarding from Alagna you will begin with the village centre cable car which rises 850m to Pianalunga. From there the Funifor cable car which opened in 2004/5 season climbs a further 850 metres to Passo Salati (2971m). Alagna was reborn with the opening of this lift which joins it to the Monte Rosa ski area. To reach the ‘top’ catch the cable car to the Punta Indren Glacier at 3275m and revel in the fact that you have not yet strapped on your board or sat on a cold chairlift! From here you can head into Gressoney or take on the full 2000m+ decent back to Alagna by piste your choice of off piste routes.
The Monte Rosa freeriding terrain is like a dream for snowboarders with wide open powder fields, chutes, easy or difficult off piste to choose from you will leave the mountain stoked. That you can do it all by just catching 3 cable cars makes it even more special. If you have money to spend and want to push your freeriding boundaries there is heliboarding available giving you access to untouched powder.
If you like to dable in a bit of freestyle snowboarding there are a couple of snowparks in the Monte Rosa ski area one of which is easily accessed from Alagna. There is a learner area for beginners about 500m north of the village called Wold which has all the facilities you would expect to help beginners get started.
If boarding the 180km Monte Rosa ski area is not enough then its good to know it is part of the Aosta Valley pass. This covers 800km of ski runs including Courmayeur which is linked to Chamonix, Cervinia which is linked to Zermatt and other resorts such as Pila. Sauze Doux and La Thuile. However you will need your own transport to make the most of the 200 lifts in a dozen ski areas. But in our opinion with the wide range of off piste opportunities in Monte Rosa there is more than enough to keep you entertained on an Alagna snowboarding holiday.
Eating out in Alagna offers the expected regional Piedmont dishes and wines plus typical Italian meals- so you will be well fed. If you want more activities than just snowboarding in Alagna you could try ice karting, ice climbing, mountaineering or snow shoeing. There is an ice rink at the Alagna sports centre plus a museum if you have spare time to use.
Turin and Milan Malpensa airports are the nearest to Alagna and both are served by good road links and under 150km away. If you want to catch the train the nearest station is Varallo Sesia from which Alagna snowboarding holidays are a short bus ride away.
For a small town there is a good range of accommodation available in Alagna.