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Pila in Italy half term

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi all

I did post briefly elsewhere to say thanks for all the info here. I was able to put together a lovely DIY trip to Pila in Italy over the February 2020 half-term and as a result my daughter, who's 8, can now ski. The only thing I wasn't able to sort out were reasonable prices for flights – London>Turin was preposterously expensive but I didn't want to drive so I can't see any way around that. The bus connections from the airport to the train station and then the return train to Aosta were cheap, easy to make and reliable.

I won't keep thanking individual posters here, but basically everything came from various threads on this forum. We stayed in Aosta, which is in the valley and took a cable car up each morning. It's probably a 10-min walk to the gondola, 20 mins up and then we had another 5 minute chairlift to the Scuola di Sci. If you go for the other ski school, Evolution, that's near the gondola station, but I couldn't get them to commit to ski lessons for me and I wanted to do them at the same time as my daughter. As it turned out, I definitely needed big refreshers... You can also stay in Pila itself but Aosta's an attractive town with lots of nice shops, cafes and restaurants. We only skied in the morning so that was fine. Next time....

There were handy deposit lockers by the lower and upper cable car stations and by the ski school, which also did rental. The lessons were very reasonable and the ski pass was fine. The teachers were friendly and helpful. I ended up doing a few reds quite early on and they were pretty comfortable. There was one off the Chamole chair which I struggled with (read: fell over a lot), but it was quite icy and there were a lot of people there so that's my excuse. It didn't seem too crowded though – some queuing for the chairlifts, a couple of bottlenecks at the bottom of Pila village but you could get up and away from that fairly easily. The cafes and bars on the slopes were busy but you could always get a seat and food and although there were an astonishing number of coaches in the gondola car park (mainly Interski), they all seemed to be absorbed on the slopes once you got away from the nearest slopes.

I might try doing an Easter or some other trip next time just because of the extortionate plane fares but other than that, I'd definitely go back. And thanks everyone!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@BaobabPowder, Try looking at Milan flights and hire a car, it’s Autostrada all the way and about a 90 min drive to Aosta, plus €30 toll fees.
We’ve done Courmayuer for the past few seasons and found it great skiing and value, we have done a day at Pila and 3 in Aosta and really enjoy both resorts in addition to Courmayuer.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
geoffknight wrote:
@BaobabPowder, Try looking at Milan flights and hire a car, it’s Autostrada all the way and about a 90 min drive to Aosta, plus €30 toll fees.
We’ve done Courmayuer for the past few seasons and found it great skiing and value, we have done a day at Pila and 3 in Aosta and really enjoy both resorts in addition to Courmayuer.


1hr 46 from Malpensa if you stick fairly close to 110/130 limits where they are in force. €33.20 tolls. Source: me, 3 days ago. snowHead
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I don't know where you live, but if you can get there we have flown to Turin pretty economically from Doncaster airport. There is a charter which Crystal use for their package holidays, but flight only was also available.

However it only functions the first part of the season, when it gets towards Easter the plane is apparently switched to serving beach holiday destinations.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@j b, It seems that Crystal have dropped Doncaster, however, Leeds/Bradford is in their current Airport list
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@albob, thanks, thinking about it we last used that flight in 2018. We had used it at least three times before that so I assumed it was a fixture.

Pity because Doncaster is pretty good for access (just off A1M and M18) compared with Leeds/Bradford and my impression is that it is less affected by weather issues.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
We go to Pila every year and enjoy the small resort atmosphere.

Surprised that you found London Turin flights expensive as one of our party goes out of Gatwick and that is half the price we pay with Jet2 out of Manchester. We had done Geneva for years but Turing is an hour nearer and a lot less hassle.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I did book quite late, end-Jan, but I think that seemed to be Jet2 pretty much.

Thanks for the tips on driving. I did think of that but haven't used snow chains and was concerned about snowy conditions - although there really didn't seem to be any on the way there. Also, I'm not sure that car hire plus gas and tolls would be much cheaper. Worth looking into though. Pretty much stuck with London airports as we live in north London
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
@BaobabPowder, Were Gatwick Turin on BA expensive then as I am stunned if they were.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Jake43 wrote:
@BaobabPowder, Were Gatwick Turin on BA expensive then as I am stunned if they were.


If you booked directly in March for Feb half term, family of 4, was £2400 ish. We booked our using the BA flight pass
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
NickyJ wrote:
Jake43 wrote:
@BaobabPowder, Were Gatwick Turin on BA expensive then as I am stunned if they were.


If you booked directly in March for Feb half term, family of 4, was £2400 ish. We booked our using the BA flight pass

Frightening profit taking from school hols. It was £100 return inc bag for us. Though did get thrown in the bin as she did not go !
Ours Jet2 Man-Turin were £205 return each. I can't see how they can charge such a difference. They have 4 flights a day..... well not any more

Similar daft pricing if Daughter wants a single London-Van it is much more expensive than a return - then just throw away the return.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Jake43 wrote:
NickyJ wrote:
Jake43 wrote:
@BaobabPowder, Were Gatwick Turin on BA expensive then as I am stunned if they were.


If you booked directly in March for Feb half term, family of 4, was £2400 ish. We booked our using the BA flight pass

Frightening profit taking from school hols. It was £100 return inc bag for us. Though did get thrown in the bin as she did not go !
Ours Jet2 Man-Turin were £205 return each. I can't see how they can charge such a difference. They have 4 flights a day..... well not any more

Similar daft pricing if Daughter wants a single London-Van it is much more expensive than a return - then just throw away the return.


Weirdly when I booked in March were only 2 LGW to Turin flights. Previous weeks had at least one more (6:40, 7:40 and a lunchtime one from memory) but when it came to halfterm there was no 7:40 one available to book. However later on it appeared available but it was too late I had already committed to the 6:40 flight. In hindsight this was definitely better as there were high winds getting worse through that day. So was actually glad of the earlier star Happy

Flight pass we bought with my mum and dad. The share for us 4 was £771.34, which in theory gave us two sets of return flights... the second had been allocated to our Easter trip. Ho hum.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Jake43 wrote:
@BaobabPowder, Were Gatwick Turin on BA expensive then as I am stunned if they were.


I think the Jet2s were the cheapest. For next year, perhaps it will be worth getting much earlier. That does seem to be the deal with half-term from London.
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