Timothy Barber
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Sestriere is perhaps the most famous Italian resort – a place with history, style and fantastic slopes. With its neighbouring resorts it is part of the “Milky Way” ski circuit, which includes over 400km of pistes in a truly magnificent setting. The resort was purpose-built in the 1930s by the Agnellis, the family behind the Fiat car company, and was finally sold by them in 2007. At over 2,000 metres, it’s one of the highest resorts in the Alps, which makes it a good bet for reliable snowfall – something further helped by the fact that the resort was a pioneer in artificial snowmaking. You can even ski at night on a floodlit ski-run, or splash out on a spot of heli-skiing if you’re experienced enough. And since the resort hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics, you can also benefit from Sestriere’s top-notch facilities.
As you’d expect from a place steeped in European glamour – and with Milan only an hour’s drive away – Sestriere is a cosmopolitan, internationally-inclined place, with a more upmarket feel than some Italian resorts, and a thriving nightlife.

Where to stay: The Hotel Cristallo is a modern, cosy place situated in front of the ski lifts in the centre of Sestriere town, meaning you can hit the slopes immediately. Seven night deals from £689 half board, including flights and transfers from Gatwick to Turin, from Ski passes for the Milky Way are from €41 per day. See for more information.