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Despite its relatively small ski area, there is some fantastic, intermediate level skiing to be found in Pila...
Pila is the resort that fashion forgot, full of rather dated apartment blocks from the 1960s and 70s, but although the architecture may be a little dingy, the skiing and snowboarding, on piste, is of the highest quality, and Pila is just the right size for a high-speed, three-day break.
Resort height: 1,814m
Pila is home to only 70km of pistes, which is rather small by modern standards. But what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality: several of the intermediate ski runs here are classics, especially 'Red 2' and 'Red 3' at the eastern end of the ski area. Even during snow droughts, the Pila resort authorities manage to keep them in good condition, and they're usually quiet enough to allow you to lean into your edges and carve great big arcs across their surface.
Turin airport is a 90-minute drive from Pila, making it the easiest airport to head to for holidays here...
You can also take the train from the airport into Aosta, and then the gondola up into the resort, but it's a slow journey.
Pila's 70km ski area makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity, and the red runs here are truly world class...
Intermediates will love ski holidays in Pila as a result. Experts, on the other hand, might find the skiing rather limited.
Peaceful Pila is a perfect place for anyone looking for a relaxing ski holiday on a budget...
Pila is very, very quiet after the lifts shut. The bar at the Lion Noir is a cheerful and atmospheric spot to celebrate a good day's skiing, and if you feel like making an evening of it, you should move on to Gallagher's Irish pub, followed by La Niche for some dancing. Friday and Saturday nights are your best chance of meeting like-minded spirits.
Tobogganing and snow-shoeing are on offer in Pila, but most non-skiers will be happiest riding the lift down into Aosta, a characterful and historic place ringed by Roman walls, and not a bit like your average Alpine town.
Cost of living 9/10
Pila is dirt cheap - especially if you come in the middle of the week for a short holiday. It's worth spending some of the money you've saved on some private ski tuition, which is about half the price of the A-list resorts in France or Switzerland.
Attractiveness of the resort 5/10
The views across the valley towards the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa will often bring you screeching to halt, to stare in wonder. But the purpose-built resort of Pila itself is the opposite of chocolate-box, and some of the buildings are beginning to show their age.