Cesana - Sansicario Ski Resort

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Cesana-Sansicario ski resort Italy has the best views in the Via Lattea
Cesana-Sansicario ski resort Italy has the best views in the Via Lattea
Sansicario signature piste is long & tree-lined & perfect for intermediate skiers & boarders
Sansicario signature piste is long & tree-lined & perfect for intermediate skiers & boarders
Sansicario village
Sansicario village's ski-in ski-out accommodation is great for families
Awesome on a powder day, Cesana-Sansicario is part of the Via Lattea
Awesome on a powder day, Cesana-Sansicario is part of the Via Lattea
Cesana Sansicario has lift, piste & pass links with Sestriere ski resort
Cesana Sansicario has lift, piste & pass links with Sestriere ski resort
Cesana Sansicario ski resort, Via Lattea, Italy
Cesana Sansicario ski resort, Via Lattea, Italy
Sansicario ski terrain near the mountain village
Sansicario ski terrain near the mountain village
Upper mountain ski terrain at Sansicario below the 2701m Fraiteve summit
Upper mountain ski terrain at Sansicario below the 2701m Fraiteve summit
Fraiteve has wide, easy access off-piste skiing for budding powderhounds
Fraiteve has wide, easy access off-piste skiing for budding powderhounds
Lunchtimes at a Cesana-Sansicario rifugio are simply stunning
Lunchtimes at a Cesana-Sansicario rifugio are simply stunning
Sansicario has fabulous learn-to-ski slopes near the village
Sansicario has fabulous learn-to-ski slopes near the village
Larch lined piste trails are marvellous at Cesana Sansicario ski resort
Larch lined piste trails are marvellous at Cesana Sansicario ski resort
Sansicario alpine ski terrain around the Roccia Rotunda lift.
Sansicario alpine ski terrain around the Roccia Rotunda lift.
Cesana Sansicario advanced ski trails are short & sweet
Cesana Sansicario advanced ski trails are short & sweet
Olympic heritage is obvious at Cesana Sansicario with the toboggan slope at the gondola mid-station
Olympic heritage is obvious at Cesana Sansicario with the toboggan slope at the gondola mid-station
Après ski in Sansicario can be quiet mid-week!
Après ski in Sansicario can be quiet mid-week!
Cesana Torinese is connected to the ski resort by a nearby gondola
Cesana Torinese is connected to the ski resort by a nearby gondola
The original San Sicario village has beautiful, traditional lodgings
The original San Sicario village has beautiful, traditional lodgings
Sansicario resort village is ski-in ski-out (or close to it depending on where one stays!)
Sansicario resort village is ski-in ski-out (or close to it depending on where one stays!)
Ski Cesana Sansicario in the Via Lattea Italy
Ski Cesana Sansicario in the Via Lattea Italy

Cesana - Sansicario Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Cesana - Sansicario

Cesana - Sansicario3.5/51
Cesana - Sansicario3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Via Lattea Ski Resorts

Claviere
Montgenèvre
Sauze d'Oulx
Sestriere
Via Lattea

    Cesana-Sansicario Ski Trail Map
  • Cesana Sansicario Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,350 – 2,823m (1,473m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    6 m+
  • Lifts (70)
    6 Gondolas/cable cars
    34 Chairlifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Dec to late April
    9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 400km
    Longest run – 9km+
    Advanced - 19%
    Intermediate - 47%
    Beginner - 34%

    Italian Sector – 305km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Via Lattea (Italian Sector)
    (Valid in Cesana-Sansicario, Claviere, Sauze d'Oulx & Sestriere)
    Adult - €39
    Child – from €10

    Montiluna-Montgenevre
    (Valid in Claviere, Montgenevre)
    Adult - €42.50
    Child - from €10

    Via Lattea International
    (Valid in Cesana-Sansicario, Claviere, Montgenevre, Sauze d'Oulx & Sestriere)
    Adult - €50
    Child - from €10
    Via Lattea - Voie Lactee - Milky Way Ski Trail & Piste Map
  • Via Lattea Ski Trail Map
    Montgenevre & Monts di Lune Ski Trail Map
  • Montiluna-Montgenevre Ski Trail Map

Cesana Sansicario Ski Resort Italy

Cesana-Sansicario has wonderful tree lined super trails & links to Sestriere, Sauze d'Oulx & Claviere in the Italian Via Lattea, but is also centrally placed for easy trips to the region's French connection at Montgenevre. With three villages to choose from, over 400km of piste trails to explore & one of the world's best value lift passes, the resort can be everything to everyone without the price tag of better known mega-sized European ski areas!

Pros & Cons for Cesana - Sansicario Ski Resort

Pros

  • Snow-sure, north-westerly aspect slopes
  • Comfortable, efficient lift system (with one exception!).
  • Uncrowded.
  • Long, perfect on-piste trails that intermediates will adore.
  • Fabulous mix of alpine & tree-lined pistes.
  • Interesting off-piste terrain including trees, but you must search for it.
  • The region’s most sensationally located rifugi & lunch spots.
  • Ski-in ski-out accommodation available.
  • World’s best value lift pass price in a vast lift & piste interlinked ski region.

Cons

  • Limited beginner on-piste terrain in the immediate ski area.
  • Connection with Sauze d’Oulx & Sestriere is relatively poor via the old Fraiteve SX surface tow or an uphill walk from the top of the Roccia Rotonda chair - the worst interconnection in the Via Lattea.
  • Advanced on-piste slopes are relatively short.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Three contrasting accommodation locations to choose from – authentic hamlet, large traditional town & modern utilitarian resort village.
  • Alpine village (Sansicario Alto) is functional, wonderfully located but lacking in any soul.
  • Limited ‘high-end’ accommodation (go to Courmayeur instead!).
  • Public transport via train & bus is ok to Cesana, but dubious up to Sansicario.

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & Terrain

The Cesana - Sansicario skiing & snowboarding terrain is the Italian Via Lattea sectors best for intermediates & anyone that wants to go lightning fast in safety. (for those looking for lightning fast more generally, Sestriere is the bee’s knees!). Olympic skiing events weren’t held here for no reason! The resort’s own skiable vertical of over 1,000m is doable in a multitude of permutations between the 2,700m summit of Fraiteve & the Sansicario village or further down at the gondola intermediate station (near the old Olympic bobsled course). For novices, the area adjacent to Sansicario Alto alpine village is a wonderful place to put in your first turns. Beyond that though, aside from the short chairlift & the flattish track down to the gondola mid-station there is precious little for beginners here. Thankfully, the intermediate pistes are all wide enough to allow beginners to get down them all without too much hassle. Advanced on-piste trails are relatively short, with better opportunities existing in Sestriere.

See here for the Cesana Sansicario local ski trail map.

For true alpine off-piste freeride terrain, the many options from the summit of Fraiteve or further along the ridge on the sun-soaked treeless slopes below the lower linking trail to Sestriere are the simplest options. Tree skiing is an option lower down, but scoping the exits is necessary. Better tree skiing is Sauze d’Oulx.

The ski lifts at Cesana - Sansicario have two major deficiencies. The old Fraiteve SX surface tow to the top of Fraiteve is annoying at best, soul destroying for unwitting snowboarders at worst. The top of the Roccia Rotonda chair doesn’t quite go high enough, requiring a walk up to the linking trail to Sestriere. Not a problem for us but the exasperated looks & sounds of many skiers in their alpine boots lugging skis or skating up a hill for the first time can be You Tube worthy.

Via Lattea Links & Lift Passes

Whilst there are always a mass of lift pass permutations these days in ski resorts, there are basically four options in the Cesana-Sansicario that one needs to be aware of. The cheap, standard Via Lattea pass is for the 305km of trails in the Italian sector for the resorts of Cesana-Sansicario, Claviere, Sauze d'Oulx & Sestriere. For another €10 or so, a Via Lattea International pass will get you the 95km of trails in Montgenèvre, France as well.

See here for the Via Lattea ski trail map.

Alternative passes include the Monts de la Lune (Moon Mountains or Monti della Luna) which is only valid in the immediate Claviere-Cesana sector. And then there is the Monts de la Lune - Montgenevre ski pass which includes all the lifts and trail from the bottom at Cesana, through Claviere & into Montgenevre. Simples!

See here for the Monts de la Lune ski trail map.

And then there are extensions available on multi-day passes to include further areas (i.e. add the Via Lattea to a Grand Montgenevre pass for a day), plus free days in Bardonecchia etc. on passes greater than 6 days......... As we said, many permutations!

Where is Cesana - Sansicario Italy?

Cesana (or more correctly – Cesana Torinese) is in the heart of the Via Lattea, part of the vast Piedmont region, conveniently located 91km (1¼hr) by road west of Turin in Italy & only 4km from the French border near Claviere. The alpine resort village of Sansicario Alto (or Alta) is a further 6km up the mountain from Cesana with the original hamlet of San Sicario mid ways between the two. Both are reached via the road to Sestriere, which is 11km (15min) to the east of Cesana. The nearest main town & train station is at Oulx, only 11km away to the north.

The Gateway airports include Turin (TRN), Milan (MXP), Lyon (LYS), & surprisingly, because of the direct train to Oulx, Paris (CDG) & Geneva (GVA). If driving oneself or taking public transport via Oulx is not an option for you, a private transfer, particularly if in a group of 3 or more people, can be cost-effective & most assuredly timely! Search & book here for all airport transfers to Cesana Torinese, San Sicario or Sansicario Alto.

We always recommend using the train where possible to travel throughout Europe. The location of the Oulx Stazione on the Paris-Lyon-Turin-Milan line provides further encouragement. Once at the station, one can use a pre-arranged private transfer, local bus, or taxi to finish the journey to accommodation. Buses run regularly between Oulx & Sestriere via Cesana-Torinese, but getting further up the mountain can be difficult, so a taxi or transfer will provide greater surety. Search & book train tickets to Oulx here. Purchase bus tickets from the driver at Oulx.

Driving to the region is swift & straight forward along the Italian motorways (autostrade) but be prepared for the many toll points along the way. From France, the Frejus tunnel is an expensive undertaking, but from the south via Briancon & Montgenèvre, the alpine crossing is toll free.

Anyone driving a rental car to the ski area as a day trip is advised to park in the large free zone at the base of the Cesana-Ski Lodge gondola. Everywhere else is simply too difficult. Unless staying there, avoid driving all the way up to Sansicario Alto on a busy weekend as parking is nightmarish, and the narrow roads are clogged with all the day-trippers that ignored this advice!

For detailed information on the best ways to get there, see our Travel to the Via Lattea page.

Cesana - Sansicario Accommodation

The Cesana - Sansicario ski area has three diverse village options from which to choose. From the valley at Cesana-Torinese, on a sunny alpine terrace at tiny San Sicario, and higher still at the top of the gondola, Sansicario Alto.

The centrally located Cesana is one of the best places from which to explore the entire region. Its main downfall is its relatively low elevation (1,350m) & lack of 4-star & higher accommodations. That said, the entire region lacks 4 & 5-star lodgings, so no biggie! Note that the gondola base up to Sansicario & chairlift to Claviere/Montgenevre is about 1km out of town, which is more inconvenient at the end of a long day, than at the start!

Further up the hillside at around 1,500m elevation, the original hamlet of San Sicario sits delightfully with a full view of the magnificent surrounds. San Sicario appears straight forward on the outside but has a tight maze of lanes amongst its inner tangle of traditional buildings. Architecturally splendid, some of these original structures are now guesthouses, the best of which is the exceptional Agriturismo Barba Gust.

Search & book here for all Cesana & San Sicario ski accommodation.

The highest village in the resort is the functional, but utilitarian looking Sansicario Alto (or Alta) Set at an elevation of 1,700m & right on the slopes, Sansicario Alto is also amusingly called ‘Ski Lodge’. It consists of several rows of (not unpleasant) apartment buildings amongst the pine & larch forest on the mountainside. All accommodations are eminently ski-in, ski-out. All services are present in two separate sectors, but it all feels a bit too suburban strip mall rather than ski resort village. Accommodation is mostly apartments but the 4-star Hotel Sansicario Majestic provides an alternative.

Search & book here for all Sansicario Alto ski accommodation.

The slopes of Sansicario can be quickly accessed from the Fraiteve summit via the gondola from Sestriere, making the lively location a better ski-in ski-out alternate to Sansicario Alto.

Search & book here for all Sestriere ski accommodation.

Ski Rentals & Lessons

Ski rentals are available from our partners in the resort villages of Cesana & Sansicario. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Cesana-Sansicario Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

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Review

The Powderhounds most recently skied Cesana Sansicario in early season 2020 & had a fabulous time schooming down its super-long sheltered trails. Stay tuned for our sparkling repartee, new photos & insights.

See how Cesana-Sansicario compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

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Tours in or near Cesana - Sansicario

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

La Grave-Sestriere Powder Skiing Safari France-Italy
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Skiing between the French & Italian alps over the southern alpine glaciers, this exceptional tour begins in La Grave, France, passes through Serre Chevalier & ends in Sestriere, Italy. Great off-piste combination of high alpine & tree skiing, plus beautiful villages & accommodation.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy, min group of 7 on an 8 day trip.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 3,234
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Cesana - Sansicario here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Freeride the Best of La Grave, Piedmont & Ecrins
GUIDED OFF-PISTE FREERIDE POWDER SKI TOUR
6 Days | 5 Nights | 6 Ski Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Explore the best freeride powder skiing terrain at amazing southern Alps ski areas including La Grave, Sestriere, Serre Chevalier, Montgenevre, Puys St Vincent & Queyras with a local guide. Join a fixed date tour as a single or group, or create a custom tour to suit your best dates & group size.....
Price p/p From price based on 5 nights twin-share lodgings in low season, minimum group of 5 people.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 2,023
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Cesana - Sansicario here
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