Sestriere is a comune or municipality of the Province of Turin. Its name derives from Latin: ad petram sistrariam. The basic translation is 60 Roman miles from Turin.
It sits at the heart of one of Europes biggest ski areas known as the Via Lattea (Milky Way). There are 146 skiable pistes which together total 390km of runs, of which 120 are provided with artificial snow. The skiing is divided between 2 north west facing peaks. A gondola provides easy access out of Sestriere into the rest of the ski system.
It regularly hosts Alpine Ski World Cup events but its biggest moment came when it was chosen as the centre for the alpine events in the 2006 Winter Olympic Games and the Winter Paralympics, hosting all the men’s and women’s alpine skiing competitions and being the site of one of the three Olympic Villages.
The two hotel towers that dominate the skyline have become the symbol of the village. They were built in the 1930s by FIAT’s founder Giovanni Agnelli to provide a holiday retreat for the workers in the FIAT factory down in Turin. One of these towers was part of the Olympic village housing the competitors.
Sestriere isn’t just a winter resort. In the summer it is possible to play golf on Europe’s highest 18-hole course and more recently it has seen a huge increase in the number of mountain bikers coming out to sample the slopes without the snow. Sestriere is part of the Alpi bike resort which offers a concentrated mix of some of the best riding in Europe.
The resort also features regularly in the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia making it popular with cyclists who want to challenge themselves on the same roads that the best cyclists in the world race up.