Every year I make plans with my friends where we will go over the Christmas break. Usually I take it upon myself to look for the place and book a hotel with tickets and transfer. In 2014 we decided to go to a place not very familiar to Russian tourists - Champoluc. After a correspondence with several hotels our accommodation was made in an old hotel owned by the Oregone family! Then we didn't know it. And only at the end of our stay in the cozy family-run hotel Villa Anna Maria we met Simone Origone - the fastest skier in the world. That's how it happened.
The Oregone Family
By the way, the Russian name Semyon in Italian sounds like Simone! So, on our final evening after dinner, Semyon's namesake approached him and presented two posters with his autograph. Simone told me that it was from him for my children. The poster was in Russian. And only when we read about the world record and googled who it was, we were in utter amazement. At the hotel we mostly communicated with Simone’s sister. Annalisa met us at the hotel and escorted to our room, assisted with various issues. And only a few times we had a glimpse of Simone. We still have the poster with his autograph hanging in a prominent place.
There are four children in the Origone family: Annalisa, Jean Noel, Ivan and Simone Origone. The whole family are perfect skiers, but two brothers, Ivan and Simone, got fascinated with the downhill. Both brothers show the best results in the world and constantly compete with each other. They are real stars in their town, in Italy and the world sports community. When I asked Simone whether he would take part in the Olympic Games in Sochi, he answered: "Unfortunately no, because the downhill is not an Olympic sport." The downhill is a very specific and very extreme sport. On skis athletes gather the speed of a racing car - over 250 km/h! In March 2016 the world record was set by Ivan Origone with a speed of 254.96 km/h!
I found an article by a Russian journalist from The National Geographic on the Internet about Simone Origone, which I recommend you to read. And be sure to watch the video made by the Red Bull team about the Origone brothers.
A little about the town
Champoluc is located in the north of Italy in the region of Val de Aosta famous for its beautiful ski resorts, wines and gastronomic delights. The town is situated in a valley between two mountain ranges with a small river in the middle. The ski area is 180 km of trails for any level and is a part of Monterosa Ski area.
On the slopes have survived and are in perfect condition old houses made of stone and wood, late 19th - early 20th century, which are open to tourists as hotels and restaurants. I got interested in walking trails with signs of difficulty level, mileage and travel time. As we walked along one of the paths on the slope, we saw two deer running across the track. And at the end of the route there was a small settlement of several 18th century stone houses. It is a cultural heritage of this area, reconstructed with preservation of local authenticity.
The town has a skating rink, a park and a ski school for children with a children's area. The hotels are mostly small and authentic, in Valdostan style. In winter, it's fabulously beautiful and looking in a New Year way. Snow is plentiful in almost any season and in the mountains there is an opportunity for freeride.
We went to a nearby ancient town, almost dying out. Even in the New Year holidays there were very few residents, and tourists could be counted on fingers. It's all because of the long distance from the ski lifts, but the town itself was wonderful.
New in the town
I got another reason to come back here, especially in summer. Firstly, as it says on the town's website, in early July there will be a yoga festival and the second thing that I saw on the tripadvisor: the thermal spa complex Monterossaterme opened, which works both in winter and in summer! And of course, I always wanted to stay at least a week in the mountains in summer and walk along the local mountain trails.
Official touristic website - www.visitchampoluc.com
Статью на русском можно прочитать здесь.