|Trento from summit of Monte Bondone - January 2014|
IN the menatime ...
Cycling enthusiasts will be familiar with the Giro d'Italia, one of the three annual 3-weeks-long grand tours of cycling. The 2015 Giro is currently in its second week of racing.
|Trento - January 2014|
This weekend, the Giro heads up into the Italian Dolomites from deep within the Veneto region.
The race on Sunday first skirts a few tiny ski stations around the Asiago area, then passes through the lovely city of Trento.
|Madonna di Campiglio - January 2014|
The race route runs along the flank of Monte Bondone but doesn't go up to the top. There should be some great camera shots around Trento though on the TV coverage.
The cyclists will then wind their way up the narrow valleys at the base of the Dolomiti di Brenta (the Western Dolomites).
The Sunday 25th May stage ends in beautiful Madonna di Campiglio, one of the biggest ski resorts in Italy.
This is truly a fantastic place. We skied there in January 2014 during a bumper snow year. My ski report from Italy and the Dolomites last year is linked here. I'd love to go back one day and spend more time there.
The next race stage after Madonna starts in Pinzolo, an alpine village which is now a part of the Madonna di Campiglio connected ski area.
From there the Tuesday stage travels on its way to another ski station - Aprica, The route also passes through the high-altitude ski area of Passo del Tonale.
|Engadin valley with Sils Maria, the Silsersee and Maloja|
The Giro then follows the Valtellina. This important glacial valley also has other ski resorts fringing it, north of Sondrio.
The next big glacial valley running west to east above here is actually in Switzerland, the spectacular Engadin.
In the Engadin is St Moritz. And Corvatsch is one of the St Moritz ski areas based at Sils im Engadin, and Sils Maria.
Sils Maria is where the critically acclaimed film, the Clouds of Sils Maria, is set.
To the west is the Maloja Pass, which takes you back down into Northern Italy to the top of Lake Como. The Giro will pass through that same point on the top of Lake Como as it heads from the Valtellina to Lugano.
|Sauze d'Oulx - January 2006|
From Cervinia you can ski to Zermatt. The Alps here include some of the highest mountains in Europe including Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn.
The final alpine mountain finish will be at Sestriere on the French border in Piemonte.
The ski resorts here are all on one lift pass and are known as the Via Lattea (the Milky Way). As well as Sestriere, there is Sauze d'Oulx (we visited back in 2006) and Montgenevere.
A little further, just over the border in France, is Serre Chevalier.
In this incredible part of the world - art, travel, skiing and cycling can all interlink.