177. Bormio

Bormio is a ski resport in the mountains of Italy, very near the border with Switzerland. I ended up there after crashing Mum and Dad’s holiday as my exams finished earlier than expected (due to the helpful fact that my last exam time was only confirmed a week before). They chose Bormio as it is the intersection of two famous cycle routes that were part of the Gyro D’Italia, and relatively close to France, as they have come to Europe (for the first time since they were my age) to chase the Tour De France.

Bormio is a truly bizarre concept of a town. One would be forgiving for thinking they were in Austria or Switzerland, apart from the Italian writing everywhere. It is clearly an alpine ski resort, and the buildings look nothing like what you would expect in Italy. A small dip in the valley, with dramatic mountains and sharp cliff edges everywhere you look. It seems like there are only two houses that realised they were in Italy and didn’t have a bavarian/alpine feel to them.

I later discovered the old town, which is where all the italian influenced houses and buildings are. There are beautiful old midieval alleways with grey stone creations of all sizes. The “town sqaure” was a little tricky to find, but once we spotted the cathedral spire and the clocktower we were headed in the right direction. The square was quite the sight, and as we sat down to our very Italian 10pm dinner, it felt all very authentic. Especially once the Aperol’s and Prosecco’s arrived! It was also the most amazing Italian food I had ever tasted. A simple peperoni pizza was so much better than any other I’ve ever had – there’s a lot to be said for good quality ingredients.

Looking out of our hotel window, we could see the a big grassy patch carved out of the mountain side, leading straight to all the cabins and lined with lights – obviously the main ski run off the mountain in Winter. Oh how I would love to come down the mountain to my luxurious accomodation! A far cry from a New Zealand ski field, but it definitely has the Queenstown/Wanka/Methven feel to it: perfectly groomed alpine resort, with nothing but flashy accomodation and exbhorbitantly priced cafes and bars. Very aesthetically pleasing though, I must say. Even if I joined the Cycling Orphan club for much of the time, I definitely picked a winning time to crash mum and dad’s holiday – a bit of a step up from Cook’s Beach!

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