La Settimana Bianca literally translates to mean ‘white week’ and this describes the Italian winter holiday tradition. Typically, Italians escape the towns and cities in the more northerly regions and head to the snow-capped peaks of the Alps and the Dolomites to partake in winter sports with a healthy dose of revelry on the side.
Ski resorts like Cortina d’Ampezzo and Madonna di Campiglio in the Dolomites are overwhelmed with flocks of merry holiday-makers from early November through to the end of March, though peak season is in February when the festive period has well and truly come to a close and people are keen to escape the grey cities for the white-blanketed mountain ranges.
Whilst many Italians enjoy skiing, the time spent off the slopes during Settimana Bianca is often equal to or greater than the time spent partaking in winter sporting activities. The relaxation side of this holiday is, as one might imagine, just as important as the time spent soaking up the fresh mountain air.
Delicious feasts are enjoyed throughout the Settimana Bianca often featuring traditional northern dishes which are warming and nourishing in the cold winter climes. From Lombardy’s deliciously rich Risotto alla Milanese to Piedmont’s Agnolotti del Plin and Emilia-Romagna’s Tortellini al Brodo there are many local delicacies to be enjoyed. One can also expect typical Italian dishes like pasta Alfredo and creamy lasagne to appear on offer in many Alpine restaurants.
The indulgent eating associated with this holiday is often accompanied by even more indulgent drinking. Prosecco and Asti flow freely at high altitude and many resorts will serve steaming mugs of Vin Brulé to merry tribes returned from the slopes. Another warming beverage which one may enjoy on a typical Settimana Bianca is il Bombardino, this literally translates to mean ‘the bomb’ in English and this cocktail will certainly leave an impact. Notorious amongst Italian thrill-seekers and adventurers, this fiery winter beverage is often consumed during the après ski revelries.
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