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Swiss Skiing and Italian Indulgences – a Travel Recap

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The vibrant sunset over the infamous Lake Como, a favorite spot for movie producers and tourists alike. (Credit: Laurel Davis)

Over Winter Break, my family and I decided to go to Italy and Switzerland for the holidays. We spent Dec. 23-Dec. 31 abroad, traveling from city to city via rental car. From big cities to rural countryside, we did our best to stay in places that truly represented what European life was like during the holidays.  

Our trip began in the fashion capital of the world – Milan. Our hotel room overlooked a backstreet full of cafés full of locals during the day, and vibrant, bustling bar and clubbing life at night. The most beautiful part of the view from our window was the Duomo. Unfortunately, at this point in time the Duomo was going under renovations & revitalization in certain sections, so our view was obstructed. The most notable place we walked around was definitely Piazza del Duomo. A piazza in Italy is a large open square in a town or city. Being Milan, this piazza consisted of mainly designer brand stores, like Chanel and Gucci. The piazza was intricately decorated with lights, either adorning the murals on the ceiling or creating shapes like perfume bottles out front of Chanel. We only stayed in Milan for one night, so I only got a very brief glimpse into the bubbly and lively night life in the city. 

Piazza del Duomo, twinkling with lights and filled with the loving holiday spirit as the sun sets. (Credit: Laurel Davis)   

On Christmas Day, we began our drive across the border into Switzerland. Before we crossed the Alps, we decided to stop in a small town at the base of the mountain, called Chiavenna, for some traditional Italian espresso and crostata (a traditional Italian jelly-based pastry). Once over the Alps, we stopped to take in the view in a very rural countryside town named Plaun Da Lej. The residents of this city were all spending quality time with their families for Christmas, participating in activities like ice skating and cross-country skiing. This was a very beautiful, quaint town; however, it was just a pit stop before we headed into Saint Moritz.

The views of the Alps from the slopes atop Mount Corviglia. (Credit: Laurel Davis)

Saint Moritz has coined the name “Top of the World” due to their incredible ski slopes atop the Swiss Alps. We stayed in a small apartment that was located downhill from all the après ski restaurants and bars, so we could still experience the vibrant night life but still come back to the nice, quiet, homely part of town. The main reason we came to St. Mortiz was to experience the skiing and chalets atop the mountains – so that’s just what we did. 

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The view from an après ski shop in St. Moritz. (Credit: Laurel Davis)

After going out for a nice meal following a long day of travel the previous night, we got up early the next morning to head out to the ski rental. After buying our tickets, we hopped on a cabriolet that took us directly to the top of the mountain Corviglia. After spending the whole day skiing the slopes, we stopped by a small pop-up après ski drink and crepe shop named “Getränke.” We watched the sunset over hot apple cider and mulled wine, then headed back to our Airbnb before heading out once again for some Swiss supper. 

The next morning, we woke up bright and early to catch a train to the town of Chur. Chur was a roughly two-and-a-half-hour train ride from St. Moritz – a train ride that consisted of beautiful views as we weaved through the Swiss Alps. Chur is a town full of rich and vibrant history, with an ancient Cathedral around every corner. After roaming the cobblestone streets, shopping for new ski boots, and trying some infamous Swiss chocolate, we caught our train back to St. Moritz. 

An entrance to an ancient Cathedral in Chur. (Credit: Laurel Davis)

On our last day in Switzerland we decided to try something new Schlitterbahn! Schlitterbahn is the combination of the German word for sled (schlitten) and for train (bahn). We drove 30 minutes to Samedan, then caught a train to Preda to rent our sleds. The track ran from the base in Preda all the way to Bergün. More ski lifts took you from Bergün to other sled tracks, but we decided to turn in our sleds and ride the train back to Samedan to then drive back into Italy. 

The view while racing through the Alps on the sledding track from Preda to Bergün. (Credit: Laurel Davis)

Our first morning in Italy, we drove into town in Tre Ville for some more skiing. However, due to how warm it was in Italy, the slopes had turned to mainly slick ice. So instead of spending hours on end skiing again, we decided to soak in the views of the Dolomites from a chalet on top of the mountain. After riding the gondola back down, we stopped at a local family-owned restaurant near our hotel in Mezzana for some of the most decadent pizza we have ever had. Our night ended up being a rest night in the hotel, with massages in the spa before complimentary hotel dinner.  

View from atop a ski slope in Tre Ville, Italy. (Credit: Laurel Davis)

We enjoyed one last complimentary hotel meal before spending the rest of our day traveling from Mezzana back to Milan. On our way back, we decided to stop at the infamous Lake Como. We stopped on the southern crest of the lake in the city of Bellagio. We enjoyed a nice stroll through the city, winding down cobblestone alleyways crowded with traditional pasta and gelato shops. After stopping for some gelato, we enjoyed a view of the sun setting above Lake Como.  

 

A cobblestone alleyway crowded with colorful houses in the city of Bellagio. (Credit: Laurel Davis)

We spent our last night in a hotel connected to Milan Malpensa Airport to ensure safe and easy travel for the morning. We flew out of Italy on Dec. 31 to ensure that we could still enjoy the New Years with our friends and family back home. 

 All that being said, arrivederci & tschüss! 

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About the Contributor
Laurel Davis, News Editor
Laurel Davis is a junior at Roswell and holds the role of News Editor for her third year on staff. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling, playing golf, hanging out with friends, and going to church.

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