Last week Rayburn Tours’ very own Ollie, Mike and Asha were lucky enough to venture out to stunning Italy. As a fantastic location for school groups to hit the slopes, the trio were tasked with familiarising themselves with the area and checking out what was on offer, all to ensure we offer you the very best experiences on your tour.
Follow their adventure in Ollie’s words…
Day 1 – Travel Day
Despite the early 5am start, I was full of excitement for my first Rayburn Tours inspection visit to Italy. Our flight from Manchester landed us in the elegant city of Milan, for our onward drive to the resort of Santa Caterina.
After the journey, we headed into town for a traditional Italian delicacy…pizza! With over 50 pizzas to choose from we were spoilt for choice and I went for the Speck e Zola (ham and gorgonzola), which did not disappoint.
Day 2 – Seeing the sights
Whilst today was filled with supplier meetings to ensure that everything is in place for the arrival of Rayburn Ski groups later in the season, we were lucky enough to squeeze in a spot of sightseeing.
Taking the chair and bubble lifts up above the town, we were greeting with stunning mountainous views and plenty of photo opportunities.
Later in the day, it was time for Asha and I to be dropped off in Bormio to wander around the town. We then met up with Mike and headed to the swimming pool before scouting out a good spot for some evening football.
Day 3 – My first visit to Madesimo
After more meetings, we headed to Madesimo to check out the ski hire and ski schools, before taking the bubble lift up to Bormio 2000.
It was my first visit to Madesimo and Bormio and I was very impressed with the resort and its suitability for school groups. We met with the head of the ski school who then invited us to lunch with him at his restaurant. Eager to sample some of the local food we ate Pizzoccheri, Malfatti and Schiatt followed by a deliciously sweet lemon sorbet.
Arriving in Madesimo we met Craig, one of our more experienced couriers, who was setting up ready for the arrival of our group the following day.
The evening was spent getting to know some of the warm and welcoming locals… A great way to spend our free time!
Day 4 – Time to Ski
As keen skiers, we spent the morning cutting tracks on empty pistes, taking the gondola up to the slopes to warm up with a few easy blues, before venturing up to the impressive Pizzo Groppera at 2948m.
We arrived back at the hotel and it was all hands on deck for the arrival of the first half of our group. We got them checked in, skis fitted and eating dinner ready for the second tranche. It was a late finish by the time the whole group was checked in, fitted and fed, but everyone was excited for the first ski day tomorrow.
Day 5 – The Final Day
After breakfast, the group were hugely excited and who could blame them? We led the group out, helped put boots on the right feet, find skis and fit helmets – they were now ready to hit the slopes.
It was sadly now time for us to say “Ciao”, load the car and head back to Malpensa for our journey home.
The trip was a superb opportunity for me to improve my knowledge of Madesimo, Bormio and Santa Caterina and even managed to grab some ski time myself. What more could you ask for from an Inspection Visit?