The Best of Bardonecchia: St Mark’s Ski Adventure!

Last updated: May 30th, 2024

In the weeks leading up to a school ski trip, anticipation swirls like snowflakes in the wind. There’s this electric energy in the air, a buzz of excitement that dances through the corridors as students cover everything from outfit combos and the perfect assortment of travel snacks, to ski prep exercises and spirited debates over who will bear the brunt of their first snowball onslaught…

Students (and parents) pack their bags, eager to exchange the familiar hum of school life for the crisp mountain air. And then just like that, the day that has been a hot topic of conversation for months on end suddenly arrives!

This very day arrived for St Mark’s West Essex Catholic School this ski season! And we’re here to unpack their experience! Read on…

The mountains of Bardonecchia in Italy

The Bounties of Bardonecchia

Let’s set the scene… A whopping 89 Year 8, 9 and 10 ST Mark’s students gathered for this week-long school ski trip, their eyes alight with the promise of alpine adventure! The destination? Bardonecchia, Italy!

Why Bardonecchia? Located in an enclosed valley on the French-Italian border, Bardonecchia covers 110km of pistes and is home to the 2006 Olympic Snow Park. The resort has a friendly and calm atmosphere – the perfect balance of tranquillity and excitement!

First time skiiers enjoying the slopes at Bardonecchia in Italy

81 First-Time Skiers

81 of the 89 students that attended were first time skiers, so Bardonecchia couldn’t have been better suited to the group! With fantastic red and blue runs, gentle nursery slopes, an excellent ski lift system and extensive snow-making facilities, St Mark’s students were set! Ski equipment stores and storage are positioned right next to the slopes, so there’s no lugging equipment around.

Our ski rep, Andreas, described to us the excitement of entering a completely new world as a first-time skier! Winding roads lead closer to the resort, anticipation mounts, and glimpses of snow-capped peaks offer the equivalent excitement of spotting the sea on your way to the beach.

Ski lifts have you feeling like you’re flying, and being so high up in the world makes you feel unstoppable!

Villaggio Olimpico

The Villaggio Olimpico served as ST Mark’s home away from home for the week! This 3-star hotel was renovated for the 2006 Turin Olympics and has everything from a games room to a HUGE disco space! Great rooms, great food to fuel everyone up for fun-filled days of skiing, and a stone’s throw away from the slopes – perfect!


Everything was really well organised. The hotel is really really good, it’s accommodating, it has clean facilities and really good food for the pupils. The resort itself is really close to the ski school, so it’s not a far walk either.


Confidence and Development

It’s funny, with every run you saw ST Mark’s students grow in confidence and determination! The thrill of conquering a difficult run is matched only by the panoramic views that greet skiers and snowboarders at every turn.

The staff couldn’t believe the development of the students both in terms of ability and confidence!

Students having a fun time on the Alpine Coaster in Bardonecchia Italy


The Alpine Coaster

The Alpine Coaster! This two-seater sledge ride was a hit with both the students and the teachers. Students paired up for an adrenaline rush through more than a thousand metres across the Campo Smith woods – twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of laughter!

Pizza Night at La Gran Baita

It would be a crime to not indulge in a whole lot of pizza while in Italy. To see the chefs work their magic just metres away was quite something – a real craft!

Carbonara pizza freshly made in Italy

Blue graphic of skis and ski poles

Memories in the Mountains

And there we have it! St Mark’s experience in a nutshell! To experience something like this for your next school ski trip, just talk to the team!

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