Walt Disney inspired setting for Cross-country skiing!

Last week over 1 meter of snow fell up in the Italian Apennine mountains, and you know what that means right?!

Yeah you guessed it.  Fresh, deep, crunchy, powdery white stuff!


Luckily (although it didn’t feel that way at 06.15 on Sunday morning when the alarm clock went off!) I had my third cross-country ski lesson at the Boscoreale Ski Centre so I got the opportunity to enjoy the beauty!

Boscoreale is a paradise for cross-country skiing, immersed in the middle of a stunning forest it becomes a winter wonderland postcard when it snows, and with more than 50km of tracks suitable for all levels from beginner to expert it is challenging too and never gets dull to explore.

The centre also runs snowshoeing (ciaspolata) and much much more.  You can check out more details at their facebook page (in Italian only).


First time trying cross-country “off-piste”, felt so soft and fluffy I even thought it would be a good idea to fall over once or twice (lets be honest, I face planted the white stuff a record breaking seven times this weekend!!)




“When snow falls, nature listens” Antoinette van Kleef



Cross country ski virgin

Last winter I decided to try a new ‘sport’ or perhaps more accurately ‘outdoor activity’ as it really is open to all (yes even me).

It is where I am pretending to be sporty with the sole objective of justifying drinking a hot vin brule apres ski guilt free!

I was hooked at first ‘glide’ and so last week I had my first lesson of this season.  Officially this year we are in the ‘advanced’ group, not quite sure I have the same confidence in my ability as the instructors but heck it sounds good to me!

I’ve always been curious about cross-country skiing as I had never been a natural downhill skier.   I guess growing up in Ireland I learned it too late, so was always a little nervous about going to fast and falling.  So I was keen to try cross-country skiing but was afraid it looked a bit tough!

The reality is that it challenges your co-ordination, i felt like a duck on ice . My teacher Giorgio assures me that I will find my ‘harmony’ and rhythm sooner or later, but he’s clearly never seen me on a dance floor.

Even this week I fell flat on my face at least twice, very gracefully of course!

Chiseled men in tights slide past you.  They are mysteriously elegant and have the most wonderfully toned thighs . I mean let’s be honest ladies, why else do we drag ourselves out of bed at 06.30 on a cold dark Sunday morning?! Finally no need to go to the gym as it is really a workout in itself.

But i love it.  You are immersed in a breathtaking winter wonderland, silence, fresh crisp air.  It’s challenging but you go at your own pace.

There is a camaraderie in the group, as we push ourselves onwards in the middle of the forest.  By the way, no one told me you also have to go UP HILL on skis…. we climbed around 500m to reach the cutest little shelter (where you can sleep for the night and eat home cooked polenta).


We even saw a wild boar run across our paths, lucky he was fast otherwise he would have ended up in a nice red wine and tomato stew…..

Looking forward to next week!