Europe, Italy

Skiing into Cervinia

No Comments 12 November 2010

Skiing into Cervinia

No matter how much he travels, the Monkey still gets a rush out of crossing borders—especially while sliding across pristine pistes at 2,500 meters altitude, as he did when he entered Italy from the bizarre border near Zermatt and Cervinia in January 2007.

Matterhorn, or Monte Cervino, from the Italian side, Cervinia, Italy
That peak is vaguely familiar, isn’t it? This is the rare sight some of you may identify as the “back side” of the famous Matterhorn. Of course, for Italians this is the front side of the Monte Cervino, the famous peak that is slightly better known by its shape on the Swiss side of the border. La Scimmia enjoyed observing this angle on the classic alpine giant during his brief, ski-based excursion into very northern Italy.

Ski slope in Cervinia, Italy
While descending the epic drop into Cervinia, the Monkey paused for a slope-side photo. In the valley, you can see some of the modern structures at the heart of this resort. At a base altitude of 2,006 meters, Cervinia is one of Italy’s higher alpine resorts, and one can’t argue with the ease of its connections to Zermatt’s spoils.

Cervinia, Italy
After a heavy Italian lunch at the mountaintop border (see below), the Monkey arrived in Cervinia raring to hit the slopes. As such, he didn’t hesitate long—just enough for a photo—before hopping into the gondola for the climb back to the heavens. It was a quick but happy visit to Italy.

Border between Zermatt and Cervinia
At around 3,899 meters altitude and surrounded by some of the best ski conditions on earth, working as a guard at the Italy-Switzerland border between Cervinia and Zermatt must rank as one of the cushiest jobs on the planet. Given the Schengen agreement that provides for open entry between the two states, what is the point of marking this border, if not to provide a few lucky souls with the ultimate vaca—, er, occupation? Well, whatever the logic, the Monkey was pleased to drop by this frontier zone for lunch before dropping into Italy for a wee side trip. 

This Monkey adventure has been viewed 1293 times since the 2010 website relaunch.



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58,145,320 (2008)

Land area:

294,020 sq. km.


Rome (pop: 2,693,383; 2005)


In 2006, Italy ranked 18th in the UNDP Human Development Index and 7th in total GDP, with a per capita GDP of $31,495.95. Public debt accounts for 104 percent of total GDP, while no figure for the number of Italians beneath the poverty line is available.

Main language(s):


Monkey's name:

La Scimmia (La Sheem-yah)

Fun fact:

The 19th Century Genoese revolutionary Giuseppe Mazzini, who struggled for most of his life to unite the disparate regions of the Italian peninsula into a republic, made himself a visual symbol of his cause: After a failed uprising against Austro-Hungarian occupation of northern regions of the would-be Italy, Mazzini decided he would wear all black clothing to mourn the oppression of his country. He continued to do so for years.

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