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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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