Memories of a School Ski Trip to La Polsa Italy

Matthew Baines

I recommend La Polsa Ski Resort in Italy

It's fun to think back to old holidays taken when memories have filtered themselves accordingly into the fun and the not fun parts. The beige bits are somehow always dropped as time goes by.

One memory that has always stuck with me as fun was a family holiday of sorts, piggy-backing on a school trip, to La Polsa ski resort in the Italian Dolomites. Slightly embarrassing I suppose as my parents were the only family members to come along, together with my brother and me. They seemed oblivious to this at the time, and to be fair I was only about 10 or 11 years old. Still, it involved a plane and a new sport that I hadn't until that point undertaken. That equalled a huge adventure for me.

Fabia Family Hotel in La Polsa As far as I can tell, having recently Googled the place, it is still a popular destination for families and school trips and provides great schooling for budding young skiers, such as I was in 1982. I would love to return to check it out again.

Memories include a very long coach journey from the airport, Verona possibly, winding up the mountain as the levels of snow began to pile up increasingly along the roadside. Then up to the resort where we entered a beautiful pine-interiored hotel. I remember the new and exciting chocolate bars, that looked like ones we had in the UK, but which had different names. I remember our ski coach, Luca, with his bright red jacket. Funny how some things just stick.

Mum had bought us all ski jackets and salopettes from C&A which we were finally able to wear properly as we were fitted up with our skis the following day. There were probably about 15 or 20 of us in the group and generally it was a good bunch of kids. I remember my mum being a little nervous about the skiing. She still has no sense of balance, after all. We had previously been practising on the dry slopes in the UK where she had slipped and caught her thumbs in the floor fabric. She tended to be a walking disaster like that.

I took huge interest in the morning lessons, which were followed in the afternoon by more freedom to explore the resort on skis and take some of the more adventurous slopes. This resort really was incredible for the beginner or intermediate skier as it was never that busy when we were there and provided different levels of difficulty depending on how we progressed during the week. The drag lifts were fun, although a bit scary to me as it was always possible to ski the wrong side of the enormous supports that towered over me like electricity pylons. I progressed from snowplough to parallel ski in now time. Returning back to a warm and welcoming hotel at the end of a great day's skiing was simply awesome. This was the perfect doorstep skiing destination ever!

The evenings were huge fun too, the apres ski if you like, although for us kids it was not that kind of apres ski! There was a discotheque in the basement of the hotel (more pine cladding) where we could dance to the latest 80s music, albeit with a European twist. It was probably my first entry into the skill of dancing and I loved it. One night we had a fancy dress, which was great fun. I'd brought a previously used red and black cape, some talcum powder and fangs. These are all childish memories but I am having fun writing this so please bear with me...

Throughout the week we were there we each had a booklet with questions to answer and drawings to make. I took great pride in filling up my booklet with stickers and everything to do with the resort of La Polsa. From some of the chocolate wrappers I had indulged on to tickets for the drag lift.

One the final night there was final party down in the discotheque to say farewell. I remember dancing to "Too Shy" by Kajagoogoo. Each of the kids went round getting signatures from everyone to finish off the booklet. There was one kid though who hadn't really mixed in during the week and became a little destructive. He'd tried already to scribble in my booklet and I'd prevented it, but finally he succeeded. It took a dent out of my memory of the trip as I was so proud of that booklet. 

I do look back on that trip with fondness. My parents separated and divorced soon afterwards, so it was probably the last family holiday we took together. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I cling on to memories from the early 80s. A lot of my designs are based around Memphis style, which was established around this time.

Buy a La Polsa Italy Sunset Mountain T-Shirt

Like me, you can remember your trip to La Polsa with this wonderful I'd Rather Be In La Polsa Italy t-shirt, featuring a snow edged mountain in front of an abstract sunset design from BillingtonPix. I've deliberately included this La Polsa t-shirt in my vintage mountain range which is based around favourite ski and mountain destinations in North America and Europe.

La Polsa Ski and Mountain Sunset t-shirt by BillingtonPix


History and memories mean a lot to me, so it is with great fondness that I have included this t shirt into my collection. Why not take a look at this cute hotel in La Polsa. It's still around and looks to still be a thriving destination. You can find out more about the ski resort of La Polsa, which is still great for kids.

Do you have childhood memories of holidays or school trips that you fall back on from time to time? Have you stayed at La Polsa ski resort? What other ski resorts do you have childhood memories from? Let me know. I just love to go down memory lane!

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