|Ovindoli Mount Magnola | Winter sports resort and summer holiday
Ovindoli is a municipality of Abruzzo, in the province of L’aquila, located at a height of 1375 meters (4511 ft) above sea level,
placed in the so-called “ Altopiano delle Rocche “ ( Upland of the rocks) , an area surrounded almost completely by the peaks
of the Apennines, with peak summits that reach the height of 2487 mt (8160,5 ft) with Mount Velino.
From a logistic and geographic point of view, Ovindoli has been an easily accessible place since 1930, as it is located halfway
between the two cities of Rome and Pescara, both by car through the road network , and the railway system. Indeed it is already
since the immediate end of World Word 2 that , from central Italy, and especially from Rome, have got to the railway station
of Celano the so-called “ treni della neve “ (snow trains ) carrying people fond of skiing to the ski resort of Ovindoli.
Indeed, from Celano, holiday makers can find several buses carrying them to Ovindoli.
The situation went on like that for several years, until in 1959, senator Angelo Tirabassi, a local politician, persuaded by Italo Magrini,
a well-known and respected historian from Avezzano, understood the unlimited tourism potentiality of this place and verified the possibility
to exploit the environmental resources that Mount Magnola could offer In order to create a ski resort. So, with the help of a group
of mountain lovers, he founded the Società Valturverma ( Valorizzazione turistica Velino Magnola) (tourism development of mount Velino Magnola),
with an initial investment of just 1.600.000 Lire and 16 partners. At the beginning , after a first consideration,
it was proposed the hypothesis to place the ski lifts on the southern side of Mount Magnola, but, in the end it was decided to invest
on the side of Ovindoli, since it guaranteed greater possibilities of development both under the logistic profile, the technical
and the economic one. So they started the planning of the one seat chair lift of the “ Canalone “ and then of the ski lift “ Anfiteatro “ ,
“Montefreddo “ and “ Topolino “, these ski lifts started working in the winter season between 1961 and 1962. However the period of bigger
development was when, a majority shareholder of the company, a diplomat of the American Embassy in Rome, Mr Charles Rogers,
fond of Mount Magnola, became president of the Valturvema and decided to make Ovindoli/Magnola one of the biggest tourist centres of central Italy.
In this period, in fact, the capacity of the chair lift “ Canalone” was doubled, three new ski lifts were built : “ Tre piste“,
“Capanna Brinn “ and “Dolcevita “ and the planning of the chairlift “ Montefreddo” was started, with the building of the connected shelter
at its basis ( today known with the name of “ rifugio sottozero” (under zero shelter ).
Furthermore, always in this period thanks to the help of the then secretary for the economic development, Lorenzo Natali, the building
of the present residences located at the base of the plants was started.
Then, with the change of the heads of the company, a period of standstill followed, when the great projects were set aside and the station
became technically obsolete. The situation went on like that until 1994, when important changes happened in the management of the ski resort.
In fact a local manager, originating from Emilia Romagna, Mr Giancarlo Bartolotti, already president of the group that referring to S.I.T.A.srl
of Ovindoli and owner of the Hotel structure “ Park Hotel” , after a long negotiation , purchased Valturverma spa and founded
a new society named “ Monte Magnola Impianti Srl “, having as its aim their management and the administration,
Remarkable improvements were immediately made, carrying out improvements both on the ski lifts and on the existing infrastructures and consequently,
in a few years, Ovindoli was given a new look. Two are the key words introduced by the new management : Increase in Value and Investment.
First of all they made a reclaim and the reactivation of 20 km of ski slopes of several levels, and in the summer of 1995 they built
an up to date artificial snow maker programmed for snow production , both at high and low pressure, able to guarantee a perfect snow mantle
of about 5 km of ski slopes, also in case of bad weather conditions. It is also placed a modern system of reading in the distance
and validation of badges (cards) in order to enter the ski lift. The ski resort is then up to the best resorts in Central Italy,
and consequently there has been a constant increase in the number of visitors over the years.
In 1997. a new construction site was open in order to realize two modern three seat chairlifts and almost 5 km of new ski slopes.
So, because of the success and the increase in the number of users, the resort of Monte Magnola impianti, together with the close ski resorts
of Campo Imperatore and Campo Felice establishes the first cooperative entity of central and southern Italy and of Abruzzo, named “ LE TRE NEVI “,
with the aim to offer tourist solutions even more innovative and technologically well-advanced in all the ski district.
The enterprise obtains an immediate and clamorous success, so that even Fis asks to perform the National Italian Championship
of the time on these ski slopes.