Only eight years have passed since Giovanni Agnelli bought for a few lire these lands at two thousand metres, on the top of the Sestriere Pass, with the visionary idea of making them a destination for the new winter sports tourism. With the help of engineer Vittorio Bonadè Bottino, who had already designed the FIAT factory in Turin - the famous Lingotto -, three cable cars and two tower hotels were built: refined rationalist architecture at popular prices. And in 1934, by royal decree, the municipality of Sestriere was born, the highest in Italy and one of the least populated. Confirming the senator's intuition, in January the slopes are full of skiers, as Pippo Barzizza's beautiful shots show: two years ago, the composer moved with his family to Turin, where he was called to conduct the Cetra Orchestra. "For the city of automobiles and ‘gianduiotti’, the hill at two thousand has by now become one of its suburbs, the youngest, the most elegant; and certainly the most jaunty" (wrote Mario Gromo in the January 1938 issue of "Le vie d'Italia", in the article dedicated to Sestriere with an attached map of the ski itineraries).
Who knows whether on 25 January 1938, the Barzizza family observed the incredible aurora borealis from the snowy hill or from the town? A unique event, at our latitudes.