Things To Do In The Aosta Valley, Italy

With A Ready Smile And A Passion For Hospitality, Bernardo “Berny” Ferro Is A Natural Ambassador For Le Massif And The Area It Calls Home.
Bernardo “Berny” Ferro, head barman at Le Massif in Courmayeur.
Bar Manager, Le Massif, Courmayeur

When Marcello Cicalò, the group director of operations of Le Massif, was building his team to open a new five-star hotel in Courmayeur, he knew immediately whom he needed to recruit first. “Everyone told me, ‘You have to get Berny,’ ” Marcello recalled recently. “ ‘If you have Berny, everyone will come, and everyone will leave happy.’ ”

Bartender extraordinaire, creator of perfect cocktail pairings, and – most importantly – a well-loved fixture on the Courmayeur scene, Bernardo “Berny” Ferro is now the heart and soul of Le Massif. His ready smile and warm enthusiasm have made him the unofficial “Mr. Courmayeur” – a natural ambassador for the resort and the Val d’Aosta region, and a valued resource for Le Massif’s guests, many of whom are visiting the area for the first time. “This is a year-round resort, and there is just as much to see and do in the summer as in the winter,” Berny says. “It is part of my job to help guests discover what makes Courmayeur so special.”

Courtesy of Le Massif

As the only five-star luxury hotel in Courmayeur, Le Massif is raising the profile of the resort. And as the new kid on the block, Le Massif is eager to make friends, and is committed to contributing to the wellbeing and success of the community. The hotel invests in Courmayeur through civic beautification and support of local culture, and through placing environmental sustainability at the heart of everything it does. To Berny and other key members of the team, that commitment is important. “For many of us, this is our home – and Le Massif really cares about our home,” he says.

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In Sun Or In Snow, Le Massif’s Chief Bartender And Host Helps You Plan The Perfect Vacation In The Val D’aosta

Bernardo “Berny” Ferro happily shares five of his favorite ways for guests of Le Massif to make the most of their stay in the region he calls home.


Bespoke Experiences For Discovering Europe’s Top Peak

“It is the first thing I tell guests they have to do – get onto the mountain,” Berny says. The highest peak in Europe, Mont Blanc (or Monte Bianco) is full of experiences on all points of the adrenaline scale. A picnic of local delicacies and a map to a secluded mountain prairie; a helicopter ride around the peak with, for the experienced, a ski drop on a pristine glacier; a state-of-the-art cable car with 360-degree views; paragliding, mountain biking, riding the rapids. The concierge staff at Le Massif takes it as their personal mission to make sure guests find the right experience for them. “It always thrills me to see the mountain,” Berny says, “and to hear that guests have enjoyed it.


Forest Bathing For The Ultimate In Natural Healing

It’s as easy as it sounds and, at the same time, surprisingly challenging. Forest bathing – a spa treatment that involves getting blissfully lost in a dense thicket of trees on the side of a mountain - is part of the wellness program at Le Massif, which balances stress reduction, nutrition, exercise and aquatherapy. Making use of the hotel’s superb location in Courmayeur, forest bathing is in many ways the ultimate in natural healing: a surrender to the aromas, colors and sounds of the woods that stimulates the immune system and reduces the symptoms of stress. “This is something that is special to Le Massif, that guests will remember,” Berny says.

Forest bathing, a spa treatment that stimulates the immune system and reduces the symptoms of stress.


Food Fairs And Gourmet Pop-Ups In Courmayeur

Valdostana cuisine gets a bad rap as nothing but stick-to-your-ribs mountain food, heavy on creamy Fontina cheese, cured ham, and red meat - sometimes all in the same dish. As a crossroads for international sports enthusiasts and nature lovers, Courmayeur is helping to change that. Food fairs and gourmet pop-ups dot the calendar throughout the year. Taste of Courmayeur is a festival that takes over the village in January to showcase the best in local products and creative cooking. And for a week in March, the Mountain Gourmet Experience ( brings celebrated UK chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Marcus Wareing for mountain cook-offs and other events. “The world comes to Courmayeur to eat and to share,” Berny says. “There is always something new to try.”

Valdostana cuisine is multifaceted, and Courmayeur attracts chefs and gourmands alike.


A Valley Path To Discover Castles, Villages And Wineries

Many people come to Courmayeur for the mountains: to climb up, ski down, or just look at breathlessly from a terrace. But to truly get to know the Val d’Aosta, it’s important to explore the valley as well. The Cammino Balteo is a walking, biking, and horse path that takes in spectacular castles and fortresses, unspoiled villages and local wineries. It covers the entire region and can be done in stages, none of them requiring steep grades up or down. The concierge staff at Le Massif can tailor an excursion to suit your time, interests and fitness level. “The historical sites in the Val d’Aosta are fantastic,” Berny says. “And they are right outside our door.”

The Val d’Aosta region is full of walking, biking and horse paths. Le Massif’s concierge team can map out the perfect route.


At Le Massif, It’s Personal

Ask Berny if he has a signature cocktail, and he laughs. “My signature cocktail is whatever a guest wants at that moment – whatever will make them happy,” he says. To Berny, aperitivo hour is more than a pause at the end of the day to set up the evening; it is an opportunity to spoil his guests with personal attention and the perfect drinks and nibbles. How does he do it? “I start by asking, ‘How are you feeling?’ ” Berny says. “Are you in a mood to celebrate? Are you relaxed and want to stay that way?” Food is important, too: “How hungry are you? Are you eating dinner later? Do you want something substantial now?” The end result, whether it’s a tall drink and a plate of warm mini-panini or a fresh fruit concoction and spiced nuts, will be yours alone – and just what you wanted.

Berny in his element. “A signature cocktail is whatever will make the guest happy,” he says.