Chris and Marilisa have been hiking and travelling to the Aosta Valley region for a lifetime.
Marilisa was born and grew up in Cervinia, Italy, a world renowned resort village located at the foot of the Matterhorn. Early on, she developed a passion for hiking due to the loving influence of her father who was a great mountain guide. Even after moving to Minnesota, Marilisa’s love for the mountains persisted and she spent every summer in Italy with her family. As a child she loved listening to stories of the mountain legends of the past, and through her mother, Marilisa gained a deep knowledge of the “old ways” of the valley and the importance of never letting them be forgotten.
True to her upbringing Marilisa instilled a love for this region in her three children by making sure they spoke Italian and they felt at home in the valley. She took every chance to expose them to the warmth and authenticity of the local people. She taught them the mountain songs her father had sung with her throughout her youth, many inspired by the partisan rebels fighting against the fascists. Together they hiked, skied and visited the numerous castles nestled in this beautiful valley.
She hopes to be able to bring her grandchildren someday, but in the meantime she enjoys showing off her precious valley to her friends. She will share the knowledge of the Aosta Valley as only a person truly connected to the region can.
Chris is an avid outdoorsman. While attending college in Montana, he spent his free time, hiking, skiing and climbing.
After college, Chris went to Switzerland to be a ski instructor where he met his future wife, Marilisa. Chris’ passion for the mountains continued over the years as their family grew. Each summer was spent in the Italian Alps at Marilisa’s family home in Val d’Aosta. During that time, the family hiked and explored the many different valleys of the region with friends.
While in the valley, Chris joined the local climbing club and went on weekly climbs throughout the surrounding mountains. These adventure travels ranged from simple hikes to long glacier treks up to some of the valleys most spectacular mountain huts. Chris' mountain adventures include climbing the Matterhorn, the Grand Paradiso and many of the peaks on the massifs of the Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa. He has also hiked and climbed many mountains in North America.
Marilisa at home near one of her favorite spots in the Italian Alps
Chris with his daughter Chiara on the Mont Rosa