“Italy has the ability to be a worldwide reference point for innovation and engineering where we are the world leader, and we too often forget this.” So said Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as he was inaugurating Skyway, the new Mont Blanc (really, Monte Bianco) cable car. It opened in June 2015 (only a month late).
On board rotating cabins there is a 360-degree panoramic view. With the capacity to hold up to 80 people at a time, the cabins have a camera on the floor that that transmits images of the panorama below. The new cable car replaces ones built between 1948 and 1958.
The cable care leaves from Pontal (at 1,300 meters or 4, 265 feet) and in 19 minutes arrives at Pointe Helbronner (at 3,462 meters or 11, 325 feet). Pointe Helbronner is a mountain in the Mont Blanc range area known as the “Alpi Graie,” which is the alpine area where France, Italy, and marginally, Switzerland, intersect. At Pointe Helbronner it is possible to admire the glaciers from a roof terrace.
The project is strategic for tourism in Valle d’Aosta in northern Italy and for high-end tourism in general. During design and construction, the cable car shipyard was visited innumerable times by people from all over the world, both by companies and by the media. To achieve what many people are calling “the eighth wonder of the world,” it took 4 years of work and an investment of 138 million euros, of which 70 million were financed by the State (Italy).