Valle d’Aosta

Valle d’Aosta is the smallest region of Italy, with an area of 3,263km², but also one of the most particular and fascinating.   Located in the north-west of Italy, the Aosta Valley is a region with a special status.

Particular and unique, the region is almost predominantly mountainous, bordering Switzerland, France and Piedmont; nestled between the peaks of the Alps, the region is home to some of the most important mountain ranges in Italy, the Mont Blanc which, with its 4810 meters, is the highest peak in all of Europe, the mountain massif of Gran Paradiso, which reaches 400 meters and is known for its wonderful glaciers, the Monte Rosa, 4634 meters high, which rises on the border between the Italian and Swiss territory, the Monte Cervino, one of the main reliefs of the Alps complex, with its 4478 meters of altitude.

Nature is wild and luxuriant, it is no coincidence that in Val d’Aosta there are a large number of parks and reserves protected to protect the natural environment, the main ones being: Gran Paradiso National Park (which is the oldest National Park in Italy, established as early as 1922 to protect the flora and fauna of the Alps), the Mont Avic Natural Park, and the Côte de Gargantua Nature Reserves, Lago di Lozan, Lago di Villa, Les Iles, Lolair, Marais, Montagnayes, Mont Mars, Stagno di Holey and Tsatelet.

The castles of Val d’Aosta are also not to be missed. Built in the most strategic places over the centuries and in particular by the Savoy and the subject of many wars, the Aosta Valley offers many forts and castles that can be visited. Among these we mention the castle of Savoy, the castle of Fenis, the fort of Bard and many other castles worthy of a visit.

History of the Aosta Valley

The history of the region is very ancient, the first settlements date back to the fourth millennium BC, as evidenced by the finds found in the archaeological area of Saint-Pierre and San Martin de Corléans. The Aosta Valley was inhabited by the Salassi – a population of Celtic origin – starting from the sixth century BC. and soon became a Roman colony, as early as 25 BC. in fact, the colony of Augusta Praetoria Salassorum, or the city of Aosta, was born. The construction of the Porta Praetoria, the Roman Theater, the Roman Forum and the Augustus Arch dates back to this period. At the fall of the Western Roman Empire, which occurred in 476, the Aosta Valley was placed under Byzantine control, from 553 to 563, then passed to the Lombards, from 568 to 575 and later became part of the kingdom of Burgundy, under the Kingdom of the Franks. It was during the period of the Carolingian Empire that the Via Francigena was built. In the following centuries, the Aosta Valley was a possession of the Kingdom of Burgundy, of the Duchy of Savoy and, since 1800, of the First French Empire, and it is in this period that the Arrondissement d’Aoste was born. At the fall of Napoleon, the region once again became a Savoyard dominion.

The Aosta Valley is certainly famous for its castles, each town had its own castle and many are still in excellent condition today and have become important tourist attractions, among the most beautiful castles in the Aosta Valley must be remembered certainly the Castle of Fénis, the Castle of Bard, the Castle of Savoy and the Castle of Issogne.

Not to be missed on a holiday in Val d’Aosta



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How to get to Valle d’Aosta

BY CAR: coming from Turin, take the A5 motorway towards  Pont-Saint-Martin. Coming from Milan, take the A4 motorway in the direction of Aosta. From the Franco-Swiss side through the Mont Blanc and San Bernardo tunnels, and in summer the Piccolo and Gran San Bernardo passes.

BY TRAIN: the main station is that of Aosta. The best connection by train is the one starting from Turin (about 2 hours). Also from Milan (travel time about 3 hours and 30 minutes).

BY PLANE: the nearest airports are Turin (115km from Aosta), Malpensa (180km from Aosta), Linate (200km from Aosta), Orio al Serio (225km from Aosta) and Geneva (140km from Aosta).

BY BUS: the main bus connections depart from Milan and Turin. In summer also from Liguria and Emilia Romagna.

How to get to Valle d’Aosta

BY CAR: coming from Turin, take the A5 motorway towards  Pont-Saint-Martin. Coming from Milan, take the A4 motorway in the direction of Aosta. From the Franco-Swiss side through the Mont Blanc and San Bernardo tunnels, and in summer the Piccolo and Gran San Bernardo passes.

BY TRAIN: the main station is that of Aosta. The best connection by train is the one starting from Turin (about 2 hours). Also from Milan (travel time about 3 hours and 30 minutes).

BY PLANE: the nearest airports are Turin (115km from Aosta), Malpensa (180km from Aosta), Linate (200km from Aosta), Orio al Serio (225km from Aosta) and Geneva (140km from Aosta).

BY BUS: the main bus connections depart from Milan and Turin. In summer also from Liguria and Emilia Romagna.