Valle d'Aosta is the smallest and least populated region of Italy. It is located on the northern border of Piedmont and in the extreme north-west of Italy. It borders the France to the northwest and the Switzerland North.
The Aosta Valley is made up of a large valley furrow, about 100 km long, crossed by the river Dora Baltea. Numerous smaller valleys branch off from the main valley of the region. But the flat areas make up only 4% of the entire regional territory.
The valleys are dominated by the magnificent mountain massifs of Gran Paradiso, the Cervino, the Monte Rosa he was born in Mont Blanc, whose main peaks exceed 4000 m. The latter represents the highest peak in Europe thanks to its 4.810 meters.
The southern part of this mountainous region is protected by the Gran Paradiso National Park, which was founded in 1922 and is one of the most beautiful places to see in the Aosta Valley.
The region also includes numerous greats sports centers such as La Thuile, La Rosiere, Pila, Alagna Valsesia, Monte Rosa and Courmayer.
With this orographic panorama, it is not surprising that climbing, skiing and trekking through the imposing alpine landscapes are some of the most important activities in the area and one of the main reasons why you visit the Aosta Valley.
This, however, does not imply that those who do not like to practice mountain sports cannot fully enjoy the wonderful local landscape, which can be visited thanks to cable cars such as the one located in Courmayeur, one of the most important ski centers in the world.
What to see in Valle d'Aosta
Valle d'Aosta is a wonderful land with enchanting landscapes and a rich historical heritage, consisting of imposing castles and fortresses, churches, ancient temples and museums. Let's find out below the highlights to see in the Aosta Valley:
Cervinia is one of the most famous ski resorts of the Alps. Located at an altitude of 2050m, it is very popular for its ski slopes, many of which are black, which are popular with professional skiers. Next to them there are also gentle slopes for beginners and children. Local ski schools have highly qualified specialists.
The Cervinia lifts are connected with those of Zermatt, on the Swiss side of the Matterhorn, and thus form a single ski area, the Matterhorn Ski Paradise, with over 350 km of slopes.Find accommodation in Cervinia
Near Cervinia, at the foot of Mont Blanc, is the tourist resort of Courmayeur, considered one of the best luxury resorts in Italy. In addition to luxury hotels, there are trendy shops and boutiques, fine restaurants and various entertainment venues.
Courmayeur is one of the world capitals of mountaineering and skiing, famous for SkyWay Mont Blanc cable car. This cable car takes you to 3466 m in a few minutes and from the panoramic terrace at Pointe Helbronner allows you to enjoy a 360 ° view of the Alps and admire the imposing beauty of Mont Blanc.
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At the foot of Monte Blanco is the town of La Thuile, una quiet and economical location. Originally a mining town, La Thuile now offers both a quaint village and a modern ski lift complex that accesses fabulous, peaceful ski slopes.
With wide easy slopes and various services dedicated to children, La Thuile is a particularly popular destination suitable for families. In addition, i ski links to the nearby French resort of La Rosier, offer skiers who want to venture a little further 150 km of pistes in total, served by 35 ski lifts.
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The city of Aosta is the capital of the Aosta Valley and one of the oldest and most picturesque cities in the region. Its historic center houses buildings from different eras, from the Roman era to the early twentieth century.
In 25 BC, the Romans occupied the region and founded Augusta Praetoria, which is the current Aosta. Due to its proximity to the passes of the Grande and Piccolo San Bernardo, Aosta has always been a very strategic crossroads in the Western Alps. Remains of this glorious period can be seen throughout the city: the Roman Bridge, the Arch of Augustus, the Praetorian Gates, the Cryptoporticus Forum, the Roman Theater and the city walls.
The city also retains important vestiges of the Middle Ages, such as the Cathedral, located on the site of an early church from the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, and the collegiate church of Saints Peter and Bear, a masterpiece of Romanesque and Gothic art.
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Gran Paradiso Park
The Gran Paradiso National Park is the oldest Italian national park. This protected area, located both in the Aosta Valley and in Piedmont, welcomes five valleys with typical alpine environments, with glaciers, rocks, larch and fir woods. In the midst of them he rises the summit of the Gran Paradiso, the only peak over 4.000 meters entirely in Italy.
The history of the first Italian national park is linked to the protection of the alpine ibex, animal symbol of the Park.
There are many ways to experience the Gran Paradiso National Park. In summer and in early fall, you can embark on rewarding day hikes and multi-day hut-to-hut tours. In winter, it is possible to go with snowshoes and cross-country skiing. Climbing and cycling opportunities also abound.
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Cogne is a renowned tourist resort located at 1.534 meters, in the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park. It is a goal famous for Nordic skiing but there are also some medium difficulty slopes for downhill skiing and a ski school field for beginners.
With over 150 waterfalls Cogne is also known for ice climbing. In addition, it offers an extensive network of paths, pedestrian paths in the snow and itineraries for snowshoes. Also The smallest they can have fun on an ice skating rink, on the snow park created for them or by taking beautiful horse rides.
Do not miss the Paradisia Alpine Botanical Garden, the magnetite mines inside the original galleries and the Maison Gérard-Dayné ethnographic museum.Find and book accommodation in Cogne
Located 381 meters above sea level, the quiet and picturesque town of Bard is best known for its fortress, dating back to 1034, which attracts thousands of visitors a year.
Bard is located in the center of a narrow gorge at the head of the Aosta Valley, squeezed between the rock on which the famous Fort is located and the mountain at the beginning of the Champorcher Valley.
Due to its strategic position, Bard has always been a bulwark against invasions and was therefore fortified in ancient times, becoming the the most important medieval district of the valley.Find accommodation in Bard
Pila is the easiest to reach high altitude station in the Alps. You don't need a car to get there you can take the cable car directly from the center of Aosta which in 18 minutes takes you to the wooded slopes of this location perfectly equipped for sporting and worldly fun. Its 70 km of slopes satisfy all skiers, from beginners to the most experienced.Find and book accommodation in Pila
La Salle is a village between Courmayeur and Aosta. The base of the village is at 891 meters, while the top is 1762 meters high. We recommend zigzagging up the village to admire the sunset on Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains. In summer, there is a restaurant in Planaval, at the top of the village, which you can visit. It is also the starting point for many excursions.Find and book accommodation in La Salle
Champoluc is the largest resort in the Monterosa district, a huge ski area also known as the Italian "Three Valleys". Surrounded by wooded land and located at one end of the Monterosa ski area (with Gressoney in the central valley and Alagna on the opposite side), Champoluc boasts a spectacular views of the glaciers and on the spectacular peaks of the region.
Those who decide to stay here have access to the entire Monterosa circuit, renowned in particular for its uncrowded slopes and fabulous off-piste terrain.Find accommodation in Champoluc