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OTHER INTERESTING PLACES: Courmayeur, Valtournennche, Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso.

This is the smallest Italian region but one of the wealthiest. The Valdostan speak a Franco-Provençal patois and French is afforded equal rights with Italian. The mountains offer some formidable skiing options and numerous ski passes are available ( the region shares Europe’s highest mountain with France: Mt. Blanc).

Aosta: Arco d’Augusto; the Roman Bridge; Porta Praetoria; the Roman theatre; Roman Forum;the Criptoportico: a colonnaded walkway; the Torre dei Balivi; the Torre dei Fromage; Chiesa di Sant’Orso.
Take a look to Aosta Valley: it’s full of castles, many of them Romanesque and Ghotic. Each castle is within view of the next, and messages used to be transferred along the valley by flag signals.

Traditional local cheese is fontina and is used in many dishes. Valpellineuntze is a thick soup of cabbage, bread, beef broth and fontina. Carbonada con polenta is a soup made with the meat of the chamois, although beef is now generally used instead of it. A real leccorny is hot melted cheese scrapped from a block in front of a grill: it’s called fonduta or raclette.

On 30-31 January is held the Fiera di Sant’Orso, an annual wood fair in honour of the patron saint that brings together craftspeople from all over the valley to display their carrings and then present an item to the saint at the Chiesa di Sant’Orso.

Valle d'Aosta, Italy - map