Aosta, Valle d'Aosta (Italy)

Aosta, Valle d’Aosta (Italy)

According to Definition Explorer, Aosta is the administrative center of the Valle d’Aosta region, located in northwestern Italy, and the main city of the valley of the same name. The valley is surrounded on all sides by majestic mountains, among which are the highest mountains of Western Europe: Mont Blanc (4807 m, located on the border with France), Monte Rosa (4634 m, located on the border with Switzerland), Matterhorn (4478 m, located on the border with Switzerland) and Gran Paradiso (4061 m, located on the border with the Italian region of Piedmont). The Aosta Valley is a favorite skiing area in the northern part of Italy, because there are about three dozen ski centers on the slopes of the local mountains.

City of Aosta was founded by the Romans and is known as “Alpine Rome”. From time immemorial, routes connecting Italy with France passed here. From Roman times in Aosta, the fortress walls, the theater (1st century BC), where performances are still held on summer days, the arch of Emperor Augustus, part of the Forum, on the site of which a park is now laid out, a Roman bridge of the 1st century AD, have been preserved. BC, which is used to this day, and the Praetorian Gate – the main entrance to the Roman Aosta. Of the sights of the medieval era, the Gothic Cathedral (12th century), the complex of Baroque buildings on the central square and the towers in the Romanesque style have been preserved.

Around Aosta medieval castles are scattered on the mountain slopes, intended to protect the trade routes passing through the Alps. Some of them are almost completely destroyed, but many are well preserved. Fenice Castle is considered one of the most picturesque castles in Europe. It was built in 1340. Here you can see frescoes from the 15th century by Jacopo Jaquerio and interiors from different eras. Isson Castle (1490) contains a collection of antique furniture, while Vere Castle(1390) contains a collection of drawings, watercolors and prints from the 19th century. It is noteworthy that these two castles are located in the natural park Monte Avis, they are surrounded by dense forests and picturesque lakes. Other castles are also interesting – Ussel-Châtillon, Saint-Pierre, Bard, Châtlar, Savoy, Sario de la Tour-Saint-Pierre and the royal hunting house at Sarre (1710).

From Aosta “at hand” to numerous ski centers. There is a general ski pass in the valley, by purchasing which you can ride on 718 km of ski slopes, served by 180 ski lifts. The price of such a ski pass for the whole season is approximately 800 euros per adult, and this amount includes insurance and the ability to use not only lifts, but also kindergartens, children’s parks and some other infrastructure facilities of the resorts. The ski season starts in December and ends in April-May. The Pila ski resort is called the “home” ski area of Aosta, because it is connected with the administrative center of the valley by a gondola lift. It is located 18 km south of Aosta at an altitude of 1800 m. This is a young resort with a modern system of lifts and developed infrastructure. The trails are in close proximity to the hotels. The total length of the runs is 70 km, of which 73% are red runs. Elevation difference – 952 m. The slopes are serviced by 12 lifts, the highest lift station is at an altitude of 2752 m. A snow park is open in Pyla, which is divided into 2 parts: a half-pipe area and a snowboard area. Cross-country skiers are offered 29 km of flat trails. Pyla is famous for its restaurants and bars serving fine local cuisine. In the summer, Pyla becomes a favorite vacation spot for residents Aosta is a great place for hiking.

To the south of the Pila resort, on the border with the Piedmont region, Mount Gran Paradiso (4061 m) rises – the only mountain above 4000 m, entirely located in Italy. On its slopes, the first Gran Paradiso National Park in Italy was founded.. Back in 1865, King Victor Emmanuel II declared these territories a royal hunting reserve, since due to mass hunting there were practically no ibex (mountain goats) left here. In 1922, the reserve received the status of a national park. To date, its area is 703 square meters. km. Altitudes within the park vary from 800 to 4061 m. About 10% of its territory is glaciers, and about 50% is landscapes that have not been affected by human activity. Larch, spruce, Swiss pine, fir and beech grow in the local forests. Alpine ibex, chamois, ermine, fox, marten, weasel, marmot, badger and more than 100 species of birds are under protection: eagle owl, partridge, alpine curler, chough, golden eagle, wall climber, woodpecker and walnut. The park offers a choice of several trekking routes, for which you can hire a guide. trips in the park – June. The northern part of the park is the most developed in terms of tourism. Here is the resort Konj, where 9 km of ski slopes and 80 km of slopes for flat skiing are laid. Horse is the best place in the vicinity of Gran Paradiso for cross-country skiing. Excellent flat trails are also found in nearby resort towns such as Valsavarenche, Rem-Notre-Dame and Valgrisanche.

In the northwestern part of the Aosta Valley at the foot of Mont Blanc are the ski resorts of Courmayeur , connected by a 12 km tunnel to the French ski resort of Chamonix, and La Thuile , which, together with the French resort of La Rosier, is part of the extensive ski area Espace Saint Bernard. In the northern part of the Valle d’Aosta region, on the border with Switzerland, is the Great Saint Bernard Pass with the ski villages of Bionaz, Ollomont, Valpelline, Etroubles, Saint-Uyenand Saint-Rémy-en-Bosse. In the northwest of Valle d’Aosta, on the slopes of the Matterhorn, there is the Cervinia ski area – the highest ski resort in Italy, it is connected with the Swiss Zermatt. It is adjacent to the Monte Rosa mountain range., on the slopes of which there are such ski centers as Champoluc, Gressoney-Saint-Jean and Alanya .

Aosta, Valle d'Aosta (Italy)

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