The Val D’ Aosta is one of the most beautiful and less known regions of Italy. For those who have not yet had the fortune to visit, we will examine it as far as possible in a sort of virtual tour.
The Valley Of Aosta and its chief town, Aosta, offer a lot to both the tourist that is primarily interested in the immense natural resources of this spellbound place, or to whom is interested in a different vacation.
What to See in the Valley of Aosta
Val d’Aosta has a lot to offer and for many of you, it will be necessary to remain in the region at least a week, above all for the one who wants to organize an itinerary that touches all the neuralgic points.
Following, you will find everything that you need to know about the Val of Aosta: what to see, how to move around, and all the things to absolutely see.
11 Must Visit Places in Val d’Aosta
This is an essential list of the 11 places that you must visit during your stay in the Valley:
- Castello di Fénis
- Issogne Castle
- Verrès Castle
- Saint Vincent
- Pré-Saint-Didier Thermae
- The Glaciers cable car
- Cogne Valley
Castles in Val d’Aosta
Val d’Aosta is also the region of castles, that tells us of a medieval history, built all in strategic zones of the region, they have served in the centuries both as fortitude of defense, as the administrative centers of the valleys.
The Castle of Fénis
The castle of Fénis is by far the most popular of the whole area, contrarily of the other ones it is located in the middle of a valley without any type of natural defense.
Everything let us think that the castle has been, therefore, more an administrative center, with the double walls surrounding the building transmitting the idea of power.
The castle is particularly interesting both for the ones with a passion for the history and for the architecture lovers, but also for the simple tourist, that simply wants to enjoy the visual impact of these structures among the tall mountains of the Valley of Aosta.
The castle has an irregular pentagonal plant, that seems to postpone to the fact that has been in reality a superstructure gone to englobe structures that were pre-existing. It has a double surrounded walls, with different towers in defense of the structure.
Of particular interest for the visitor, the courtyard, that is the center of the main building, and that contains the major attraction of the castle: a painting that withdraws St. George in the action to kill a dragon.
Along the walls, there are a series of Wise Man, that hold up scrolls from which you can read a summary of the governor’s wisdom at the time.
The castle is one of the principal attractions of the whole Val d’Aosta and is surely one of the places that you must visit during your permanence in the Valley.
The castle of Issogne is a popular destination too. More than a castle, it reminds a mansion, and it is at a short distance from another important castle, that of Verrès, of which we will have the opportunity to speak below.
The castle is located in the homonym country and offers a quadrangular plant structure, with three sides occupied by the same building and the fourth occupied by an Italian garden.
IInside, the popular fountain of the Melograno, an octagonal plant fountain from which rises a pomegranate in beaten iron, from which water gushes out, in one of the more iconic constructions of the whole Valley.
Of extreme interest also the frescos that cover the parvis, that show moments of medieval life.
The castle is visitable in only 10 of its 50 locals, in an itinerary open to the public that will allow, however, to reach all the 3 plans of the structure.
The Castle of Verrès
As we said above, at a short distance there is the castle of Verrès, on the other side of the Dora Baltea, as opposed to the Castle of Issogne. It decidedly deals with a different structure, rising on a rocky promontory that constitutes its natural defense.
The entry to the castle is through a narrow “mulattiera” (a mule track), that had been obviously conceived with the purpose to make harder a besiege. Also, the door is located at the end of a curve and in slope, to make difficult the use of a ram.
The inside is partially visitable, as part of the park is not accessible, neither the floors up to the second.
The castle, however, even if among the least accessible ones of the whole Valley Of Aosta, worth a visit, also because it is located at a so little distance from that of Issogne.
The Carnival of Verrès
Every year in Verrès, it is repurposed the episode that saw the gentlemen of the castle, Pietro d’Intro and his wife Caterina of Challant, reaching the people to dance.
The episode is recalled during the four days of the carnival, that the castle as the main location of the parties, masquerade balls and dinners.
Thermal Baths in the Valley of Aosta
The Val of Aosta is also famous for its thermal baths.
The Thermal Baths of Saint Vincent
The most popular thermal baths in the Valley of Aosta and they are located in a dominant position with regard to the homonym town. It can be reached with a special zip line. Impressive, the terrace, that offers one of the most suggestive panoramas in the Valley.
The thermal baths of Pré-Saint-Didier
These thermal baths are known from a long time, the Romans came here to make some baths in the warm water at the presence of the White Mountain, in a location that is decidedly beautiful both for the scenographic impact and for the benefits of those waters.
Other comfort centers
The Valley of Aosta is a good destination for whoever is looking for a vacation to the insignia of the comfort. The centers of comfort and fitness in this region are endless, one of the preferred destinations in Italy for the one that needs a vacation to unwind and take takes care of themselves.
The Chief Town Aosta: What to See
Aosta was, it is and it will probably continue to be the most important center in the Valley, as well as one of the more important tourist attractions of the whole area.
First of all, the historical center, an area that is completely pedestrian and that it is contained by the old walls. It still preserves the characters of the medieval citadel and it also offers to the tourist some remainders of the Roman epoch of the city.
The Sant’Orso festival is another of the attractions that attract the tourists every year between the 30th and the 31st of January. This festival exists now for over a thousand years and it represents the greatest expo for the local products.
Interesting also the traces left by the Romans in this city, with the arc of August, the Roman bridge on the Buthier, the Roman Villa of the Consolata and also the amphitheater.
While for the medieval epoch of the city it will surely be interesting visit the Cathedral of Saint Maria Assunta and St. Giovanni Battista, the complex of Sant’Orso and the bridge of the Grand Arvou aqueduct, one of the more interesting architectural structures of the medieval period of entire Europe.
White Mountain Chairlift: The Glaciers Cable Car
The Glaciers cable car is the connection between Courmayeur and Chamonix. It’s a system of ropes that allows you to reach the White Mountain.
The actual cable car has recently been renewed and has changed its name to “Funivia dei Ghiacciai” because it crosses 5 km of glaciers that are in continuous movement.
A particularly suggestive scene.
Tourism in Val d’Aosta
If your idea is to visit the Valley of Aosta, let’s say that the region is particularly interesting during the whole year, obviously offering different types of activity according to the period that you will go to choose.
In Winter: Skiing is Best
The alpine sports are really popular, also gives the particular geographical conformation of the region. You can do ski, freeride, cross country and also snowboard without too many problems.
The skiing zones among which to choose are 28 and among the most popular we surely appreciate the Thuile, Courmayeur, Cervinia, and Monterosaski.
We are talking about ski facilities that offer over 100 km of slopes both for beginners and advanced skiers.
In summer: Better the Trekking
You won’t have problems trekking in Val d’Aosta, especially in summer when the temperatures are more consistent, it offers the possibility to make some splendid excursions.
Places for less binding excursions are:
Place Moulin, Rifugio Prarayer, Diga
Pilaz, Salomon, Brusson
Cogne, Cascate di Lillaz