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The beauty and culture of Aosta Valley

  •  A place to relax, have fun, and meet the Italian history

Dating back 300 million years, with 13,000 species of flora and 30,000 animal species, the European Alps delineate an 800km long arc across the northern boundaries of Italy. They sweep from the Western Maritime Alps next door to France, to the granite and gneiss peaks of the central Alps neighbouring Switzerland, to the well-known Dolomite towers bordering Austria and Slovenia in the East.

With evidence that they have been home to Man since the Palaeolithic era, the region abounds in archaeological history, whose protagonists include Hannibal, the Celts, the Romans and Napoleon to name but a few.

With a current population of 14 million, the area has a strong cultural identity linked to farming, cheese making, carpentry and baking, much of which has not changed since medieval times.

Once denominated ‘The Playground of Europe’ by intellectual and mountaineer Leslie Stephen, in the 19th century the Alps discovered a new vocation: tourism. It has since become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with 120 million visitors annually.

Nestled in the north west corner of the Italian Alps, just an hour from Turin and little more from Milan, lies Valle d’Aosta. Dotted with medieval castles and with the Roman capital of Aosta, it is also home to many of Europe’s highest peaks: Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and Gran Paradiso, making it a paradise for walkers and mountaineers.

Here are a few hikes offered by the region, selected to cover a range of difficulties.

Largo d’Arpy from Colle San Carlo. 190m of height gain.

This is a trek for all the family, never steep and initially on a wide path through the alpine pine forests. Once you see the waterfall you know you’re nearly there! The lake opens up amongst grassy pastures with views across the nearby Mont Blanc Massif.

Mont Fortin from La Visaille. 1100m of height gain.

At the foot of Mont Blanc this itinerary takes you into Val Veny, along a bucolic winding river then more steeply up through the pastures and onto the rocky summit of Mont Fortin. Directly opposite Mont Blanc, the views from here are stunning.

Col Entrelor from Eaux Rousses. 1350m of height gain.

A good outing in Gran Paradiso National Park. The path takes you up first through pines then pastures, past lakes and clear water streams onto the rocky col between Val di Rhemes and Valgrisenche, from which you can admire the gleaming North face of Gran Paradiso itself.

Becca di Nona from Pila. 1650m of height gain.

This is a trek for the more experienced. Starting out from the well-known ski resort of Pila, you follow a good path through the woods and onto a panoramic grassy ridge, before descending into the suspended valley of Comboe’. This in itself would be a beautiful place to stop and have a picnic, with a mountain stream dancing down through flower strewn meadows dotted with trees and rocks. However, the path from here rises steeply up into more barren terrain, zig zagging ever up until finally the scree gives way to the rocky summit and breathtaking views which open up across the whole of Valle d’Aosta. This mountain towers above the city of Aosta and from here you can see the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, Grand Conbin and many other well-known alpine peaks.

All these places deserve to be viewed and lived.

They deserve to be breathed, inhaled.

What could be better than spending your winter holidays here?

Your home abroad could be here, in Val D’Aosta, among its beautiful mountains, across its singing rivers.

Check out our website to find your dream home now.



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