Aosta: everything within your grasp
Whether you want to go skiing, hiking or just enjoy the mountain view – in the capital of Aosta Valley in the Italian Alps, all main attractions of the region will be within your grasp. Not for nothing some of Europe’s highest mountains tower up here.
From the flamboyant Matterhorn (4,478 m) and the majestic Mont Blanc (4,810 m) to the extensive Monte Rosa (4,634 m) and the nearby mountain of Aosta, the 3,559 meter high Monte Emilius – in the north-west of Italy mountains undoubtedly set the tone.
Aosta’s “precursor”, the settlement Augusta Praetoria, was founded by the Romans in 25 BC in order to safeguard the already existing route over the Little St Bernard Pass (at that time called Alpis Graia). Today, the city with about 35,000 inhabitants still holds the part of a strategically important junction – but even more.
Only few people know that the alpine center in the middle of Aosta Valley is very rich in cultural and historical treasures. For instance, the Roman roots still are perceptible in the old town of Aosta because of its typically checkered structure. Worth seeing remains of the ancient world are for instance the town wall, which was extended in the Middle Ages and which partly has some well-preserved towers and gates, further the Roman bridges Pont de Pierre and Pont de Saint Martin or the excavation site Saint Martin de Corleans.
But not only walls and buildings, also some events in Aosta have a quite long history. The Fiesta Sant’Orso for example – a big trade market taking place every year in January – looks back on a more than thousand-year-old history.
So on the one hand Aosta is the historical and cultural heart of Aosta Valley. On the other hand the city is a perfect starting point for countless sporting activities – best of all skiing. Because within the environs, there are waiting several first-class skiing areas, among them Courmayeur, Breuil-Cervinia, La Thuile, Monte Rosa and – right above Aosta – the slopes of Pila.