Valle d'Aosta and Haute Tarentaise

On a august day my father and I had the idea to have a short trip to Valle d’Aosta, a little region located in the northern part of Italy, just in order to pass a different day and then I craved to visit other places since it was summer and I had plenty days off. We stopped for a while in the capital region Aosta and in many other little villages around, I also went to France and visited Bourg-Saint-Maurice famous for its ski slopes in winter. This city is located in the French region of Rhone Alpes, close to the alps like the name indicates. First of all my father, my friend and I headed toward France and along the way we saw many typical mountain towns and castles! ah I forgot…in Italy, Valle d’Aosta is also famous for its castles and wines.

The castle in this photo is called Castello di Saint Pierre (Saint Pierre’s Castle) and it’s located near Aosta, the capital of the region. It is one of the most ancient castle in Valle d’Aosta, it was first mentioned in a document dated 1191 and the names comes from the owners: De Sancto Petro.

valle d'aosta

valle d'aosta

After some hours we reached the French border which is called Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo in Italian and Col du Petit San Bernard in French (little St Bernard Pass). I was astonished by the view of these beautiful valleys. There was also the ice in August!!! I touched it, it was really cold! There were many animals like cows and also many tourists who was hiking there.

This statue placed at the border is Bernardo di Mentone: he’s an Italian saint and he is worshipped not only in Valle d’Aosta but also in some other Italian regions like Liguria, Piedmont and even in some French localities.

valle d'aosta

We were heading towards Bourg-Saint-Maurice but we passed through many other little towns like Séez, la Rosiére,Villard Dessous etc…

Finally after more than 4 hours we arrived at Bourg-Saint-Maurice. The city’s view was wonderful and the town was very lovely and cozy. We bought some souvenirs and postcards and we ate a typical French baguette. It was churned and very crunchy, I enjoyed eating it, it managed to appease my hungry. The town is located on the Isère river and it is the last largest town along the Tarentaise valley in the heart of the French Alps. Its ancient name is Bergintrum and it was a gallic pass.

france

france

The main square of the town is in the city center where you can find many restaurants and at the end of the road a nice church. The restaurants are very nice and they are directly on the little road. The flags red and white that you see in the photos are the symbol of the Haute Tarentaise, a French département in the north-eastern part of Rhone Alpes.

This is the Eglise Saint Maurice (Saint Maurice’s church) that can be encountered at the end of the promenade in the city centre. It has been built in 1849 and the style is neo-classical. The bell tower, built, in 1813 is separed from the church because before it belonged to the Notre Dame de l’Assomption’s chapel, now disappeared.

Some photos that I took around the town….

After visiting this nice place we returned in Italy and I got astonished by that beautiful landscape again, even if it was the second time. Those green moutains are really beautiful, I would have liked to roll in the endless green fields ahah

france

We decided to visit a little town named La Thuile located in the western part of Valle d’Aosta, just on the border with France. In La Thuile Doire du Rutors river flows in the Dora di Verney’s river which is, in turn, a tributary of Dora Baltea. The river made a very terrible noise, I don’t know how the people who live there can sleep in the night ahaha

This is the San Nicola’s church, the main church in La Thuile. It has been built in 1796 and it is composed of an only hall and two semicircular apses. The bell tower dates to XIV or XV centuries. The church was relatively small but nice, I think it suits the town well and I guess, when it snows, it is even nicer than in summer.


We left La Thuile and we headed to Courmayeur, a very well known locality for the ski fans in Italy. Along the way we passed through a gracious little town named Pré Saint Didier, which is surnamed “the flowery commune”. We could see why it has this surname, there are flowers everywhere: on the windows, on the terraces, in the streets….literally EVERYWHERE ahaha

Pré Saint Didier
Pré Saint Didier
the town hall of Pré Saint Didier
the town hall of Pré Saint Didier

Courmayeur is famous for its ski slopes and for its location, in fact it is located just under the White Mount, the highest mount in Europe and perpetually covered by snow. The White Mount is half Italian and half French, it is a sort of border between France and Italy.
In front of us the White Mount and the Courmayeur road sign….

the white mount
the white mount

The town were full of people, perhaps came here for hiking. Well, I cannot imagine how much crowded the town will be in winter when the ski slopes are open, it would be impossible to find a free hotel. A curiosity about Courmayeur: this place during fascism period changed the name from Courmayeur to Cormaiore because it was not enough italian, it happened the same to inter, an italian football team that had to change its name to “Società Sportiva Ambrosiana“(Ambrosian Sport Society).

This is San Pantaleone’s Church, the main place of worship in Courmayeur and it is located in Abbè Henry‘s place in the city centre. A church already existed before, but it was destroyed and now it remains only the bell tower of that ancient construction while the new building dates to XIV-XV century.

We were so tired after this that we decided to head to Aosta where our hotel were awaiting us but I wanted at any cost to stop by a little town called Morgex which I fell in love with ahah I love these kind of towns. Morgex is really little and cute, it reminded of my village, the name seems French but it is Patois Valdostano, a kind of dialect mixed with French and Italian spoken in Valle d’Aosta and Morgex means “corner”.


This is the Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta, the altar is in baroque style and inside this church there are the Bienheureux Vuillerme de Léaval’s items who was a Blessed one. This was the only church in the town since it was very small but I like it the same, it really gives you a feeling of tranquility….

And in the end we reached in Aosta! We spent some minutes to look for the hotel but in some ways, we managed to find it! It was nice and big, very veautiful compared to the money we paid for it! Our room was for 3 people and the beds were just…enormous ahaha After having changed clothes and refreshed a bit, we went to a pizzeria. My father and I ate the typical food of Valle d’Aosta while my friend preferred a pizza.
Around the little alleways in Aosta….


The Augustus Arc was built by Aulo Terenzio Varrone Murena to celebrate the victory of Romans over the Salassis tribe. When I saw it, I shouted: the triomph Arc, we’re in Paris ahahah Damn, I hate when cars ruin my photos and they always do it…

augustus arc
augustus arc

Aosta was a fortress city built by Romans after the model of the Roman military camp so there are Roman doors placed at the exit and at the entrance of the city, they are illuminated during the evening. These doors are the relics of the Castrum‘s entrance.

188

189

This is the Emilie Chanoux’s square, the main one in the city. Before its name was Carlo Alberto’s square but it has been renamed in honour to a Valdostan martyr, which fought against Nazists during the second world war. On this square there is the town hall designed by Michelangelo Bossi in Neo-Classical style. Inside the building you can find affrescos of Amedeo VI of Savoy, Sant’Anselmo, Jean-Baptiste de Tillier and Renato of Challant and then the Hôtel des États which hosted the “Conseil des Commis“, a local legislative assembly that was under the rules of  the Savoy Crown.

In Aosta you can find different churches dated to different centuries, for example the Chiesa di Santa Croce (Saint Cross’ Church) has been built in 1600. It is caratherised by the baroque altar and outside there are affrescos which represent the discovering of the true cross by Saint Helene.

chiesa di santa croce
chiesa di santa croce

and besides this one, you can also find the Santa Maria Assunta and San Giovanni Battista’s Cathedral, which is the main woship place in Aosta. I really liked this church even if I could not have the possibility to see inside since it was closed. The cathedral is dated to IV century but it has been modified several times until 1848 when it has been finished. The cathedral’s style is Neo-Classical, Renaissance and Romanic.

valle d'aosta valle d'aosta

We spent some time in Aosta and then we returned to our hotel and started sleeping because we were really tired, we visited more than 3 cities in a day! The day after we went to Cogne, another little village located in the southern part of Valle d’Aosta, in the middle of mountains and I can add, in the nowhere. Cogne has not a good reputation in Italy since in 2002 a little baby was killed by his mother and whole Italy was shocked by this event but despite this there were many tourists and people there, especially boy scouts. I was surprised by that because it was also much cold, colder than when I was on the mountains ahah
The beautiful green valleys on the way to Cogne

valle d'aosta valle d'aosta

…and then Cogne

This is the main church in Cogne called Sant’Orso’s Church.


I really liked Valle d’Aosta, I visited so many places and all of them were beautiful. During this trip I saw many churches, I’ve never seen so many in my whole life, according to me this trip was like a pilgrimage. I hope to see this place covered by the snow, I think it will look totally different and magical but even with the sun it is wonderful. I advise you all to visit here and to taste the food of Valle d’Aosta because it is very delicious 😛

Tede

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First of all, let me state clearly that I am a human: two legs, two arms, brown hair etc (yep, everything is at its place) and then, I am Federica from the corrupted and mainly-famous-for-pasta-and-mafia country, otherwise known as Italy. I am a temple geek, I totally love temples, every kind: from Buddhist, to Taoist, to Shinto ones ? Other thing I am fixated on are anime (my God, I watched so many that I lost the count), pasta (of course, I am italian), ramen ? and travelling.I am really interested in travelling and discovering the world, I can say, it is my greatest passion and I try to persue it, everytime I am not busy with studying or attending some lessons at university

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