Aosta

The only Province in Valle d'Aosta stands amidst the highest peaks in the Alpine Mountains. Aosta and its environs should be explored for their pristine landscapes, charming villages, castles and villages - some of Italy's most beautiful!  Those visiting here will find themselves surrounded by history, particularly by ancient Rome. An impressive, castle-lined road leads to Aosta, itself a concentration of Roman and Medieval history marked by age-old traditions.


Fénis Castle - Photo by: Archivio Regione autonoma Valle d'Aosta
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A Roman city in its essence, it is full of traces from that epoch, with its important monuments: the Arch of Augustus, the Porta Pretoria, and its city walls, above which - in large part - one can stroll.


Arch of Augustus, Aosta - Photo by: Archivio Regione autonoma Valle d'Aosta
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Be sure to check out the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, along with its archaeological excavations below; the characteristic Piazza Chanoux; and the monumental complex of the Collegiata di Sant’Orso, dating to the 9th Century. Sant’Orso is also the name of the fair held in Aosta every late January. Thousands of tourists and locals take to the city streets to show off (or observe) traditional costumes and local artisan goods: think wooden sculptures, cast-iron works, soapstone carvings, leather, wicker, wool textiles, lace and crochet, games and masks.


Sant'Orso Fair, Aosta - Photo by: Archivio Regione autonoma Valle d'Aosta
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The old name of Aosta, “Augusta Pretoria”, reveals that it was founded by Romans (in 25 B.C.) and the Arch of Augustus, the Porta Praetoria, the theatre, and the town walls are the main monuments of that Roman city that have survived.


Roman Theatre, Aosta
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There are also remarkable Medieval ruins, such as the Collegiate Church of Sant'Orso, a monumental structure that characterizes the city with its decorated Romanesque cloister.


Collegiate Church of Sant'Orso - Photo by: Archivio Regione autonoma Valle d'Aosta
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Another remarkable monument is the city’s Cathedral, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta: it embraces sixteen centuries of history and art that you can visit thanks to the archaeological site below the floor.


Aosta Cathedral - Photo by: Luigi Bertello / Shutterstock.com
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The cheese fontina is the delicacy of this province, as are chops alla valdostana and polenta “concia” and peulà. By virtue of being a mountainous area the local game also offers authentic flavors: chamois in salmì -or ‘civet’-, ‘“mocetta” - dried chamois meat- and ”carbonade”.


Fontina - Photo by: Archivio Regione autonoma Valle d'Aosta
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As for wines, they all have the Valle d’Aosta/Vallée d’Aoste label. Each wine-growing area produces a special wine: the Valdigne with its Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle, the central valley has its Chambave Moscato (white wine) and Chambave Moscato passito (straw wine); the low valley has its Arnad-Montjovet superiore, and Donnas (red wines). The main regional liqueurs are Genepì and Herbelet.

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