It is said that a priest, fleeing from Lyon during the Christian persecutions, had the habit of going to pray on the rocky plain abovePré-Saint-Didier, at the foot of a forest. This explains the name of the place, from the LatinPrata ad Sanctum Desiderium, or meadows of the holy Desire. Lying in a cosy hollow in the centre of Valdigne at the foot of Mont Blanc, the village owes its prestige to the spa built in 1834, which exploits the healthy spring water near the gully formed by the Dora of Verney. Between water games and colours, the Pré-Saint-Didier Thermal Baths offer numerous recreational proposals, which add to the pleasure of the natural setting, as in the case of the outdoor 'Desiderio pool', with a view of the Mont Blanc chain. A source of pride for the inhabitants among the local products is fontina cheese, which ages in underground tunnels dug during World War II. The ski resorts and ski lifts of Courmayeur and La Thuile are close by, making Pré Saint Didier an excellent base for summer and winter holidays.