Castel Savoia in the Aosta Valley: a noble landscape
This noble residence stands in the eloquently named Belvedere ("beautiful sight"). Castel Savoia was built between the 19th and early 20th century, in the Aosta Valley close to the village of Gressoney-Saint-Jean.
Commissioned by Queen Margherita of Savoy as a holiday residence, the castle offers magnificent views over Monte Rosa and the entire valley up to the Lyskamm glacier.
The mountain-loving queen
Margaret of Savoy, the charming and refined Queen of Italy, adored these mountains and was also a passionate mountaineer. She was the first woman to climb Monte Rosa, and the Margherita Hut, at an altitude of 4,556 metres, is named in her honour. She would return to Castel Savoia every summer.
Visitors can still admire the building today, made of local grey stone with a neo-Gothic-style exterior. It is worth taking the time to admire the panorama and trace the majestic silhouette of Monte Rosa.
Botanical enthusiasts will enjoy the beautiful alpine garden, nestled in the large park on the slope at the foot of Savoy Castle. The rocks that form the flower beds are home to ornamental species including gentians, irises and lilium, edelweiss and rhododendrons, in an enchanting mosaic of stones, flowers and fragrant mountain essences.
Then it’s time to venture into the inner rooms, filled with the Queen's decorative touches: coffered ceilings, wood panelling, Art Nouveau details with a floral theme, in particular daisies in her honour, and a monumental carved oak staircase leading to the first floor, home to the royal flats.
The most beautiful room is the Queen's bedroom, with a veranda overlooking Monte Rosa and perfectly preserved original furnishings, precious antiques. You will be fascinated by the bathroom, which is equipped with hot water thanks to state-of-the-art technology.
A cultural visit to Savoy Castle is the perfect starting point for exploring the magnificent natural surroundings.
One of the best ways to do this is to retrace Queen Margaret of Savoy's favourite walk, a loop hike named after her. You start at the manor house, as she did, and walk about three kilometres. You will find yourself at an altitude of well over 1,000 metres, where the air is clear and the landscape is dotted with pine and fir trees, along a route suitable for everyone: green in summer, white in winter. You can take a break at Lake Gover, which is frozen over in the colder months.
While you’re nearby, it’s well worth visiting the town of Gressoney-Saint-Jean, to admire this panoramic location and its fantastic mountain resort.
The charm of winter
Castel Savoia is open to visitors all year round, and in the winter season you can enjoy guided snowshoeing in the snow-covered park. The unique charm of the manor house, in the middle of the snow, will make you feel like you have stepped into a fairy-tale as you snowshoe among spruces and larches.
The beautiful slopes of the Monte Rosa ski area also await you in winter. Meanwhile, experienced hikers can trek along the glacier, also a favourite spot of the Queen, who would be accompanied by her local friend, Baron Louis Beck Peccoz.
Find out more
You can access the Savoy Castle by purchasing a ticket that includes a guided tour of the inner rooms.