Aosta: Alpine capital and crossroads of Europe
Aosta (580 a.s.l.), capital of the autonomous Valle d’Aosta Region, is surrounded by magnificent mountains, including the Grand Combin and the Mont Vélan to the north, the Mont Emilius and the Becca di Nona to the south and the Testa del Rutor to the west.
Aosta is located where the main roads heading to France and Switzerland converge through the Mont Blanc and Great-Saint-Bernard Tunnels and, only during the summer, through the Little and Great-Saint-Bernard alpine passes.
Thanks to its geographical position and the access to the motorway and railway network, any hotel in Aosta is a good starting point for visiting the Valle d’Aosta and for excursions in the neighbouring regions, in Italy, France and Switzerland.
History and art in the heart of the Alps
Aosta was founded by the Romans in 25 B.C. and is located in the point where the physiographic catchment of the Dora Baltea reaches its maximum width.
It offers a wealth of remains from Roman times, such as the Porta Prætoria one of the few examples from Roman times still perfectly intact, the theatre, the forensic cryptoporticus, the perimeter of the boundary walls almost completely intact, a well preserved extra muros villa, and the magnificent Arch of’ Augustus.
It is also home to two masterpieces of Medieval art, the Cathedral and the Collegiate church of Saint Orso, real treasure chests of masterpieces such as the Ottanian frescoes in the garret, floor mosaics, the wooden choir, the treasure museum for the Cathedral and the frescoes, wooden choir and enchanting cloisters in the Collegiate church of Saint Orso.
Just outside the center of Aosta, a magnificent aqueduct-bridge, stretching approximately 70 metres in length, conveys the waters of the Buthier stream to irrigate the grasslands of Saint-Christophe and Quart.
Also noteworthy is the megalithic area of Saint-Martin-de-Corléans, one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Europe.
The town is also of interest thanks to some less well known aspects of the so-called ‘lesser’ art, such as ancient roads, fountains, wash-houses, votive chapels, sundials, historical houses and courtyards.
An event not to be missed in Aosta: the millenary Fiera di Sant’Orso
The thousand year old Sant’Orso Fair is held each year in the centre of Aosta on the 30th and 31st January: its origins have been lost over time, so much so that someone set the year 1000 as its starting date, so each edition is now numbered as though the first Sant’Orso Fair had been held at the start of the second millennium of our time.
It is a craft fair with artefacts in wood, soapstone, wrought iron, lace and woollen fabrics as well as everyday items, farming equipment, furniture, household utensils and real sculptures.