There is much more to this area than its many cultural attractions, and it would be a shame to miss out on enchanting natural landscapes such as those of the ComboĂ© Basin, just above the town of Aosta, or the Valleys of Saint-BarthĂ©lemy, ClavalitĂ©, in FĂ©nis, or the Valley of Saint-Marcel. And then of course there are the lakes, such as ChamolĂ©, Arbolle or Laures and the nature reserves such as the sunny hillsides of Tsatelet, a rocky rise with a beautiful view over the Aosta plain; the so-called "CĂ´te de Gargantua", a small glacial moraine created, as legend would have it, by the little finger of the giant described by Rabelais; and above all the humid area of Les Iles, the last remaining trace of the marshes on the banks of the Dora.
In the Saint-Marcel Valley, well worth a visit are the ruins of the now-defunct manganese mines, which enjoyed great renown in the days when this precious mineral was still used by the glass-makers of Murano to add green colouring to their beautiful glass objects. That same shade of green is still evident today in the unique colour of the waters in the area.
An easy, quick way to enjoy spectacular views is to take a trip up to Pila, from where you can see right out over the most majestic mountains in the Alps; on a clear day you can see Mont Blanc, the Gran Paradiso, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa.