Tsatelet Nature Reserve
A site of great archaeological and naturalistic interest
In an area of strong archaeological interest, with the typical landscapes of South-facing mountain slopes, the reserve consists of a rocky hump, that dominates the plain of Aosta; the singular morphology is due to the glacial mass which, once out of the Buthier valley, flowed into the Balteo glacier, to then be pushed towards Mount Mary. The reserve includes a late Neolithic settlement (3000 B.C.) - summit of the hill - and the related necropolis - saddle to the North-East of the settlement. The necropolis houses megalithic tombs (dolmen), similar to those found
in the archaeological area of Saint Martin de CorlĂ©ans, in Aosta; a characteristic tumulus (tomb shape from theSalassa era) can be seen headed South towards Jocteau Castle. The vegetation is xerofile (absence of water,drying winds and strong temperature changes). The tree cover consists of oaks, Scotch pines and shrubs; the slopes house Mediterranean or steppic plants, such as tuberous valerians and yellow yarrows. The hill is an excellent observation point to see birds, especially birds of prey and corvidae; during the migration period, you can
catch sight of buzzards, goshawks, black kites and peregrines. The area is also frequented by reptiles, small mammals and insects. The nature reserve (municipalities of Aosta and Saint-Christophe), set up in 1993 and run by the Protected areas service of the Agriculture and natural resources Councillorship, can be reached by following the road to Porossan (village of Serod, towards Saint-Christophe).