Strada medioevale Val d'Ayas - Kraemerthal=
With the term “Krämerthal” (German for “Valley of the Merchants”) we commonly mean the Valley of Gressoney, the inhabitants of which used to devote themselves with particular success to this economic activity. But recent studies maintain instead that such a term must be attributed to the Valley of Ayas, since it is through this latter valley that an important commercial way would later unwind, in the period that goes more or less from 1200 to 1650. This way, arriving to the Teodulo Col (in the Valtournenche), used to connect the centers of the Pianura Padana with the towns of the center of Europe.
This communication route, alternative to the one of the Great Saint Bernard, would be intensely used during the period of the glaciers shrinkage, and was later abandoned, up to the point of making people lose the news of its existence, owing to the historical and climatic changes of the 17th century: Counter-reformation, plague, start of the “small glacial era” which made impracticable the Teodulo Col.