This destination is famous because of its mild climate and it is known as the ‘Riviera of the Alps’, since here some typical Mediterranean plants, such as palms, olive trees and umbrella pines, proliferate. This good position, sheltered from cold winds, and a series of other positive factors, made this town a sought-after destination since the end of the XVIII century. The town is famous for its thermal baths and its Casino, which attracted both the aristocracy and the Italian and international jet-set. In addition to that, there is also a flourishing conference activity thanks to modern and roomy venues and top-quality hotels and restaurants.
This thermal town keeps a more popular and traditional atmosphere in some of its hill hamlets, where agricultural activities, natural spaces and old architectures spread.
WHAT TO SEE
● Parish church of San Vincenzo, together with its museum and archaeological site. It was built during the XI century on a site dating back to the Iron age which was converted into a thermal bath in the Roman epoch and, later, into a burial site during the early Christian time. The church has some Romanesque elements, bare and massive, which contrast with the nice frescoes dating back to the XV and XVI centuries. In addition to the archaeological site that lies under the church, a crypt of the VIII century and a museum with some interesting works of art can be visited.
● Museum of mineralogy and palaeontology. The structure owns minerals, crystals, stones and fossils both from the Aosta Valley and from all over the world. There are almost 750 minerals and 170 fossils.
NATURE AND SPORT
In summer the town can be explored on foot by going along the ‘ru’ – some ancient irrigation canals, by e-bike, which can be easily rented or by riding a horse.
From the town centre one can walk along the ancient mule tracks to discover tiny churches, such as the Moron one, and architectural treasures such as the ‘raccard’, some rural building typical of some ancient villages such as Valmignanaz. Mills and ovens can be visited too, as well as local producers in their farms.
After 15 km the Col de Joux is finally reached. It is a panoramic point which links the central valley and the Ayas Valley, but it is also a privileged spot for open-air winter activities, such as easy strolls or snowshoes hikes.
The town finally owns various sport facilities such as a sport centre with indoor and outdoor swimming-pools and a gym, a stadium, a bowls area, some outdoor tennis courts and an equipped route
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
The Children’s Carnival: being a real institution established in the 1960s, this carnival provides that for about a week kids attending primary school ‘rule’ the town. The mayor and the council are elected and they are helped by other figures, such as firemen, policemen and doctors. Don’t miss the balloon launch, the float parade and the distribution of polenta and sausages at the end of the event.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
At Col de Joux, during the summer, the Fiabosco playground is open: here kids can enjoy several attractions. Kids can also enjoy the swimming-pools of the sport centre (two of them are indoor and two outdoor).
Various summer events are dedicated to the little ones, from shows to educational and fun activities.
The strolls that one can have in Saint-Vincent and its surrounding are mainly easy and panoramic, thus they are suitable for kids too. These paths can be discovered on foot, while riding a horse and some of them even by e-bike.
When the weather is bad, the Museum of mineralogy and palaeontology is a good option to discover something new and unexpected.
At Christmas time the activities conceived for kids include shows with Santa Claus in the town centre and an ice rink in the pedestrian area.
● Altitude: 600 m
● Inhabitants: 4,800
● How to get there by public transports:
By bus: direct bus from Milan to Châtillon (upon reservation), then take the shuttle bus to Saint-Vincent (line “Saint-Vincent (Cillian)-Chatillon-Pontey”).
By train: until Châtillon/Saint-Vincent railway station (timetables are available on the Trenitalia website) and then shuttle bus to Saint-Vincent.