MOTOTOUR 03 - Pont-Saint-Martin – Champorcher
from 01/05 to 30/11
Departure:Municipality of Pont-Saint-Martin – Piazza IV Novembre
Arrival:Municipality of Champorcher – Hamlet Chardonney
If you love climbs and curves, this is the itinerary for you. The road is pleasant, adequately challenging, with excellent turns alternated with stretches ideal for prolonged enjoyment.
SAN MARTINO AND THE PACT WITH THE DEVIL
That night the Lys river enlarged and carried away the fragile wooden bridge. And so Saint Martin of Tours, who had stopped in the town during a trip to Rome, gave proof of his famous cunning: He asked the Devil to build a new large bridge, promising in return the first soul to cross it. The Devil accepted, building the bridge in a single night and waited for his payment; but Saint Martin deceived him, having a dog cross the bridge. Since then the town was called Pont-Saint-Martin — Saint Martin’s Bridge. So goes the legend. In reality, however, the famous bridge — which you can admire from Piazza IV Novembre, starting point of this itinerary — is a magnificent Roman testimonial: Built in the first century B.C., with a single span measuring 72 feet in height with 105 feet of rope, its arch is among the largest built by the Romans.
DONNAS, THE MOST ANCIENT WINE IN THE VALLEY
A motorcyclist with self-respect loves beer…but also wine. Therefore, just past Pont-Saint-Martin, keep an eye out for the sign for Donnas. This small district, at the foot of the vineyards that climb the mountain, gives its name to a famous wine. Brilliant red color, delicate flavour, lightly almond-flavored and slightly bitter, Donnas, besides being the oldest wine in the Aosta Valley, is also the first to have obtained, in 1971, the Protected Designation of Origin.
The road climbs steeply through a valley of charming semi-wilderness, among dense larch forests. A route to enjoy stopping from time to time in some traditional villages, or to pass through without stopping, concentrating on the hairpin turns up until Chardonney, the last district in the valley. And before returning don’t miss, in Chardonney, the permanent exhibition of hemp fabrics typical of the area, that you can also purchase in all centers of the Champorcher Valley.