Lying right In the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park, Cogne overlooks the large Sant’Orso meadow, one of the largest Alpine grassland in Europe. It is situated at 1.544 metres of altitude and its highest peak, with its 4.061 metres, is the Gran Paradiso, the only four-thousand-metre peak which is completely in the Italian territory. Once famous for its iron mining industry, today Cogne is a “Pearls of the Alps”, particularly appreciated for having been able to develop a tourism of quality, safeguarding its natural heritage.
WHAT TO SEE
● The iron mines of Cogne right inside the original galleries and the Regional Mining Park in the ancient mining village.
● The Alpine Botanical Garden Paradisia to discover the variety of Alpine flora and the Visitor centre of the Gran Paradiso National Park.
● The ethnographic museum Maison Gérard-Dayné, an example of the Valdôtain traditional architecture.
● The permanent exhibition of traditional laces of Cogne.
● The permanent exhibition of the sculptor Dorino Ouvrier, well-known artist of Cogne who exhibits his big wood sculptures.
NATURE AND SPORT
Cogne offers a large network of trails, walks on the snow and snowshoeing routes, to walk in every season in the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park.
With 80 km of cross-country skiing trails, Cogne is one of the most famous Nordic skiing resorts in Aosta Valley. Here during the month of February the Marcia Gran Paradiso, a classic technique cross-country ski race, takes place. But one can also practice downhill skiing, with some slopes of medium difficulty and the ski area for beginners on the Sant’Orso meadow. Cogne is also known over the world for ice climbing, tank to its more than 150 waterfalls. Among the most famous, the waterfalls of Lillaz that, during the summer, become a popular destination for families for a pleasant walk. In the waterways of the valley, it is possible to practice sport fishing.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
Cogne is very appreciated for having a strong bond with its traditions: the folk and choral group Lou Tintamaro, whose members dress the original and ancient costume, perform their music with accordions and drums decorated with colored ribbons and rattles. Even the local gastronomy proposes the flavors of the past: one of the most famous typical dishes are the Seuppetta di Cogne, a soup made of rice, bread, Fontina, butter and spices, and for the greediest the Crema di Cogne, with cream, eggs and chocolate. Among the most famous festivals are:
● Cantine Gourmet, an itinerant tasting to discover the Valdôtain wine tradition and the typical dishes of Cogne.
● Gran Paradiso Film Festival, an international festival dedicated to naturalistic cinema.
● Deveteya, that is to say the return of the herds to the valley down from their summer pastures.
● New Year’s Eve torchlight procession, an evocative event that culminates with the tasting of the “Mécoulin”, the typical local bread, at the Lillaz oven.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
On the Sant’Orso meadow a snow park with a magic carpet, inflatables, snow tubing and an easy ski slope is equipped for children. Guaranteed fun on the ice skating rink. Possibility of horse- riding with sledge and, in summer, in carriage or ponies. Some itineraries along the valley, such as Valnontey, the ring in Sant’Orso meadow and the pedestrian path to Lillaz, are easily accessible with the stroller. Finally, visit also the Visitor centre of the Gran Paradiso National Park, an experimental laboratory with explanatory models, multimedia systems, interactive games and an original “sensory space” that gives visitors the chance of appreciating the scents of nature and hearing the sounds of the wood.
● Inhabitants: 1350
● Altitude: 1544 m
● How to get there by public transport: It is possible to reach Cogne directly from Aosta thank to the “Aosta-Cogne” bus line. Timetables are available on the SVAP company website.