Brissogne is an area full of surprises, such as natural and unusual views and tiny and marvellous hamlets, no matter the season. This natural variety mainly comes from both the considerable drop between the various regions of the municipal territory and the particular position of Brissogne. The town lies, in fact, at the ‘envers’, the right-hand side of the Dora Baltea river, which happens to be the less lit up side of the valley during winter and the less exploited mountainside when speaking of productive activities. That is why the territory of Brissogne has many areas in which nature is preserved indeed, such as the natural reserve along the river, one of the ecosystems formerly available along the majority of the course of the river. Today, this protected space is one of the last examples available in the Aosta Valley.
WHAT TO SEE
Brissogne castle. Built during the XVIII century, this manor is today in ruins, but the remains of the cylindrical tower and part of the masonry are still visible.
NATURE AND SPORT
One of the peculiarity of Brissogne is linked to its wide drop: the territory goes from about 500 m above the sea level in the area of the Dora Baltea river to about 2,800 m. That is why the natural landscape varies quite a lot, both because of its orographical position (envers) and the various habitats that change according to the altitude.
A unique example in terms of environment is Les Iles nature reserve, a wetland that lies along the course of the river. It is one of the most relevant nature reserve of the region when considering the presence of migratory birds such as herons. It also home to some sedentary species, such as wild ducks, amphibians, reptiles and some species of fish, such as pikes.
Always in the hamlet of Les Iles, 2 km away from the reserve, to the west, there is the Sports centre Golf Les Iles. Here open-air lovers find a nine-hole golf course with a practice range, a driving range, inside and open-air positions, a pitching green with bunkers to practice and a putting green. In the area there is also a small lake to practice windsurf, dive, canoe or model-boat building and an open-air 25 m swimming-pool with solarium, bar and a restaurant/pizzeria.
Further west lies a no kill fishing reserve.
These areas along the river are easily accessible and linked by a nice cycling and walking trail, that goes from Gressan to Saint-Marcel and touches the previously mentioned areas of Brissogne.
Going higher at 1,400 m, at the beginning of the natural amphitheatre of ‘Les Laures’, in winter ice climbing experts can try the Pink Gully ice waterfall.
Last but not least, a nice suggestion for a summer hike in the mountains might be the one from Grand-Brissogne towards the Ménabréaz bivouac and the Laures lakes.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
Fëta de l’Oumbra. Lying at the envers, in winter the town of Brissogne doesn’t receive very much sunlight since it is covered by high mountains. This period is honoured in August with the Fëta de l’Oumbra, the ‘shadow party’. In this occasion, the patron Saint of the town is celebrated: the event is also a nice chance of tasting local specialities while having fun and listening to some good music.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
Brissogne offers various entertainment possibilities for kids. In addition to the playground in Villefranche, in the hamlet of Les Iles children can have fun in Les Iles nature reserve, while observing and learning a lot about local fauna and flora.
On foot or by bike they can scour the cycling and walking trail and reach the Sports centre Golf Les Iles. Here there is a nice park with a tiny beach on the shores of the lake, an open-air swimming-pool, a bar and a restaurant.
● Altitude: about 830 m
● Inhabitants: about 980
● How to get there by public transports: after having reached Aosta by train of by bus, take bus 1 to Brissogne.