Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses, the last municipality before the Swiss border, lies at an altitude of 1632 metres and has an excellent sun exposure in summer and winter. Its territory, formerly belonging to the Salassi and site of a Roman mansio, a stopover for wayfarers, is located along the ancient Roman road leading to the Great Saint Bernard Pass. This col was always an important transit route between northern and southern Europe and has been crossed by many pilgrims and travellers, but the most famous passage is certainly Napoleon’s in May 1800. The village is known for its refined cured ham, the Jambon de Bosses PDO, and the ferruginous water of the Citrin spring, which flows down 1800 metres of the valley of the same name and gushes in a fountain located in the square in front of the town hall.
WHAT TO SEE
● The Great Saint Bernard Hospice and the museum: situated on the pass at an altitude of 2472 metres, it was and still is a welcoming lodging for pilgrims along the Via Francigena. Near the hospice there is the museum, where people can discover the history of the Great Saint Bernard col.
● The Parish Churches of Saint-Rhémy and Bosses: the first dedicated to Saint Lawrence and the second to Saint Leonard, they were both frescoed by the Stornone brothers of Ivrea in the 19th century.
● The Castle of the Lords of Bosses: the primitive castle dates back to the 11th century but was entirely rebuilt in the 15th century, with the typical massive square plan of the first fortified houses. It has been restored and can be visited during temporary exhibitions and events.
● Prosciuttificio di Bosses: this dry-cured ham factory is dedicated to the Jambon de Bosses PDO, a fine raw ham produced and cured in this valley.
NATURE AND SPORT
In summer, Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses offers its guests many activities to satisfy the needs of those who are looking for a dynamic sports holiday. Several excursions on foot or on mountain bike are possible, where people can observe elements of the local flora and fauna. The more trained can climb the Col Malatrà, along the Alta Via 1 route, or follow a stretch of the Tour des Combins between Italy and Switzerland.
In winter, the sunny slopes of the Crévacol valley host a 22 km ski resort, which reaches an altitude of 2400 meters offering a view of the entire Great Saint Bernard area, ideal for ski mountaineering routes, too.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
● Jambon de Bosses Festival: this traditional festival takes place in July, dedicated to the famous PDO raw ham “Jambon de Bosses”, cured in the mountain pastures of this valley.
● Coumba Freida historic carnival: every year, as in the whole area of the Great Saint Bernard, a carnival is organized in which the landzette, curious masks of this event, take possession of the village and invoke the arrival of spring. They wear colourful costumes, an allegorical transposition of the uniforms worn by Napoleon’s troops who crossed the Great Saint Bernard pass in 1800,.
● The red route: this gastronomic event takes place in August and is an unforgettable trip into a world of flavours, whose fil rouge is the colour red of the specialities presented by the associations of local producers.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
A holiday in Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses is a dive into the nature, where children can discover all the secrets of the environment that surrounds them. Families can walk along the ancient Via Francigena, stroll through the hamlets and observe typical buildings of local architecture as well as medieval castles and towers, to discover the way of life of the past.
The Great Saint Bernard Pass is home to the Saint Bernard dog farm, which can be visited in summer, where young guests will learn the secrets of these wonderful animals, which have always been used in the mountains as rescuers.
● Altitude: 1632 m
● Inhabitants: 340
● How to get there by public transport: Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses is reachable by bus with the line “Aosta – Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses”. For timetables and further information, please visit the website of the Arriva company.