The smallest region
The Aosta Valley is a mountainous semi-autonomous region in northwestern Italy. This is the smallest and least populated region in the country and also the only Italian region which has not been divided into separate provinces. The capital of the area is city of Aosta.
The region is bilingual with both Italian and French taught in school and both languages commonly used at home. Also the road signs are in Italian and French as well as local cuisine contains dishes influenced by Switzerland, France and Germany. The reason for usage of two languages is because Aosta Valley is bordered by France and Switzerland.
The highest peaks in the Alps
In this region you will find the highest peaks in the Alps: Cervino, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc which is the highest mountain in Europe. The most famous ski slopes of Europe such as Cervinia, Courmayeur and Pila are located in Aosta Valley. This is the most famous destination for anyone who loves skiing, trekking, snowboarding and ice skating.
Apart most famous ski resorts and slopes, the region has much to offer such as castles, cathedrals and churches. The most famous castle in the Aosta Valley is the Castello di Fenis which is a collection of the best defense techniques of the time and a reflection of a wealth of its former occupants.
There is a Gran Paradiso National Park in the region where you can find snow-capped mountains dotted with tiny glacial lakes and bordered by wooded slopes and huge flowering meadows. This area is a real paradise for advanced hikers and walking enthusiasts.
The annual fair takes place in Aosta at the end of January and is dedicated to St. Orso. Thousands of tourists fill the decorated streets of the old town which shows off the oldest crafts of Aosta Valley from sculpture to wood, wrought iron to hot stone, leather, wool fabrics and lace, and games and masks.
Location: Northwestern Italy
Capital of the region: Aosta
Sights: Teatro Romano di Aosta, Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso, Criptoportico Forense
Cuisine: Dishes to try: Risotto alla valdostana, Seupa de gri, Polenta alla rascard
Nearby hotels: Nira Montana, Hotel Notre Maison, Hotel Duca d’Aosta
Shopping: Visit Aosta and Courmayeur to shop. There are also lots of outlets and shopping malls in the region