AOSTA VALLEY | ITALY
Val d'Aosta sits in the north-western corner of Italy, bordering with Switzerland (north) and France (west). To the east and south it borders with the Piedmont Region. The Aosta Valley was part of the Piedmont Region until 1948, then it became an autonomous region with a special statute. The Valle d'Aosta is the smallest region in the Italian Republic and is also the most thinly populated, with the lowest population density.
Here we can find the highest peaks in the Alps: Monte Cervino, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the king of them all, Mont Blanc, which at 15,781 feet is the highest mountain in Europe, the roof of the old Continent. Those who are not familiar with mountaineering can use the comfortable, yet thrilling, cable car; catch it just a few miles from Courmayeur, one of the most important ski resorts in the world.
In this setting of stately mountains and diverse valleys sits the oldest National Park, the Gran Paradiso, where it is still possible to see animals in their natural habitat - ibex, chamois, eagles and marmots live in vegetation that changes according to the surrounding environment.
Historically, the Aosta Valley has been viewed as a land of contact and conjuncture between Italy and France; such is also reflected in its official bilingualism and its special status as autonomous region. The great modern tunnels of Gran San Bernardo and, even more so those under Mont Blanc, are extraordinary engineering masterpieces that run to France, and highlight even more clearly this aspect of an intersection between Italy and the rest of Europe.
Physical Profile of the Aosta Valley Region
OUTDOOR RECREATION IN THE AOSTA REGION
- Rock Climbing Guide to the Aosta Region
- Bike Touring the Aosta Region
- Hike/Walk the Aosta Region
- Other Outdoor Activities
Provinces of the Aosta Valley of Italy
The only province of the region is Aosta (regional capital).
TOWNS OF THE AOSTA PROVINCE
Courmayeur – Located at the base of Mont Blanc, shares Mont Blanc summit with Chamonix in neighboring France, Italian town with highest elevation, famous ski resort town, popular with hikers in the summer
Breuil-Cervinia – Located at the base of the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino in Italian), ski resort town, shares ski area with Zermatt in neighboring Switzerland
La Thuile – Alpine town, smaller base for skiers and hikers, formerly an important coal region
Cogne – Small town in a valley in the southwestern part of the region, near the Gran Paradiso mountains, popular for cross-country skiing in the winter