Castles of Aosta Valley and the Fort of Bard
The Aosta Valley is well-known for its medieval castles. Don’t forget between the most famous castles, the Fénis Castle, one of the most important examples of military and civil architecture of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the manor of Issogne, the castle of Verres, the castle of Sarre (residence of the royal family when stayed in the Valley) and the castle of Saint-Pierre, which houses the regional Museum of Natural Science. Also interesting is the Fort of Bard, a massive blocking-built at the entrance of Aosta Valley high in the ancient medieval village. After an important work of restoration and enhancement, the fort is open to the public since 2006. In the fortress you can visit the museum of the Alps, with the section of the Alpe dei Ragazzi (for children and teens), interesting exhibitions and other events.
Aosta Roman City
Aosta, also known as the “Rome of the Alps”, is a city founded by the Romans in 25 BC with the name of Augusta Praetoria. The colony was built near the confluence of the torrent Buthier with the river Dora. Aosta preserves important vestiges and monuments such as the Arch of Augustus, the Porta Pretoria, the theatre, the forensics cryptoporticus, the walls almost entirely preserved. Also interesting is the visit to the Church of Sant’Orso, with interesting Ottonian frescoes and its cloister where admire the beautiful medieval capitals.
Museum of Gran San Bernardo
In Helvetian territory, on the pass of Gran San Bernardo, there is the famous Hospice of Swiss canons, accessible only on skis in Winter. The structure is open all year round. In the building next was set up with educational policies the interesting museum, where are also hosted the famous St. Bernard dogs. Visitors are guided by explanatory panels, prepared by Aostans and Valais archaeologists, along an ideal path through the ages, that allows to understand the history of the Hill and its Hospice and has some of the most significant archaeological finds unearthed during the excavations carried out from Nineteenth century to today.
Events and Festivals
Many are the events and the exhibitions in Aosta Valley. Do not miss the traditional carnival of Coumba Freida and the “Fiera di St. Orso”, that for more than a thousand years is held in Aosta to celebrate the regional craft: a celebration that extends into Veillà with singing and dancing in the night between 30th and January 31st. On July 27th Valpelline celebrates its patron San Pantaleone. During the festival you can taste the famous “Seuppa a la Valpelenentze”.