- The Valle d’Aosta is the smallest Italian region with self-governing
status. The opening of the Traforo Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc Tunnel)
connected Courmayeur with the French resort of Chamonix. Now the valley
is a premier skiing area.
In the valley there are cooperative vineyards, mostly producing dry
and fruity reds and rosès.
The region shares Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc (Monte
Bianco – 4807 m) with France and the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino
– 4478 m) with Switzerland. There is also the Monte Rosa (4634
m) and the Gran Paradiso (4062 m).
The mountains ensure formidable downhill skiing. Courmayeur and Breuil-Cervinia
are th best known resorts, but smaller spots like Pila, the Valtournenche
and Valle di Gressoney resorts all offer skiing for intermediates
While expert mountaineers set off across the ice to tackle Mont Blanc
from Courmayeur, walkers should settle for one of the dozens of half-
and full-day walks. Many trails are suitable for mountain biking.
Aosta is the Valle d’Aosta’s capital and only major city.
The Arco di Augusto is the city’s symbol. It has been strung
with a crucifix in its centre since medieval times. Aosta’s
cathedral has a neoclassical façade that belies the impressive
Gothic interior. The small resort of Pila, accessible by Aosta-Pila
cable car from Aosta or an 18km drive south, is quick and easy to
reach from the town. The lower slopes leading down from Pila into
the Dora Baltea valley provide picturesque and easy walks and rides.