The Val d’Aosta occupies the northwest corner of Italy and shares borders with Switzerland to the north and France to the west. Continental Europe is divided from Italy by the imposing barrier of the Alps which can only be entered via a handful of tunnels through the Alps, such as the Frejus and the Mont Blanc Tunnels. Historically the St. Bernard passes have allowed travel in good weather for the ancient Salassi people, Hannibal and his elephants and the Roman Legions. This area was conquered during the time of Caesar Augustus and was named Augusta Praetoria, from which the modern name of Aosta is derived. During the middle ages, the area was controlled by the Challant family, who left their mark by building many of the regions castles, and the House of Savoy, later to become the kings of Italy. The close proximity to France has also led to several periods of French rule
The region, which is Italy’s smallest and least populated, contains some of Europe’s tallest mountains and the Gran Paradiso National Park which covers over 1300 square miles and extends into France. The park is the last refuge of the European Ibex, with a few thousand throughout the park as well as many rare species of alpine flowers. The mountains of Monte Rosa, Matterhorn, Monte Gran Paradiso and Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc – Europe’s tallest) is the birthplace of modern mountaineering and is well known to skiers and has excellent winter sports at resorts like Breuil-Cervinia and Courmayeur. Valle d’Aosta is also semi-autonomous from Rome and central Government. It is a dual language area and both the conversation and the road signs can be found in both Italian and French.
Local Cuisine The cuisine of the Val d’Aosta has been influenced by the close proximity of both France and the Piedmonte, yet has a unique character. Fontina cheese is produced here and is a favourite ingredient in many dishes including the local specialties like Fonduta (fondue) and Costoletta alla Valdostana – a veal chop covered in Fontina. Hearty soups and stews are popular in this mountainous region and one of the favourites is Capriolo alla Valdostana, a venison stew made with wine, vegetables and grappa. Other northern favourites like Polenta and Risotto are also prepared according to local traditions.
The rocky terrain of this region makes the Aostan wines unique. The grapes include Italian (Nebbiolo, Dolcetto), French (Chardonnay, Pino Noir) and German (Muller Thurgau) varieties. Red wines include the DOC recognized Donnas, ruby coloured Chambave Rosso and the full-bodied Nus Rosso. Whites include Bianco and the Blanc de Morgex. Nus-Malvoisie Fletri is a type of sweet yet strong white dessert wine. For spirits, Grappa is made throughout the region after the harvest and shows up in the most unlikely of places – like in the local venison stew.
Places of interest to see in Aosta Valley Europe’s highest mountains: Mont Blanc, Matterhorn, Monte Rosa Gran Paradiso National Park Fenis and Issogne feudal castles
RGTS Europe Ltd operates a twice monthly small removal service, light haulage, motorcycle transport to and from the Aosta region of Italy. From a few boxes to full house move contents, furniture removals, DIY goods, scooters.
Useful information about Aosta, RGTS Europe Ltd operates a twice monthly small removal and light haulage service to:
Arpuilles, Cache, Champailler, Charvensod, Cossan, Entrebin, Excenex, Gignod, Gressan, Laravoire, Porossan, Pollein, Roisan, Saint-Christphe, Sarre, Seyssinod, Signayes, Vignole.
Motorcycle and scooter transportation UK to Italy