Aosta Valley
Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Aosta Valley is a small Alpine region in the north-west of Italy. Popular with hikers in the summer and skiers in the winter, and cultural travellers all year round. The region shares its international border with France and Switzerland. The highest mountain here, in the very north-west corner, is Monte Bianco (or Mont Blanc). Valle d’Aosta is the smallest and least populous region in Italy. Valle d’Aosta means ‘Valley of Augustus’, after the Roman Emperor Augustus who seized the area for its strategic mountain passes from the local Celtic Salassi tribe in about 25 BC and established Augusta Prætoria Salassorum (modern-day Aosta). As Italy’s smallest region, it is not further subdivided into provinces. The official names, in Italian is Valle d’Aosta and Vallée d’Aoste in French.

Archaeology & History Sites in Aosta Valley

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Castles in the Aosta Valley

Fénis Castle

This Medieval castle is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Aosta Valley. The castle has a typical defensive layout, which includes a pentagonal keep with towers at each corner. The keep is surrounded by a double wall complete with battlements, watchtowers and walkways. Built on top of a small hill and contrary to first impressions, the castle did not have a military or defensive purpose. Rather, it was a prestigious family residence. What visitors see today dates to the early 15th century.

Saint-Pierre Castle

The first castle on this spot is thought to have been built towards the end of the 12th century. then it would have been a very simple structure of basic walls and a few towers. Over the years, and as it changed hands, the castle was added to, renovated and modernised until it looked like it does today – sometime towards the end of the 19th century. The stucco white church at the foot of the castle is the parish church of Saint-Pierre. The castle is now home to the Regional Museum of Natural Sciences.

Museums & Art Galleries in Aosta Valley

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