Whether you are seeking the thrill of mountaineering in some of Europe's highest peaks, you want to gaze on alpine wildlife, or you merely want to breathe fresh mountain air while strolling through an ancient Roman village, the Aosta Valley is truly a gem waiting to be discovered.
The Aosta Valley, or Valle d'Aosta, is located in northwest Italy. It is bordered by France and Switzerland.
An alpine valley, the Aosta is home to no less than 12 peaks of more than 4,000 meters (about 13,000 feet). It is the least populated region of Italy and is known for its extreme climate. Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc), the Monta Rosa massif, Gran Paradiso and Monte Cervino (Matterhorn) are all found in the valley.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy many activities in the snow-capped valley. Both cross-country and downhill skiing venues are abundant, and you can even try high- altitude skiing at Valtournenche. History buffs can browse relics from the Neolithic period to the Bronze Age, and anyone can enjoy walking through the remnants of Roman civilization in Courmayer.
The biggest draws of the Aosta Valley are its pristine alpine peaks coupled with quaint mountainside villages. Visit the valley's national park, Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso, where you can see lace being made by hand.
The valley's high mountain passes and glaciers make an ideal habitat for ibex, chamois and eagles.
Article Written By Heather Carreiro
Heather Carreiro is a certified English teacher who has been writing since 2008. The editor of Matador Abroad, her work has appeared online at BootsnAll, Matador Network, GoNOMAD, Journey Beyond Travel and Expat Women. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in linguistics and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is pursuing a Master of Arts in English at Bridgewater State University.