Bordered by France to the north and Switzerland to the west, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Valle d’Aosta is something of a unique area, being not only the smallest Italian region, but also the only Italian region without a province. In its place are 74 communes, meaning the region is ideally set up for a touring holiday – staying in one village and gradually exploring the area over the duration of a holiday.
The Valle d’Aosta is an area of natural beauty and serene atmosphere, meaning an increasing number of visitors are heading to the region for a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Many people spend large chunks of time either enjoying the benefits of their rental accommodation in the Valle d’Aosta or exploring the area by car and on foot.
The Valle d’Aosta is also an Alpine valley, meaning skiing is high up on the list of any visitor during winter months, and hiking is an increasingly popular activity during summer. Walkers will discover a number of historic castles, Gothic sculptures and abundant wildlife during their travels.
Cheese and wine have now become the two main production items in the region, and it is possible to follow a ‘wine route’, taking in the many vineyards and wine cellars, and admiring the scenery as you go. Every opportunity should be made to sample the local produce whilst staying in the area.
The regional capital is Aosta, which has a number of historical sites that date back to the 11th Century. Unfortunately accommodation is not always found in abundance in the city.
Saint Vincent offers a good alternative from which to base yourself, and is also one of the main towns in the region. It has a decent range of accommodation options.
Those seeking something even more rural should consider staying in one of the smaller villages in the far north of the region such as Bionaz, or in the west such as La Thuile.
The climate in the Valle d’Aosta varies from zone to zone, but can overall be described as an Oceanic climate. This means mild summers that has average temperatures of around 17°C, and cold winters that have an average of 0°C. Snow is most common during January and February.
Though Aosta has an airport it does not receive direct flights from the UK. There are a number of international options around an hour’s drive away, the nearest of which is Turin Airport (TRN). Thomson Airways fly fromLondonStansted, Bristol and Glasgow.