CASTLES, ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES ... VDA AN OPEN-AIR MUSEUM!
Valle d’Aosta is a region whose evidence from a distant past is extremely rich. Also known as the "Little Rome of the Alps", Aosta does, in fact, preserve many buildings and monuments that date back mainly to the Roman era and which are in excellent condition. Numerous vestiges have survived from Augusta Prætori, as it was known at the time, which can be admired simply by walking along the city centre streets or by visiting exhibition sites which host the rarest and most precious artefacts. The Roman era is probably the one you are most likely to find traces of in the heart of the city. But evidence of other historical periods can also be seen in the region ... Several castles take us back to the times of knights and dames, offering us a privileged glimpse into the Middle Ages. Others enchant us with nineteenth-century structures, appearing to have come from a world of fairy tales. And for those wishing to travel even further back in time, the megalithic area which spans nearly 10,000 square metres, will plunge you right into Prehistoric Europe itself!
It is one of the best known and most admired medieval manors in Valle d'Aosta. It's distinguishing feature lies in its unique architecture, which has remained perfectly preserved over the centuries. The castle has a double crenellated wall which encloses the central body, the majestic towers and watch towers, which are connected by a walkway. Fénis Castle conciliates a powerful defence system and refined pictorial decorations, a combination whose purpose was to express the power and richness of its Lords. For many decades it was home to the Challant family. Well worth a visit is the armoury room, the kitchen with its impressive fireplace, the chapel on the upper floor and the sumptuous chambers of the Lords. The inner courtyard offers very evocative sights ... the fresco of St. George slaying the dragon, the wooden balconies with proverbs in ancient French and the paintings of the Annunciation paintings will have you spellbound!
Località Chez-Sapin 1
11020 FENIS (AO)
Telephone: (+39) 0165 764263
This castle appears to be a stately Renaissance mansion and has plenty of treats in store for its visitors: with its pomegranate fountain and rare, splendidly coloured porch, it's no wonder it has become such a tourist hotspot. The Middle Ages has left its mark with a cycle of frescoes of considerable value depicting scenes of everyday life. The horseshoe-shaped structure enhances the inner courtyard and garden. The Challant family's coats of arms adorn the walls of the buildings, as do the lunettes depicting professions and the guardhouse. Not to be missed is a visit to the second floor, to admire the beautiful coffered ceiling of the “Stanza del Re di Francia” (the King of France's bedroom) and the room known as the “Cavalieri di San Maurizio" (the Knights of San Maurizio).
Piazza Castello, 11020 Issogne (AO)
Telephone: 0125 929373
Unlike older castles, this beautiful medieval fortress is characterised by its monobloc structure: a cube whose sides span roughly 30 meters, almost devoid of decoration, and whose profile stands out on a rocky promontory. It's difficult not to feel moved before such an imposing building! An impressive staircase connects the three floors of the building, spellbinding its visitors with its delicate nuances and the veining of its stone, with the minimalism of its décor and the geometric rigidity that characterises the entire structure. Of considerable merit are the chimneys in the weapons room and the ribbed stone vaults on the first floor.
Castello di Verrès
11029 VERRES (AO)
Telephone: (+39) 0125 929067
A high crenellated tower overlooks the massive longitudinal body of the Royal Castle of Sarre, whose shape easily catches the eye of those who are travelling towards Mont Blanca on the A5 motorway below. The external walls of this castle are in stone, and house a permanent exhibition on the Savoy family. One of the most impressive rooms is undoubtedly the Galleria dei Trofei (trophy gallery), decorated with hundreds of ibex horns. Other highlights are the Royal Apartments and the gracious chapel with its delicate baroque decoration.
Royal castle of Sarre
11010 SARRE (AO)
Telephone: (+39) 0165 257539
Gamba Castle holds a very romantic story and was built in the early 20th century at the request of the Torinese Baron, Carlo Maurizio Gamba who wished to offer his beloved wife Angélique d'Entrèves Passerin a home from where she could spend time close to her family. Valle d'Aosta is an autonomous region, and it is right in the halls of this castle where the region's collection of modern and contemporary art can be found. it is surrounded by over 50,000 square metres of parkland, home to over 150 different species of trees. The main building is one of the region's cultural centres and holds a rich and prestigious collection of modern and contemporary art.
It was Queen Margherita of Savoy who commissioned the construction of Savoy Castle in Gressoney. This splendid nineteenth century villa is known for its peculiar profile, with 5 medieval-style towers, each one different from the other, and for the great attention to detail and sophistication of its interior. The coffered ceilings and wood panelling lend a warm note to the castle's ambience, where the Queen loved to spend her summer holidays. Special shoes must be worn on entering, in order to preserve the precious floors. From the large windows you can enjoy a wonderful view over the Lys valley. It is in this location that the 2012 Italian comedy film, "The worst Christmas of my life", was filmed.
11025 GRESSONEY-SAINT-JEAN (AO)
Telephone: (+39) 0125 355396
This medieval castle is a mixture of buildings from different periods and is surrounded by a fortified wall. Within its interior valuable works of art are preserved: from the pictorial cycle of frescoes in the chapel, to fine carvings in the main hall. The castle hosts the "Fragmenta Picta" exhibition, a collection of interesting pictorial remains from Quart castle, dating back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.Informazion: Castello Sarriod de La Tour Rue du Petit-Saint-Bernard 20 11010 SAINT-PIERRE (AO) http://www.regione.vda.it/cultura/patrimonio/castelli/castello_sarriod/default_i.asp Telephone:(+39) 0165 904689 E-mail: email@example.com Google Map
If you really want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of little Rome of the Alps, a visit to the Roman Theatre is a must. It is here, at Christmas time, that the Marché Vert Noël can be found, one of the most atmospheric markets in the Alpine arc. The Roman Theatre is open all year.
The southern façade, which stands out majestically against the sky, is the only external wall of the old theatre to have survived the test of time, but this on its own is more than enough to enchant its visitors. At a height of 22 metres, its buttresses are clearly visible, with arches and windows sporting different shapes and sizes. In the area you can also see the remains of the walls, the steps and the orchestra.
Via Porta Prætoria, angolo Rue du Baillage
11100 AOSTA (AO)
Telephone: (+39) 0165 231665
Another treat in store for you is the Forensic Criptoporticus which, in ancient times, enclosed the sacred area of the forum of Augusta Praetoria. It is a gallery with two aisles which wind their way below the town and it is one of the few forensic cryptoporticuses open to the public. Entry is via a stairway that can be found next to the cathedral. The whole area has been subject to large scale recovery and restoration work.
Piazza Giovanni XXIII
11100 AOSTA (AO)
Telephone: (+39) 335 7981505
We suggest you put some time aside for the early Christian Church of San Lorenzo. The Church of San Lorenzo, which was built in the eighth century, has undergone modification several times, and the current structure dates back to the seventeenth century. But what makes this religious building so unique are the remains of the cruciform basilica that were discovered in the substratum. They go back, in fact, to the fifth century, making this one of the very first town churches. Remains of the liturgical structures and various tomb compartments are clearly visible, and include the tomb of Grato, a bishop who lived in the fifth century and who is the city's patron saint today.
11100 AOSTA (AO)
Telephone:(+39) 349 6429216
The archaeological site of Saint-Martin-de-Corléans covers nearly 10,000 square metres and is an important example of European prehistory. It houses artefacts from various eras, from Neolithic times to the Middle Ages, and has a characteristic layered structure with remains that include relics from the Copper Age, anthropomorphic steles and a striking dolmen.
The museum, which was inaugurated in 2016, is subdivided into sections. In the first part, walkways follow through the different phases of excavation, taking visitors down to the archaeological site itself and culminating in the great hall, lit by 500 spotlights whose light gradually shifts in keeping with the time of day.
11100 AOSTA (AO)
Telephone: (+39) 0165552420
It's an impressive feat, made partly in masonry, and partly in massive blocks of cut stone. The aqueduct-bridge dates back to Roman times and towers above the Grand-Eyvia river.
It is one of the few aqueducts intended for "industrial" use from that time. Its structure includes two main areas: a sealed drain on the upper level, originally used to canalise the water, and a lower gallery that's well lit and aired for people and animals to cross. Restoration work has resulted in the structure's complete renovation, which can be visited and crossed on both levels, from spring to autumn. In winter only the exterior part can be visited. The Pont-d'Ael aqueduct bridge gives visitors a breathtaking view of the surrounding valley!
11010 AYMAVILLES (AO)
Telephone: (+39) 0165 273247 / (+39) 329 3761629
The visit itinerary at MAR is a journey through different eras and continents. From North African tiles, to anthropomorphic steles, to remains from the Mesolithic era to the Salassi era, to relics from the middle ages. A large part is dedicated to the Roman period, with the exhibition of everyday objects, funerary items, jewellery and ornaments. A collection of prints bear testimony to construction carried out at the time. Even the Etruscan, Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilisations (and many more!) have found themselves a space at MAR! Each year, important temporary exhibitions can be seen on the first floor of the venue.
Until February 19, 2017, the venue was host to the exhibition, "ALPIMAGIA. Rituals, legends and mysteries of the Alpine peoples" by Val d'Aosta photographer Stefano Torrione, who presented 92 large-format photographs to guide its viewers through the “magic "world of Alpine folk culture.
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Piazza Roncas, 12
11100 AOSTA (AO)
Telephone: (+39) 0165.275902
The Priory of Saint Bénin was founded during the eleventh century by the Benedictine monks. At the end of the sixteenth century, it was converted and has since become a renowned College of Higher Education.
Today, the Saint-Benin centre is used for prestigious exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, also of an international nature. The venue has become an important venue for photography and modern art exhibitions, as well as national and international contemporary art.
via Festaz n° 27
11100 AOSTA (AO)