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In the northern part of Italy, you find a city called Aosta which is the capital of the Aosta Valley. It’s an amazing region to visit if you like beautiful landscapes, history and want to discover the Alps.
Tip: in the mountains, the weather changes fast. Make sure to be prepared for sun and rain. So, don’t forget to bring your sun protection and rain protection.
What to know about Aosta
Aosta is a city surrounded by the Alps. The mountains give the opportunity to go hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and much more. It’s the perfect destination for adventurers.
Some general information you should know:
- Country: Italy
- Capital: Rome
- Currency: Euro (€)
- Official language: Italian, regional language called Franco-Provencal or Valdôtain
- Largest religion: Catholic
- Neighboring countries: Austria, France, Slovenia, Switzerland, Marino and Vatican City
- Republic day: 2nd of June
The city itself has many Roman heritages with historical remains. You can visit the Roman Theatre, the Roman Bridge, and the Arch of Augustus. It’s a small city but worth to wander around the old town, discover the narrow streets and eat some delicious gelato. There are many churches, historical sites, and museums to explore.
Aosta is surrounded by mountains, so there is much to do in the mountains. Nearby Aosta there is the famous Mont Blanc, which is the highest mountain in the Alps. You can go up a cable car and enjoy some amazing views, or go hiking around the mountains. If you love hiking, you can do the hike Tour du Mont-Blanc, which is a long-distance hike of multiple days. You can hike one day or a few days, or do the whole loop around the Mont Blanc.
Everybody knows that Italy has delicious food, but in Aosta there are some dishes you should try out. In the whole region, the food is influenced by the Italian and French cuisine. Some dishes you should try are:
- Fonina Cheese
- Valdostana Fondue
- Gnocchi alla Valdostana
- Crespelle alla Valdostana
- Jambon de Bosses
Besides all these dishes, try out the local wines. Now let’s get into all the amazing activities you can do in and around Aosta.
Top activities to do in and around Aosta
There are many activities to do in and around Aosta. It’s not possible to cover them all, but below I will give all the top activities that you must do. I recommend you visit the city center and discover the surroundings.
City center of Aosta
The best way to discover the city center is to just wander around and explore. While wandering around you will pass by beautiful architecture, cultural landmarks, and many historical places. Some places you must pass by are the following:
- Aosta Archaeological Museum: in this museum, you discover the history of Aosta. There is an extensive collection from the Roman time. If you want to learn more about Aosta’s past, you should definitely visit this museum.
- Piazza Emile Chanoux: this is the central square in Aosta. Many activities happen on this square, so you should pass by this piazza.
- Aosta Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville – Municipio di Aosta): on the Piazza Emile Chanoux you find the Town Hall of Aosta that has some beautiful architecture.
- Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta: a cathedral built in Romanesque-Gothic style.
- The Roman Theatre: the theatre dates to the first century AD. It’s a well-preserved theatre and one of the most iconic landmarks.
- Via Porta Pretoria: this is the most vivid street in Aosta with many bars, shops and much more. Stroll around the street, drink an espresso, and eat some fresh gelato.
- Porta Pretoria: it’s one of the best-preserved Roman gates in the Alps.
- Church Sant’Orso Collegiate: you will find many churches in and around Aosta, but this one is beautiful because of the impressive sculptures and frescoes.
- The Arch of Augustus: an arch that is built somewhere in 25 BC to honor the emperor, Augustus. The arch was the entrance to the Roman city.
- Torre del Lebbroso: for a beautiful panoramic view, climb the medieval tower and enjoy the vies over Aosta and the mountains.
The city center of Aosta is tiny, which means it’s easy to discover the city by foot. While strolling around, you will pass by many historic buildings. I recommend you wander around and discover.
Surroundings of Aosta
There are many activities for everybody to do around Aosta. You can hike outdoors, visit some historical sites, find a cultural experience and much more. Some activities that are nice to try out are the following:
- Castles and Fortresses in the Aosta Valley: there are many medieval structures to discover around the Aosta Valley like Issogne Castle, Sarre Castle, Fénis Castle, Bard Fortress and much more.
- Take a cable car up to have amazing views over the Mont Blanc and surrounding mountains. The cable car is called ‘Skyway Monte Bianco cable car‘ and it’s located near Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley.
- Hiking in the Gran Paradiso National Park and discover the beautiful fauna and flora. More about this National Park you can find on their website.
- Visit Cogne a small mountain village that has stunning landscapes and traditional architecture. In this area it’s also possible to hike, do cross-country ski and ice climbing.
- Relax in one of the many Thermal Spas. We love QC Terme which you can find on different locations, the one in Aosta is called QC Terme Pre Saint Didier. There is also a hotel where you can stay if you want to relax completely. Another good thermal spa is Saint-Vincet Thermal Baths.
- Go do some wine tasting. I recommend doing a wine tour and visit different wineries. On Google, you can type in wineries or vineyards, and you will find many options. Read the reviews and visit the vineyards that match your values. For example, ‘Grosjean Vins’ has many good reviews and it’s an organic wine.
- Visit the charming village Cervinia and go up to visit the Glacier Paradise. In winter, you can go Skiing and snowboarding in Cervinia.
Besides these activities, there are many other adventurous activities as well. Read below about the adventurous activities you can do near Aosta.
Adventurous activities to do in and around Aosta
Aosta is the perfect place for adventurers. If you like adventures, you’re in the right place. Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Alps while hiking, biking, climbing and much more.
To give you an idea about all the activities that are possible, below you can read about 10 adventurous activities you can do near Aosta:
- Mountain biking for all levels, from beginners to experienced bikers. La Thuile is an amazing place to go mountain biking, but of course there are many places closer to Aosta.
- Hiking one of the numerous trails in Gran Paradiso National Park. If you’re a trained hiker, you can hike up the Gran Paradiso peak, but you need to be prepared and bring the right equipment.
- Rock climbing or ice climbing for every level. A great spot to go rock climbing is at La Gruviera, but there are many more spots. Find all the climbing spots in this area on the tourism website. If you want to try Ice climbing for beginners, I recommend you try it out.
- Go hiking, ice climbing, cross-country skiing near the mountain village Cogne.
- Fly in the air with paragliding and have an amazing view over the Italian Alps. You can go Paragliding in Geneva, which is super peaceful.
- Hike the Tour du Mont-Blanc in 8 days, which is an amazing long-distance hike.
- Skiing and snowboarding in the ski resorts Pila, Courmayeur or Cervinia. It’s even possible to go skiing during the summer at Cervinia because (most years) there is snow there all year round.
- Canyoning, kayaking and white-water rafting in the Aosta Valley.
- Climb a Via Ferrata route like Crète Sèche Via Ferrata route, but there are many more. Make sure you have the right equipment or book a tour.
- Explore the valley during a horse-riding tour.
There are many more adventurous activities to do in and around Aosta. Everybody can find something he or she will like. I recommend you try something new and go outside your comfort zone.