Aosta is the capital of Italian region of Valle d'Aosta. The town is in a small valley with houses going up the slopes of the surrounding mountains.
- The train ride in from Torino (Turin) is outstandingly beautiful and short enough to make it a quick worthwhile detour. A change is always required at Ivrea as the section beyond Ivrea is not electrified.
By private transfer
You can book a private airport transfer from Milan or Turin in advance. This service is especially convenient for large groups.
Aosta is a small town and, for the tourist, everything can be easily visited on foot.
- Roman ruins. From walls to amphitheatres. Get a free map from tourist information (in the Hotel de Ville) which shows you where to look - it's all within walking distance. The museum is also marked and is worth a visit. You are encouraged to touch the exhibits that are on show, and there are drawers under the display cases containing replicas of Roman artefacts that you can take out and examine. It's all child-friendly too.
- Mont Blanc, Alps, Italy. Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps. It is 4,810.45 meters above sea level and is ranked 11th in the world in topographic prominence. edit
- Saint-Martin-de-Corléans Megalithic Area, . It's one of the most important Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological areas in Europe. Discovered in 1969, it now features a museum and a park. edit
- Ski. Mountain trekking, Alpinism, Rafting, traditional woodworks fair (Sant'Orso) 30-31 january held every year since 1000 a.c.
It can be very difficult finding a good restaurant that is open between approximately 2pm and 7pm in Aosta. Those that are open tend to be very casual, fast-food type places.
All restaurants offer a fixed price menu (menu turistico/menu a prezzo fisso) which is not very exciting but is good if you're watching the euros. Don't forget to keep your receipt. The police can stop you and ask to see it.
For vegetarians and vegans, eating in Aosta, and Italy in general, should not be a problem. Italians are quite relaxed and accommodating when it comes to their cuisine (unlike their French neighbours). At the Aosta tourist office, staff should be able to recommend local dishes that are vegetarian or vegan, or easily rendered so. Pizza is a safe bet as the pizza dough is not made with egg or dairy products in Italy or authentic Italian restaurants elsewhere.
Carbonnade: ground beef meat roasted in red wine.
Lots of local specialities - look for the word Valdostana in the names of dishes. Fontina cheese is made locally.
- Trattoria Hostaria del Calvino, Via Croix de Ville 24. Good pizza, good beer and friendly service. edit
- Pam Pam, via Mallet 5-7. Small restaurant, nice ambiance, local specialities edit
- Moderno, via E Aubert 21. edit
- Ulisse, via E Aubert 58. edit
Notable wines; among them is a white wine, Blanc de Morgex et La Salle.
Genepy is a strong liquor.
- Trattoria Hostaria del Calvino, Via Croix de Ville 24. Has a good little selection of artisanal beers. edit
- Bistrot Central Aosta, Piazza Roncas 9, ☎ +39 0165 610122. Has an excellent selection of wines. edit
- B&B Nabuisson, Via E. Aubert, 50, ☎ +39 0165 363006 ([email protected]), . In the city centre, it is a good place to stay if you want to be close to everything from Roman remains to bars and restaurants. Friendly staff, and they speak English (and French). edit
- Gran Paradiso is a large national park south of Aosta. Great for hiking in summer and winter sports.
- Courmayeur - famous ski resort