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.
- 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 mountain
- Ski. Mountain trekking, Alpinism, Rafting, traditional woodworks fair (Sant'Orso) 30-31 january held every year since 1000 a.c.
Ice cream! This is Italy, after all.
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.
Pam Pam, via Mallet 5-7. Small restaurant, nice ambiance, local specialities
Moderno, via E Aubert 21
Ulisse, via E Aubert 58
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.
Notable wines among them a white wine, Blanc de Morgex et La Salle.
Genepy is a strong liquor.
- Grand Hotel Billia Saint Vincent – Viale Piemonte, 72 - Cap: 11027, St Vincent (Ao), Italy. . Telephone +39 166 52 31 • Fax +39 166 52 37 99. The Grand Hotel Billia is a luxury four star hotel located in the town of Saint Vincent, famous all over the word for its casino, spa centre and sky facilities. This elegant and relaxing resort offers 239 bedrooms, a congress centre, one outside swimming in the park and an excellent restaurant. Also great rates. The starting price for a double is 118 euros.
B&B Nabuisson in the centre of the city (http://www.bedbreakfastaosta.it/index.html) 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).
Gran Paradiso is a large national park south of Aosta. Great for hiking in summer and winter sports.