The Aosta Valley (Vallée d'Aoste in French, in Val d'Outa Franco, in Walser: Augschtalann in Töitschu or Ougstalland in Titsch, Val d'Osta in Piedmontese) is a Special Administrative Region of north- western capital Aosta.
The Aosta Valley is part of the Alps-Mediterranean.
It is bordered to the north by Switzerland (Districts of Entremont, Eringer and of Visp in the canton of Valais), to the west by France (departments of Haute-Savoie and Savoie, in the Rhône-Alpes region) in the south and east with the Piedmont (provinces of Turin, Biella and Vercelli).
The Valle d'Aosta is the smallest Italian region and is located in the middle of the Alps, surrounded by four of the highest mountains in Italy and Europe (Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and Gran Paradiso) and crossed by the Dora Baltea important left tributary of the Po River
The passes are the most important Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo and the Colle del Gran San Bernardo, which corresponds to the tunnel of the same name.
The southern part of the territory is occupied by the Gran Paradiso National Park (Parc National du Grand-Paradis), established in 1922 to safeguard certain species of flora and fauna in danger of extinction such as ibex, chamois, marmots and stoats.
The conformation of the entire region is a result of the glaciations, who dug the main valley and side.
Now the glaciers occupy only the highest peaks ..
It is the smallest region in Italy and also the least populated.
The region has two official names:
- Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta (in Italian)
- Région Autonome Vallée d'Aoste (in French)
in Walser language documents it is called Augschtalann (version Töitschu, Issime) or Ougstalland (version Titsch, Gressoney).
In the dialect of the Aosta Valley, belonging to the Franco-linguistic group, you use the words, unofficial, rejon otonomma Val d'Outa (or rejon otonoma Val d'Outa).
Unofficially it is often referred to by the name of Val d'Aosta.
The same phenomenon is observed in France, where the term is widespread unofficial Val d'Aoste.
In Piedmont, spoken in the lower valley, the region is called Val d'Osta.
Its administrative bodies shall enjoy special autonomy from the central Italian government, not only with regard to the policy and the regional government, but also in other areas that are closely related to the life and economy of this mountain region, in particular the management of ' agriculture, handicraft and tourism, health and public charities and nurseries.
The native language of the Valle d'Aosta is the Franco Valle d'Aosta dialect in its variety, the most widely spoken language, however, is today the Italian.
French is widely known, as it enjoys the status of co-official language in the region, although in the actual use of the community speaking Val d'Aosta its role is marginal.
A Issime, Gressoney-La-Trinité and Gressoney-Saint-Jean-speaking Walser officially recognized.
The economy of the Valle d'Aosta is based mainly on the services sector, especially tourism.
Tourism in summer resort, in most of house, while in winter it is especially sports.
The main ski resorts of Monterosa Ski Valley are located largely in the region, and the Matterhorn Ski Paradise in Valtournenche, Breuil-Cervinia and Zermatt in Switzerland (Matterhorn is the Matterhorn in German).
Champoluc Courmayeur and other centers are historians of Valle d'Aosta.
Due to the autonomy conferred by the special status the public purse, which administers the regional considerable financial resources, plays a role of primary importance in the Aosta Valley.
The industries are concentrated in the lower valley (between Verres-Champdepraz and Pont-Saint-Martin) and are often small to medium in size.
They are active in the textile, construction, mechanics, wood and paper.
Aosta is also a major steel company, Cogne Special Steels.
The contribution of agriculture and breeding to the regional economy is modest.
We grow potatoes, apples, vines, barley and raise cattle.
Among the dishes from the Aosta Valley cuisine is reminiscent of soupe à la valpelleneintse (potatoes, boiled cabbage, fontina cheese and meat soup, baked), carbonade (made with beef), the blanc-manger (sweet cream-based, sugar and vanilla).
Typical food product is the fontina cheese.
The castles in the Aosta Valley are numerous.
Almost every country had its own castle.
Only a few ruins remain, while others are well preserved and are tourist attractions.
The castle is best known fenis.
Among the major castles, the first you come up the valley is one of Bard, after the city of Aosta, finally you come to Saint-Pierre.
Historically, the castles have evolved.
At first they primarily a defensive purpose (so you have the towers beginning of the second millennium).
In later times, they concurred mostly to demonstrate the power and wealth of the owner: with these characteristics have the fenis castle and the Issogne.
In the nineteenth century, the castle became a celebratory reminder of ancient glories (that is how the Savoy Castle).
In addition to hosting numerous castles Aosta Valley is a region rich in museums, from small municipal museums located throughout the regional museum centers of greater importance.
Among the museums increasingly popular because of their location, the cultural heritage and the work exhibited must be reported:
- Craft Museum of the Aosta Valley tradition, located in the municipality of Fénis, which exhibits the richness of Aosta Valley craft tradition that has been passed down for over a thousand years and is still very much alive.
- Forte di Bard with the Alpine Museum
- Museo Archeologico Regionale of Aosta
- Museum of Natural Sciences.
The shrines scattered around the valley testify to the faith of its inhabitants transmitted for centuries:
- Notre-Dame de Guérison in the town of Courmayeur
- Sanctuary of Notre-Dame-des-Neiges in Machaby, in the municipality of Arnad
- Vourry shrine in the town of Gaby
- Plout Sanctuary, in Saint-Marcel
- Sanctuary of Misérin in the municipality of Champorcher
- Sanctuary of Cunéy in the Valley of Saint-Barthélemy
- Sanctuary of Verdonaz (pron. Verdona) in the municipality of Oyace
- Sanctuary of San Grato in the municipality of Valgrisenche
- Sanctuary of Fonteinte in the municipality of Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses.
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