The AOSTA VALLEY (Italian : _VALLE D\'AOSTA_ (official) or _Val
d'Aosta_ (usual); French : _VALLéE D\'AOSTE_ (official) or _Val
d'Aoste_ (usual); Arpitan : _Val d'Outa_;
Walser German :
_Augschtalann_ or _Ougstalland_) is a mountainous autonomous region
Italy . It is bordered by
France to the west,
Switzerland to the north and the region
Piedmont to the south and east.
Covering an area of 3,263 km2 (1,260 sq mi) and with a population of
about 128,000 it is the smallest, least populous, and least densely
populated region of Italy. It is the only Italian region that is not
sub-divided into provinces (the province of
Aosta was dissolved in
1945). Provincial administrative functions are provided by the
regional government. The region is divided into 74 _comuni _
Italian and French are the official languages, though much of the
native population also speak
Valdôtain , a dialect of Arpitan
(Franco-Provençal) , as their home language; about half of the
population can speak all three languages.
The regional capital is
* 1 Geography
* 1.1 Climate
* 2 History
* 3 Government and politics
* 4 Demographics
* 5 Culture
* 5.1 Languages
* 5.2 Castles
* 5.3 Cuisine
* 5.4 Wine growing
* 6 Gallery
* 7 See also
* 8 References
* 9 Sources
* 10 External links
Aosta Valley is an Alpine valley which with its tributary valleys
includes the Italian slopes of
Mont Blanc ,
Monte Rosa , Gran Paradiso
Matterhorn ; its highest peak is
Mont Blanc (4.810 m). A
view of refuge Albert Deffeyes , La Thuile
Aosta The Astronomical Observatory of the Aosta
The valleys, usually above 1600 metres, annually have a Cold
Continental Climate (Dfc). In this climate the snow season is very
long, as long as 8 or 9 months at the highest points. During the
summer, mist occurs almost every day. These areas are the wettest in
the western Alps. Temperatures are low, between −7 °C (19 °F) and
−3 °C (27 °F) in January, and in July between 20 °C (68 °F) and
35 °C (95 °F). In this area is the town of
which may be the coldest town in the Western
Alps and where the winter
average temperature is around −7 °C (19 °F).
Areas between 2000 metres and 3500 metres usually have a Tundra
Climate (ET ), where every month has an average temperature below 10
°C (50 °F). This climate may be a kind of more severe Cold Oceanic
Climate, with a low summer average but mild winters, sometimes above
−3 °C (27 °F), especially near lakes, or a more severe Cold
Continental Climate, with a very low winter average. Temperature
averages in Pian Rosà, at 3400 metres high, are −11.6 °C (11.1
°F) in January and 1.4 °C (34.5 °F) in July. It is the coldest
Italy where the climate is verifiable.
In the past, above 3500 metres, all months were having an average
temperature below freezing, with a Perpetual Frost Climate (EF). In
recent years though there was a rise in temperatures. See as an
example the data for Pian Rosà.
Saint-Pierre Castle . The
Fénis Castle , 13th
The first inhabitants of the
Aosta Valley were
whose language heritage remains in some local placenames. Rome
conquered the region from the local
Salassi around 25 BC and founded
_Augusta Prætoria Salassorum_ (modern-day Aosta) to secure the
strategic mountain passes, and they went on to build bridges and roads
through the mountains. Thus, the name _Valle d'Aosta_ literally means
"Valley of Augustus".
Humbert I of Savoy , the founder of the House of Savoy
, received the title _Count of Aosta_ from Emperor Conrad II of the
Franconian line and built himself a commanding fortification at Bard .
Anselm of Canterbury was born in
Aosta in 1033 or 1034. The
region was divided among strongly fortified castles , and in 1191
Thomas I of Savoy found it necessary to grant to the communes a
_Charte des franchises_ ("Charter of Liberties") that preserved
autonomy—rights that were fiercely defended until 1770, when they
were revoked in order to tie
Aosta more closely to
Piedmont , but
which were again demanded during post-Napoleonic times. In the
mid-13th century Emperor Frederick II made the County of
Aosta a duchy
(see Duke of
Aosta ), and its arms charged with a lion rampant were
carried in the Savoy arms until the reunification of
Italy in 1870.
The region remained part of Savoy lands, with the exceptions of
French occupations from 1539 to 1563, later in 1691, then between 1704
and 1706. As part of the
Kingdom of Sardinia it joined the new Kingdom
Italy in 1861. It was also ruled by the
First French Empire
First French Empire between
1800 and 1814. During French rule, it was part of Aoste arrondissement
in Doire department.
The region gained special autonomous status after the end of World
War Two; the province of
Aosta ceased to exist in 1945.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Main article: Politics of
For more than 20 years the valley has been in autonomist hands. As of
the 2013 electiions, the autonomist centre-right Valdostan Union
together with autonomist _Stella Alpina _ and _Autonomist Federation_
retained its absolute majority in the Council of the Valley for the
8th time in a row.
Source: ISTAT 2001
The population density of
Aosta Valley is by far the lowest of the
Italian regions. In 2008, 38.9 inhabitants per km2 were registered in
the region, whereas the average national figure was 198.8, though the
region has extensive uninhabitable areas of mountain and glacier, with
a substantial part of the population living in the central valley.
Migration from tributary valleys has now been stemmed by generous
regional support for agriculture and tourist development.
The population is growing slowly but steadily. Negative population
growth since 1976 has been more than offset by immigration. The region
has one of Italy's lowest birth rates , with a rising average age.
This, too, is partly compensated by immigration, since most immigrants
arriving in the region are younger people working in the tourist
industry. Between 1991 and 2001, the population of
Aosta Valley grew
by 3.1%, which is the highest growth among the Italian regions. With a
negative natural population growth, this is due exclusively to
positive net migration. Between 2001 and 2011, the population of
Aosta Valley grew by a further 7.07%. As of 2006 , the Italian
National Institute of Statistics ISTAT estimated that 4,976
foreign-born immigrants live in
Aosta Valley, equal to 4.0% of the
total regional population.
Valdôtain population and their language dialects have been the
subject of some sociological research.
Aostan French and
Aosta Valley was the first government authority to adopt Modern
French as the official language in 1536, three years before France
itself. Italian and French are nowadays the region's official
languages and are used for the regional government's acts and laws,
though Italian is much more widely spoken in everyday life, and French
is mostly spoken in cultural life. School education is delivered
equally in both Italian and French so that everyone who went to
Aosta Valley can speak French to at least a medium-high
The regional language is a dialect of
Valdotain (locally, _patois _). It is spoken as native tongue and as
second language by 68,000 residents, about 58% of the population,
according to a poll taken by the _Fondation Émile Chanoux_ in 2002.
The residents of the villages of
Issime , in the Lys Valley, speak two
Walser German origin called _Titsch_ and _Töitschu_
USE OF LANGUAGES BY THE POPULATION (2001)
All three languages
Saint-Pierre Castle Fénis
There are a numerous medieval castles and fortified houses in the
Aosta Valley, including
Saint-Pierre Castle , Fénis
Castle , Ussel
Castle , Sarre
Castle , Cly
Tour de Châtelard . The Castel Savoia di Gressoney in
Gressoney-Saint-Jean was conceived in the 19th century but completed
in 1904. Since 1990 it has a park named the Savoy
Botanical Garden .
The cuisine of
Aosta Valley is characterized by simplicity and
revolves around "robust" ingredients such as potatoes , polenta ;
cheese and meat ; and rye bread . Many of the dishes involve
a cheese with PDO status, made from cow's milk that originates from
the valley. It is found in dishes such as the soup _à la
vâpeuleunèntse_ (Valpelline Soup). Other cheeses made in the region
are Toma and Seras. Fromadzo (
Valdôtain for _cheese_) has been
produced locally since the 15th century and also has PDO status.
Regional specialities, besides Fontina, are _Motzetta_ (dried chamois
meat, prepared like prosciutto ), Vallée d\'Aoste Lard d\'
cured and brined fatback product with PDO designation), Vallée
d’Aoste Jambon de Bosses (a kind of ham , likewise with PDO
designation), and a black bread.
Notable dishes include _Carbonnade_, consisting of salt-cured beef
cooked with onions and red wine served with polenta ; breaded veal
cutlets called _costolette_; _teuteuns_, salt-cured cow's udder that
is cooked and sliced; and _steak à la valdôtaine_, a steak with
croûtons , ham and melted cheese.
See also: Valle d\'
Notable wines include two white wines from
Morgex (_Blanc de Morgex
et de La Salle_ and _Chaudelune_), a red wine blend from Arvier
(_Enfer d'Arvier_), and a
The prehistoric site near Chenal castle,
Montjovet , rich in
Alpine Ibex in Aosta's Parco Nazionale
Alpine marmot in Aosta's Parco Nazionale
* European Union portal
* Roman Catholic Diocese of
* Elections in
* List of Presidents of
* Arch of Augustus in
* Roman Theatre,
* Roman bridge Pont d\'Aël
* 13th-century bridge of Grand Arvou
* Fort Bard—Museum of the
Mont Blanc Tunnel
Gran Paradiso National Park
* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "Statut
Special Pour La Vallee D\'Aoste" (in
French). Conseil de la Vallée d'Aosta. 2001. Retrieved 2015-10-25.
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT". Demo.istat.it.
Retrieved 2010-04-22. (in Italian)
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Regional GDP GDP per capita in the EU in 2011: seven
capital regions among the ten most prosperous" (PDF). European
Commission - Press Release Database. 2014. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
External link in publisher= (help )
Aostan French pronunciation - Jean-Marie Pierret, _Phonétique
historique du français et notions de phonétique générale_,
Peeters, Louvain-la-Neuve, 1994, p.104.
* ^ "Le Statut spécial de la Vallée d\'Aoste". 1948. Retrieved
2017-07-10. Articles 1 and 48b of the constitutional law officially
assert the region's autonomy.
* ^ _A_ _B_
Italian Parliament - VI Commission document 2000-07-18
* ^ _A_ _B_ Decime, R.; Vernetto, G., eds. (2009). _Profil de la
politique linguistique de la Vallée d’Aoste_ (in French). Le
Château. p. 20.
* ^ "ESO Astronomy Camp for Secondary School Students". _ESO
Announcement_. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
* ^ "Guida alla consultazione del bollettino meteorologico della
Regione Autonoma Valle d’
Aosta con elementi di meteorologia alpina"
(in Italian). Valle d'
Aosta Official Website.
* ^ _A_ _B_ "Pian Rosa Climate Charts". Climate-charts.com. 2010.
* ^ Poling, Dean (October 12, 2009). "What does Valdosta mean?".
_Valdosta Daily Times_. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012.
* ^ François Velde (2000). "Heraldry in the House of Savoia".
Heraldica. Retrieved 2010-04-22.
* ^ Almanach Impérial an bissextil MDCCCXII, pp. 392–393,
Gallica 18 February 2015 (in French)
* ^ "Centre-right autonomists win election in
_Nationalia.com_. 2013-05-27. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
* ^ Saint-Blancat, Chantal (1984). "The Effect of Minority Group
Vitality upon Its Sociopsychological Behaviour and Strategies".
_Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development_. 5 (6):
511–16. doi :10.1080/01434632.1984.9994177 .
Cooper, Danielle Chavy (1987). "Voices from the Alps: Literature in
Val d'Aoste Today". _World Literature Today_. 61 (1): 24–7. JSTOR
40142443 . doi :10.2307/40142443 . * ^ Caniggia, Mauro; Poggianti,
Luca (2012-10-25). "La Vallée d\'Aoste: enclave francophone au
sud-est du Mont Blanc" (in French). Zigzag magazine. Retrieved
* ^ _A_ _B_ AA. VV. "Une Vallée d’Aoste bilingue dans une Europe
plurilingue". in French and Italian. Aoste: Fondation Emile Chanoux.
Aosta Valley Regional Museum of Natural Science museoscienze.it
* ^ _A_ _B_ Massetti, E. "
Aosta Valley Castles" n.d., accessed 15
* ^ "Fontina". Valle D'
Aosta Official Tourism Website. 2014.
* ^ "Seupa à la Vapelenentse (Valpelline Soup)". Valle D'Aosta
Official Tourism Website. 2014. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
* ^ "Gressoney toma cheese". Valle D'
Aosta Official Tourism
Website. 2014. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
* ^ "Fromadzo cheese". Valle D'
Aosta Official Tourism Website.
2014. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
* ^ "Valleé d’Aoste Lard d’Arnad". Valle D'
Tourism Website. 2014. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
* ^ "Vallée d’Aoste Jambon de Bosses". Valle D'
Tourism Website. 2014. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
* ^ "The Teuteun". Valle D'
Aosta Official Tourism Website. 2014.
* ^ "Steak Valdaostan style" (in Italian). Consorzio Produttori e
Fontina DOP. Retrieved 2015-10-23.
* ^ "D.O.C. Wine". Valle D'