A winter dream called Aosta and its valley

Aosta Valley is the smallest region in Italy; in its northwest, it is located between France and Switzerland.

The capital of the Valle d’Aosta region , has more than thirty-four thousand inhabitants. It is located in a large basin of Baltea tributary of the latter, the Buthier.The valley is surrounded by the mountains of  Punta Chaligne , Becca Viou and Emilius.

At its heart are its  peaks (the region is made of mostly mountains). Here we can find the highest peaks in the Alps: CervinoMonte RosaGran Paradiso and the king of them all, Mont Blanc, which at 15,781 feet is the highest mountain in Europe, the roof of the old Continent.
Those who are not happy with climbing can certainly use the comfortable, yet exciting, cable car; catch it just a few miles from Courmayeur, one of the most important ski resorts in the world.
In this setting of high  mountains and diverse valleys sits the oldest National Park, the Gran Paradiso, where it is still possible to see wildlife and animals in their natural habitat. Prepare yourself for hrilling encounter with the  ibex, chamois, eagles and marmots. They all live in vegetation that changes according to the surrounding environment and seasons.
Historically, the Aosta Valley is a land of contact between Italy and France; such element is also reflected in the region’s official bilingualism and its special status as autonomous region. Aosta has always been a strategic hub passage between the Alps today thanks to the Mont Blanc and the Great St. Bernard, once through the Alpine passes, was the passage way between the North and the South, and stage of the Via Francigena. This region also offers amazing natural attractions, as well as other cultural and traditional treasures lie in its cousine.

The only province of the region is Aosta (regional capital). When we think about the Aosta Valley, we immediately think of the ski resorts of Cervinia, Courmayeur and Pila, very famous all over Europe as the destinations for anyone who loves winter sports.
Along the valley that goes from Pont Saint Martin to Courmayeur,  There are evidence of the region’s rich feudal history, and offer visitors the opportunity to follow an incredibly and interesting route. You can count 82 houses that stand on the valley, including primitive buildings and fortress, residences and watchtowers.

The most famous castle in the Aosta Valley is called the Castello di Fénis, which off a collection offers a collction of the best defence techniques of the feudal time; its refined interiors shows the wealth of its former occupants. Other beautiful castles are the Castle of Issogne, Sarriod de la Tour, SarreSaint-Pierre, and Ussel.
The road dotted by the aforementioned fotresses leads to Aosta, a mix of Roman and Medieval history, enriched by peculiar traditions.

Roman Aosta
Augusta Praetoria, Rome of the Alps, was founded in 25 BC Emperor Augustus, who defeated and subjugated the indigenous population  of the Salassians.
The city still proudly displays the many testimonies of great value left by the Romans, such as the Theatre and the Amphitheatre. In the first structure survives a massive 20 meter high facade and a width of about 80, which stands picturesquely against a bunch of snowy peaks. The two buildings were connected by a corridor, then incorporated in 1200 from the convent of Santa Caterina. The Arch of Augustus was built instead to celebrate their victory over the Salassians. The majestic Porta Pretoria is one of the best preserved city gates of the imperial era.

The Collegiate Church of Saint Orso is one of the greatest artistic religious in the Alps. It was built on the remains of an early Christian church where he had taken refuge Orso, evangelist enemy of the Arian heresy of Irish descent, who took charge of a popular uprising against the heretical bishop Ploceano. The most important Romanesque building of the year one thousand, was enriched by a magnificent fifteenth-century priory built by George of Challant, fine humanist.
The church boasts extraordinary artistic as a cycle of frescoes in the year one thousand, a cloister decorated with classic fancy capitals of medieval flavor, the most significant era, mosaics and a chorus, the work of a French artist in flamboyant style, really sumptuous this style represents the evolution of the Gothic style in the late fifteenth-century France, interpreted by floral and stylistic virtuosity of great imaginative power.

Aosta: an esoteric location

In the collegiate church of Saint Orso is a mosaic with a strange version of the Magic Square, also known as Sator Square or laterculus Pompeii, as it was in the excavations of Pompeii that this symbol is found for the first time. But what is it? Of a square with the Latin words which give origin to a palindrome, or phrases that read in one way or another are read in the same way (for example, read from right to left or vice versa the word tenet). This esoteric symbol is found throughout Europe in various abbeys and palaces … but what does this mean? To date, no scholar seems to have a definite answer. The phrases can be anagrammate giving rise to the Christian meanings, but also Satanists, or simply Deists or Masonic. The Christian argument still seems the most likely, but the peculiarity of this mosaic Aosta is that it is the only version of Sator, not square, but in the circle! Of course, faith is a prerequisite of interpretation here, which requires a knowledge, rational, must be based on faith. Similarly the philosopher Aosta must be many thoughts on the subject of the so-called ontological proof of God’s existence, which will trigger debate on the subject until Leibniz and Kant.

Medieval Aosta

Of particular interest are the many city towers, all of them born as accretions of Roman ramparts. The tower Bramafam bears a name Franco-Provençal, meaning “cry for hunger,” because down there they gathered the poor during the famine to request the pieces of bread to the nobles.

Chanoux Square, the heart of Aosta, is named after the martyr of the resistance of Valle d’Aosta, Emile Chanoux, partisan and fine lawyer, advocate of the thesis regionalist who made the Valle d’Aosta – historically, culturally, and linguistically a land very close to France a region Special Statute; and the only one in Italy where there is the establishment of provinces, whose functions are performed directly by the municipalities.
The seasonal winter fair that takes place every year in Aosta at the end of January is dedicated to St. Orso as well. Thousands of tourists flock into the decorated streets of the old town, which shows off the oldest crafts of Aosta Valley, from sculpture to wood, wrought iron to hot stone, leather, wool fabrics and lace, and games and masks.


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