Aosta Valley


Aosta Valley
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About Aosta Valley

Aosta Valley (Italian: Valle d'Aosta [ˈvalle daˈɔsta] (official) or Val d'Aosta (normal); French: Vallée d'Aoste [vale dɔst] (official) or Val d'Aoste ( normal); Arpitan: Val d'Outa (as usual); Walser: Augschtalann or Ougstalland; Piemontese: Val d'Osta) is an autonomous mountainous region in north-western Italy. It borders Auvergne-Rhône-Alps, France, west, Valais, Switzerland, north and Piedmont, Italy, south and east. The regional capital is Aosta.

Covering an area of 3,263 km2 (1,260 square miles) and with a population of about 128,000 it is the smallest, least populated and least densely populated region in Italy. It is the only Italian region that is not 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 municipalities (French: municipalities).

Italian and French are the official languages, although the native population also speaks Valdôtain, a dialect of Arpitan (Franco-Provençal); 50.53% of the population speaks all three languages.


Valle d'Aosta is an alpine valley which with its tributary valleys includes the Italian slopes of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the Matterhorn; its highest peak is Mont Blanc (4,810 m or 15,780 feet). This makes it the highest region in Italy by list of Italian regions by highest point.


The valleys, usually above 1,600 meters (5,200 feet), have a cold continental climate annually (Dfc). In this climate, the snow season is very long, up to 8 or 9 months at the highest points. During the summer, fog occurs almost every day. These areas are the most humid 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 city of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame, which could be the coldest city in the western Alps and where the average winter temperature is around -7 ° C (19 ° F). [Citation needed]

Areas between 2,000 and 3,500 meters (6,600 and 11,500 feet) usually have a tundra (ET) climate, where each month has an average temperature below 10 ° C (50 ° F). This climate can 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 average winter level. Average temperatures in Plateau Rosa, at 3,400 meters (11,200 feet) high, are -11.6 ° C (11.1 ° F) in January and 1.4 ° C (34.5 ° F) in July. It is the coldest place in Italy where the climate is verifiable.

In the past, above 3,500 meters (11,500 feet), all months had an average temperature below zero, with a climate of perpetual frost (EF). In recent years there has been an increase in temperatures. See as an example the data for Plateau Rosa.

Mont Blanc

Blue Lake and the Matterhorn

Mount Castor


The first inhabitants of the Aosta Valley were Celts and Binders, whose linguistic heritage remains in some names of local places. Rome conquered the region from the local Salassi around 25 B.C. and founded Augusta Prætoria Salassorum (modern Aosta) to secure strategic mountain passes, and they continued to build bridges and roads across the mountains. Therefore, the name Valle d'Aosta literally means "Valle di Augusto".

In 1031-1032, Umberto I of Savoy, the founder of Savoy, received the title of count of Aosta from the emperor Corrado II of the Franconia line and a dominant fortification was built in Bard. Sant'Anselmo di Canterbury was born in Aosta in 1033 or 1034. The region was divided between heavily fortified castles and in 1191, Thomas I of Savoy found it necessary to grant municipalities a Charte des franchising ("Charter of Freedoms") which preserved autonomy - rights which were fiercely defended until 1770, when they were revoked in order to more closely link Aosta to Piedmont, but which were again requested in the post-Napoleonic era. In the mid-thirteenth century, Emperor Frederick II transformed the county of Aosta into a duchy (see Duke of Aosta), and his weapons loaded with a rampant lion were transported among the arms of the Savoy until the reunification of Italy in 1870.

The region remained part of the Savoy lands, with the exception of the French occupations from 1539 to 1563, later in 1691, then between 1704 and 1706. It was also ruled by the first French empire between 1800 and 1814. During French rule , was part of the Aoste arrondissement in the Doire department. As part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, it joined the new Kingdom of Italy in 1861.

Source: Wikipedia
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