Aosta is the capital of the Valle d’Aosta region, in northwestern Italy. It is also the gateway to the Via Francigena in Italy.
The Romans founded the town in 25 BC at a crucial point where the main roads heading to France and Switzerland converge.
This post contains affiliate links that help keep this website running. By purchasing through our links, we make a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for your support!
First on the Aosta List: Mont Blanc
Also known in Italian as Monte Bianco “the White Mountain” it is the highest summit of Western Europe, on the border between France and Italy. The mountain can be approached from Chamonix in France and from Courmayeur in Italy.
When visiting, we were excited to use the Skyway and travel up to the top… 3,466 meters or 11,371 feet. It was beautiful and sunny at the bottom… and a different story when we reached the top.
Getting to the Top
The starting point of the cable car is Pontal, Courmayeur where there is the ticket office, parking, and a small coffee shop. This is at about 4,200 feet.
The first top is at Pavillon du Mont Fréty is at 7,200 feet which consists of a conference room, shopping, and a winery, Cave Mont Blanc.
The cable car then ascends to the altitude of 11,371 feet at its final destination, Punta Helbronner where you are immersed in the breathtaking landscape on a 360-degree panoramic terrace. From here you can enjoy surrounding peaks such as the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and the Gran Paradiso.
As you can imagine, Mont Blanc is very popular for outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, trail running, skiing, and snowboarding. The entire Aosta area itself has so much to offer. If you have a chance to stop for a few hours – it is so worth the trip.
Courmayeur is an Alpine resort at the foot of Mont Blanc in the Aosta Valley. The ski resort of Courmayeur has situated a distance of about 22 miles northwest of Aosta. Courmayeur is a charming town with a large number of hotels which are mainly used during the winter ski season. But don’t save your visit until then.
The beauty of this town can be enjoyed year-round. Courmayeur in the summer is a mix of breathtaking views, relaxation, paragliding, walking, rafting, and hiking, all in the sight of the majestic Mont Blanc.
In the winter, a variety of pistes are available for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Other outdoor activities available in the Aosta Valley are paragliding ice climbing, and dog sledding.
As a Bonus… Castle di Grinzane Cavour
Built around the middle of the 11th century on top of a hill, the Castello di Grinzane Cavour overlooks the stunning panorama of the Langa Hills. This castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato Vineyard Landscapes. Over the centuries, the castle has been owned by various noble Piedmontese families.
This area of Italy is a bit off the beaten path – but that doesn’t make it worth the trip. Although it was a bit cold for me at the top of Mount Blanc, it was worth bundling up for and experiencing. Our friend Jim even got to through a snowball at me, which I know pleased him greatly.
The countryside is enchanting. From Aosta, we traveled down to the Piedmont region. Visiting these two regions was very different from some parts of Italy we’ve experienced before. This was a great trip with friends that we will always cherish and remember.
Have you been to this region and what were your memories? Please share in the comments.