The Aosta Valley is a region known for its snow-covered valleys, its flavorful cuisine and its breathtaking scenery. Less well known is its story and the events that affected its settlements and that led, over the centuries, to its being enriched by buildings and fortifications and of course castles. Let’s see the ones that are worth visiting.
Saint-Pierre Castle in spring – Aosta Valley
The writer Giuseppe Giacosa, playwright and librettist, counted as many as 72 at the beginning of the century. Leaving that calculation aside, castles have undergone a transformation from a mere defensive function to the more ostentatious structures, ie functional, to convey a character of power and wealth of the owner or of the person who lived there. Among the most interesting castles to visit, the most famous is surely Fenis: the medieval manor, solemn and impressive is admired by millions of tourists every year. It is also known for its spectacular architecture, its crenellated walls and its many towers.
Fenis castle at night
Another castle that you can’t miss in your visit is certainly Issogne. The geographic location in which it is located is strategic: nestled in the valley, has Baltea on its side, which separates it from Verres Castle and that makes it a solemn counterpoint. The Issonge castle has typical Renaissance architecture and it’s well worth a visit, especially in its inner courtyard: the beautiful fountain in the form of a pomegranate tree and its porch decorated with remarkable paintings that return a typical alpine-medieval scenes of everyday life of the 1300s. Opposite to it stands the Castle of Verres: a smaller one, with no mere decorative elements since it had a defensive function and is a typical and rare example of an architectural block, a cube-shaped building, about 30 feet per side , made in a single and stately block.
To complete your visit, check Savoy Castle, a nineteenth century villa in neo-Gothic style, built at the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century on the desire of Queen Margaret, who loved spending her summer vacation in the Valle d’Aosta. The castle was designed by the architect Emilio Stramucci and its highlight is the grand staircase of the ground floor: an impressive work of art that leads to the upper floors, from which you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Monte Rosa and admire the beautiful botanical gardens that surround the castle itself.
Aosta Valley castle photos by: visit aosta, diego santi, stefano trucco
For more on castles check: Wake up in a real castle, Castles & Legends from Amsterdam to Basel, Top castles – hotels around Europe
By +Nikos Kontorigas