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Aostavalley Panorama The Aosta Valley (Italian: Valle d'Aosta, French: Vallée d'Aoste, Arpitan: Val d'Outa) is a mountainous Region in north-western Italy. It is bordered by France to the west, Switzerland to the north and the region of Piedmont to the south and east.

With an area of 3,263 km² and a population of about 120,000, it is the smallest, least populous, and least densely populated region of Italy. It is the only italian region which has no provinces (provincial administrative functions are provided by the regional government), and is divided into 74 comunes (Italian: comuni), see Comunes of the Aosta Valley.

The Aosta Valley is an Alpine valley that with its side valleys includes the Italian slopes of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn; its highest peak is the Mont Blanc.

<a class="linkInt" href="http://www.italy-italy-hotels.com/19-Aosta-Valley.php" title="Internal link - Link Interno" target="_parent"><b>Aostavalley</b></a> ViewThe first inhabitants of the Aosta Valley were Celts and Ligurians, whose language lingers in some local placenames. Rome conquered the region from the local Salassi ca. 25 BC and founded Augusta Praetoria (Aosta) to secure the strategic mountain passes, which they improved with bridges and roads. After Rome the high valley preserved traditions of autonomy, reinforced by its seasonal isolation, though it was loosely held in turns by the Goths and the Lombards, then by the Burgundian kings in the 5th century, followed by the Franks, who overran the Burgundian kingdom in 534. At the division among the heirs of Charlemagne in 870, the Aosta Valley formed part of the Lotharingian Kingdom of Italy, in a second partition a decade later, it formed part of the Kingdom of Upper Burgundy, which was joined to the Kingdom of Arles — all doubtless without many significant corresponding changes in the personnel of the virtually independent fiefs in the Valle d'Aosta.

In 1031-1032 Umberto Biancamano, the founder of the house of Savoy, received the title count of Aosta from the Emperor Conrad II of the Franconian line and built himself a commanding fortification at Bard. Saint 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 Carta delle Franchigie ("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 the Piedmont, but which kept re-surfacing during post-Napoleonic times. Under Mussolini, a forced programme of "Italianization", including population transfers of Valdostans into Piedmont and Italian-speaking workers into Aosta, fostered movements towards separatism; Aosta was regranted its autonomy in 1948. 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 Savoia arms until the reunification of Italy, 1870. The region remained part of Savoy lands, with the exception of a French occupation from 1539 to 1563.

During the Middle Ages the region remained strongly feudal, and castles, such as those of the Challant family in the Valley of Gressoney, still dot the landscape. In the 12th and 13th centuries, German-speaking Walser communities were established in the Gressoney, and some communes retain their separate Walser identity even today.

Valle d'Aosta was established as an autonomous region of Italy in 1948.



Part of the information regarding the history, the art, the traditions and the events about the city of Aostavalley on this page is drawn from www.wikipedia.org respecting the GNU Free Documentation License.