Explore the Alps and manicured city center in this bilingual town prized for quality of life
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Aosta: High Altitude, High Quality of Life
Breathe in the fresh air in this quaint, bilingual town that hugs the French border
What’s There to See & Why’s the Quality of Life High?
A trip to Aosta is a sure way to refresh anyone’s batteries. The town is the largest in the Valle d’Aosta and consistently ranks high on Italy’s Quality of Life rankings, for good reason.
Aosta is the type of town that’s small enough to know your neighbors and the owners of the cafes (called ‘bars’ in Italy) by name.
Nonetheless, Aosta gets enough tourism from Turin and neighboring France and Switzerland (in fact, this is a bilingual region in Italy with French being spoken in addition to Italian) as well as Germany, that you still see some fresh faces.
One of the biggest attractions in Aosta is winter sports, of course. Whether you want to ski, snowboard, or sled there are all types of tracks for you to try — from beginner to advanced. On top of skiing and snowboarding, you can also hike your way up to the summit of Mont Blanc — the tallest mountain in the Alps.
When you’re sore from shredding powder all day, you can take a break in the historic city center and explore ruins that date back to Neolithic times in the Saint-Martin-de-Corléans Megalithic area. Aosta, like Susa and Bardonecchia, was inhabited by the Salassi (a pre-Roman Celtic tribe that inhabited the lands).
After the Romans moved in and sold or enslaved the Salassi, they built the city in classic Roman style — including an amphitheater built during Augustus’s reign.
How to Get There
You can reach Aosta by train, bus or BlaBla car. It’s usually a 10 euro ride one way and requires a change in Ivrea if you decide to go by train. Consult Omio for your best travel options.
The total time to travel one way should be just over 2 hours. However, I highly recommend taking a BlaBla car if you’re a budget traveler like me. Just be sure to check for trips a few days in advance and be flexible.
FlixBus operates a service from Turin to Aosta for 8 euro (and only 1.5 hours) but the route only runs a couple of times per day.
Read my book “Taste Torino” for more on Turin and charming Northern Italy
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