The Valle d’Aosta is a small Italian region in the Western Alps, squeezed between Piedmond, Switzerland, and France. It is famous for the Mont Blanc and Matterhorn peaks, ski resorts, and the landscape dotted with medieval castles and fortresses.
But don’t write the Aosta Valley off outside of the winter season. It’s a great — and fresh! — place for escaping the oppressive summer heat in Milan or Turin. Unlike the usual suggestions here, however, you do need a car for this one. It’s an easy drive for a day-trip but trains won’t take you to these specific locations.
If you want to visit several castles, you’d do well to make an early start of the day. But my suggestion here is laid-back, with a delicious and slow lunch, followed by a visit to one medieval castle. Take your time and enjoy the food and history! ????
- start/end-point: Piedmont, Lombardy, southwest Switzerland or southeast France
- by car
- Medieval Castles
Trattoria Omens, Verrès
We found this restaurant in the Osterie d’Italia, the guide published every year by the Slow Food Foundation. We have never been disappointed with their suggestions, so if choose to try others, make sure it’s a worthy alternative.
This a mountain restaurant, cozy and with super friendly service, surrounded by greens, but not luxurious. We chose the Menù Fisso Valdostano, with three antipasti, first and second course, and dessert. The polenta is a regional specialty and worth all the calories!
After lunch, you can relax for a bit on the garden before picking up the car to continue on your journey.
CASTELLO DI FÉNIS
From the trattoria, it’s only a half-hour drive to Fénis Castle. This is one of the most famous and well-preserved castles in the region. It was first mentioned in 1242 but the actual appearance built between 1320-1420.
- Opening times
- April to September: daily, 9am to 7pm;
- October to March: daily, except Mondays, 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm.
Tickets cost €7 and the guided tour lasts for approx. 30 minutes.
You should be back in Milan in time for an aperitivo in the city and finish off the day on the highest note.
If you’ve never been, I hope this post has inspired you to plan a day-trip to picturesque Aosta Valley. ????
If you’ve already been, how did you find it? What was your favorite part? Any other tips?
Comment below and let me know!