Saturday, 25 April 2015

The 100 castles Region ! The 10 most beautiful CASTLES of AOSTA VALLEY- 2-3 hours driving from Geneva

Last Saturday  I spent the afternoon in Aosta (1.5 hrs driving from Geneva) and as always after I pass through the Mont Blanc Tunnel ,at the exit of the tunnel, I 'm impressed by the beauty of the Valle D'Aosta (Aosta Valley) castles .
The Aosta Valley is known for the beauty of natural landscapes and for its the great ski resorts, however I'm sure that only few of you know that this Region is also very famous for its castles .
There are more than 100  castles in the Aosta Valley, scattered across the entire valley, they were built in different historical periods , most of them are very well preserved and can be visited , these are the perfect destinations for 1 or 2 days trip from Geneva in couple of with your kids, they will love exploring the castles!
Below you find a a map of the Aosta Valley and of it's most beautiful and famous castles. I have made a list of the 10 ones that I think it's worth visiting , however there are so many that you can just drive through and stop as you see one , visit it and then continue driving to the next one and so on..!


Here is my personal list of the  10 most beautiful castles of the valley:
1) Castle of FĂ©nis  # 1 in the map from the XIV Century, is probably the best known among the Aosta Valley castles, is one of the finest examples of military and civil architecture of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It has an austere appearance , in contrasts with the  elegant interiors.It hosts the Museum of ancient Furniture of the Aosta Valley

2) Castle of Issogne # 3 in the map ,was built in the XV century and it's famous for its garden ,for the wrought iron fountain, symbol of the family, and for its magnificent painted rooms.


3) The Castle of Verres # 4 in the map, it's located just opposite to Issogne one ; it was built between 1361 and 1390 at the top of a rock, it is the typical fortress of that period.

4) Castle de Sarriod de la Tour  # 7 in the map was built in the XV century by the Sarriod family and it  remained their property until the XX century, as many other castles of the Aosta Valley it is beautifully decorated inside, especially  the chapel  attached to it . It has a beautiful view of the Dora Baltea , the river that crosses the region

5) Castle of Aymavilles # 11 in the map it is the first castle that you see after exiting  the Mont Blanc Tunnel, it is a manor located on a hill ;the building has a rectangular plan, instead of the angles four cylindrical towers, which makes it a typical fairytale castle.It was built in the XII century but it has been extensively changed in the XVII century.

6) Castle of Sarre # 5 in the map , it's a beautiful castle that medieval origins but wa completely rebuilt in the XVIII century. In 1869 was bought by the Italian Royal Family of Savoy and became the King 's hunting residence. in the XX century it was sold to the Aosta Valley Region .

7) The Savoy Castle # 6 in the map it's a magnificent castle located in Gressoney-Saint-Jean, and is surrounded by woods and colors of an alpine rock garden. It was built in 1899 to be the summer residence of Queen Margherita of Savoy.

8) The Ussel Castle # 9 in the map in the area of Chatillon was built in the XIV century and it's the first example in the Aosta Valley of single block castle, in the followeing centuries used to be a prison and it has a beautiful floorpath, from which the visitor can admire the surrounding landscape.
9) the Castle of Bard # 2 in the map is probably my favorite  because it's has a fascinating history and because it is so big that it's visible from a very long distance when travelling across the Aosta Valley . It's origin are back from the XI Century, however it was destroyed rebuilt several times , the last one in the XIX century after having been destroyed by Napoleone, after he tried to conquer it and the assault lasted many weeks. Definitively worth visiting also for the breathtaking view of the valley.

10) The Castle Gamba # 8 in the map  is one of the most recent castles of the Aosta Valley ,having been built at the beginning of the XX century, however it should be visited for two main reasons : 1) it hosts a very important  modern art collection a various art exhibitions  and it is organized in a way to be family and children friendly 2) it is surrounded by a beautiful park with all type of tree including giant sequoia and other rare and ancient types of trees .


  1. Awesome! Going to Aosta this weekend and this post was a great find! Thank you.

  2. Hi Katie,
    thanks very much for your feedback! I'm delighted to hear that you found my post useful. I hope you enjoy Aosta Valley this week end.
    If you stop in Aosta I suggest you try the great pastry shops and if you want to eat in a very special , yet not expensive place, then you shouldn't miss the Maison Rosset in NUS , a little village 30 km south of Aosta .