After our time in Switzerland, we went to Italy. How did we get there ? We drove through the Mont Blanc Tunnel , under the Mont Blanc mountain in the Alps . It links Chamonix, Haute-Savoie, France with Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy. The passageway is one of the major trans-Alpine transport routes. The tunnel passes almost exactly under the summit of the Aiguille du Midi. At this spot, it lies 2480m beneath the surface, making it the world’s second deepest operational tunnel after the Gotthard Base Tunnel, which is slightly deeper. The tunnel is 11,611 km.
The Valley is rich in history. We can see many castles (as you see on this postcard) along the highway. We did not have enough time to visit them. But we went for lunch in Aosta. I had delicious pasta !
We visited the Parco Nazionale Gran Paradiso. This Park was the first national park to be established in Italy. It includes a large territory of high mountains, from the 800 meters of the valley bottoms to the 4,061 meters of Gran Paradiso peak. Larch and fir woodlands, wide alpine grasslands, rocks, and glaciers make up an ideal setting for the life of a rich and various wildlife and for a visit leading to the discovery of the wonderful world of the high mountains.
We stayed in a B & B in the small village of Dégioz. It was very quiet as the touristic season was almost finished. From our deck, we had a nice view on the village and the mountains.
Here is a typical house from this village.
And older man and his dog were guarding the cows.
We also visited Cogne. Cogne is located in the valley with the same name along a stream known as the Torrent Grand Eyvia. It is the largest municipality in the Aosta Valley . Cogne is 140 kilometres (87 mi) from Turin , 160 kilometres (99 mi) from Geneva and 26.5 kilometres (16.5 mi) from Aosta We had lunch outside. We enjoyed majestic view on the mountains. A large meadow, known as the St Ursus Meadow is located at the southern edge of the town center; the municipal statute forbids any construction works on this meadow, which has received recognition as a “Wonder of Italy”.
Cogne is an international center of cross country skiing with 70 kilometres (43 mi) of trails. There are also 9 kilometres (6 mi) of downhill runs, many walks on the snow and more than 140 icefalls.
In the Valley of Aosta, Italian and French are the official languages, though much of the native population also speaks Valdôtain, a dialect of Franco-Provençal, as their home language; about half of the population can speak all three languages. In Aosta, Dégioz (Valsavarenche) and Cogne, we were served at the restaurant in French.
This is a wonderful paradise where nature is at its best. It seems you can live without hurry to the next activity. What a nice time we had over there with some friends. In my next post, I will share about other parts of our travel in Europe.
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