The Valle d’Aosta is about as extreme as Italian winemaking gets. Wedged in Alpine northwestern Italy between Switzerland and France, the valley lies in the shadows of some of Europe’s tallest peaks: ice-capped Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. It is Italy’s smallest appellation, with a mere 750 acres of vineyards, and the highest, with vines climbing...

The Dolomites in Italy consist of a mountain range in the northern Alps. Eighteen peaks in all, which are located at an altitude of over 3,000 meters and that cover an area of 141,903 hectares. The mountains feature one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes with their vertical walls, long and deep valleys and sheer cliffs. While the Dolomites ar...

Is there such a thing as too much snow? The week I arrived in Champoluc, in Italy’s Valle d’Aosta, the whole village seemed to be buried. Trees resembled sticks of candyfloss, huge mounds hid cars that would take days to dig out, and the air itself was laced with a diaphanous glittery frost. Each morning a fresh set of hastily printed warning poste...

Italy is a magnificent place to visit, even if you’re looking to the heavens. This trip throughout the peninsula highlights some of its astronomical observatories that are open to the public and certainly where charming views can be enjoyed. Let’s start out with the Osservatorio astronomico della Valle d’Aosta (Astronomical Observatory of Valle Aos...

At the foot of the Alps, the tiny region of Valle d’Aosta is home to eleven mountain shrines, sanctuaries and hermitages. These small chapels are testament to centuries old Catholic practices based upon the local folk traditions. Penitent souls have made processions to these isolated locations for generations to give thanks for their prayers being...

First-time travelers to Italy may be surprised to find such a culinary diversity from region to region. Unlike your typical Italian restaurant in the States, Italian food has much more variety than spaghetti and meatballs or eggplant parmesan. Even though you can find Italian specialties like pizza and tortellini all over Italy, it is well worth sa...

When Daniele Treves came to the Roaring Fork Valley to work at the marble quarry, he didn’t expect to find a host of last names from his home back in the Aosta Valley of Northern Italy. He soon learned, however, that the majority of the early families to stake claims in the area were Italian, and many of those were Aostan. Even those unfamiliar wit...

Valle d’Aosta: “heaven for men, purgatory for women, hell for mules,” but certainly delicious for our palates! Among mountains and castles, up there, in the western-most corner of Italy, the smallest of regions, Valle d’Aosta, winks at us. Stern and strong, but so welcoming and soft, just like one of its most famous dishes, fonduta.  It is the only...

The great German writer of the Age of the Enlightenment, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, once said: “Europe was born on pilgrimage, and its language is Christianity”. That is very true, as European identity and its cultural heritage enjoyed its greatest rise in the Middle Ages, when the Via Francigena, together with the routes towards the Holy Land and San...

Courmayeur is rightly famous for its magnificent slopes, but there's more to this mountain resort than skiing. Travel writer Rachael Martin explores all this town at the foot of Italy's highest peak has to offer. Courmayeur is one of the best-known ski resorts in Valle d’Aosta, the Italian north-western region that borders Switzerland and France. I...