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Valle d’Aosta

http://www.touritalynow.com/italy_information/italy_information_regions/images/italia_regions_aosta.jpg Major Cities: Aosta Courmayeur Cervinia A mountainous region in the northwestern part of the country, Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta) is bordered by both France and Switzerland and is the smallest, least populated region of Italy’s 20 autonomous regions. Covering about 1,200 square miles, the area is home to about 120,000 residents, most of whom speak something other than Italian.

This Alpine valley has several different climatic zones ranging from an oceanic climate in some of the major cities like Aosta and Saint-Vincent to a severe cold continental climate with long, snowy seasons in the valleys that sit above 5,000 feet. Several other diverse weather zones are wedged in between.

While many of the inhabitants of Aosta Valley work as farmers or in other agricultural industries such as cheese making, others are involved with the metal-working industry. Tourism also contributes greatly to the economy as Valle d’Aosta is a winter sports paradise, providing locations like Courmayeur, at the foot of Mont Blanc, and Cervinia, at the foot of the famed Matterhorn, both stellar locations for skiing and other snow-related pursuits.

For a little archaeological sightseeing, head to the principal city of Aosta, an ancient town where the protective walls have been preserved almost in their entirety. Several of the original towers are in almost pristine condition and there’s also a beautiful 11th century cathedral to explore as well as an exhibition site that was once home to Saint-Benin College, founded by the Benedictines in the year 1000 AD. Aosta also has an airport to accommodate those coming to the Valle d’Aosta region to ski or sightsee.

www.regione.vda.it