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The Valle d'Aosta and its castles

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The Valle d'Aosta is an autonomous region with special status in the North-West Italy; is the smallest and the less populous region of Italy but, in its territory, hosts a wide variety of aspects that make it a very popular destination. In its territory we find the "Giganti delle Alpi", the Mont Blanc (4,810 m), a big mountain consisting of ancient granite rocks and second in Europe only to the Elbrus, Caucasus; Monte Cervino (4,488 m), with its characteristic pyramid shape; the Monte Rosa (4,634 m), the second mountain of the Alps for height; and Gran Paradiso (4,061 m), the only "4,000", entirely included in the Italian territory, within the homonymous park that lies between the Valle d'Aosta and Piedmont, set up to preserve trees and some endangered animal species such as ibex, chamois, gophers and ermines. In addition, churches, castles, Roman monuments, and faith routes along the Via Francigena, enrich this italian region where the traditional culture uses more than one derivation, as evidenced by bilingualism (Italian -French) which is part of regional history and the use of numerous dialects of German origin such as titsch and toitschu. Forced passage to the alpine valleys, Valle d'Aosta has 72 castles (including castles, "casaforti" and "dongioni") along the main valley, not including the small valleys. Historically the castles were subject to an evolution. First they had a purely defensive function, fortresses built in particularly strategic positions already in the pre-Roman period, others in recent times, witness a past of wars, rich patrons and ambitious noble families. At the same the castles started to have also a residential function, they were used in order to show the power and wealth of the owner: this was the purpose of the castle of Fénis and the castle of Issogne. Castles with breathtaking views, roads, footpaths or horsetrails.

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The author

Eleonora Ruzzenenti

Eleonora Ruzzenenti

I am Eleonora, from Italy. I share with you a frenetic passion for travelling and an insatiable curiosity for different cultures. On itinari, you will find my stories about Italy.

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