My Grand Entrance.
Aosta in the Italian Alps is one of my favourite discoveries – at least ever since my slightly embarrassing arrival on my first visit. Setting a GPS to locate the centre of town is great in theory. However on this occasion the final series of turns leading to the town centre funneled me into a large square. This area appeared as if it may have been off limits anytime for public vehicles. On my chosen day even moreso, since the square was filled with thousands of people celebrating a festival.
As the crowds parted for the slow passage of my hire vehicle my then partner (now my wife) slunk down into the passenger seat hurling a few choice words my way. I waved and mouthed hundreds of “sorrys” to the faces almost pressed against the car window whilst looking for an exit point. After an excruciatingly slow journey to the far side of the square it was apparent the exits there were blocked for the festival. So we turned around and did it all again. More “sorry’s” and more choice words from my partner, crawling through the crowds to find the road where we first entered.
Eventually we settled into our hotel, another one of my less than successful examples of last minute accommodation searches. We chose a hotel right next to a church bell tower which on the following morning provided a rather early wake up call.
What is to Love About Aosta?
Many, many things. Nestled below some awe inspiring snow capped Alps, Aosta has a great history of Roman occupation. Thus it is complete with remains of a Roman outer wall, amphitheater, Augustus’s archway and a timber walkway snaking through ruins of other structures.
Our first walk through the main street, Via Porta Pretoria, in the old town revealed a great selection of shops, restaurants, wine & cheese sellers. I suppose all of the usual things found in old Italian towns. Yet it is the character of Aosta and its setting among the Alps which is possibly the most striking. Having not researched this town prior to arrival it was certainly a pleasant surprise.
We first attended in about May with 20 degrees Celsius comfortable with the sun shining. We have since returned to Aosta again in May with even warmer days also with brilliant sunshine. We stayed at HB Aosta Hotel this time which was a modern, even trendy hotel.
Cost of meals and drinks is perhaps 20-30% less than the more major tourist areas in Italy. Accommodation is cheap by Australian city standards. May pricing was $150 per night for a small but great room.
A short drive to the Mont Blanc tunnel is then the gateway to France.
Anyway, I do not propose to be a travel writer as such. Yet I will continue to post some travel destinations for anyone who is interested.
Let the below photos speak for themselves. Apologies for the “fish eye” lens as I only had my Gopro with me on this most recent visit.