The region Val D’Aosta, full of twisting roads, protected by the shadow of many peaks, is a land rich of natural and artistic beauties and unique tastes to discover on motorbike.
Our motorbike tour starts in Ivrea, easily accessible through the highway from Milan and Turin, and there we take the statal road SS26 of Valle D’Aosta. The road follows the river Dora Baltea, very gently (maybe too much gently), crossing many little comuni. We have to explore this land first and then we can enjoy the bends of the Pass we are goin to visit.
Castles in Val D’Aosta
Issogne Castle is one of the most famous in Valle d’Aosta. It’s located in Issogne (in La place), on the right side of river Dora Baltea, and from the outside it would seem almost bare and devoid of defences, being the opposite of the Verrès Castle, on the other side of the river. A must see place is the inner courtyard with the famous wrought-iron pomegranate fountain and its porch, decorated with a series of frescoes that picture scenes of daily life in the late Medieval era. Foto castello Issogne Di Pat.vvf – Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0
Verrès Castle is one of the most impressive buildings from the Middle Ages in the entire Valle d’Aosta. Built as a military fortress by Yblet de Challant in the fourteenth century, it was one of the first examples of a castle constructed as a single structure rather than as a series of buildings enclosed in a circuit wall. The castle dominates the town of Verrès and the access to the Val d’Ayas. From the outside it looks like an austere cube, thirty metres long on each side and practically free of decorative elements. Foto castello Verres: di Vincenzo venditti Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0
After almost 27km, there is Fénis Castle. It has a pentagonal layout; the corners have round towers, with the exception of the south-west corner, which has a massive tower and the southern corner with a square-plan tower. It’s one of the major tourist attractions of the region because is well preserved and, despite its impressive defensive structure, is situated at the top of a small knoll and not of a promontory or another inaccessible and easily defensible place. Foto castello Fenis: di Alessandro Borgogno, Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0
The thermal baths of Pré St.Didier and the twists of the Pass of Piccolo San Bernardo
Approaching La Thuile, you can relax in the hot and amazing waters at Terme di Pré St. Didier, for a remise en forme and for a right prevention (especially for motorbikers, neck and back). Foto Pre Saint Didier Terme: di Ssire, Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0
If you don’t avoid the bends and the adventures, from La Thuile starts the road heading to the Pass of Piccolo San Bernardo. It’s a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.188m above the sea level, where the Hospice of Piccolo San Bernardo stands out. From the border with France we suggest to enjoy the beautiful landcapes till La Rosière to reach the well known Val D’Isère.
Taste Ristorante Emma in Pré St. Didier, where the traditional tastes will surprise you thanks to the Chef Giuliano Lodi.
For info of Castles of Valle D’Aosta click here www.lovevda.it/it/cultura/castelli
For info of thermal baths www.qcterme.com