Territory - History
Hotels Aosta Valley
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Territory - The Aosta Valley is the Smallest (3262 sq.km) and least populated Italian region, a mountain territory lying in the heart of the Alps, an ideal bridge between the Mediterranean and the centre of Europe. Furrowed by the Dora Baltea river and surrounded by the highest peaks in Europe, divided into thirteen lateral valleys shaped by old glaciers, some of them still existing, it offers natural environments of breathtaking beauty, rich in artistic and historic remains. Since 1970, the motor-way Turin-Aosta covers the long passage from Pont-Saint-Martin to the chief-town. Two freeways branch off from here and connect Aosta to Courmayeur and to Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses. Comfortable and easy the motor-way Aosta-Morgex to reach France; and for Switzerland the new freeway directly connects the motor-way to the valley of Buthier.
The history and economy of the Aosta Valley have always been influenced by the role of the Great St.Bernard (2472 m) and Little St.Bernard (2188) Passes, strategically controlled by the town of Aosta. Frequented since 3000 B.C., inhabited by Ligurian and Celtic people, its first local population was the "Salassi", who settled there in the 2nd cent. B.C. The Romans, attracted by the strategic location of the region - a crossroad to Gaul and Germany - occupied it. The "Salassi" resisted and fought, but were finally defeated by the Romans in the 1st century B.C. The Romans then founded Augusta Praetoria in 25 B.C., a "castrum" that at that time was the most populated in the Alps. In the 5th cent. Burgundians, Goths and Byzantines struggled for possession, but the control of the region fell into the hands of the Franks in 575. The Franks were replaced by the Carolingians, and, after their decline, by many feudal authorities, whose autonomy was assured by the presence of the castles and fortresses. Since the 11th cent. the Savoy Family, too, claimed feudal rights on the valley: in 1032 Umberto Biancamano became Count of Aosta, sharing the title with the Bishop. In 1191 Thomas of Savoy granted the Valley the "Carta Magna" of franchises and rights, which confirmed its administrative and political autonomy. It was in force up to the eve of the French Revolution. In 1416 the Valley became a dukedom with its own political government and its own laws issued by the Assembly of the General States, convened every two years. In 1536 the Assembly set up the "Conseil des Commis", a sort of executive body composed of 24 members. Napoleon crossed the Great St-Bernard Pass in 1800 with his army and took the Bard Fort by storm, before penetrating the Po Valley towards Marengo. With the constitution of the Kingdom of Italy, the question of autonomy was proposed on many different occasions; this old aspiration culminated first with the decree of 7th November 1945 and, eventually, with the Special Statute of 26th February 1948 which has granted the region a particular legislative and administrative autonomy, as well as some fiscal and economic advantages.
In Aosta Valley you may choose your accommodation solution from: hotels, farm holiday, farmhouse, residence self-catering accommodation, b&b, rooms for rent, holiday homes, camp sites, mountain chalets and tourist villages ready to satisfy your every requirement.