Aosta Valley

Italian mountainous semi-autonomous region in the North-West
(Redirected from Valle d'Aosta)

Valle d'Aosta (Val d'Aosta or Val d'Aoste) is a mountainous region in the northwest. In the English language it is usually called the Aosta Valley.

Aosta Valley
Valle d'Aosta - Vallée d'Aoste
Flag of Aosta Valley
Coat of arms of Aosta Valley
 • PresidentAugusto Rollandin (Valdotanian Union)
 • Total3,260.90 km2 (1,259.04 sq mi)
 (1 January 2017)[1]
 • Total126,883
 • Density39/km2 (100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
GDP/ Nominal€4.3[2] billion (2010)
GDP per capita€30,300[3] (2008)
NUTS RegionITC (Northwestern Italy)

The region has two official name: Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta (in Italian) and Région Autonome Vallée d'Aoste (in French). The capital is Aosta.

The valley goes up towards Mont Blanc. It is the route out of Italy to the North-West. It was used by Roman armies, and the proof is in the archaeological artefacts found in Aosta. The town has been both French and Italian over the past few centuries, and the street names in Aosta are in both languages.

It is the smallest region in Italy, with an area of 3,260.9 km2 (1,259.0 sq mi),[4] and a population of about 126,883.[1] It is the only Italian region which has no provinces. The regional government has taken all the administrative functions of a province.[5] The region is divided into 74 comuni.



Its frontier to the north is with Switzerland (Canton Valais), to the west with France (region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), to the south and east with the Italian region of Piedmont.



The Valle d'Aosta is a small valley, the valley of the Dora Baltea river, with some smaller side valleys. It is in the middle of the Alps, surrounded by four of the tallest mountains throughout Italy and Europe:[6]

  1. Mont Blanc; height: 4,810 m (15,781 ft) (45°50′01″N 6°51′54″E / 45.83361°N 6.86500°E / 45.83361; 6.86500 (Mont Blanc)), the highest mountain in the Alps.
  2. Matterhorn (German), Monte Cervino (Italian) or Mont Cervin (French); height: 4,478 m (14,692 ft) (45°58′35″N 7°39′30″E / 45.97639°N 7.65833°E / 45.97639; 7.65833 (Matterhorn))
  3. Monte Rosa; height: 4,634 m (15,203 ft) (45°56′12.6″N 7°52′01.4″E / 45.936833°N 7.867056°E / 45.936833; 7.867056 (Monte Rosa Massif)), the second highest mountain in the Alps.
  4. Gran Paradiso; height: 4,061 m (13,323 ft) (45°32′0″N 7°16′0″E / 45.53333°N 7.26667°E / 45.53333; 7.26667 (Gran Paradiso)).

In the Valle d'Aosta, a region with many mountains and close to the borders with other countries, the mountain passes are very important. Even though now there some tunnels, the passes are important. They add a historical and geographical perspective which is important to tourism and tradition.

The main mountain passes between the Val d'Aosta and other valleys are:

  • The Little St Bernard Pass (French: Col du Petit Saint-Bernard; Italian: Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo), between Savoie, France and the Valle d'Aosta;
  • The Great St Bernard Pass (French: Col du Grand Saint-Bernard; Italian: Colle del Gran San Bernardo), between Valais, Switzerland and the Valle d'Aosta;.

The southern part of the territory is occupied by the Gran Paradiso National Park, created in 1922 to protect plants and animals in danger of extinction.

The valleys were made by glaciers moving at a time when the entire region was covered by them. Currently, glaciers occupy only the highest peaks.

The Dora Baltea (French: Doire Baltée) river flows along the whole Valle d'Aosta, from the northwest to the southeast; it is 160 km (99 mi) long and is a tributary of the Po river.

Mountain communities

Map of Valle d'Aosta (in French).

The 74 comuni - with the exception of Aosta - of the Valle d'Aosta are organized in mountain communities (Italian: Comunità montane, French: Communautés de montagne). There are eight mountain communities:[7]

Mountain Community Capital Comuni
Evançon Verrès  9
Grand Combin Gignod 11
Grand Paradis Villeneuve 13
Mont Emilius Quart 10
Mont Rose Pont-Saint-Martin  9
Monte Cervino Châtillon 12
Valdigne Mont Blanc La Salle  5
Walser - Alta Valle del Lys Issime  4

Comuni with higher populations


The 10 comuni of the Valle d'Aosta with the higher populations (January 2017) are:

No. City Population[1]
1 Aosta 34,361 21.39 1,606.4 583
2 Sarre 4,887 28.28 172.8 625
3 Châtillon 4,753 39.68 119.8 549
4 Saint-Vincent 4,620 20.57 224.6 575
5 Quart 4,061 62.05 65.4 535
6 Pont-Saint-Martin 3,833 6.92 553.9 345
7 Saint-Christophe 3,441 14.74 233.4 619
8 Gressan 3,398 25.30 134.3 626
9 Saint-Pierre 3,191 26.18 121.9 676
10 Nus 2,979 57.36 51.9 529



A person from the Valle d'Aosta is called a Valdotian (Italian: Valdostano/a, French: Valdôtain).



The total population of Valle d'Aosta on 1 January 2017 was 126,883, of which 61,976 were male and 64,907 were female.[1]

Evolution of the population in the Aosta Valley



Italian and French are the region's official languages[9] and are used for the regional government's acts and laws, though Italian is much more widely spoken in everyday life. Of the population of the valley 96% speaks Italian as either a first or second language. Of the population 70% speaks French as either first or second language.[10] School education is given equally in both Italian and French.[9]

The regional language is a dialect of Franco-Provençal called Valdôtain (locally, patois). It is spoken as native tongue and as second language by about 58% of the population, according to a poll taken by the Fondation Émile Chanoux in 2002. The residents of the villages of Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Gressoney-La-Trinité and Issime, in the Lys Valley, speak two dialects of Walser German origin called Titsch and Töitschu respectively.[10]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Statistiche demografiche ISTAT" (in Italian). Archived from the original on 3 January 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  2. "Eurostat - Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  3. EUROPA - Press Releases - Regional GDP per inhabitant in 2008 GDP per inhabitant ranged from 28% of the EU27 average in Severozapaden in Bulgaria to 343% in Inner London
  4. "Regione Valle d'Aosta /Vallée d'Aoste" (in Italian). Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  6. "Giants of the Alps". Valle d'Aosta official tourism website. 5 October 2012. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  7. "Comunità montane" (in Italian). Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta - Sito Ufficiale. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Comuni valdostani per popolazione" (in Italian). Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Statuto speciale per la Valle d'Aosta". La francophonie dans le monde (in French). 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Val d'Aoste". La francophonie dans le monde (in French). 2013. Retrieved 11 June 2013.

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