You can start the virtual stroll at the place of your choice by selecting a key location from the list below.
Church of Sant´Orso
A legend attributes the choice of the church site to divine will. In the past, the inhabitants had to go to mass in a remote chapel and, in winter, the path was icy. They decided to build a church in a hamlet on the right bank of the torrent, but the relics brought to the future site disappeared several times and were each time found on the left bank. The inhabitants concluded that it was a divine intervention and finally built the church near the centre of the village.
Church Square
An interesting architectural feature of the church of Sant'Orso is the portico in front of the entrance. In the past, it was not a simple embellishment or shelter from the weather, it had a specific liturgical function. It was known in Valle d'Aosta churches as the "wedding porch" because the rites preceding the wedding took place under its shelter, and it was sometimes also used for teaching catechism.
Inside the church
The church of Sant'Orso was built at the very beginning of the 13th century, but it took on its present appearance in the first half of the 17th century, after reconstruction and enlargement work. It is built on a rectangular plan, with an octagonal domed presbytery. The interior has carved and gilded wooden altars with spiral columns from the 18th century and the high altar is richly decorated in Baroque style. The 1772 organ, rebuilt in 1872 and extended in 1969, has 1636 pipes.
Meadows of Sant’Orso
To the south of the village, the large meadows of Sant'Orso extend as far as the entrance to Valnontey, preceded by a small park where a wrought iron fountain stands, the shape of which is reminiscent of a sarcophagus. It is the fountain of Doctor Grappein (yes, him again), forged between 1809 and 1815. It is so strange that it has become one of Cogne's attractions.
Rue Bourgeois (1)
The main street of the village of Cogne is, inevitably, the most lively and touristy. Cafés, restaurants and shops follow one another. Our shots were taken at the end of June, just before the peak summer season, which attracts far more crowds. However, Cogne is still a human-sized destination.
Rue Bourgeois (2)
During our shooting at the end of June 2022, Cogne was preparing to welcome the Giro with a lot of banners and the town hall was being renovated and surrounded by scaffolding covered with decorative tarpaulins. So this view is not really representative of the village centre. It faces south and you can see the Valnontey in the distance. The tourist office is a little further in this direction, on the right.
Rue Bourgeois (3)
The road to Valnontey starts here on the right. It is asphalted and allowed to traffic up to the hamlet of the same name, 3 km away. Further on, it is a dirt road only allowed for the inhabitants and people staying there (campsites and guest houses).
Rue Bourgeois (4)
A little further on, Rue Bourgeois passes the Clock House, one of the sights of Cogne. It then continues to the exit of the village, then passes on the right bank of the torrent and continues to the hamlet of Lillaz, where there is also a car park and a camper area.
Rue Dr Grappein (1)
Here we are in one of the prettiest streets in Cogne, linking the church to the main street of the village, passing through two small cobbled squares lined with beautiful and tastefully restored houses.
Rue Dr Grappein (2)
The street is lined with all kinds of shops, you will find crafts, a butcher's shop, souvenirs, clothes... It is not really pedestrianised but almost and you will have pleasure to stroll there quietly.
Rue Dr Grappein (3)
The street is named after an inhabitant closely linked to the history of Cogne. Dr. César-Emmanuel Grappein (1772-1855) was both a doctor and mayor of Cogne and dedicated himself, among other things, to the rights of regional freedom in the Aosta Valley. An eccentric philanthropist and profound humanist, he practised for fifty years almost free of charge.
Rue Dr Grappein (4)
Grappein Street leads here into Cogne's main street, at the junction between Rue Bourgeois, which runs left towards the town centre (to the right on the satellite map), and Avenue Cavagnet, named after Major Joseph Cavagnet (1913-1964), a Resistance leader during the Second World War, which runs right down the valley.
Rue Grand Paradis
We are here at the edge of the Meadows of Sant’Orso, on the road leading to the hamlet of Valnontey. Behind us, on the other side of the road, an unnamed alleyway opens up which will allow us to join Via Linnea Borealis, which leads to the Clock House.
Rue Linnea Borealis
Here we are at the bottom of the street, where it meets Rue Bourgeois near the Clock House. "Linnaea borealis" is the Latin name for the boreal linnet, a characteristic flower of the Canadian forest that is fairly common in Lapland but rare and highly protected in the Alps. As it is found in the Gran Paradiso National Park, Cogne named the street after it.
Rue Revettaz
The street overlooking the car park and the torrent is called "Dr Grappein Street" or "Revettaz Street" depending on the map. The village is locally called Veulla, which simply means "town". It is built along the Urtier torrent, in a basin where several valleys end, including the Valnontey to the south, which climbs to the foot of the Gran Paradiso, one of the "4000" of the Alps.
Stairway and lift to parking
Below the village, along the Urtier torrent, there is a very large paying car park available for all vehicles, with a space reserved for campers (overnight stays are allowed). The stairs and lift to the village arrive here, near the church of Sant'Orso.
The Clock House
The Clock House, or Grappein House, is one of the sights of the village. It was the house of Doctor Grappein, a philanthropist whose souvenir is omnipresent in Cogne. A place of memory, the house is unfortunately in a derelict state and an association is campaigning for its restoration and conservation.
Tourist Office
On this beautiful square, which opens up on the Valnontey and the Gran Paradiso massif, you will find the tourist office. Don't forget to go a little further to the small park where a surprising fountain awaits you.
View on the upper valley
Upstream, to the east, the upper Cogne valley follows the Urtier torrent to the small village of Lillaz, where the asphalt road ends. Lillaz is the starting point for beautiful hikes and the village also has a car park with a camper van area.
View on the Valnontey
The Valnontey is the valley that rises from Cogne towards the Gran Paradiso massif, whose highest point is at 4061m. When we shot panoramas at the end of June 2022, the massif was unfortunately covered in clouds and we gave up trying to get closer to it by going as far as the hamlet of Valnontey, just under 5km away, which is easily accessible by a tarmac road.
The Pictorial Guides

© 1988-2024
All rights reserved for all countries