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The capital of Valle d'Aosta is rich in artistic and architectural heritage from the Roman times. Here we see the well-preserved Praetorian Gate, which was the main entrance to the city on the eastern side, towards the road to Rome. It is in the heart of the old town, which is well worth a visit.
Campione d´Italia
A tiny piece of Italy landlocked in the canton of Ticino, on the banks of the Ceresio (Lake Lugano). Closely linked to Switzerland, this tiny territory is best known for its casino and its exemption from European VAT.
Testa Grigia is the top station of the last cable car to climb to Plateau Rosà glacier from Cervinia-Breuil. The glacier is a high plateau on the border between Italy and Switzerland, between the Klein Matterhorn (3883 m), the West Breithorn (4164 m), the Tête Grise (3480 m) and the Col du Théodule (3316 m).
The one and only village in Italy that can only be reached by cable car, on foot, by bike... or by plane or helicopter since the tiny "Altiporto di Chamois" is right next door! Accessible in the past only by a mule track, Chamois has been connected to the valley floor since 1955 by a cable car from Buisson, on the road to Valtournenche.
South of Aosta, this large village of about 1400 inhabitants has given its name to a valley that climbs to the Gran Paradiso National Park. It is one of the few counter-valleys that open up to the south from the Aosta Valley.
Curon Venosta
A surprising place on the edge of the artificial lake of Resia. In the centre of a lagoon stands the bell tower of the old village, which was swallowed up when the Resia dam was built in 1950.
Pointe Helbronner, the top station of the Monte Bianco Skyway at 3470 m, was named after Paul Helbronner (1871-1938), a polytechnician, mountaineer and geodesist, who was one of the fathers of French alpine cartography. This panorama is oriented towards the Dent du Géant (4013 m) and the glacier of the same name, to the north-east.
This beautiful village is located in the middle valley of the Great St Bernard, halfway between Aosta and the pass. Since 2005, the village has become an open-air museum, where numerous works of art are exhibited in the alleys, as part of a project to revive the local economy after the closure of the ski facilities, co-financed by the European Union and developed in collaboration with the Pierre Gianadda Foundation in Martigny.
La Place/Issogne
It is worth making a short diversions to La Place, the main town of the municipality of Issogne. Here you will see one of the most beautiful castles in the Aosta Valley. We didn't have time to visit it, but we shot some beautiful views that will make you want to discover Issogne Castle and the village of La Place with your own eyes!
Lago d´Orta
We had planned to go up the western shore of Lake Maggiore but, unable to find a parking space in Arona, we made a diversion along Lake Orta. Unfortunately, we could only stop at the southern tip, above the village of Buccione. Further on, the crowd was omnipresent. That day, we did not know that Italy was celebrating the end of the monarchy and the birth of the republic...
Lago di Como
Varenna is one of the villages on the eastern shore of the lake. From here, boats and ferries leave for Bellagio (at the end of the large peninsula that divides Lake Como into two branches) and Menaggio, on the western shore. Due to the very overcast skies, we shot very few views of Lake Como, one of the most spectacular lakes in northern Italy, but it's only a postponement!
Lago Maggiore
Until 1863, this village was simply called Porto and had been a popular holiday resort since the 18th century. We took advantage of a few blue sky spots to make a brief stop here and shoot a small series of panoramas on the lakeside promenade.
A few kilometres from Prad am Stilfserjoch (Prato allo Stelvio), the tiny village of Lichtenberg (Montechiaro) is dominated by the ruins of a 13th century castle. This is a purely German-speaking region where the names of places have been abusively Italianised by Mussolini's Fascist regime.
Passo del Tonale
The Tonale Pass, at an altitude of 1884 m, marks the border between Trentino/Alto Adige and Lombardy. After the Sardinian War in 1859, Austria lost its dominion over Lombardy and the pass became the border between the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, shortly before the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy. An impressive shrine containing the remains of 847 Italian soldiers who fell in battle has been erected here.
Passo di Resia
The Resia Pass (Italian: Passo di Resia, German: Reschenpass), at an altitude of 1507 m, is located in the German-speaking Italian region of South Tyrol, about 1.5 km south of the Austrian border. To the northwest of the pass is the Dreiländerpunkt, a tripoint between Austria, Italy and Switzerland. To the south is Lake Resia and the sunken campanile of Curon Venosta.
Porto Ceresio
Porto Ceresio, the "Port of Ceresio" (the real name of Lake Lugano) is located at the southern tip of the lake, on Italian territory, opposite the Ticino village of Morcote. We took the time to stroll around, taking in the panoramic views from the lake promenade.
Tirano, in Valtellina, is the town where the spectacular Bernina railway line, which links Chur, Davos and St. Moritz to Italy, ends. Just outside the town, the small town of Madonna di Tirano is worth a visit for its church, the Santuario della Madonna di Tirano, the most important religious monument in the whole of Valtellina.
We are here near St. Walburg in the Ultimo Valley (Ultental), next to a small mountain road that leads to Val di Non further south, from where you can go over the Tonale Pass to Valtelline.
Val Camonica
A panorama shot near Vezza d'Oglio, at the top of Val Camonica, where we arrive after Tonale Pass (alt. 1884 m). A few kilometres further on, at Edolo, we branch off towards the Aprica Pass (alt. 1181 m) to reach the Valtelline.
Val di Sole
The village is located in the Val di Sole (Sulztal in German, Val de Sól in Ladin), where the Noce river runs. This valley offers many sporting activities, including rafting. Contrary to appearances, its name does not mean "Valley of the Sun", it apparently comes from "Sulis", the Celtic divinity of waters.
The 313 km long Adda River rises at an altitude of 2235 m west of the Stelvio Pass, flows all along the Valtelline, crosses Lake Como and flows into the Po. Unfortunately, when we were in Valtelline, stormy weather did not allow us to capture any beautiful panoramas in this long valley (except in Tirano). This panorama was shot in front of the village of Berbenno di Valtellina.
Going up the Valtournenche in the direction of Cervinia-Breuil, shortly before the village that gives its name to this counter-valley of the Valle d'Aosta, you pass by the lake of Maën, where it is possible to have a picnic, take a meditative break or stretch your legs along a shaded path parallel to the road.
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