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A – Z Guidebook: Aosta, Italy

Welcome to the inaugural A-Z Guidebook Link Up where bloggers from around the world can share a picture and story about a place that relates to each letter in the alphabet. It could be a city, a country, a street or an icon. It could be anywhere. If you would like to join, read the A-Z Guidebook tab at the top of the blog and write a travel post relating to the letter of the month.

A or Airport

Aosta, Italy

Until I visited, I’d never even heard of Aosta. We chanced upon it on our drive from France, across Italy and on to a month in Croatia. The only reason we visited at all was because we were camping in the tiny town of Torredaniele and decided to drive further up the valley. After stopping at a few small towns to look at cobbled squares and old churches, imagine our surprise when we rounded the bend and saw the spectacular view of Aosta and its Roman ruins against a sparkling alpine backdrop. Bordering Switzerland and France, the Val D’Aosta (Aosta Valley) is nestled in the foothills of the Italian Alps. A gateway to Mont Blanc and The Matterhorn. The smallest region in Italy, the Valley is known for hearty mountain cuisine including polenta and game stews and for soft Fontina cheese, an ideal inclusion in fondues.

On this particular day however, there were no ragus or fondues. As the temperature soared and Italy entered its fourth day of a heat wave, it was shade we craved as the sun beat down on treeless streets of the old quarter. Like most European cities, the ruins sit cheek by jowl with modern developments, portions of the masonry re-used in later building work. I’m not sure why I was surprised to see Roman ruins in Italy, where it all started. Perhaps it was because they were well maintained, something you certainly don’t see a lot of in Italy. Eventually we found a shady park where we could give our feet a rest, guzzle mineral water, enjoy an icy granita and take in the view. And what a view!

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14 comments… add one
  • Joanne T Ferguson June 15, 2015, 11:48 am

    G’day What a great idea for a link up Fiona! I can’t wait to see what people share!

    • Fiona Ryan June 15, 2015, 2:50 pm

      Well let’s hope someone joins in! Are you going to join us?

  • Jan Rhoades June 15, 2015, 5:37 pm

    Mine will be short and sweet. My ‘A’ is for Atlanta airport. On our way to Savannah Georgia from Nashville we had to pass through Atlanta airport. It is huge. Fortunately (or not) I was in a wheel chair so had someone pushing me and leading the way. Thank heavens. Our tun around time was very short and I’m sure we would have become lost and missed our connection.
    So, if you are passing through Atlanta from anywhere…I would recommend you try to leave lots of time between connection flights, to find your next departure lounge…or risk being left behind.
    Love your post btw.

    • Fiona Ryan June 15, 2015, 7:07 pm

      Good advice indeed.

    • Mel @ The cook's notebook June 15, 2015, 9:10 pm

      everything about Atlanta is grim. Except for the best conference I went to there two years ago. In August – revolting weather then! However I adored Savannah. Safe travels xx

  • sherry from sherrys pickings June 16, 2015, 10:55 am

    great idea fiona. i love the photo you put up. I am kind of glad the Brits took the Elgin Marbles back home to the UK, seeing as how the Greeks (and clearly the Italians as you say) usually nicked stuff and took it back to the villages to make their own houses and walls. :))

    • Fiona Ryan June 16, 2015, 10:45 pm

      Thanks Sherry. I was very surprised to see these ruins as the best ones we saw elsewhere were in Croatia. Thanks for joining in on the first A-Z!

  • Emily (Cooking For Kishore) June 22, 2015, 1:10 am

    Hi Fiona, I love this idea! Thanks for putting the link together. 🙂

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime June 22, 2015, 4:48 pm

    This is a part of Italy I have never heard of! Our A in Italy is Assisi which I would add as a must visit place due to the architecture in the Church, and the amazing narrow streets 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan June 24, 2015, 6:04 pm

      I’ve never been to Assisi Tandy (and not likley too any time soon). As I said, I’d never heard of Aosta but that’s what makes travel so fab. Never too late to broaden the mind or add to the travel itinerary.

  • Heather Smith June 23, 2015, 3:14 pm

    I had to resize my image and it would not let me re-upload it. 🙁

    • Fiona Ryan June 24, 2015, 6:03 pm

      Hi Heather – your post is still loaded so that’s the main thing. You can have a go with ‘B’ (sorry I can’t give you any help – I’m a shocker with photos too).

  • Heather Smith June 24, 2015, 6:37 pm

    Yes it required a very square image – so I had to amend and re-create.

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