Val d’Aosta, Italy

ValAostaW

Val d’Aosta // Vallée d’Aoste, Italy

Castles abound in this Italian region bordering both France and Switzerland. The borders and rulers of this region have changed too many times to recount, giving the region a severe case of identity crisis. Even today, though a part of Italy for a long time, the region still seems relatively bilingual in both Italian and French. The city of Aosta is often the destination—but the train ride to the Roman city is one of those times when Emerson’s expression “life is a journey, not a destination” comes to light. Keep your eyes glued to the train windows because all those times the valley changed hands have created a need for limitless castles and fortresses—therefore, it is rather like playing “Where’s Waldo?” (if Waldo was a castle!) every five minutes! Mostly built in the typical Italian style (see Milan), the castles not only add a romantic flair to the valley, but also serve to remind us of our brutal feudal history—and the reason why we built castles in the first place.

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3 thoughts on “Val d’Aosta, Italy

    • It’s fascinating because castles are pretty much everywhere in Europe, but each country/region seems to have their own styles: Italian castles are quite different than French castles (despite sharing a border), and French castles are nothing like British castles (despite how tiny the Channel is) which are still different from German ones and then again from Polish ones (just right next door to the German ones), etc, etc. So–you may have to plan several future trips!

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