Donnavventura pays homage to Valle d'Aosta, the tiniest Italian region full of things to discover, snow-capped peaks, green pastures, small ancient villages and medieval castles; not to mention century-old food traditions and a wealth of most unique folklore.
As usual, the Monte Bianco barracks in La Thuile is the base camp for this new great adventure.
The first stop will be the Fénis castle, one of the most famous and spectacular medieval manors. A double wall and some outstanding frescoes are its most prominent features, attracting thousands of visitors every year.
Donnavventura then travels to Cervinia and the fairytale-like Blue Lake, reflecting the Gran Becca, or Mount Cervino in its turquoise waters. Cervinia is one of the most well-known and most visited places in the Valle d'Aosta and features a spectacular skiing facility stretching from the 1500 meters of the Valtournenche to the 3000 meters of the Plateau Rosa.
Then, the new expedition team reach La Magdeleine, a small village with ancient water mills built all along the same stream, and quite sensibly operated in order to avoid any waste of the water available.
In Gressoney-Saint-Jean the team visit Castel Savoia, the elegant residence that King Umberto I gave to his beloved wife, Queen Margherita of Savoy. It features a central structure and five turrets, all different from each other, while inside one can enjoy authentic medieval style with coffered ceilings, boiserie and ornamental paintings reminiscent of the past centuries.
Gressoney is also renowned for its Walser community, which has lived here for countless generations and still proudly protects its original language, customs and traditions definitely worth discovering.
Among the most interesting castles in Valle d’Aosta there’s the towering fort of Bard and the castle of Aymavilles, a baroque residence home to the Academy of Saint Anselm of Aosta.
Our journey then continues to Cogne, an ancient village where you can admire the typical local architecture with rural settlements embellished by exquisite iron decorations.
Cogne can be considered as a true gateway to the Gran Paradiso; chamois, steinbocks, marmots and eagles are amongst dozens of species that dwell in this area, also treasured as the oldest national park in Italy.
Valle d’Aosta also means green pastures and delicious cheese, namely is world-acclaimed “Fontina”! Way up high on the mountains, Donnavventura will find out everything about the preparation of this wonderful treat.
As a final surprise, the Donnavventura team will take off from La Thuile and fly over the Mont Blanc and the mountain complex that takes its name from its most prominent peak, reaching 4,810 meters and the highest in Europe. There are over 40 ridges exceeding 4000 meters, with snowy canyons, granite pinnacles, sharp spurs and expanses of perennial ice: some truly awesome and breath-taking views.
Don’t miss this Dovvavventura special TV episode dedicated to Valle d’Aosta, airing on Sunday, September 8th at 1.50 pm on Rete4.