Aosta Valley is the smallest region in Italy; in its northwest, it is located between France and Switzerland.

At its core are its majestic peaks (the region is, after all, mostly mountainous).

Here we can find the highest peaks in the Alps: Cervino, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the king of them all, Mont Blanc, which at 15,781 feet is the highest mountain in Europe, the roof of the old Continent.

Those who are not familiar with mountaineering can use the comfortable, yet thrilling, cable car; catch it just a few miles from Courmayeur, one of the most important ski resorts in the world.
Aosta Valley map.

Discover the Aosta Valley.

In this setting of stately mountains and diverse valleys sits the oldest National Park, the Gran Paradiso, where it is still possible to see animals in their natural habitat - ibex, chamois, eagles and marmots live in vegetation that changes according to the surrounding environment.

Historically, the Aosta Valley has been viewed as land of contact and conjuncture between Italy and France; such is also reflected in its official bilingualism and its special status as autonomous region.

The great modern tunnels of Gran San Bernardo and, even more so, those under Mont Blanc - extraordinary engineering masterpieces that run to France - highlight even more clearly this aspect of intersection between Italy and the rest of Europe.

The only province of the region is Aosta (regional capital).
Pollino National Park - The Serra Dolcedorme

What to See.

When we think about the Aosta Valley, we immediately think of the ski slopes of Cervinia, Courmayeur and Pila, famous all over Europe and the destination for anyone who loves skiing, trekking, snowboarding and ice skating. This region offers amazing natural attractions, but other cultural and traditional treasures also abound.
The Valle d'Aosta is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Europe.Click to Tweet
Those who come from the south can use the symbolic entrance represented by the municipality of Pont Saint Martin, starting point of the road that penetrates into the beautiful Gressoney Valley. The first century BCE Roman Bridge, over which the old consular road to Aosta used to pass, is an example of the Roman influence on this territory.

Along the valley that goes from Pont Saint Martin to Courmayeur, we can count 82 buildings that stand on the valley like sentinels, including primitive fortifications, military fortresses, residences and watchtowers. These are evidence of the region’s rich feudal history, and offer visitors the opportunity to follow an incredibly-engaging and interesting route.
Read also: Discover Italia: Off The Beaten Path, Wine And Food Itineraries And Naturalistic Routes.
The most famous castle in the Aosta Valley is the Castello di Fénis, which looks austere but is in fact a collection of the best defence techniques of the time; its refined interiors reveal the wealth of its former occupants. Other beautiful castles are the Castle of Issogne, Sarriod de la Tour, Sarre, Saint-Pierre, and Ussel, to name but a few.

The road plotted by the castles leads to Aosta, a mix of Roman and Medieval history, and enriched by picturesque traditions.

This essentially Roman city shows some visible signs of that period, with important monuments such as the Arch of Augustus, the Praetorian Gate and the city walls, on which you can walk, taking a long and pleasant stroll for almost the entire length. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is particularly interesting, with the archaeological excavations under floor of the most recent church, as are Piazza Chanoux and the monumental building of the Sant’Orso Collegiate Church, which dates back to the 11th Century.

The fair that takes place every year in Aosta at the end of January is dedicated to St. Orso as well. Thousands of tourists fill the decorated streets of the old town, which shows off the oldest crafts of Aosta Valley, from sculpture to wood, wrought iron to hot stone, leather, wool fabrics and lace, and games and masks.

What to Do.

National Park of the Belluno Dolomites - Cajada Forest.
In any season of the year, visiting Monte Rosa, practicing sports on its slopes, or simply walking along the paths to reach the top, you will enjoy the enchanting and magical surroundings that are created by the interplay of light, colors and hues that cover your way. 

A number of sports can be enjoyed on Monte Rosa and in its valleys; the three valleys of Ayas, Gressoney and Valsesia are the hub of one of Italy’s largest ski resorts. Cross-country skiing, mountain skiing and snowboarding can all be enjoyed in the coldest season, while climbing, rafting, canoeing, hiking and mountain biking are the options during the warmer months.

To admire the beauty of the glaciers, Punta Helbronner is a magnificent terrace where you can take in the stunning views.

A cable car will carry you up to Mont Fréty, where you can visit the Pavillon du Mont Fréty Natural Oasis, a large protected area that is home to numerous examples of mountain fauna; it houses the Saussurea Mountain Garden, one of the highest mountain gardens in Europe, with more than 900 plant species of wild flowers from Mont Blanc and other mountain ranges around the world.

During the summer, trekking lovers will appreciate the paths that unwind inside the Oasis, ideal for with nature and admiring the magnificence of the landscape. If you would want to see Mont Blanc from above, you can experience the thrill of a hot-air balloon flight and practically skim the mountaintops!

For those who love good wine, the Aosta Valley offers a wine trail, directing tourists to vineyards and wineries in order to discover the different grape varieties that grow in sometimes harsh conditions.

What to Taste.

The regional food of the Aosta Valley is hearty, creative and composed of authentic flavors. Some regional specialties are carbonada, (stewed meat with wine, onions and spices), and mocetta (dried beef or ibex seasoned with mountain herbs).

Salami is another delicacy to taste, as is the wonderful Arnad lard, a type of Aosta Valley sausage cooked with boiled potatoes, lard, seasoning, and the reputed Bosses ham.

The cheeses are equally-excellent, including the renowned Fontina Dop, used for many recipes like fondue, which is served before or after the typical soup of the Aosta Valley (made with cabbage, Savoy cabbage, fontina cheese and stale rye bread).

Thanks to the region’s microclimate, vines can bear fruit up to 3,937 feet in altitude, while the fruit trees bear such delicacies as walnuts, chestnuts, Rennet apples and the famous Martin pears.

More than 20 wines are designated as originating from “Aosta Valley - Vallée d'Aoste.” Some examples are Arnad Montjovet, Enfer d’Arvier, Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle and Donnas. Complete your meal with the extraordinary herb liqueur "Genépy des Alpes," traditionally drunk from a wooden goblet.

Gran Paradiso National Park - Shutterstock
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The Ministry of Cultural Heritage’s project on Italy’s museums, integrated with CulturaItalia, will be available online within the next few days.

This comprehensive registry will make it possible to search for and admire masterpieces of art from a great many different collections

Thanks to the participation of hundreds of Italian regional and state museums, the MuseiD-Italia digital project is kicking off.

This digital library of Italy’s most important museum collections has been promoted and created by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.

MuseiD-Italia is born, an online digital display case for sites of cultural interest.


This initiative, a veritable national registry of museums and sites of cultural interest, is integrated with CulturaItalia, the Italian cultural portal. 
MuseiD-Italia is born, an online digital display case for sites of cultural interest.Click to Tweet
Like the latter, it is funded by e-gov 2012 Plan of the Department of Innovation and Technology of the Ministry for Public Administration and Innovation, now called the Agency for a Digital Italy.

The Portal.

The portal, which will make its online debut in the next few days, makes it possible to search for and compare works from collections belonging to a great many different insitutions, find information on temporary and permanent exhibitions throughout Italy, and track down information on state-owned monuments, facilities, collections, parks and gardens. 
It also provides news on infomobility and communication and awareness-raising campaigns on Italy’s cultural heritage targeting specific users.

News on infomobilit.

All resources listed are also georeferrenced, making it possible to find on a map the museums and collections featured in the portal and digital display case.
MuseiD-Italia was established thanks to collaboration between local agencies, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage’s regional directorates, and museum hubs with the goal of drawing together existing digital resources and digitalizing new ones.
It will also guarantee, as early as its first few weeks of life, the online visibility of some of the most noteworthy works from Italy’s museum, archaeological, environmental, architectural, historic, artistic, scientific, ethnic, and anthropological heritage.
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The operational phase of the digitalization process is about to kick off, in collaboration with Emc and Dedanext: about 40 million pages will be photographed at very high resolution and archived in a format suitable to both conservation and consultation.

Over 80,000 manuscripts with about 40 million pages: these are the invaluable holdings of the Vatican Apostolic Library, which has recently approved - with Emc and Dedanext, part of Dedagroup Ict Network – a project to digitalize library holdings. 

The Vatican Library project is part of the broader “Information Heritage” initiative, which aims to protect information and documents of relevance by making them available in digital format for education and research purposes.
The Vatican Library to digitalize 80.000 manuscripts with around 40 million pages.
Preserving the Library’s collections over time and making them accessible through the use of innovative storage platforms: the multi-year digitalisation project will make it easier to consult the library’s holdings, much as in the past information was preserved and passed on thanks to the printing press and the work of amanuenses.
Vatican Library Manuscript Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.A.2

After several years of preliminary studies, the programme now enters the operational phase.

Data will be archived using the Flexible Image Transport System (Fits) open standard format, which is already in use in scientific fields such as astrophysics and medicine. 

This format was chosen because it guarantees maximum reproducibility over time and is compatible with numerous applications. 
Vatican Library Manuscript

Each individual page will be photographed at very high resolution and archived in a format suitable to both conservation and consultation.
The initial implementation phase will last about three years, during which time Emc will provide a total storage capacity of 2.8 Petabytes, using leading platforms such as Isilon, Atmos, Data Domain, NetWorker and VNX. 
The Vatican Library to digitalize 80.000 manuscripts with around 40 million pages.Click to Tweet
During this phase, Emc will be assisted by technological partners Dedanext and Dedagroup, who will be in charge of the project design phase and the implementation of the company’s storage platforms.
Read also: MuseiD-Italia Is Born, An Online Digital Display Case For Sites Of Cultural Interest.
Vatican Manuscript
Vatican Manuscript

Vatican Manuscript

Vatican Manuscript Vat-lat.3225

Vatican Manuscript

Vatican Manuscript Visual Material Ashby.Disegni.2

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Easter or Pasqua in Italian, is one of Italy’s biggest and most important holidays. Grand processions, firework displays and other open-air events are held across the country, as each region celebrates the resurrection of Jesus according to their own unique set of traditions. As this collection of Italian Easter recipes demonstrates, this also extends to the foods that are eaten. In Sardinia star-shaped tartlets filled with ricotta, saffron and citrus peel are a traditional favourite, while In Sicily, colourful Italian biscuits called Cuddura Siciliana are eaten during Easter lunch. These unusual little biscuits feature a whole boiled egg wrapped in pastry and are said to have originated with the Ancient Greeks who colonized Sicily over 2500 years ago


The Italian mainland has just as rich a food heritage as its islands. In Naples a fragrant wheat cake called Pastiera Napoletana is commonplace. Served for breakfast on Easter Sunday, it is traditionally prepared on Good Friday to allow enough time for the citrus, vanilla and ricotta filling to properly infuse. No Italian Easter collection would be complete without a Torta pasqualina, a delicious Easter pie which has a rich ricotta and egg filling – ingredients that were historically forbidden during lent. Bring this classic Italian Easter dish to your own home with Luca Marchiori’s easy recipe.


Per 6 servings

2 lb lamb loin
6 artichokes
Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 small bunch mint, chopped
3 ½ oz Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
mix of spices (oregano and capers) to taste

PREPARATION: 1 hour and 40 minutes

  • Clean the loin of lamb, leaving it whole.
  • Flavor the lamb with Sapori Italiani - mix of spices and allow it to marinate at least one hour. 
  • To clean the artichokes, cut them in half, and then julienne style (cut them into short, thin strips).
  • Place them in the pan with a little Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP and sauté until tender. Once the artichokes are done, add the chopped garlic and mint; mix gently.
  • Brown the lamb in the pan with some Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP, and then put it in the oven until it is finished cooking (approximately 10 minutes). Just before the lamb is finished, degrease and douse with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
  • Once the lamb is finished cooking, let it rest for a few minutes.
  • Place the cooked artichokes in the center of a dish.
  • Slice the lamb, following the line of the ribs, and place them on top of the artichokes.
  • Drizzle it slightly with the Balsamic Vinegar of Modena remaining in the pan and the flavorful Toscano Extra Virgin Olive Oil IGP and serve.

Easter is one of the most important holidays in the Christian religion and is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ, three days after he had been crucified. One important detail about this holiday, is that the date changes from year to year.

As was decided at the Council of Nicaea in 325 AC, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring and can therefore vary from March 22nd to April 25th. The week prior to Easter, beginning with Palm Sunday, is referred to as Holy Week and is a period of many symbolical celebrations, including the preparation of long tables in churches that represent the table there Jesus held his last supper with his twelve disciples.

There is also the procession of Good Friday, during which people try to recreate the Christ’s long walk towards the cross.


Campania-style Fried Eggs with Cheese

The importance of Easter in Italian culture is reflected in the country’s food traditions. During Easter lunch in Italy, lamb and eggs are always served. They appear either as part of the meal itself, or as sweets in the shape of these symbols of life and rebirth (in the case of eggs) and of sacrifice of the son of God for humanity (in the case of the lamb.)


Per 4 servings

6 eggs
1 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 egg
all-purpose flour


  • Shell the hard-boiled eggs, cut them in half lengthwise and remove the yolks to leave the whites empty.
  • Mash the yolks with a fork and work them into the béchamel or Ricotta, the grated Parmesan, salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg.
  • Spread the mixture inside the half egg-whites cut previously, giving the mixture a rounded shape to simulate a whole egg.
  • Coat these eggs in flour, immerse them in the beaten egg, and dip gently in the bread crumbs, taking care, using the hands, to preserve the shape.
  • Fry in abundant boiling oil, a few at a time, until golden.
  • Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot.

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