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Discover Val d'Aosta without leaving home

by Francesco Tutino last modified 2008-06-20 15:13

Join us in ski heaven as we take a journey through the Val d'Aosta. Seeing is believing

Val d’Aosta is Italy's most three-dimensional region.Val d’Aosta is Italy's most three-dimensional region. With a total area of just 3,262 km2 and an average height above sea level of 2,000 metres, it holds the joint record of being Italy's smallest and highest region. Many of its most famous peaks surge past the 4,000 metre-mark, with Monte Bianco topping the lot at a staggering 4,807 m and Monte Rosa (4,685), The Matterhorn (4,478) and Gran Paradiso (4,061) as close runners-up.
Now Val d'Aosta has come up trumps in a fourth dimension: it boasts the highest density of webcams in Italy. Thanks to local government initiative you can make a virtual visit to the region with more than 22 potential stopovers. Take this journey through Italy's own time-worn north-west passage tracing the steps of all those who have crossed these Alps into France and Switzerland since the time of Neolithic man.
There is a wide choice of webcams, each one offering high-quality crystal-clear (weather permitting) images and frequent updates.

Climb every mountain
We advise you to start your virtual journey at 3,462 metres, right in the heart of Monte Bianco, at Punta Helbronner. Step into this magical world and become one of the tourists stepping off the ski-lift, their breath taken by this stunning view over the Italian, Swiss and French Alps. Time stands still as you register peak after peak from Monte Bianco to Aiguille Blanche and Dente del Gigante to Grandes Jorasses.
For many skiers the picturesque town of Courmayeur has long been synonymous with Monte Bianco. Now you can check out the slopes for snow or crowding before you wax down your skis or hop on your snowboard.
Then off you go further down the valley towards the charming little town of Arpy where cross-country skiers can choose from runs of varying difficulty.

Eastern promise
Your journey now takes you north-east towards Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses, the last stop in the Gran San Bernardo Valley and the ideal place to view the stunning slopes of Saint-Rhemy-Crevacol.
Further east again let your gaze fall on one of Italy's most famous ski resorts, Breuil-Cervinia. At 2,000 m above sea-level and with over 212 kms of run, including a 10 km all-year run on the Ventina glacier, the resort offers some of Europe's best skiing - as well as some examples of its ugliest architecture. Cross-border enthusiasts will delight in swooshing to and from the Swiss resort of Zermatt.
Now it's south-southeast towards Valtournenche - a veritable paradise for off-piste enthusiasts - and then on to Gressoney Saint-Jean. In Gressoney stop for a moment to take in the cross-country runs: 25 beautiful kms through pine forest and over breathtaking glaciers.


After a long day admiring the slopes it's time to proceed towards Entrèves, just outside Courmayeur, where you can tuck in to virtual feast of local goodies including a goblet of steaming grolla at La Maison de Filippo. If you prefer to stay in town then we suggest a sojourn at the Hotel Lo Scoiattolo, right in the centre of Courmayeur while the Cadran Solair restaurant (tel: +39-0165-844609) in via Roma provides good-value local cuisine.
If instead you're in the Matterhorn area and don't mind spending a bit more then we recommend the Hermitage restaurant (tel: +39-0166-948998). Vegetarians and fans of good old-fashioning cooking will love Il Capriccio in Valtournenche (tel: +39-0166-949060).

Maps of webcams and ski stations - - all the information for a winter holiday in the Aosta Valley

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