Valle d'Aosta is a region in the north-west of Italy on the border with France and Switzerland. Located in the western Alps, it is known for the snow-capped peaks of the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and Gran Paradiso. Courmayeur and Cervinia are among the most important ski resorts. The region's countryside is dotted with castles and medieval fortresses, such as the Fénis Castle and the Verrès Castle, dating back to the 14th century.
The Valle d'Aosta was inhabited by the Celtic Salassi population (however, megaliths dating back to 3000 BC were found). In 25 BC it was conquered by the Romans, who founded Augusta Prætoria Salassorum, today's Aosta.
Living from local products and limiting external trade to a minimum, we can define the culinary tradition of the Aosta Valley as the only local cuisine that stands out from the tradition of other Italian cuisines, showing great affinity with the neighboring transalpine regions . Local products are essentially mountain cereals, bovine and goat dairy products, meats and derivatives of cattle, pigs and chamois. In addition to traditional local food products, the main ingredients are: vegetables (turnips, leeks, onion), potatoes, chestnuts, apples and pears.
The Valle d'Aosta is a region that is full of festivals and traditional festivals. Many of the events are linked to the seasons of agriculture, typical products and the roots of rural culture. One of the most interesting is certainly the Battle of the Queens, or bloodless struggles between Aosta Valley cows, at the end of which, on the last Sunday of October, the Absolute Queen is elected at the Croiz Noire. There are several festivals and also the Carnival is very felt.
The Valle d’Aosta has a very small area planted with vines (about 400 hectares) of which 70% is in the mountains and the remainder in the hills. The cultivation of the vine is situated above all along the 80 km of the course of the Dora Baltea and, as often happens in mountain areas such as Valtellina or some plots in Alto Adige, it is placed on terraces supported by stone walls that form small plots in maximum part supported by the roots of the vines themselves.