Gran Paradiso

Gran Paradiso

The Gran Paradiso areas is spread over the right bank of the Dora Baltea, and comprises four valleys to the south: the Valgrisenche, the Rhêmes Valley, the Valsavarenche and the Cogne Valley.

A small strip on the left bank of the Dora completes the territory of this area: the slopes that from Saint-Pierre climb up towards Saint-Nicolas, reaching the 3000 metre altitude of Monte Fallère and the Vertosan Valley, a flat depression that seems unimaginable after the climb required to reach it.

Between the Valsavarenche and the Cogne Valley lies the Gran Paradiso massif, the only mountain in Italy higher than 4000 metres and the focal point of the National Park that bears its name. Once a hunting reserve of the Savoia family, it was the first of the national parks to be created in Italy in 1922 to save the ibex from extinction. The park can be visited all year round, and a dense network of paths wind their way through spectacular landscapes, allowing for curious encounters with the local wildlife, especially in the spring, when the ibex and chamois venture down into the valley in search of the first new grass of the season.

Localities

Cogne

Cogne

In the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park lies Cogne, considered the “capital” of the Park. The town is situated in a large basin at the edge of the Sant’Orso meadows, one of the largest expanses of alpine grassland in Europe.

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Valsavarenche

Valsavarenche

This area is the homeland of the two founding fathers of the autonomy of the region in the post-war period: Émile Chanoux and Federico Chabod.

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Aymavilles

Aymavilles

Aymavilles, situated amid fruit trees and vineyards, boasts a number of fine red and white wines which can be purchased directly from the individual winemakers or from the “Cave des Onze Communes” Cooperative.

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Introd

Introd

Introd looks onto the valley bottom, at the fork where the Rhêmes Valley and the Valsavarenche go their separate ways. The name derives from the French “Entre Eaux”, between the waters.

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Valle di Rhêmes

Valle di Rhêmes

As you come up the valley, the first village you come to is Rhêmes-Saint-Georges (1218m), with the Parish Church of San Giorgio at the entrance, sitting in an isolated position atop a rock spur.

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Arvier

Arvier

Arvier is to be found in a small hollow where vines are grown, a clear indication of man’s stubbornness to use all the land available to him: this is where the famous “Enfer d’Arvier” red wine.

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Valgrisenche

Valgrisenche

Valgrisenche is dominated by the imposing Beauregard Dam, built in 1954 to contain 70 million cubic metres of water, but filled up to just a tenth of its capacity for safety reasons.

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Avise

Avise

Located in a dominating position on the left of the Dora Baltea river, Avise is a village that offers a fairytale landscape, where time seems to stand still.

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Villeneuve

Villeneuve

Among the interesting features of Villeneuve, situated on the right bank of the Dora, is the hydroelectric power plant building, which dates back to 1921 and features belle époque decorations.

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Saint-Pierre

Saint-Pierre

Saint Pierre sits at the bottom of the valley, and is dominated by the striking castle, with a vaguely Hollywood-style appearance created by the 19th century addition of the circular towers.

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Saint-Nicolas

Saint-Nicolas

Sitting in a sunny position on a natural balcony suspended atop the central valley, the village of Saint-Nicolas offers enchanting views that sweep from Monte Emilius to the Rutor Glacier.

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