When I moved to Switzerland last November, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to visit Italy as well as it’s just so close by. I had never been and Flixbus made it quite easy; I received an email from them saying they had tickets from Lausanne to Aosta for 25 euros the return. I was hooked. I had never heard of Aosta before, I just knew it was in Italy, a 4 hours drive and really cheap. I mean, I had to go. I would have been crazy not to. 2 weeks after receiving that email, I was on my way to Italy.
The night before, I booked a little hotel called Hotel Beau séjour via the website booking.com. I paid 84 euros for 2 nights. It was a cheap but really nice studio with a little kitchen. So, if you’re travelling soon and need a room, booking.com is perfect for it. You can use my code to have a 10% discount.
If you read a few of my posts, you probably know that I’m not the planner type of person. Especially not when travelling. So here I was, on a Saturday morning, ready to explore Aosta, a city that a few days before I didn’t know the existence of. My hotel being “only” an hour walking from the city centre, I decided not to take the bus but walk instead. The view from outside the hotel was already beautiful. I could see the mountains during all the walk and of course, stopped so many times to take pictures. If you go to the same hotel as mine, I would recommend being extra careful if you choose to walk though as sometimes there’s no pavement and you’re literally walking on the road next to the cars.
I arrived in the small city of Aosta, full of live and my eyes wide opened. Music in the streets, colourful apartments, mountains in the background of a blue sky : I couldn’t stop smiling. I was so happy to be there. Most of the people speak French as second or even first language in Aosta as it’s so close to France. Usually, when I don’t speak the language of the country, I switch to English but not this time, I spoke French the whole time.
I found a little shop that melted my heart. It was the cutest and everything was handmade. Inside, the smells and colours hit me straight away. I gently asked if I could take pictures to the lady in the shop. She was so nice as well, answering all of my questions and helping me choose a candle for my hostfamily. You then got the candle in a beautiful bag made in cotton flower. You really should stop by if you ever going to Aosta.
The city is full of history and vestiges from ancient time. There’s a big door : “Porta Pretoria” in the middle of the city. It was used as the access to the city and build more than 2000 years ago but it’s still in good condition. It was actually so hard to take pictures of it as it’s pretty big and I haven’t saved money for a real camera yet so still using my phone to take pictures sooo.
A few meters away from the door, you can admire a huge statue called “I fisarmonicisti” (the accordionist) by Ouvrier Dorino. It’s made with wood and need loads of care therefore.
After lunch, I decided to visit the roman theater. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that for 7 euros (I think it was 5 or 6 for students) I could visit the theater and 3 others attractions in Aosta, using the same ticket. And you can use it ticket for a year!!! One of the greatest thing about not planning is you’re rarely disappointed as you don’t know what to expect and often surprised.
I started visiting the ruins of the roman theater. The sun creates some shadows with it and, with the mountains, it was stunning. I admired it for a long moment before going to my next stop
I then went to visit some underground galleries. I was basically alone in there : one of the advantage of exploring a small city, in the low season. I walked there to the end where there was a video about the galleries. I didn’t watch all of it as most of the attractions were closing at 5pm and I rather spend my time visiting than watching a video I could maybe find online.
After the galleries, it was time to visit the archeologique museum. I’m not really the type of person who loves history and museums but I still find them interesting. It was actually quite big and there was loads to see. I actually didn’t make it in time for the last of the four attractions included in the ticket : chiesa paleocristiana (the christian church). Meaning : I’ll have to go back. For that reason but also because I didn’t eat a pizza while I was in Italy. I know, crazy, huh?
I’ve been so happy to make that trip. It’s definitely not the typical city people would visit when they go to Italy and I think that’s what I liked the most about it. It’s small, not really known off, there’s only a few tourists there and you can actually visit without it being crowded or polluted by non respectful tourists. It is also perfect for a day trip then.
Also, I’ve been so lucky with the weather, it was 14 degrees and sunny when I was exploring and the next day, when I was living, it was snowy and minus 2 degrees haha.
The only little downs about this trip must be the bus journey. Both ways. We were delayed because of the customs borders and on the way back, someone had got weed on him so we arrived back in Lausanne 2hours later than what was expected. Also, I mentioned it in my previous post but I hurt myself behind the knee from walking too much. But it’s just details, the whole day trip was a blast. I’m so happy to finally said that I’ve been at least once to Italy. Won’t be the last one though.
Have you ever been to Aosta? Which city in Italy do you recommend I visit next? Tell me everything in the comments!
With love, Anaïs