Italian Road Trips: Aosta Valley & Western Liguria

ITALY MAGAZINE (Aug 20, 2020) …you will reach Issogne Castle, in the lower Aosta Valley, one of the most famous manors of the region, noteworthy for its fountain in the form of a pomegranate tree and its decorated portico, a rare example of medieval Alpine painting, featuring a frescoed cycle of scenes of daily life from the late Middle Ages. 

Aosta Valley

Castles, snow-capped mountains, Roman history and food: a road trip in Aosta Valley, Italy’s smallest region, offers this, plus plenty of fun for the keen driver, who will enjoy the mountain roads with their hairpin bends, climbs and tunnels. 

The three-day itinerary we present here starts at Bard Fort, a fortified complex built in the 19th century by the House of Savoy on a rocky prominence above Bard; today, it houses a cultural center and, in the summer, the main courtyard hosts musical and theatrical performances.

Western Liguria

The westernmost part of Liguria is ideal for those looking for a mix of sea and mountains, as a road trip here alternates stretches along the coast with detours into forests, mountains and inland villages. The same variety will be found on the table, with seafood dishes, such as the famous prawns of Sanremo and brandacujùn, a dish typical of Ligurian cuisine made with potatoes and stockfish, and ingredients of the interior, including vegetables, cheeses and goat meat.

This three-day itinerary (about 80 kilometers) starts from the beaches of Ospedaletti and Bordighera (which is only 20 kilometers from France – you can indeed see the French coast from there), two picturesque villages of the Riviera dei Fiori (Coast of Flowers); since Bordighera is built where the Maritime Alps plunge into the sea, it benefits from the Foehn effect which creates a special microclimate that has warmer winters.

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