A Day Trip to Aosta from Turin

Aosta Tower with mountains in background

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Here’s a quick guide to show how you can do a day trip to Aosta, Italy. I did this from Turin. This is by no means a comprehensive guide to everything there is to do in Aosta, Italy. For your convenience I’ll put a hyperlink glossary here so you can click and skip the intro and go to the section of interest.

  1. Getting to Aosta
  2. What to Do in Aosta
  3. Eats and Drinks in Aosta

Introduction

While staying in Turin, I wanted to take a day trip to the Aosta Valley (Val d’Aosta), Italy’s smallest region, tucked in the far northeast, bordering France and Switzerland. I highly recommend you make the trip. Aosta was beautiful, peaceful, and picturesque. I made this trip in October – it was chilly but comfortable. If you include lunch, give yourself at least 3 hours in Aosta.

Given its size, I think Aosta is fine for just a day trip. But if you want to enjoy the beauty and calmness of the Val d’Aosta region for a few days, Booking.com is a great option for finding places to stay.

Fun fact (sit down for this one) – I’m from the state of Georgia, in the United States. There’s a city on the border of Georgia and Florida called “Valdosta”. I thought, “Hmm. Valle d’Aosta kind of sounds like I’m saying Valdosta. Surely there’s a connection there.” And as sure enough, as sure as I drink too much cappuccino, the Georgia city of Valdosta was named after the state’s 32nd governor’s plantation, named after Val d’Aosta. 

Aosta. Left - Roman forum entrance, right, main street

Getting to Aosta

From Turin: I would take a train from Torino Porta Nuova to Aosta, about 2 hours. You can find tickets for this route here.

My suggestion for buying train tickets in Italy is to skip the line at the machine and buy the tickets on Trainline. Please check out my post, Essential Resources for Italy Travel.

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Transportation in Aosta

Aosta is fairly small, so you can get around on foot. That’s it. That’s the whole Transportation section.

Picture of Aosta from standing on Ponte di Pietro
View from Ponte di Pietro

What to do in Aosta

Aosta is charming (i.e. small). Most of the “to-do” items are along the main pedestrian strip, which starts about 5 minutes from the train station. When you get off the train, just walk to Piazza Émile Chanoux and take it from there. 

Piazza Émile Chanoux in Aosta
Piazza Émile Chanoux

Just take a walk down the main strip Via Porta Pretoria, along which you can find lots of shops and cafes. 

Aosta main street - via Porta Pretoria
Via Porta Pretoria

Arco di Augusto – at the time of this writing, it’s about 2000 years old (subject to change), built after the Roman victory over the Salassi tribe. 

Arco di Augusto in Aosta
Arco di Augusto

Porta Pretoria – this is probably the main historical attraction of Aosta, and for good reason. Built in 25 BC along with Arco di Augusto, this gave main access to the city of Augusta Praetoria.

Porta Pretoria in Aosta
Porta Pretoria

Sant’Orso is a really beautiful church built during the 9th century. I’m a sucker for crypts – but they are often closed off to the public – so when I stumbled across the open one here I immediately took advantage of it.

Inside Sant’Orso Church
Inside Sant’Orso Church

Ponte di Pietra – is a pretty Roman bridge which previously crossed the Buthier river until the water rerouted, leaving the bridge waterless. Thanks, river, now you made the bridge look like it doesn’t know its job. 

Ponte di Pietra in Aosta
Ponte di Pietra in Aosta

Cimitero di sant’Orso – a small cemetery on the north side of town – worthy of a walk through.

Antico cemetery in Aosta
Cimitero di sant’Orso

Leper’s Tower – originally built on the ruins of an ancient Roman tower, the current name comes from the fact that a leper named Pierre Bernard Guasco was imprisoned there for 30 years in the 18th century. Think about that while you’re enjoying a cappuccino in the piazza.

Leper's Tower in Aosta

Leper’s Tower

Roman Theaterwho needs Rome when you’ve got a Roman theater in Aosta? You’ll need a ticket to get in – official website here.

Aosta is pretty small. I suggest you be your own tour guide here. But if you are looking for fun activities or tours whether in Aosta or anywhere else, my go to places for tours are GetYourGuide and Viator

Eats and Drinks

The food in Aosta is pretty much unlike any “Italian” food we’re used to back in the States. This is largely due to its location, at the crossroads of Italy, France, and Switzerland.

For lunch, I opted for Trattoria Praetoria. This came recommended by a local. My usual ask is, “where can I find food typical of this region” and they sent me here. It didn’t disappoint. The staff was super friendly and the food was great. 

Food at Aosta Trattoria
Carbonada Valdostana contorni Polenta at Trattoria Praetoria. It tasted better than it looks. The polenta in particular was fantastic.

If you’re not in need of a whole meal and could just go for a smaller portion or a snack, find a bar like Bar Davit and get some blood sausage, bread, and wine. Also a great pastry and desserts selection.

bread and blood sausage in Aosta bar
Bread and blood sausage (boudin)

That’s All For Now

I sincerely hope you found value in this article.  If you have recommendations of your own or have suggestions on what else you would like to see covered here, please write in the comments below. Additionally, if you’re planning a trip to Italy and need one-on-one support or guidance, check out my services page where you can get in touch with me.

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