It is the main city of the Autonomous Region of Valle d’Aosta
and is situated at 583 metres above sea level, at the bottom
of a valley to the left of the Dora Baltea, on the confluence
of the Buthier Stream. Aosta forms, with
its towns of Charvensod, Gressan, Saint-Christophe and Sarre,
an uninterrupted town area where more than 40% of the population
from the entire region is concentrated.
It was a Practorian colony (Augusta Praetoria) deducted from
Terenzio Varrone Murena in 25 BC at the place where the Capital
of the Salassi was positioned (who were defeated and deported
on mass from Augusto) and was at various times occupied by
the Burgundy’s, the Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Longobards,
then in 774 by the Francos. In 904, it passed hands to the
King of Burgundy and was subjected to a count’s title
by him and given to the local bishops: finally, in 1025, it
passed hands to Umberto Biancamano, Head of the Savoia Family.
Aosta was then raised to a Duchy (1302) but remained connected
forever to the Savoia Family, apart from brief periods of
Proof of its Roman origins can be seen in the renowned Arch
of Augusto, the Pretoria Door, dating back to the Ist Century
BC., the majestic ruins of the Theatre and the Augustee Walls.
A small archaeological museum preserves ancient Roman finds.
The most important Medieval complex of the City, fundamentally
for Roman sculpture, is the Collegiate of Saint Orso, which
also consists of a Crypt from the 11th Century, a 13th Century
Tower (the nave of the church is Gothic, as well as the choir
area with boxes adorned with figures), the evocative Cloister
(dating back to the 12th-14th Centuries) and the priorate
– Priorate of Saint Orso – datable to the 15th-17th
There are precious treasures conserved in the Collegiate and
in the Cathedral (11th-12th Centuries, subsequently readjusted),
such as antique jewellery and rich refurbishments.