The City of Aosta
Uniquely amongst major winter-sports destinations, Aosta is a beautiful historic city in its own right. Amazingly, it has more Roman remains than any city outside Rome itself, with much of the original city wall still intact. Because it was the major gateway between Italy and France, it has always been extremely wealthy, with many beautiful villas and castles. The pedestrianised, cobbled main street, lined with endless shops and cafes is a particular delight, as it links two sets of Roman remains with the main square.
In the summer, there are concerts, performances and sound and light exhibitions in the Roman ruins (five minutes from the main square). There are also concerts in the castles surrounding Aosta, and frequent exhibitions of local art including some exquisite woodcarvings.
Within five minutes of the main square (Piazza Chanoux), there are numerous sites worth visiting:,
The museum which includes underground passages at the foot of the Roman walls (east of the square).
The 11th century Cathedral to the north of the square.
The Church of Saint Orso plus the free art gallery of Saint Orso (directly opposite the church) to the east of the square)
The Roman ruins to the east of the square.
Aosta is also an excellent starting point for exploring the whole of north west Italy. It is on the motorway that goes directly to Turin and Milan, both of which make an easy day trip. It is also only a couple of hours from both the Mediterrannean coast of Liguria and the breathtaking Italian Lakes.