Honey in the Italian Mountains

While other towns and regions are busy with their fall chestnut, apple, and truffle festivals, the community of Chatillon in the Val d’ Aosta Region of Italy is celebrating honey in all its sticky sweetness. Stands featuring local honey, honey products, and a honey competition highlight the event. The festival began on Thursday and runs through Sunday, October 29th. Tonight features a Castle of Honey tour in the Castello Gamba with food & wine tastings and a fundraiser for Italian earthquake victims. Tomorrow at 11:00 AM you can enjoy a local parade and at 2:00 PM enjoy a walking tour that combines town history and local honey.

Castello di Ussel, Chatillon, Val d’Aosta, Italy

Chatillon is a town located just east of Aosta in the Val d’Aosta province, near the Italian border with Switzerland and the famous Matterhorn peak. The Castello di Ussel was built in 1350 and dominates the skyline. Once you’ve enjoyed your fill of honey, head over to the nearby spa town of Saint-Vincent for some rest and relaxation.



Honey Festival Info at Official Val d’Aosta Tourism Site

Comune di Chatillon


Lisa M. Vogele is the author of Food & Folklore: A Year of Italian Festivals,  a travel reference guide that “helps you go local” by incorporating festivals into your travel planning. You can find out more information about Lisa’s books and “Fun with Food & Festivals” Tours at Lisa’s Travel Guides.


Castello di Ussel in Chatillon   Jelle Drok via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Church View Chatillon   Sergio & Gabriella via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Shades of Honey   http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Dripping Honey   https://www.flickr.com/photos/hillarystein/2751693052/

#explorevalledaosta #valledaosta #chatillon #italia #italy

@AostaValley @ValledAosta @Italia

1000+ Years of Tradition in an Italian Ski Town

Fiera di Sant’Orso on Piazza Chanoux at Night

This weekend there is more than skiing to draw you to the Aosta Valley. Aosta is an old Roman town in northwestern Italy with a dramatic mountain backdrop that includes the spectacular Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc), Cervinia (the Matterhorn) and Monte Rosa. Starting about the year 1000 the Fiera di Sant’Orso was created to honor an Irish monk who began distributing clothing and sabot (wooden shoes) to the poor. Today the tradition continues with over 1,000 artisans and stands distributed throughout the town the final weekend of January.

Aosta, Val d’Aosta, Italy

Early morning until late at night on Saturday and Sunday artisans will display intricate wood carvings, sculptures baskets, ceramics and other forms of fine & folk art.  Though this festival has been a showcase for the wood carving craftsment that display their wares, there is also a food and wine tent showcasing every local delicacy you can imagine: cheese, meat, jams, wines and more. The specialty “L’Atelier” tent has over 80 vendors selling a wide variety clothing, furnishings and housewares.

At night, stroll the streets while sipping warm, mulled wine and listening to spontaneous folk music and singing. Participate in some local food tastings or buy a grolla and share it with friends. La grolla is essentially a friendship cup; it’s carved out of wood, has 2, 4, 6 or 8 spouts and is intended to be filled with coffee, grappa and sugar. You might be able to spot one of these in use at a rifugio on the mountain or during apres ski.  Buy one from a wood artisan and take it home with you, the perfect souvenir to bring with you to your next party.

La Grolla – The Cup of Friendship

More Information about Fiera di Sant’Orso


Photo Credits:
Piazza Chanoux at Night:  Roberto Cilenti via Foter.com / CC BY-ND
Aosta Landscape:  enki22 via Foter.com / CC BY-ND
Sabot Wooden Shoes:  Fiore S. Barbato via Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Wood Carving – Woman:  FlavioSuffredini.com via Foter.com / CC BY
Wood Carving – Horse:  FlavioSuffredini.com via Foter.com / CC BY
La Grolla:  Fiore S. Barbato via Foter.com / CC BY-SA