Belonging to that portion of the territory commonly called "Riviera delle Alpi", Saint Vincent and Chatillon are two marvelous villages that encompass the whole soul of the Valle d'Aosta. Characterized by historical, cultural, naturalistic and wellness-related attractions, the two small towns welcome many visitors every year, ready to divide up between sports activities, relaxation and the discovery of the innumerable local beauties. Let's find out more about these two villages symbol of the smallest region of Italy.
Saint Vincent, history and curiosity about the city of the Casino
The history of Saint Vincent has its roots over the centuries, as shown by the historical remains still visible in the Valdostan town, such as the Roman Bridge over the Cillian stream, and the written testimonies found on texts from the early Middle Ages. Saint Vincent has been crossed by numerous armies, traders and pilgrims, which on the street renamed Via Francigena or Romea moved to reach their most important destinations, located in an important area of connection between Italy and the territories of the Alps. using the city also as a resting and refreshment point. Already in some writings before the year 1000 there is in fact the presence of a small Hospitale that welcomed travelers passing through.
Photo Wikimedia By Autore: Patafisik
In more recent times, and especially since the seventeenth century, Saint Vincent has been an important destination for writers and men of art and culture, who found the right inspiration here, guided by the natural beauties of the area and the presence of a nature pristine and regenerative. Just think of the writer Harry Seymour and the painter James Cockburn, but also the famous Russian author Tolstoy, who left his admiration for the local beauties on some important notes and a diary, in which he speaks of the Colle di Joux and the ancient village of Saint Vincent.
In addition to the many historical and architectural beauties, over the years Saint Vincent has linked his name to one of the most beloved Casinos in Europe, the Casino de la Vallée, which in the 20th century marked the definitive passage of the town in the imaginary popular in luxury and wealth. Officially inaugurated on 29 April 1947, the Casino of Saint Vincent has become for many fans the ideal place to live a gaming experience in an elegant setting immersed in a context of absolute charm, which for over 60 years has attracted thousands of lovers of the game but also simple curious ready to bet a few euros on their lucky numbers. The Aosta Valley Casino has seen many well-known personalities pass through its corridors, such as King Faruk of Egypt, and has also been the protagonist of some more or less truthful legends, such as the one according to which the great actor Sean Connery, in 1963, right here he would have won £ 10,000 with three consecutive bets on the black 17, a highly unlikely combination that will be re-proposed in the 007 saga "A cascade of diamonds" 8 years later with Connery in the role of James Bond.
For those who decide to visit Saint Vincent, the Casino is definitely a destination not to be missed, but equally worthy of a visit are the spas, frequented in 800 by famous people like Giosuè Carducci and Silvio Pellico, the Church of San Vincenzo, the ancient historical village and, obviously, the numerous naturalistic beauties that surround the area. Less than half an hour away you can also reach the village of Fénis, also wonderful.
Chatillon, the city of castles
Chatillon is a town located 549 meters above sea level, a small jewel that combines nature, history and art. Inhabited already in pre-Roman times, Chatillon knows a period of great wealth in the Middle Ages, when it became a fief of the Challant nobles. It is in this flourishing age that the three castles that still characterize the Chatillon landscape date back: the castle of the Challant, today Passerin d'Entréves, the castle Baron Gamba and the castle of Ussel. The ancient towers of Conoz, Néran and La Tour are also medieval, while many houses still well preserved in the village date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.
Foto Wikimedia By Postcrosser
There is no shortage of evidence of previous eras and, in particular, of the Roman age: the ancient bridge still stands on the Marmore stream, while another structure, which overlooks the Roman consular road, remains only an arch. Other places of interest in the city are the military and religious structures, in particular the Church of Santissimi Pietro and Paolo, as well as the first horizontal analemmatic solar clock of the Valle d'Aosta, located in the square in front of the municipal library and exploiting the azimuth angle to provide the time. Developed rapidly in the last 30 years, Chatillon is definitely a place not to be missed for those visiting the Val d'Aosta, a village full of surprises able to bring together everyone, from lovers of relaxation and nature to the most passionate of history and architecture.