|Città di Aosta
A view of Aosta from the mountains
|Province / Metropolitan city||Aosta Valley (AO)|
|• Mayor||Bruno Giordano|
|• Total||21 km2 (8 sq mi)|
|Elevation||583 m (1,913 ft)|
|Population (December 31, 2010)|
|• Density||1,700/km2 (4,300/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||Saint Gratus|
|Saint day||October 8|
Aosta (Italian: Aosta, French: Aoste) is a city in northern Italy. It is the capital city of the Valle d'Aosta (French: Vallée d'Aoste) region. It is roughly in the middle of the region, along the Dora Baltea (French: Doire baltée), the main river that flows in the valley. It is at 583 m above sea level. Around the city there are many mountains (the Alps).
Romans conquered the area in 25 BC. Later, the city was conquered by the Frankish Empire after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. Finally, it went under control of the House of Savoy in the 11th century. Many Roman buildings still survive in the city, like the east and south gates. The basic plan of the city, with rectangular blocks of streets, is Roman.
History[change | change source]
Roman Aosta[change | change source]
After 11 BC Aosta became the capital of the Alpes Graies ("Grey Alps") province of the Empire.
Significance[change | change source]
Aosta is at the join of two rivers. It is at the end of the Great St Bernard Pass (which leads to Switzerland) and the Little St Bernard Pass (which leads to France). Its position gave it considerable military importance, and the layout of the town was that of a Roman military camp.
At present Aosta Valley is a semi-autonomous region in northwestern Italy. It is the smallest region in Italy, and is not divided into provinces.
Aostan[change | change source]
Aostan French (French: français valdôtain) is the variety of French spoken in the Aosta Valley, where many speak some form of French. Some expressions, words and phrase constructions are different from standard French; some are similar to Swiss French. Some words come from the Piedmontese language or Italian. Both modern French and Italian mix with this local patois, valdôtain, which is Franco-Provençal in type.