Summer in Aosta Valley continued. Italy’s smallest region never ceases to surprise, even in September, giving unique experiences to both late vacationers and those who want to enjoy beautiful end-of-summer weekends. And while small things are never small, its seductive richness makes it the ideal destination to enjoy the tail end of the beautiful season at high altitude, surrounded by authentic emotions, where nature meets fun and adventure, with a rich calendar of activities among culture, music, sports and food and wine.
September appointments in the Aosta Valley
From September 16 to 24, 2023 , the rich cultural heritage of the Aosta Valley is on display, with Plaisirs de Culture , the festival that opens sites, castles and museums to the public free of charge between special tours (free or at a reduced rate), artistic performances and evening concerts at various locations. A special opportunity to discover the region’s important living cultural heritage , which is precisely the theme of this 11th edition, chosen by the European Union to emphasize the importance of keeping cultural heritage alive through the new languages of current events.
At the beginning and end of the month, the alpine scenery of the Aosta Valley will again be the stage for Musicastelle , with the last two dates scheduled. On Saturday, September 9,at 2 p.m., the avant-garde pop of Max Gazzè is starring in Emarèse in the meadow of the Erésaz tzan field, which can be reached in a 20-minute walk from the village parking area or from Col d’Arlaz, with a walk of about an hour and a quarter along the path through the fairy forest.
The curtain of Musicastelle 2023 will come down on Saturday, September 30 at 12 noon with Alex Britti in the resort of Coumarial at 1,440 meters. Starting point for numerous excursions to the Mont Mars Nature Reserve, the small pearl of the Alps at the mouth of the Lys Valley, which represents the largest of the nature reserves established in the Aosta Valley: about 390 hectares in a variety of alpine environments such as forests, pastures, grasslands, rock faces and lakes.
Musicastelle concerts are free, but seats are limited and access is by reservation only, with priority given to those who book a stay in the Aosta Valley through the Booking Valle d’Aosta portal.
September is also the month of major sporting events that characterize the rich offerings of the Aosta Valley. A vocation, that of sports, which has also earned it recognition as European Region of Sports 2023 and which makes this small but immense region a protagonist of the great challenges of the High Routes, among the highest Alpine scenery in Italy.
It starts with the Tor330 – Tor Des Géants® , the endurance trail along the trails straddling Aosta Valley’s Alta Via 1 and 2, at the foot of the most important 4,000-meter (13,000-foot) peaks in the Alps, running through the Gran Paradiso National Park and the regional Mont Avic Park. Appointment Sept. 10-16 with start and finish in Courmayeur for a unique endurance race with its 330 kilometers and 24,000 meters of positive elevation gain.
The competition is included in the program of TORX , which brings together the great trails of the Aosta Valley, including the Tor 450 – Tor des Glaciers (450 kilometers along the Forgotten High Routes 3 and 4, to be conducted in complete autonomy, starting and finishing in Courmayeur from September 8 to 16), the Tor 130 – Tot Dret (130 kilometers and 12,000 meters of positive elevation gain, September 12-14, starting in Gressoney-Saint-Jean and finishing in Courmayeur, with the backdrop of Monte Rosa, Matterhorn and Mont Blanc) and the Tor 30 – Passage au Malatrà (30 kilometers and 2,300 meters of positive elevation gain on technical tracks for specialists, but also for those who want to experience the first suggestions of mountain racing, starting from Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses, at 1521 meters, in the Valley of the Great St. Bernard and arriving in Courmayeur, Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023, through the 2928 m of the col Malatrà).
And there is also a race reserved for cyclists riding electric mountain bikes. It is called All Around eMTB Bosch, a fascinating stage challenge, in competitive and non-competitive versions, scheduled Sept. 6 to 10, with three different levels and lengths – 200, 100 and 50 km – crossing the region: Aosta, Pila, Cogne, Bard, Gressoney-La-Trinité, Val d’Ayas, Antey-Saint-André, Saint-Barthélemy, Valpelline and Gignod.
Aosta Valley, sports and more
Not just sports for the adrenaline junkies, the Aosta Valley is the ideal destination for those who love nature and breathtaking scenery, enjoying many en plein air activities for the whole family, surrounded by greenery, backpacking, between trekking, biking and climbing. Opportunities also to learn about history and culture among ancient villages and imposing castles.
Among the trekking routes, for a slow tourism experience, the Balteo Trail – ideal itinerary at this time of year – marries hiking and culture at its best, discovering the mid- and low-altitude locations of the Aosta Valley.
The loop circuit crosses 23 stages and more than 40 municipalities, for more than 350 km of circuit from Pont-Saint-Martin in La Salle, on a timeless journey, encountering on its way areas rich in history, art and traditions, along paths that pass through small villages, bridges, chapels, churches, shrines, towers and castles. An experience for all, which is also a journey through regional food and wine products: from wines to cheeses, from cured meats to breads, from desserts to fruits and honey.
The Aosta Valley in September is also popular for those who love two wheels, being able to try their hand at many scenic routes, from valley-floor bike paths among vineyards and castles, to other, more challenging, climbs and descents along Alpine passes.
A nice hike, affordable for everyone, to be done in mountain biking – but also walking – is the one in the Matterhorn Valley, from Chamois to La Magdeleine (or vice versa), along which there are also play installations and educational panels on the topic of energy. Chamois, at an altitude of 1,800 meters, has been included among the “Pearls of the Alps“, for its virtuosity in terms of environmental sustainability and soft mobility: an authentic mountain village, charming all year round, where no cars circulate and reachable only on foot or by funicular, departing from Buisson.
On thelast weekend of September walks and bike rides in La Magdeleine can be combined with a taste experience, thanks to Du Blé au pain , the festival of black bread (one of the PAT – Traditional Agri-food Products),which allows visitors to visit the mills, taste freshly baked bread in the town’s oven and taste dishes in which bread is the protagonist.
From one tradition to another, the end of the summer season in the Aosta Valley is marked by a fascinating event: the désarpa , a term in patois that represents the return of the herds from the mountain pastures to the valley. The transhumance of cattle is a festive day celebrated in late September in various locations, including in Valtournenche on the 23rd and in Cogne on the 30th. The program of the event includes music, dancing and the opportunity to taste the excellence of local food and wine.
And from Sept. 21 to 24 it is, instead, starring the village of Chambave with its spectacular vineyards, from which is produced the aromatic Muscat of Chambave, one of the most famous white wines of the Aosta Valley, which dates as far back as the mid-14th century. On the penultimate weekend of September, this wine of excellence is celebrated with the Féta di Resén (Grape Festival), welcoming wine lovers, but not only.