Thursday, May 31, 2012


What can I say about Aosta?  This is my first big Italian town and thus far I have been most impressed.  The people here seem to be multi lingual.  I was served by a waiter the other night who chatted about all sorts of things with me in English, he then served the people next to me and did the same in French, and a little while later I heard him switch to German, though not quite as fluently.  In between I could hear him talking to the locals in his very fast native tongue!

This is a city that has a long history.  I have already told you how Napoleon crossed St Bernards Pass (but I didn't tell you he had 40,000 soldiers and 5,000 horses in tow), but before him Hannibal crossed - with his elephants!  The Romans were here long before them, and probably the celts before that. There are many Roman monuments here, and there is an active archeological dig going on every day, right in the centre of town, which passers by stop and watch. 

The Cathedral in Aosta

One of the Roman monuments

There are a number of churches and a Cathedral - all very different from what I have seen previously.  There are a lot of frescoes in sight, and the churches have a lot of stone / marble in them too. 

A frescoe in the Cathedral

The people are wonderful.  I have had a lot of help - from the man who sold me a new pair of walking shoes today, to the Lory at the laundromat who rode her bike home to pick up her car to drive me back to the hotel, because my feet were so sore!

Here in Aosta I have companionship too.  As I was walking to my hotel on the first day the first person I saw was fellow pilgrim Steve, and we passed each other a number of times in the few hours he was in town.  Then, last night, I had the pleasure of the company of a former Via Francigena pilgrim and his wife.  They come from Perth, and Jim was showing Angela some of the territory that he walked through last year. Jim has filled me in on a few things - such as the limit for the ATM machines, how to catch the ferry on the River Po, and what adapter works for the battery charger!  Very useful stuff!

The Italian people like to go out at night sitting and chatting, dressed in ther best.  In Spain this is called dar un paseo, and I think that it is called passegiata in Italian.  I have just passed a group of people sitting outside and one of the blokes had a button accordian entertaining his friends. 

A street in Aosta, with the people starting to congregate. 

There seem to be pizza shops and gelati shops everywhere, and the locals (I assume they are locals because they have dogs in tow!) walk along munching on them just as much as the tourists!

I must fly as I am meeting Jim and Angela for dinner.  Tomorrow I am going to take the bus on the same journey that I would have wlaked:  I am hoping that my new shoes will settle in and that within a few days I will be able to walk freely again,.  Today I am much better than yesterday, so if I keep improving I will be right for walking again very soon!

1 comment:

  1. Keep up the good work Janet and hope that the soreness will heal quickly and you are able to keep walking. loving the pics. Glenis and Michael