Étroubles, Museum under the open sky

 

Small capital of the Gran San Bernardo Valley, in medieval times Étroubles was one of the countries located along the Via Francigena. Romans, Ostrogoths, Byzantines, Saracens, popes, princes and emperors, merchants and pilgrims pass here: directed to the border crossing of Gran San Bernardo or coming from Switzerland.

In Roman times it was known with the name of “Restepolis”, for its position along the pilgrimage route for the Gran San Bernardo Hill, where developed the via Francigena, an ancient road and pilgrim route running from France to Rome. Surrounded by woods and meadows, Étroubles is located in the Comba Frèide, the “cold valley” of the river Artanavaz. Today, the village is a pedestrian zone, the green areas, the meadows and pastures are well maintained, the balconies are always filled with flowers and many corners and alleys were retrarne. It is also an amazing museum under the open sky, with about twenty artworks, among sculptures, paintings and installations, scattered in the strestreets, in the squares and on the façades of the houses.

To see

Parish church – Dating back to 1815, it is located on the promontory where, in the past, rose up the ancient tower of the village, later destroyed; the tower stones were used to build the church.

Chapel of Echevennoz – With its murals, it was founded in 1440 and restored in 1836.

Chapel of Vachéry – Built in 1506 and restored in 1999, it preserves an altar carved in wood of the eighteenth century.

Ethnographic museum – Houses in the first dairy of the Valle d’Aosta, dating back to 1853, it is dedicated to fontina cheese and butter.

Open-air Museum “À Étroubles, avant toi sont passés…” – Since 2005, Étroubles houses a permanent art gallery with artworks of internationally renowned artists.

To taste

Fontina cheese – A DOP cheese made from whole milk of Valdostana cows.

Soup with fontina cheese and black bread

To enjoy

Carnival of the Comba Frèide – Very interesting is the Landzette parade, the traditional masks inspired to the uniform of the Napoleonic troops.

La Veillà – An occasion in which the old trades revive, together with traditional music, restaurants, local wines and good food.