Nestled between beautiful mountains, at 1524 meters above sea level, Cogne is a destination that will remain in your heart. Perhaps for the entirely frescoed dome of the church of Sant'Orso, perhaps for the wooden and stone huts, perhaps for the curious shops, for the unique taste of the local dishes, for the hospitality of the inhabitants or for the surprising nature that surrounds it.
95% of the territory of Cogne is a protected area, so it is not surprising that there is so much to see and do. The village opens onto the surprising Meadows of Sant’Orso, a beautiful carpet of grass lying at the foot of the Gran Paradiso massif, which with its 4,061 meters is the highest peak entirely in Italian territory. The history and economy of Cogne has been based on the extraction of iron for centuries. Today it is possible to visit what is one of the highest mines in Europe by boarding a vintage train that goes for 1 kilometer into the mountain, on the slopes of Mount Creya. An incredible experience, which seems like a journey through time.
From the Meadows of Sant’Orso you can easily reach the hamlet of Valnontey, totally immersed in Gran Paradiso Park. From here you can discover pristine nature, admire chamois and ibex. The Maison Gérard Dayné is one of the greatest examples of traditional Aosta Valley architecture and is today an interesting ethnographic museum. Finally, do not miss the Paradisia botanical garden, which houses over 1,000 botanical species from the Alps and other mountain groups from all over the world.
During your stay you could take part in one of the many traditional festivals of the Alpine Pearl: for example there is Devètèya which marks the end of summer with the return of the herds to the valley after a season lived in the mountain pastures.
The valley of Cogne is covered by a dense network of paths of all difficulties, from those suitable for everyone to those for the most expert hikers.
Cogne will also win you over with its products and flavors. In the cabins and in the restaurants you can taste delicious cheeses such as fontina, game specialties, polenta, the unmissable Seupetta de Cogne, prepared with bread, rice, butter, fontina and meat broth. Mecoulin stands out among the desserts. It's a delicious local version of the panettone, prepared exclusively in wood-fired ovens!
The Alpine Pearl is the queen of cross-country skiing in the region. 80 kilometers of slopes wind through woods and streams, offering an incredible view of Mount Gran Paradiso. During the winter season you can also discover 150 ice falls or walk on the snow with snowshoes. In summer the cross-country trails become splendid routes for cycling. You can also experience unique emotions on horseback rides or try fishing for trout in the Grand Eyvia, Grauson and Urtier streams or in the various alpine lakes of the area.
The nearest railway station is in Aosta; from here you can take the bus to quickly reach the Alpine Pearl. Once at your destination, you can take advantage of the free shuttle service that connects the individual hamlets of Cogne all year round, you can rent electric bikes, get to the cable car with a free ski bus service. There are 2 charging stations for electric cars and several charging stations for e-bikes. Also in the center pedestrians can enjoy quiet walks and shopping away from traffic.
Cogne strives every day to offer a sustainable tourism offer. That's why in the area of the Alpine Pearl you will find numerous eco-friendly accommodations: search here for the one that best suits your needs and book your green holiday in Cogne.
Author: Chiara Marras
Cover image: photo via Alpine Pearls