When you stay at La Stazione dell’Acqua in Introd or at the Maison Perriere, near Saint-Vincent both in Aosta Valley, District of Aosta, you will have the opportunity to enjoy sports, cultural and cow competitions in Aosta Valley.
Bataille des Reine
The Battle of the cows, a rugged, yet never-bloody combat, is a typical and immemorial exhibition, an expression of the pastoral environment of Valle d’Aosta.
In this combat, where the cows clash against each other, there is no bloodshed. After they have examined at length and fiercely scratched the ground with their hoofs to frighten the enemies, the Queens engage a bloodless battle, where the defeat is willingly accepted leaving the field to the strongest opponent.
The clash occurs between two cows that square off by their horns, pushing against each other. After the fight, the cow that has been able to push further the opponent, wins. The participants belong to the Valdostana race, they all have a paint fur black and chestnut, small-sized, yet brawny that is able to graze in arduous places.
The Queen imposes itself in virtue of its musculature, its stubbornness and agility, and its horns, strong and bended forward. During the summer transhumance, when many packs gather creating a single herd, the Batailles rises spontaneously in order to appoint the Mountain pastures queen.
They have organised, in Valle d’Aosta a real championship entirely dedicated to the batailles, which includes twenty local qualification trials that occur in spring, in summer, and in winter, in the mountain pastures and in the valley.
In the suburbs of Aosta, in the Croix Noire arena, on the third Sunday of October, on the other hand, the final – which gathers several breeders, enthusiasts, and simple interested people to the battlefield – takes place. All the cows belong to the local bovine race, more specifically the rodze, which is the most ancient type in the Alps.
Founded in 1969, the Foire d’été, meaning the Summer fair, offers the chance to get a sense of the local artisanship manufacturing, besides being an opportunity itself to close some good deals.
The Foire takes place along the alleys of the old town of Aosta, in August. The fair gathers about five hundreds of expositors belonging to the traditional sector, wooden and wrought-iron flowers, wood and stone sculpting and carving, and about a week-lasting stands that propose more recent manufacturing, like woven and dried flowers, salt dough.
Trofeo Mezzalama is an apline skiing endurance race. The crucial part of the competition occurs between the Aosta Valley glaciers valdostani, above the 3000 metres heigh section and also, in two stretches above the 4000 metres section, those which people admire when looking at the Monte Rosa and the Monte Cervinia.
The race was born in 1933, when the first ski lifts and stations were erected. The heroic spirit of those daredevils is still present in the Trofeo Mezzalama, where brave skiers dice with death without any mechanical assistance.
Let Mots Festival della Parola
Let Mots Festival della Parola (The Festival of the Word) is an opportunity to reflect on the meaning and the use of words, a meeting and a debate with key players from the news and culture. Piazza Chanoux is transformed for the occasion, thanks to the work of the the bookshops of the Aosta, into a kind of huge bookshop, a space in which events and meetings take place. Poets, journalists, men of science and culture, writers, artists, all gathered here to talk about the power of the word and how it is able to change the world and knowledge.
Rencontre des artisans de la valle
Since 1986 the Rencontre des artisans de la valle (Meeting of the artisans of the valley) exhibition is a promotion of local artisan products, which takes place every year on the last but one Sunday of July at Rhêmes-Notre-Dame.
Festa del Lardo
Lard is the protagonist in the tables of Val d’Aosta, and it is produced in Arnad, in the District of Aosta – the only lard in Europe with the DOP brand, which is a certified registered designation of origins. The Feast of the Lard, a gastronomic festival nationally renowned, has ennobled this simple seasoning.
Its great versatility and its consumption are testified by historic references dated back to the XVI Century. The pigs from which the famous Arnad lard comes from feed exclusively with vegetables and chestnuts. The product, aged with local aromas, releases a rich fragrance and an extremely pleasant savour.
Tor des Géants
The Tor des Géants, meaning the Giants tour, is a non-competitive race of trails, which takes place in September, in Aosta Valley. Who complete the entire competition gets a prize.
The race, considered the most difficult in the world, cross the territory of thirty-four Municipalities and winds along the high paths of Valle d’Aosta, starting and ending in Courmayeur, in the District of Aosta. A single stage that has to be done within 150 hours, during which the participants are allowed to use the essential sustenance and the assistance provided in some locations.
La Desarpa di Votornen
Towards the end of September, in Breuil-Cervinia Valtournenche, in the District of Aosta, the Desarpa ideally closes the good season. It is a ritual that reminds of cows returning from the mountain pastures to the valley.
The Desarpa is the uncontested protagonist. In fact, the cow is like a star, adorned with coloured decorations, and like if went through an ideal runway, it comes back to the valley. From Breuil, the parade reaches the fraction of Maen in Valtournenche, in the District of Aosta. The day ends with a lunch and dances.
Festa delle Mele
When you stay at La Stazione dell’Acqua in Introd or at the Maison Perriere, near Saint-Vincent both in Aosta Valley, District of Aosta, you will have the opportunity to take part in two main autumnal festivals: the Melevallée in Antey-Saint-André, and the Feast of the Gressan Apples, both occurring in the District of Aosta.
The exhibitions takes place on the first and second Sunday of October. These two feasts represent a great chance to taste the cookery specialties prepared with different sorts of apple: cakes, tarts, cider, juices, jams, and aspics.