Courtesy Tony Bowden
Courtesy Tony Bowden

Aosta is a spectacular place. It’s a small city set at the base of the Italian Alps, just down the mountain from Mont Blanc, and not far from France. We visited several years ago after riding gondolas over the border.

The town generally is pleasant to visit and wander — like many European cities, numerous layers of ancient history are visible everywhere — but the star attraction in this relatively remote place is a set of ancient Roman ruins. The ruins lie within walking distance of everything else, and are well preserved.

But what’s especially exciting about the ruins is that they’re also a functioning venue. When we were there, we just happened to catch an evening concert:

It was remarkable to watch a concert in ruins that were thousands of years old, and the experience offered some perspective that is hard to get when you live in a much younger place.

— Jim Dalrymple II

Cover image via Pietro Zoccola.


Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.


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