Valle d'Aosta | Italia


The village of Villeneuve, situated at 645 metres above sea level, lies at the base of the imposing rock face on which the castle of Châtel-Argent was built around the year 1000. With a strip of its territory in the Gran Paradiso National Park, Villeneuve is located 10 km from Aosta, at the entrance to the Valsavarenche, Rhêmes and Valgrisenche valleys and not far from the entrance to the Cogne valley: it is also for this reason an ideal destination for those wishing to discover the beauty of the Gran Paradiso territory.
Châtel-Argent, the castle with its 16-metre-high tower overlooking Villeneuve, thanks to its geographical position represented one of the best defence sites in the Aosta Valley; its walls could hold as many as 2,000 men. Vivre Châtel-Argent is an itinerary that winds through the area around the Châtel-Argent fortress, from which you can enjoy a spectacular aerial view of the village of Villeneuve, in which the bell tower of the parish church stands out. Paths through the greenery lead to the ancient Church of Santa Maria, a Romanesque church built on an early Christian complex, the mighty donjon and the chapel of Santa Colomba, dating back to the 12th century.
The ancient church of Saint Mary is first mentioned in a papal bull of 1184. Ancient documents show that the church was equipped with numerous altars and prestigious liturgical furnishings. In 1782, the ‘Royale Délégation’ decreed that the Villeneuve community should provide for the construction of a new parish church in the hamlet, which was consecrated in 1792. In the hamlet of Trépont is the covered bridge of Arbonne, which construction dates back to 1700. The bridge served as a link to the half-coast villages of Cumiod and Montovert. Destroyed by a flood in 1993, it was rebuilt respecting the original features.
At Martinet, there is an old foundry that was in operation until the end of the 19th century. The iron ore came from the mines of Cogne and was worked in the blast furnace, which was about 12 metres high. It was here that the famous iron fountain of Cogne was made, as well as part of Turin's Mole Antonelliana. Villeneuve offers numerous recreational opportunities, with a rich and well-equipped sports area, adventure park and the possibility of exciting river descents with rafting, canoeing and hydrospeed.