This is an excerpt from the book “Aosta Valley Itineraries”.
Arvier in summer.
Arvier: a sip of nature
Be silent: here you can listen in silence.
You are far away from noise and crowd even if only few kilometers from Aosta: you are in Arvier.
Have you seen that small church? It’s the chapel of Rochefort which was erected on the remains of Thomas 1st of Savoy’s Castle.
Can you smell that fragrance of wild roses? It comes from the vineyards of “Enfer” (the hell).
Those up there are the glaciers of Doravidi and the Peak of Tos: enjoy them sitting outside in a restaurant, sipping a good wine.
Then why not venturing through woods and meadows towards the boundless blue of the sky.
Arvier: art and culture at few steps from the sky
Are you looking for good cuisine, sport, peace and walking trails? You are in the right place. Here we offer you some good suggestions! First spend some time around the narrow streets of the village visiting its cultural heritage. Under the Roman Empire, its name was Arebrigium (are=from and briga=rise), it used to be a military camp along the Gallic road of which you can see the remains recently restored. You have many good reasons to spend some days here experiencing a profoundly authentic but homely welcome.
A drink of wine in the village center will convince you about this genuine place: taste Enfer d’Arvier, it is the first wine to be awarded the D.O.C. label. Its dry taste with the flavor of wild rose whisper to you the story of this community (you can visit the cave).
After a good meal in a local restaurant, it is time to continue your tour. Right in the center of the village you can see the Parish Church with its sacred art museum, the Romanesque bell-tower, the castle La Mothe, built at the end of the 13th century and the frescos of the pilgrims’ hospice founded in 1368 nearby in Leverogne. After reaching the hamlet Grand Haury (10 minutes by car from the village), where there are ancient mills, you can easily walk up to the remains of the Montmayeur castle.
While on the road to Valgrisenche, take a look at the sanctuary of Notre-Dame de Rochefort and the Casa Forte in Planaval.
It is now time for some recreation. From the village of La Ravoire, showing examples of Medieval architecture with its climbing wall, follow the panoramic path reaching the natural preserve named Lolair.
The dragonflies will lead you up to the pond. And when you get there search for the rare Potentilla pensylvanica but we remind you to respect this flower whose petals hold the nectar of our history.
Where to stay in Arvier
There are high quality hotels, villas and B&Bs available, check them out and make a reservation here.
Chapel of Rochefort
The Chapel of Rochefort was built in 1833 on the remains of the castle of Thomas 1st of Savoy, dated back to the XII century.
The Fortress of Rodolfo d’Avise, built in 1312, is the highest of Valle d’Aosta.
Granaries (Middle-Ages) and houses (18th and 19th centuries)
Loc. La Ravoire
Middle-Ages’ village and hospice
When you visit the village, take a look to the frescos dated to 1497, located in the ancient hospice and dedicated to the 7 works of Mercy. In Leverogne you can also see the remains of the roman bridge and few typical houses.
Parish church and bell tower
According to the tradition, the church of Arvier was situated in the little village of Leverogne. Afterwards, the lord of Arvier decided to build the church nearby the castle. In 1450 the bell tower of stone was erected. In 1701, the church was consecrated. Around 1850, the cupola and the two sacristies were built.
Remains of the castle of La Mothe
The La Mothe castle overlooks the village from a hill. Unfortunately, today, it is possible to see only the four-sided tower and the remains of a round tower and of the circle of walls. The castle was built between 11th and 15th century and its name appears already in a document of 1287 about the homage of Aimone de Arverio to the count of the Savoia Family. The name “La Mothe” comes from Aimar de la Mothe, a Savoyard gentleman who arrived in Valle d’Aosta at the end of the 13th century. Here, he married the heiress of the De Arverio Family, he became the proprietor of the castle and gave it his name.
Remains of the castle of Montmayeur
The castle of Montmayeur, built in 1271 by Anselmo and Aimone D’Avise, dominates the entrance of the Valgrisenche, on the right side of the Dora of Valgrisenche. It is possible to reach it by foot from the path that begins in the village of Grand Haury, right on Arvier. Today it remains only a cylindrical tower with a suggestive battlement with tails, the remains of the castle and of the circle of walls.
Courtesy of the AIAT Gran Paradiso