This is an excerpt from the book “Aosta Valley Itineraries”.
The Cogne valley and the nearby Valsavarenche are the heart of the National Park of Gran Paradiso, the first natural park in Italy, which since 1922 ensures the preservation of unique natural environments and a precious biodiversity. These are the areas with the highest density of ibex and chamois of the Alps, where there are frequent close encounters with these magnificent wild animals, more difficult to look elsewhere.
Summer 2011. It was established in the valleys around Cogne a white ibex, the only case of albinism known for this species. It is a healthy male, born in 2006. Ethologists feared that, because of its white color, could be rejected by the group. At the moment it seems that it is perfectly integrated into his pack.
In Valnontey, in 1,700 m above sea level, is open in summer alpine garden Paradisia, in business since 1955. The ground moved and the share, able to hold both the alpine plants of both the mountain allow you to recreate different environments.
Currently about 1,500 alpine species are cultivated, also from other mountain areas of the world. It ‘a unique opportunity to see lots of flowers of various forms, in a multitude of colors and shades, and observe the adaptations to the selective mountain area. In addition to higher plants, a special route allows you to recognize the many lichens that colonize the rocks of the area.
To get closer to the themes of the alpine environment and learn about the different aspects of the park, even in a day of bad weather, you can visit the Visitors Centre of the Gran Paradiso National Park. The center, built within the historic mining village, is aimed at a diverse audience, each can fully customize your tour.
The Valley of Cogne is a real Mecca for lovers of botany. And ‘in fact the area floristically richest in species and botanical rarities in the region and among the most important area of the western Alps. It seems paradoxical, but the most interesting environments are outside the Gran Paradiso National Park, in the slopes on the right bank of the Grand Eyvia. Here substrates schists and ophiolites produce a favorable habitat to contain a precious biodiversity, including many rare entities such as Aethionema thomasianum, Astragalus alopecurus, the Androsace septentrionalis, Matthiola vallesiaca, Saxifraga diapensoides, Campanula alpestris, only mention some of the most sought after species.
Where to stay in Cogne
There are high quality hotels, apartments, condo hotels and guesthouses available, check them out and make a reservation here.