This is an excerpt from the book “Aosta Valley Itineraries”.
Saint-Nicolas: we are happy to let you know our roots
There are plenty of reasons to spend your holiday in Saint-Nicolas. The village gave birth to Jean-Baptiste Cerlogne, a great poet dedicated to the dialect of the Valley, to whom the village has devoted a museum. The village hosts the center for studies Rene Willien, founded to protect and spread the Patois, our French-Provencal dialect.
Come and have a look at it even only to admire the ancient building dated back to the 18th century. If you are fond of mountain sceneries, you won’t be disappointed. Saint-Nicolas will charm you with breathtaking views, will show you its cross-country tracks, will take you around to discover the enchanting forest Bois de la Tour equipped with paths for blind people too. You will be fortified by traditional plates and you will benefit from deep sleeps under its starry sky.
Saint-Nicolas: the snow is shining under the starlight
The astonishing view from the belvedere covers the central valley and the river Dora Baltea, the Gran Paradiso valleys and several peaks: Ruitor, Grivola, Mont Emilius and Becca di Nona.
Saint-Nicolas is rich in resources so it is not worth spending days on the grass observing the surrounding landscape because there is so much more to do.
The village of Saint-Nicolas gave birth to one of the most important poets in the Valley, Jean-Baptiste Cerlogne, the poet who made the patois dialect a written language. In the sixties a museum was created in his memory, open in summer only, that holds his written works and the “ center d’Etudes Francoprovençales”, a center of international importance specializing in ethnographical and dialectical aspects of the Alps.
Near the Jean-Baptiste Cerlogne museum there is the church dedicated to San Nicola, with its bell-tower and the wood-painted tabernacle; the bell dates back to the 15th century. In Lyveroulaz is located the Museum Gerbore where rural machines of the fifties are shown, a rich collection demonstrating the agricultural mechanization throughout the years.
Among the chapels of Saint-Nicolas, it is worth a visit to the one dedicated to the Partisans which is situated near the wood Bois de la Tour. It was erected in memory of one of the bloodiest Resistance battles.
The cool forest is equipped with a path for blind people and a pic-nic area. When lingering around have a look at the calanques, an amazing geomorphologic phenomenon originated by the glaciers. Higher up are the hamlets Vens, Clavel and Persod with typical examples of traditional architecture.
In winter, snow and peace are absolute. Cross-country and mountaineering skiing first, traditional dishes later on.
Museum and Exhibition center d’Etudes Francoprovencales Rene Willien
Info: center d’Etudes Francoprovencales Rene Willien tel. (+39) 0165 908882
LLoc. Fossaz Dessus, Saint-Nicolas – Library of Valle d’Aosta language and ethnography. The center has its seat in a XVIII century building that represents the typical traditional regional architecture. It presents also the Concours Cerlogne archives with the documents of the Valle d’Aosta dialect since 1963.
Loc. Fossaz-Dessus – Saint-Nicolas
In Saint-Nicolas the visitor will find incredible natural beauties. For example, the alanchi, morphologic phenomena originated by glacial erosions.
LLoc. La Cure – Saint-Nicolas
The chapel of the partisans was built nearby the parish church, at the beginning of the Bois de la Tour to remember one of the ruellest struggles of the Resistance.
LLoc. La Cure – Saint-Nicolas
The parish church of Saint-Nicolas rises on the ruins of an older construction, of which still remains the crypt (11th century). The beautiful bell tower was built in the 15th century and readjusted in the 17th. Very interesting are the bell of the 15th century and the wooden tabernacle of the 16th.
LLoc. Vens – Saint-Nicolas
In the little village of ens, it is possible to see the typical constructions completely restored.
LLLoc. La Cure – Saint-Nicolas
Going for a walk along the Bois de la Tour, on the way to the church, you will find a natural, panoramic terrace from which you will admire a wonderful panorama.
Courtesy of the AIAT Gran Paradis; more… >>>