Turin Ski RegionCopyright: Pippo-b / Wikimedia Commons
This is a beautiful military fortress in the Susa Valley which has witnessed sieges, defeats and victories over almost 900 years. Its structure is an excellent example of the Savoy and French fortification culture with its ramp, its Royal portal, cavalry courtyards and galleries. A legend says that the mysterious “Iron Mask” was incarcerated here.
- More Info: Exilles
- More Info: www.comune.exilles.to.it
Do & See
Visitors to this corner of the country will find that the Valle d’Aosta and Piedmont are quite distinct in character from the rest of Italy. The long history of geo-political power struggles with their French neighbours and the mountainous alpine environment have created a unique identity amongst the inhabitants. French was the official language in Piedmont only a century ago, whilst in Aosta, it still remains the administrative and legal language to this day, despite the majority of people speaking Italian. Add to this Aosta’s autonomy from central government and it becomes clear why this area is seen as the most un-Italian part of Italy. This is perhaps most obvious in the gothic style castles that dot the landscape of these two regions. Dating back to the reign of the Royal House of Savoy, the imposing fortifications set amongst the majesty of the mountains, help lend a fairytale air to the surroundings which is far from the suave sophistication of the Italian Riviera and the grandiosity of Rome.