City of Aosta, Italy, and its valley

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Jagged Alpine peaks rise like marble cathedrals above the regional capital Aosta, a once-important Roman settlement that retains a charming historic centre, while also sprawling rather untidily across the valley floor. Bounced around between Burgundy (France) and Savoy (Italy) in the Middle Ages, the modern town remains bilingual, with a Valdostan culture that can be heard in its musical local dialect and simple but hearty cuisine.


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