The village of Verrès is located in the central valley, at the entrance to the Ayas Valley, where the imposing Challant manor stands out, a perfect cube standing as a stronghold of the valley still known today under the name of this noble family.
Besides witnessing the history of this locality, the castle also acts as a sumptuous setting for the historic carnival, which every year sees the figures of Pierre d’Introd and Catherine of Challant as protagonists and evokes the dance in the square of the countess with the young men of the village, while the enthusiastic population acclaimed “Vive Introd et Madame de Challant!”.
WHAT TO SEE
● The Verrès castle: built at the end of the 14th century by Ibleto of Challant, it is an example of feudal fortress also used as the home of the Challants and their court.
● The Collegiate Church of Saint-Gilles: the complex, which includes the monastery and the parish church, was built between the 11th and the 18th centuries and is located in the historic centre, right at the entrance to the Ayas Valley.
● La Murasse: these are some buildings surrounded by a wall, once used as a stable for the Challants and today seat of the Evançon Mountain Community and the district library.
NATURE AND SPORT
At the entrance to the Ayas Valley, in a very scenic area, there is the Arboretum La Borna di Laou (‘the wolf’s den’ in the local dialect), rich in plants and shrubs of various species. It can be reached on foot, going up the first stretch of the regional road of the Ayas Valley.
In the municipality there are several facilities for the practice of multiple sports activities. In the building that houses two indoor swimming-pools (including one for children) there are also an indoor field for five-a-side football, volleyball and basketball, a gym and a sauna. In addition, there are a regular football field and an indoor climbing wall.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
● The Historic Carnival takes place between Saturday and Shrove Tuesday: four days of historical revocation, dinners and dances at the castle and parades in the town centre.
● A flea market, Second-hand and Swap Street Market: it has now become a fixed appointment and appreciated by all lovers of second-hand items, it is organized every first Sunday of the months from May to September.
● Feast of Sant’Agostino and San Rocco: at the end of August, on the occasion of the celebration of Sant’Agostino, a food and wine festival is organized in the village of Martorey; on 16th August, San Rocco’s day, in the district where the chapel dedicated to him is located, a feast is celebrated with traditional dishes.
● The Pumpkin Festival ... from the garden to the table is the appointment that at the end of September wants to enhance this fruit growing in the vegetable gardens of the village: a street market, themed tastings, various animations and a prize for the best pumpkins.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
In Verrès children can entertain themselves in the three playgrounds located in the municipality: in Duca d’Aosta street, near the municipal sports field, in Francheté street at the corner with XXVI Febbraio street and in the public gardens next to the regional swimming pool.
In the indoor climbing hall children from 6 years of age can sign up for courses and try to climb.
● Altitude: 391 m
● Inhabitants: 2632
● How to get there by public transport: Verrès is reachable by bus, with the line “Pont-Saint-Martin – Aosta” (timetables available on the Vita Group site) or by train (timetables available on the Trenitalia site).
Note - this information is not directly connected to the Cammino Balteo path but it is part of the Aosta Valley tourist offer.