Located on the right bank of the Dora river, Villeneuve (665 m) is in a strategic position on the central road axis, ideal to reach every valley of the Gran Paradiso National Park and other locations in high Aosta Valley.
Above the village, on a rock spur, sit the ruins of the castle of Châtel-Argent, built in XIII century, very important for its strategic and militar position. Its denomination comes from argent which in French means money, because here coins were minted.
WHAT TO SEE
● The castle of Châtel-Argent, reachable in 15 minutes on foot from the village, where today remain the circular tower, rests of the walls and the ruins of the chapel.
● The ancient church of Santa Maria, located at the foot of the castle, where remains dating back to the fifth century were found.
● The hydroelectric plant of Champagne, industrial monument with unexpected decorations of the Belle Epoque built in 1921. An interesting visit to understand the operation of hydroelectric plants and the production of energy through water.
NATURE AND SPORT
Lovers of outdoor activities can try descents in rafting, kayak or hydrospeed on the waters of the Dora Baltea river in company of qualified instructors or enjoy a relaxing day at the outdoor pool accessible along the activity path, that leads the centre of the village to the sports area.
During the winter, with short travel from Villeneuve to the nearby Gran Paradiso valleys, it is possible to practice cross-country and downhill skiing, ski mountaineering, heliskiing and snowshoeing.
FEASTS AND TRADITIONS
The Fiha di Barmé – the festival of barmé, traditional caves of the village carved into the rock, perfect to conserve wine. During the festival (every year in mid-August), the barmé open their doors to visitors for the tasting of local wine.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
At the entrance of Villeneuve, the river park is a beautiful playground surrounded by the nature equipped for the fun of children. From here the pleasant walk along the Dora Baltea river, that it is also possible with strollers, leads to the sports area.
Not far away, in Chavonne hamlet, the adventure park is the ideal place for a day of fun between pulleys and adventurous passages, suitable for young and older.
● Inhabitants: 1285
● Altitude: 665 m
● How to get there by public transport: Villeneuve can be reached from Aosta by bus with the line “Aosta-Courmayeur”. The timetables are available on the Arriva company website.
Note - this information is not directly connected to the Cammino Balteo path but it is part of the Aosta Valley tourist offer.