“Valle d’Aosta” is the smallest Italian region, just over 127.000 inhabitants. It’s located in the extreme north-west of Italy where it borders with Switzerland and France and it’s surrounded by four mountains that exceed 4.000 meters above sea level: Monte Bianco 4.810 meters, Monte Rosa 4637, Cervino 4.478 meters and Gran Paradiso that with its 4061 meters is the lowest.
In the southern part of the region there is the Gran Paradiso National Park, the first Italian national park established in 1922 for the protection of various species of flora and fauna threatened with extinction.
Valle d’Aosta is also rich in castles, both in the main valley than in the smaller ones, and The Golden Scope has chosen one of these latter: Gressoney Valley because right there is the Savoy Castle.
Savoy Castle is also known as the “Castle of Margherita” because Queen Margherita, wife of King Umberto I of Italy, in 1877 chose the zone at the base of the Ranzola Mount to build the residence for the summer holidays .
The king was opposed to this project because he preferred the existing Sarre Castle for his hunting expeditions but Queen Margherita obtained his consent and commissioned architect Emilio Stramucci to design it and the first stone was laid in the summer of 1899.
The castle was completed in 1904, and the queen, who was widowed in 1900, began to reside there for extended periods of vacation surrounding herself with poets and writers. And so she enjoyed “her” castle until 1926, the year of her death.
It is coated externally by gray stone cutting in the area, and this building, commonly called the castle, is really a large villa with 3 floors. It consists of a rectangular central structure surrounded by five neo-Gothic towers that gave the typical appearance of a castle.
Due to a strange and specific request of the queen, the castle was built without kitchens which were made at about 30 meters from the main building. Ready meals arrived through a small tunnel crossing on some electric trolleys! Real whims of other times… today these kitchens are ticket office and toilets for visitors…
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