VERRÉS. 12. Route. 55
41 M. Montalto Dora, with a battlemented castle (12-15th cent.). —
43 M. Borgofranco (830 ft.) has arsenical springs.
49 M. Pont-St-Martin. The village (1030 ft.; Hót.-Pens. Dela-
pierre, very fair), with a ruined castle, foundries, and a Román
bridge over the Lys, is picturesquely situated at the mouth of the
Val Gressoney, 1 M. from the station.
In the beautiful Val Gressoney a good road (diligence to Gressoney-
St-Jean in summer twice daily in 51/2 hrs.) ascends through chestnut-woods
viá Lillianes and Fontainemore to (17 M.) Issime (3030 ft.; "Hót. Mont-Nérv,
R. 2-3, pens. 6-8 fr.), whence the "Punta Frudiera (Moni Néry; 10,070 ft.),
with splendid view, may be ascended viá the Colle di Chasten in 7-8 hrs.
(guide 12 fr.). Thence viá Gaby (3395 ft.; Grand-Hótel Regina) to (11 M.)
Gressoney-St-Jean (4545 ft.; "Hotel Delapierre, R. 2-3i/2, D. 41/2, pens. 8-10 fr.;
"Hotel du Lyskamm, R. 4-6, D. 5 fr.; Hotel du Mont-Rose, R. 2-3, pens. 5-8 fr.),
the capital of the valley, and past the (13'/2 M.) prettily- situated 'Hotel
Pens. Miruvalle (5270 ft.; R. 3-5, D. 4, pena. 10-14 fr.) to (15 M.) Gressoney-
la-Trinité (5370 ft.; Hót.-Pens. Thédy, R. 21/2-372, D. 5 fr.; Hotel du Lac),
the last village, finely aituated near the glaciers of Monte Rosa. Gressoney-
St-Jean and La Trinité are both much frequented by summer-visitors and
mountaineers (for details, see Baedeker's Switzerland). Bridle path over the
Col d'Olen to (6-7 hrs.) Alagna, see p. 72.
We next cross the Lys and follow the broad valley, flanked
by fine mountains, to (5072 M.) the prettily-situated Donnaz
(1056 ft.; Rosa). The train now ascends a rocky defile and passes
through a tunnel under Fort Bard (1282 ft.), which was built in the
beginning of the llth cent, and was taken in 1242 by Amadeus IV.
of Savoy after a long siege, while in May, 1800, before the battle of
Marengo, it was gallantly defended by 400 Austrians, who kept the
French army in check for a week. The train then crosses the Dora
to (52 M.) Hóne-Bard, beautifully situated. On the left opens the
Val di Camporciero, or Champorcher, with its fine rocky peaks (p. 62);
to the N.W. towers the Becca di Luseney (11,500 ft.). — The train
intersects a cone of débris on the left bank of the Dora. — 5472 M.
Arnaz, with a ruined castle.
5672 M. Verrés. The village (1280 ft.; Alb. d'Italia, very fair;
Hót. Edén; Alb. degli Amici), with 1100 inhab. and an oíd castle
(Rocca) oí the former Counts of Challant (built in 1390, refortified
in 1636), lies picturesquely at the entrance of the Val Challant,
8/4 M. from the station. Opposite, on the right bank of the Dora,
lies Issogne, also with an interesting *Cháteau of the Counts of
Challant (ca. 1480; interior tastefully restored). To the N.E., be¬
tween the Challant and Gressoney valleys, towers the rocky pyramid
of the Becca di Vlou (9948 ft.).
The valleys of Aosta and Susa (p. 44) were alternately occupied by
the Franks and the Longobards, and belonged to the Franconian Empire,
in consequence of which a South French dialect (langue valdStaine) still
predominates in these Italian districts. The village of Bard (below the fort)
is tbe point of transition from Italian to French.
Above Verrés the valley expands, but soon contracts again. Ex¬
tensivo vineyards are passed. We cross the Evancon and the Dora.
On the slope to the left is the village of Champ de Praz, lying at
the entrance of the Val Chálame, the torrent of which has overspread