Ollomont lies at an altitude of 1335 metres where the Valpelline opens into a wide, green and sunny area. Here we find a wild and little frequented environment, rich in tarns and streams and surrounded by amazing peaks. This valley has been an important crossing point since the time of the Salassi, who communicated with the people of Swiss Valais through the Fenêtre Durand: it is said that John Calvin, a French Protestant theologian, and Luigi Einaudi, President of the Italian Republic, crossed this pass when they sought refuge in Switzerland.
In the past this little village was an important copper mining centre, while today it is known not only for the architectural expressions of the past, but also for its setting and its natural environment, which is the real protagonist.
WHAT TO SEE
● The Parish Church of Saint Augustine: dating back to 1775, the town centre develops around this church. The main altar with polychrome marble covering is remarkable.
● The chapels: the most interesting one, from an artistic point of view, is the frescoed chapel of Vaud from the 15th centrury. In the valley of By a chapel dedicated to the Holy Mary has also been built.
● The hamlets of Ollomont: they display interesting examples of local rural architecture, consisting of stone houses with long wooden balconies, sloping roofs and small windows to contrast the harsh winter climate.
NATURE AND SPORT
Ollomont is the perfect place for all sports enthusiasts, since it is the starting point for major mountain ascents such as the Grand Combin and the Mont Vélan. It is also possible to follow the interesting Tour des Combins, an itinerary of 200 kilometres between Italy and Switzerland, among majestic peaks and glaciers. In the hamlet of Vaud, a climbing wall is available, ideal for beginners.
The winter season offers a wide range of activities: a 7.5 km cross-country skiing track, characterized by evocative views, snowshoe itineraries in the beautiful valley of By and ski mountaineering trips . The more adventurous can experience heliskiing and ice climbing.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
As in the whole area of the Great Saint Bernard, Ollomont celebrates an interesting historic carnival. According to tradition, this festivity was established in commemoration of the march through the Great Saint Bernard Pass by Napoleon and his troops in May 1800, during his campaign in Italy. The landzette, the curious masks of this carnival, wear colorful costumes and are traditionally an allegorical transformation of the uniforms originally worn by the French soldiers. They take over the village and, with their accordions and sympathetically provocative gestures, invoke the arrival of spring.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
Ollomont is a perfect destination for families, since it’s a welcoming and quiet village. The little explorers can walk along easy paths and discover the local nature. Not to be missed is the trip to the valley of By, surrounded by wide green pastures, high peaks and a small lake, or to the hamlet of Barliard, situated at the foot of a picturesque waterfall.
In winter, children can have fun on the slopes of the small ski resort and at the baby snowpark with bobsleigh and inflatable play equipment.
● Altitude: 1335 m
● Inhabitants: 160
● How to get there by public transport: Ollomont is reachable by bus with the line “Aosta – Ollomont”. For timetables and further information, please visit the website of the SVAP company.