Saint-Nicolas is located in a large sunny position at 1200 meters above sea level and only 15 km from the city of Aosta. Suspended on a balcony over the central valley, from the village you can enjoy a beautiful view from Mont Emilius to Rutor. Its favorable position had allowed human settlements since the Neolithic period. From the Middle Ages until the beginning of the 18th century it was part of the lordship of Châtel Argent (Villeneuve). Saint-Nicolas was the birthplace of the abbot Jean Baptiste Cerlogne, dialect poet and academic of the patois, the Aosta Valley dialect. Here you will also find the museum dedicated to his life and works.
WHAT TO SEE
● The Cerlogne Museum, next to the parish church, collects works and personal objects of the poet and other dialectal writers of the past.
● The René Willien Study Centre, created to protect and spread the patois (Provençal dialect), has a rich library, evidence of Alpine civilization and hosts ethnographic and linguistic conferences.
● The Gerbore Museum, in Lyveroulaz inside the historic building Maison de la Tôr, houses about fifty agricultural machines of the 50s.
● The village of Vens, lovely place at 1734 meters above sea level, where to get lost in the alleys, restored buildings and old rural houses.
NATURE AND SPORT
Numerous nature walks can be enjoyed along simple paths in Bois de la Tour, a wood that features a series of natural trails also accessible to the non-sighted, with information in Braille, and an equipped picnic area. Here the calanchi (gullies), characteristics and imposing erosions, are visible along various routes on foot or by bicycle. For more challenging hikes, from Saint-Nicolas you can easily reach the Comba of Vertosan, where trekking and mountain biking find their ideal environment.
In winter, the fields around the village are home to some great ʺcross-country skiing trailsʺ:/en/database/5/cross-country-skiing/saint-nicolas/saint-nicolas-pistes/3013 illuminated for 3 km even at night. Going up to the 1800 meters above sea level, Vétan offers snowshoes trails and ski mountaineering routes.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
The Dezarpe de Vertosan is the descent at the end of summer of the herds from the high altitude pastures of the valley of Vertosan (Avise), Vétan (Saint-Pierre) and the territory of Saint-Nicolas. A feast day in which animals and shepherds parade along the streets of the village, where they stop for a lunch with friends.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
A fun playground is located in the main hamlet Fossaz, near the sports area, not far from bars and restaurants.
● Inhabitants: 320
● Altitude: 1200 m
●*How to get there by public transport*: Saint-Nicolas can be reached from Aosta by bus with the “Aosta-St.-Nicolas-Cerellaz” line. The timetables are available on the Arriva company website.