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Long weekends in Italy: Gran Paradiso


A nice long weekend in the Gran Paradiso National Park, 2003.

On 11 July the partygoers, having motored leisurely up southward from Aosta into the Valsavarenche nearly to the end of the road, check into the "Genzianella", in Pont. Pont appears on the map as a village at 1960m -- actually, Pont IS the Genzianella, some rural huts, and a campground at the trailhead.

The Genzianella is a very fine, and inexpensive, mountain-lodge-sort-of-thing in awesome surroundings, offering room and dinner ("demi-pension") at very nice prices, with good wines and blessedly ice-cold beer, and very friendly owners and staff. See more here: http://www.genzianella.aosta.it/.

Pont and the Genzianella are surrounded by extremely beautiful and very steep mountains, a good starting place for some excellent scenic ambles. Steep scenic ambles.

Genzianella: Popular with the day crowd, group and club dinners (singing chants and enthusiastic ritual encouragements almost till midnight, in some cases, and a few unwelcome bouncing oohs-and-aahs in the next room till 3 a.m.), but with plenty of rooms for dedicated hiking people ready to depart at the first light of dawn on the morrow.

The narrator's very beautiful Volkswagen break, named "Dieter", in front of the Genzianella, July 2003.

A last look at the Genzianella.

Still more northern Italian architecture

This is a resorty sort of thing in the nearby valley of Valgrisenche, seen a few days later, apparently built of renovated clusters of farm buildings and some new bits added in. The same wonderful mix of stone and wood for which Alpine Italy is so beloved.

A fabulous, though steep, and scenic (though very steep), and not terribly expensive area of the world: the Gran Paradiso.

Long weekends in Italy: Gran Paradiso


Fénis Castle


Rifugio Vittorio Emanuele II (2732m)

Grand Collet (2832m)

Lago di S. Grato (2466m)

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 15 September 2003, revised 31 July 2007, 10 December 2013.

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