Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley
9 October 2021
The city of Aosta is the capital of the small Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta).
In 1725, a historian wrote: la Vallée d’Aoste ne doit être ni comptée, ni considérée comme une province du Piémont ou de la Savoie, mais comme un petit Etat intramontain, séparé des états voisins, avec des pouvoirs temporel et judiciaire indépendants, édictant ses lois et ayant ses propres us et coutumes. (The Aosta Valley should not be counted or considered as a province of Piedmont or Savoy, but as a small intramontane state, separated from the neighbouring states, with independent secular and judicial powers, issuing its own laws and having its own customs).
The Aosta Valley was inhabited by the Salassians, a Celtic tribe. It took Rome more than a century to defeat this people.
The Salassians inflicted a bloody defeat on the Romans around 141 BC. After their victory, around 25 B.C., the Romans built a new city, Augusta Praetoria Salassorum, today’s Aosta.
Emperor Augustus, founder of Augusta Praetoria, erected a remarkable arch, a monument symbolising the city of Aosta, to show the final defeat of the Salassians and to celebrate the foundation of the new Roman city.
After the fall of the Roman Empire in 476, the Aosta Valley was inhabited by Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Burgundians, Franks, Lombards and Saracens.
The Autonomous Region of Valle d’Aosta was one of the first autonomous regions established within the Italian Republic in 1948. And the population of Valle d’Aosta was the first minority in Europe to recover its historical autonomy after 1945.
(Source: R. Berton, La Cité d’Aoste, Aosta 2009)