Arnad is located at an altitude of 375 metres, on the border with Bard. Along with the production of DOC wine, which it shares with Montjovet, Arnad is also famous for making Lard d’Arnad, a tasty, fragrant cold cut seasoned with salt, spices and mountain herbs, which bears protected denomination of origin status in Europe. It is home to many historical ruins: the Echallod bridge, built entirely in stone, and the three castles watching over the town from the surrounding uplands: Ville fortified house, the Upper Castle and Vallaise Castle. The town is also visited by hordes of sport climbing aficionados.
POINTS OF INTEREST
San Martino Church
A romantic little gem, the San Martino parish church is a very interesting building from an architectural and artistic viewpoint; in the early 11th century, on the site of the current parish church, there was probably a small pre-Romanesque basilica that became the church we have today following several works. The façade can be dated back to the late 15th century and the church features narrow single-lancet windows. The ceiling over the left aisle is adorned with an interesting series of late-Gothic frescoes.
Along the Dora Baltea river, close to the hamlet of the same name, you will find this splendid 18th-century humpback bridge. Salvaged after the damage from the 2000 flooding, it is located along the Via Francigena pilgrim route, which connects Arnad to the nearby municipality of Hône.
Built by the Vallaise family in the 17th century, the castle is laid out over 3 floors, flanked by 2 quadrangular towers. The internal façade opens onto the courtyard, which is overlooked by a double arcade with narrow stone columns. The Salone d’Onore [Hall of Honour] features frescoes depicting ten scenes of places, once feudal fiefs belonging to the Vallaise family. The hexagonal chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph, Saint Anthony and the Virgin Mary, with Baroque altar in polychrome marble, is located in the park. Purchased by the Autonomous Aosta Valley region in 2010, the castle is currently undergoing restoration and upgrading work.
The shrine is located at an altitude of 696 metres in the Machaby Valley, not far from the town of Arnad. It is wonderfully positioned among chestnut tree woods. The building is of 14th century origin and was entirely rebuilt in 1687.
La Corma di Machaby rock climbing wall
Just outside the town you will find a huge rock face, enjoyed and visited by free-climbing lovers along the many vie attrezzate (protected climbing routes with equipment) on the two practice walls, Paretone and Gruviera.
Festival of Lard
One of the Aosta Valley’s most popular good food and fine wine events takes place on the last Sunday of August. During the festival, the producers put their family-made lard on display and invite you to taste it, alongside other traditional local produce.
Veillà in Ville
Held once every two years, this event re-enacts the rural life of yesterday. Along a route through the hamlet of Ville, which has been inhabited since the year 1000, all the residents play an active role in bringing the past to life. You can see the stable, the cellar, the forecourt for preparing wood charcoal for the blacksmith’s workshop and the castle made of tree-trunks, with hand-operated rip saw. Watch grain threshing, peeling of dry chestnuts and the hackling of hemp fibres, which, after being spun into thread, would be transported to Champorcher for weaving.
Municipality of Arnad
1, Frazione Closé
T. + 39 0125 966121