9 km from the Bard Fortress, Verrès is a town steeped in history and bursting with Medieval ruins, located where the Evançon stream flows into the Dora Baltea River. Founded by the Salassi, the old quarter was famed among the Romans for its many trading functions. A majestic castle perched on the rock overlooks the town, blocking access to the Ayas Valley and grabbing the attention of anyone passing through this area. In this quarter, you can also visit the Addolorata, Madonna delle Grazie, San Grato and San Rocco chapels.
There are many popular events: the “Mercatino verreziese dello scambio e dell’occasione” [“Verrès antiques and knick-knacks market”] is held on the first Sunday of June, July, August and September in the town’s historical centre; the Medieval fair takes place in the last weekend of July and the good food and fine wine evenings are held on August 16 (San Rocco) and August 28 (Sant’Agostino).
Points of interest
Built on the request of Ibleto of Challant in around 1390, the castle is a fine example of a feudal fortress. The tremendous structure of this enormous cube of stone (30 metres per side) is softened by mullioned windows and cross-windows, arched doorways, the monumental staircase and gigantic chimneys.
Le Murasse Farmstead
Built in 1512, it was used as stables by the Challant family. It consists of a surrounding wall crenellated on one side, long, low stables with a low vaulted roof and a dovecote tower, a sign of the seigniory and privilege of the nobility.
Collegiate Church of Saint-Gilles
The architectural core of the Collegiate church dates back to around the year 1000. The triple lancet window on the back wall of Ibleto’s ancient chapel is particularly interesting: it is the most beautiful stone window of all the Gothic architecture in the Aosta Valley. The adjacent Sant’Egidio parish church was built on the site of a previously existing Romanesque church.
Maison La Tour
This elegant historical building located in the very centre now plays host to exhibitions and cultural events.
An enormous iron cross stands on Mont Saint-Gilles, the mountain towering above the town. The route offers a panoramic view over the central valley of the Dora river. You will also have the chance to pass through the interesting Borna de Laou arboretum.
Historic Carnival of Verrès
It is the focal event in Verrès, and the most popular: the carnival offers a historical pageant celebrating the figure of Caterina di Challant, the countess surrounded by counts, armed guards and captains in period costume. Parades and dancing are in store for you and the castle is open in the evening for the traditional celebrations.
“La Terra degli Challant” Medieval Festival
(in partnership with the Town Councils of Challand-Saint-Victor and Issogne)
Festival of the Pumpkin
(last Sunday in September)
A whole day dedicated to finding out more about pumpkins, with a street market, tastings and entertainment.