La Torretta Hotel: Val D’Aosta starts here

La Torretta Hotel: Val D’Aosta starts here

We are in the heart of Challant’s lands, the noble family that ruled on behalf of the Savoy good part of the Aosta Valley for many centuries. At the foot of Monte Rosa, at the entrance of the Ayas Valley, the landscape is dotted with castles


and strategic locations from which they controlled all entrances to the region: a door to the kingdom that it was necessary to control for military and commercial reasons. Next to the Evançon river, the Graines castle, region’s oldest manor house, important service and lookout station. At its foot, “La Torretta” (“The little tower”), a place of hospitality full of magic and traditions since XX century.


Everything here is precious and special, every detail brings with it a piece of history, memories and scents.
Paola Voulaz and Nica Di Pietrantonio run the hotel where we are and the Maison Dominique, a cozy and intimate outbuildings 500 meters from here, surrounded by the remains of an old Walser village: a zero impact structure thanks to solar panels and biomass energy, nestled in the mountains landscape and mood.

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In the ’20s my grandfather was here at La Torretta experimenting on crops and seeds, and next to the agricultural part of the estate ran a small hotel with a restaurant, a kind of inn for people passing by.”
Paola Voulaz tells us about the beginnings of her family business, making us understand the origins of their love for this place: “Here there were only dirt roads, people used to arrive on a donkey or by coach. For the pack animals my grandparents used to prepare the “soup of the donkey” made of black bread, red wine and sugar, which gave them the strength to continue the climb. This was a place of conviviality and a meeting point, the only one where there was the phone or – later – the television. It was the landmark of the villages around and it was also the place where fishing permits for the Reserve and the Riservino were issued for Saint Vincent Casino’s customers, in the golden times when prominent personalities of those years were also our guests.”


But Paola and Nica professional path did not start from here. Their life was far from these horizons: Nica was a naturopath, Paola a psychotherapist. Both worked a lot in Milan and, when they met for business reasons, they discovered the desire for a different path and a pace that would respect the values and balance they were looking for.
La Torretta was there waiting for them and, looking at the result of their work, it seems incredible that they did almost everything by themselves. No designer, no architect: with some help from Paola’s father, they worked wood, recycled barns doors and fallen logs, saved beams from destruction, adapted cribs, reused stones and sledges. Every single piece of furniture holds a place, a memory, a name: “Everything here comes from Valle d’Aosta – they explain to us – we have recovered and rearranged everything, from stone to wood, from tables to furniture. “


A hymn to beauty, good taste and sustainability: a philosophy of life, not just a professional principle: “Choose to respect the zero kilometer and reuse philosophy has not always been an easy choice, but also the food we use is mostly local. We have started fruitful collaborations with farmers and producers in the area, creating synergies and partnerships in which we strongly believe.”
The food at La Torretta is another wonderful aspect of this place. Here bread is baked in house, there is the Pan Perdu and the muffins with Arnad raspberries, Les bières du Grand St Bernard, potatoes and vegetables from their vegetable garden, Brusson honey and Alpine milk.

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In Valle D’Aosta each square meter of pasture contains an average of 36 medicinal herbs: imagine the taste and the power of cows milk after eating this grass. We also use it to make Km 0 ice cream that, on board our van, we also sell in the entire region during summer. Last August at the Tor des Giants and “Batailles des reines” events people queued two hours in front of our van to taste it.

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Paola and Nica are not only two hoteliers that have made La Torretta a nice, warm and cozy place as the best of the houses, but two ambassadors of the land in which they live: they work hard to enhance their territory and to network with all the other excellent reality around them, so that they have also founded the Slow Holiday association with the aim of promoting local nature, art, food, sports, and culture through the hospitality of 30 small or medium-sized structures spread throughout Valle d’Aosta.
Getting in touch with them means be astonished by the creative force of two women who have been able to imagine a different future and work hard every day to realize the reality they believe in, both if it means take away old barns doors from destruction, or if means to treat the wood the way in the rooms there is a wonderful cinnamon scent that surrounds guests in a unique atmosphere.
Ten minutes from ski slopes, surrounded by castles and wonderful nature trails along Challant’s medieval irrigation canals (called “Ru”), La Torretta is the perfect place for mountain lovers, but to make it a really special place is the style of those who manage it with love every day.
Being a guest of Paola and Nica is a special experience that we hope all of you feel like trying.

(Click on a photo to open the full gallery)

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  1. Il nuovo blog Slow Holiday per raccontare la Valle D’Aosta | Brand-it-up - […] relazione con la Valle D’Aosta è stata subito appassionata: ci siamo andati per un servizio a La Torretta Hotel …

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