Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Where is Nonno - Dove e' Nonno - Courmayeur, Italy

This is about our village of Courmayeur where we live. Courmayeur is a small village in the region (regione) of Val D'Aosta in the northwest corner of Italy where Italy, France and Switzerland meet in the Alps 

Courmayeur is right at the base of Monte Bianco the tallest mountain in Europe, 4810 meters high. Monte Bianco is the Italian name and since France is right on the other side of the mountain and the border is right down the middle the French call it Mont Blanc.

Our village is very small surrounded by mountains and alpine valleys.

Courmayeur From The Air

  Our village is very old since before 1300. The streets are very small and paved with cobblestones.

The main street is the via Roma and cars are not allowed to drive in the center of the village. On the via Roma are nice shops, banks, restaurants and places to get Gelato.

Hardware Store

Paolo's Cheese Shop

Candy Store

Crepes with Nutella Here

People gather for coffee and gelato in Piazza Ainge.

And they gather to visit in the Piazza by the church.

From the kitchen in our house you can see Monte Bianco only 1/2 kilometer away. From the front of our house you can see the Grand Jorass and the giants tooth (Dente del Gigante).
We have snow in our yard until May and some winters it is over Cecca’s head.

In the winter Courmayeur is popular among skiers from Italy and all over the world. You can ski in the ski area and on the glaciers in the mountains.

We have Alpine and Nordic/cross country World Cup and international ski races here. We have Olympic champions that live here. One has a hotel and restaurant in val Ferret where we go for dinner.
Some people come to Courmayeur because the places to ski are very steep and you have to go with a guide to show you how to ski down safely.

Ben’s mom skied down the Marbree Glacier which is 45 degrees. To start she had to lower down on ropes.

People climb to the top of Monte Bianco with our friend Gianni a mountain guide.Gianni climbed mountains in Europe, Africa and has climbed Mount Everest.

Our friend Stefano was the first person that skied down from the top of Mt. Blanc, he is pretty famous in Courmayeur and Chamonix.

The grade school is right in the middle of the village. We have a high school with only limited subjects so some of the kids go to Aosta, 26 kilometers away, some go by train.
Grade School on Bottom, High School on Top

And of course the place with the Best Pizza in the Alps!

Tunnel Pizza

There are also other things about Courmayeur that we can tell you about. We also have parks and valleys that are busy in the summer. There is more to tell about skiing and winter activities, cows, apples and mountain animals. More about mountains and glaciers. Things to tell about schools, schooldays and living in a small mountain village as well as what it is like for an American to live in this part of Italy. Would you like to hear more in another post?

And you can also ask Ben what he did when  he visited

A presto


  1. Dear Nonno,
    Thank you for posting the picture of my favorite gelato shop. really like Courmayeur and want to go back soon. The snow is so deep, I can't believe its over Cecca's head. I also like the bakery for the chocolate croissants. Italy has some of my favorite food.
    I remember walking to Via Roma with you and Cecca and Angela.

  2. Hi Nonno,
    I really enjoyed your post on Courmayeur. It was great to see the photos and learn something about that region. It looks like a beautiful village. How many months of the year do you live there?
    (Ben's family friend)

  3. Nonno,
    I remember Courmayeur, its very pretty. I remember the food being great. Do you like the food in Italy better than in the US? What is your favorate food in Italy?
    Brandt (Ben's dad)

  4. Ciao Commenters

    We are ready for you to come and visit, maybe even longer this time. Do remember the Adventure Park, the Castle and the games in Val Ferret?



    I live in Italy about nine months a year. Next year it may be less so I can visit Ben a bit more.


    Ben's Dad

    Italian food in Italy is so different than Italian food in the US. I like the Italian version better. My favorite food in Italy is dinner in an expensive Firenze restaurant when you are paying for the Panzanella, Bistecca alla Fiorentina and a bottle of Brunello followed by Tiramisu. :-)


  5. Dear Nonno,
    Thank you for the great blog on Courmayeur. It is one of my favorite ski villages in Europe! It is so beautiful both in the winter for skiing and the summer with all the flowers in the window boxes and sidewalk cafes. My favorite food while I am there is a Caprese salad,proscuitto and melon, pasta and tirimisu. Yum I am hungry thinking about it!
    Ben's Mom

  6. Dear Nonno,
    I really enjoyed reding the cool and interesting comments on Courmayeur. Things I found interesting were how Courmayeur is right at the base of the tallest mountain in Italy, Monte Bianco! Wow! via Roma sounds beautiful!

    From:Juliana, Ben's friend

  7. What a great blog of Courmayeur. Good job Nonno and Francesca. The photos are beautiful and makes us want to visit that special area again.
    Great information on the beautiful mountain and village.

    g.parents. NONNA Jeanne and Ed

  8. We are going to be close to Courmayeur this summer as we travel to Mürren Switzerland in July and then to the Dolomites in Italy with the hiking club. I will be gone all of July so will miss the reunion.

    Thanks for the nice photos of your lovely town. How you ended up there would be a good story.

    Class of 1956 and classmate.


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