The demand for a different kind of vacation, far from chaos, loud noises and city stress, is on the rise. Vacations that, like a stargate, can take us back in time, to rediscover nature with its own rhythms and ancient flavours that reflect the traditions, history and customs of a place.
The Gran Paradiso National Park is the ideal place for wine & food tradition lovers who don't mind donning trekking boots and backpacks. The Savoy family, who loved to hunt in these lands, ordered the creation of mule-tracks that are still transitable. Surrounded by larches and fir-trees there is Lake Lauson to visit, with easily viewed mountain-goats. There are many tracks that bring excursionists directly in contact with nature and a brochure (distributed at the visitors' information centres) that helps them in identifying the many kinds of plants and shrubs.
The atmosphere becomes even more magical in sitting down at the table to taste the delicious local dishes. There are very many cheeses, such as Fontina, to be tasted on the Valle d'Aosta side of the park, and Toma, typical of the Piedmont side. Fontina is used to make many local dishes, such as for example polenta concia and Valle d'Aosta style dumplings. An incredible variety of genuine cured meats are made in this area. One of these is Salame di Patate (potato salame), available in Canavese, and Mocetta, made with game meats. Lard d'Arnad is of even higher quality, and is a spiced kind of lard found everywhere in the Valle d'Aosta.
After licking one's lips over this delicious food, one should stop to appreciate the handicraft products. Wood carving, especially in Introd and Ceresole, and the school of copper processing of Alette are very important. In addition to all this one must not miss Val Soana, where the local costumes are made.