If you can’t visit all 72 castles (who could?) in the Aosta Valley of Italy then at least visit one–Fénis Castle. Dating back to the 12th century, Fénis is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a medieval viscount stronghold, with crenellated walls, towers and frescoed rooms and courtyard in a dramatic setting in a valley surrounded by tall mountains.
The only way to visit the castle is to join a group tour offered at specific times throughout the day. Our tour was in Italian, but lucky for us the castle’s main rooms had explanatory information in English.
The castle was built by the Challant family and much of the structure we see today is the result of additional construction work early in the 15th century.
The castle was used as a hay barn, stables and granary in the 19th century until significant restoration started at the end of the 19th century and continued through the 1940’s.
Fénis Castle is about 15 km (9 miles) east of the town of Aosta. Don’t miss this great castle if you visit the magical Aosta Valley, one of Italy’s less visited regions.