You can get directions to “Lo Grand Baöu”, in Jovençan, Aosta Valley, from local poet (as well as priest, linguist, winemaker, distiller, and farmer) Jean-Baptiste Cerlogne (1826-1910).
He recounted, “In Saint-Pierre I took the path leading / up, towards Vertosan”, and described this slice of paradise: “you smell the perfume of blooming violets / that fill the fresh air in Vertosan: / soon I feel the sharp peaks / respond all around to the herdsmen’s whistles. / In the fields in bloom, wet by pure water, / a cricket sings hidden under the grass, / and a robin perches on a fir bush, / giving passersby its most beautiful songs”.
Although over one hundred years have passed since these verses were written (originally in patois dialect), hardly anything has changed. Visiting the area you will see the same intact, incredible show of nature that inspired the poet-priest, with green meadows and airy blue skies.
“Lo Grand Baöu” is in this magnificent Vertosan Valley, at about 2,000 meters above sea level. It is open from June to September.
Spend a few hours here, and you will long to come back yearlong.