Fort Bard is located along the ancient Via Francigena walk path, connecting Canterbury to Rome in the Middle Ages. The route crosses the entire Aosta Valley, from mountain Great St Bernard to the village of Point-Saint-Martin, then it goes on across the Canavese towards Ivrea.
It is a fortress that remains as it was at its re-building time, in the early 1800s. Given its highly strategic position in the control of passageway, the top of this imposing rock was already fortified in pre-Roman times, however, historians have identified the Ostrogoth King Theodore as the first to install his military strongholds, in the 6th century. In 1242 the castle passed from the local landlord Viscount Aosta Boso to the Savoy family, but we have to wait between the 17th and the 18th century to have it the way it looks today, as it was strengthened and developed by Carlo Felice of Savoy, who feared the French assaults led by Napoleon.
Today it hosts the Museum of the Alps, also featuring temporary exhibitions of international artists (Chagall in 2016, Elliott Erwitt and others)
Opening Hours: working days: from 10am-6pm. Weekends: from 10am-7pm. Christmas: open from 26 December until 6 January; Summer: from 25 July to 4 September.
Closed on Mondays, from 14 November until 6 December, and on 25 December.
Directions and information
Address: 11020 Bard Aosta Valley
GPS: 45.609206, 7.744117
By train: from Milan it would be a 3-hour journey. Get a ticket for stations Pont-Saint-Martin then take the bus to the city of Bard, then you can walk for about 10 minutes (800 metres) to reach the top of the mountain. Up-to-date information on the bus schedule are available by phone T. 0125 966546-7-8 or e-mail vitaspa at vitagroup.it
Official website: www.fortedibard.it
Online ticketing service: here