Exploring Fénis Castle: A Must-Visit Destination
Castle of Fénis
Located a few kilometres from Aosta in a splendid natural setting, the Castle of Fénis is an important example of medieval architecture that has survived almost intact to the present day.
Unlike most of the castles in the Aosta Valley, which are situated on high ground and impregnable, the Fénis castle is built in an area with no natural defences, almost as if to emphasise that it was not conceived with a purely strategic function in mind, but rather as a residence for the nobility, a theory that is confirmed by its undeniable beauty.
As soon as we arrive in front of the castle, we can admire its appearance, which is exactly what you would expect from a medieval castle: towers, crenellated walls, decorations, frescoes, but above all an enchanted aura that pervades every single stone. We are, after all, in front of what was, for several centuries, the residence of the Challant family, or at least of one of its most important branches, that of Fénis.
Once we enter its rooms and admire its beautiful frescoes, we will be able to retrace the many stories of life that have followed one another inside.
Walking through the walls and observing the shapes and decorations, it will be easy to understand the intentions of Bonifacio di Fénis, the creator of much of the castle as we see it today, to find a compromise between the effective defensive measures needed to protect the manor and the splendour of a home that was first and foremost a symbol of prestige.
Among the most splendid examples of this painstaking search for balance are the numerous late Gothic frescoes in the castle, including those in the courtyard depicting St. George freeing the princess by slaying the dragon, and those in the chapel with the Madonna of Mercy, both executed with great skill by the workshop of Giacomo Jaquerio.
Unfortunately, the decline of the Challant family after the end of the Middle Ages led to the gradual abandonment of the castle, which ended in 1895 with the intervention of the Portuguese architect Alfredo d'Andrade, who began a long campaign of restoration that lasted until the 1930s.
Full - €10, reduced - €7, €3 19-25 years old, free - under 18s, holders of the Abbonamento Musei Piemonte and Lombardia, people with a 104/92 certificate and their carers, teachers at a ratio of 1:10.
Winter opening hours, Tuesday to Sunday 10-13, 14-17 (October - March)
Summer opening hours, Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 7pm, closed on Mondays, except public holidays and July and August.
The visit lasts 30 minutes inside and 15 minutes outside. The visit can be booked free of charge with the Aosta Valley Tourist Board.
The castle is not accessible to persons with reduced mobility (wheelchairs).
In the tour price the entrance ticket and tour guide system are included.