The Aosta Valley (Italian: Valle d'Aosta (official) or Val d'Aosta (usual), French: Vallée d'Aoste (official) or Val d'Aoste (usual), Arpitan: Val d'Outa) is a mountainous semi-autonomous region in northwestern Italy. It is bordered by Rhône-Alpes, France to the west, Valais, Switzerland to the north and the region of Piedmont to the south and east.
With an area of 3,263 km2 (1,260 sq mi) and a population of about 130,000, it is the smallest, least populous, and least densely populated region of Italy. It is the only Italian region which has no provinces (the province of Aosta was dissolved in 1945). Provincial administrative functions are provided by the regional government. The region is divided into 74 comuni (communes).
Italian and French are both official, though the native population speaks also Valdôtain, a form of Franco-Provençal (Arpitan), as home language.
The regional capital is Aosta.
The Aosta Valley is an Alpine valley which with its tributary valleys includes the Italian slopes of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn; its highest peak is Mont Blanc.
The region is very cold in the winter, especially when compared with other places in the Western Alps. This is probably due to the mountains blocking the mild winds from the Atlantic Ocean. Places with the same altitude in France or western Switzerland are not as cold as the Aosta Valley.
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