This was a small ski shop located in the Piazza E. Chanoux.
What to buy: In August the sweaters are on sale. Compared to what I find in the states, the quality, materials (wool), and price made this an excellent buy and souvenir.
What to pay: August 1999: $75 and up
We walked into this huge square and saw a shoe store.
What to buy: My wife at the time (now single again) introduced me to shoes (she was the Emelda Marcos of Blotzheim). There are some beautful shoes and great values to be found. I bought myself a pair of dress shoes made in Italy as a souvenir.
What to pay: My shoes were approximately $40.
What to buy: Aosta and the surrounding countryside are famous for wood carvings and wrought iron. There's a permanent crafts exhibition in the arcades of Piazza E. Chanoux, in the heart of Aosta; it's a good place to pick up a bargain.
This excellent little shop specialises in mushrooms in every concievable form.
They come dried, pickled, fresh and probably frozen.
The range and quality is very impressive.
They also sell a good range of speciality pasta, olive oil and grappa.
This is one for the real Gourmet types among us.
There is some local arrangment on tax in this town which means that all wines and spirits have much lower tax placed on them compared to everywhere else in Italy. I think the idea is to support the local distillers - but the tax break has to be applied to all and sundrey - yippee !!!
I managed to pick up several bottles of quality brand Whiskey at less than 10 Euro a bottle.
Normally in that price range we are talking about "Hoots Mac Glen's finest old Whiskey" (Bottled in Mexico) Aged 4 and a half years.
What to buy: Most of the main brands were available.
What to pay: 9-20 Euro for most brands
There are some really good name brand shops in Aosta including lots of fashion designers (many of the Italian young people dress very well and in the top fashions). I found the prices to in general be cheaper than the shops in nearby France (Chamonix).
The old section of town near the train station has a number of designer boutiques such as MaxMara and Valentino. There are also chain stores such as The Body Shop, Bennetton, Nike & Levis.
Local specialities are wood carving - there is supposed to be a crafts market in the piazza Chanoux, but I have not managed to find this place, so if anyone out there has, drop me a line and tell me how to get there! The last 2 days of January are supposed to be a giant market with people coming from all over to sell. You are expected to bargain about the prices.
Be aware that except for tatty tourist shops and the restaurants and maybe 1 or 2 places here and there - the majority of shops are CLOSED all day on Sundays.
What to buy: Fashionable clothing!
Also some local Handicrafts in carved wood (such as 'grolle' drinking vessels - a traditional way to drink hot coffee, lemon rind and grappa with friends).
Local wines are very good and if you like stronger stuff, the local grappa is traditional to have at the end of meals.
Fontina cheese is made locally and is also good.