“Immersed in the culture of Walser,
savouring the taste of the Aosta Valley”
Altitude: 1779 m
Address: Alpenzu Grande, 11025 GRESSONEY-SAINT-JEAN
Opening period: from the last but one week in June to the last but one week of September and during spring and autumn weekends
Contatti: +39 338.2562229
Mountain hut managers: Roberto Stocchi and Danila Laurent
In 2012 the Alpenzu mountain hut celebrates its 20th year of activity. The managers Danila and Roberto have seen it grow right from the beginning. They are helped by their daughter Giorgia, 28, who has chosen to dedicate herself to the family business.
It was Danila’s father, Riccardo Laurent, who had the idea to open a mountain hut at Alpenzu Grande, as he had renovated three mountain shelters in the area (one of them became a proper mountain hut, whilst the others offer additional rooms), and then decided to pass on to his daughter and his son-in-law.
Roberto runs the cuisine and the quality of his dishes is renowned throughout Gressoney.
The mountain hut
The Alpenzu dwellings date back to the second half of the 1600’s and the village, perched on a natural shelf of Monte Rosa, still preserves the captivating authentic atmosphere of the Walser settlements.
The mountain hut and the opposite stadel have been renovated with careful respect to tradition and are perfectly integrated with the nearby chapel and with the oven. The bedrooms, which can accommodate from two up to eight people, are all equipped with showers and all the comforts.
Many people come to Alpenzu from Gressoney, even if only for lunch in the middle of a day’s outing.
Here it is possible to admire the centuries-old trees and, in overcast autumn days, nature prepares for winters rigours in a glorious range of spectacular and warm colours.
Summer is the perfect period to make excursions, choosing between a variety of trails: the Alta Via dei Giganti, the Tour of Monte Rosa, or the ascent of the Testa Grigia or the Walserweg trail, crossing both natural and cultural landscapes.
The Alpenzu mountain hut boasts the “Saveurs du Val d’Aoste” quality mark, a prestigious recognition given to businesses which use local zero food miles aenogastronomic and products (products directly supplied from producer to consumers).
Among the range of Roberto’s delicious specialities, we mention: the Flowers of Alpenzu, a typical appetizer made with grilled vegetables which form a multicoloured flower cup resting on a bed of cured mocetta (typical valdostan beef), all drizzled with a sauce of oil, parsley and lemon.
Among the main dishes, the traditional knefflene, small gnocchi pasta with cream, speck (cured meat) and saffron, deserves a particular mention. Meat lovers will particularly appreciate the carbonade made from beefs reared in the Aosta Valley, and the grilled sausages, accompanied with the not-to-be-missed polenta concia (polenta filled with cheese).
To finish with the home-made desserts: strudel with ricotta (Italian product made from sheep or cow milk whey) and nuts, the famous Linzer cake or the soft cake stuffed with chocolate mousse. The wines accompanying these delights are all from the Aosta Valley, from the Torrette to the Pinot Noir DOC.
Dates and suggestions for summer
- From mid-July to the end of August all the districts of Gressoney Saint Jean take part in the Walser Festival, a lively series of cultural, folkloristic events and activities for younger children.
- On the evening of the 23rd June takes place the traditional event of St John’s bonfires, to celebrate the patron saint of Gressoney. In the Alpenzu mountain hut the celebration is even more suggestive and unique, thanks to the delightful desserts usually served by Roberto.