In the background, stretching up into the mountains, is the valley to the Great Saint Bernard Pass. The photo here is from the very top. It was a cold, early morning crossing – the first snows had already come, and behind us they closed the road for the winter.
Who knows how many pairs of feet have climbed this pass?
The Romans coveted this strategically important route into Switzerland for trade and conquest, and that is why Augustus first subjugated the local Salassi tribes, before founding the city.
In medieval times it became part of the great pilgrim trail, the Via Francigena, the way of St. Francis, from Canterbury to Rome.