Introd, one of the 74 municipalities of Aosta Valley region, has been inhabitated since the Neolithic Era. Positioned in the lower Rhêmes and Valsavarenche Valleys, at the entrance of Gran Paradiso National Park. The geographic position of its center (880 meters above sea level), between Rhêmes Dora river and Savara stream, is the reason for the toponym “Introd” (“entre-eaux”: between waters). Its inhabitants, in addition to the two official languages of Aosta Valley, Italian and French, still use patois, to this day, a dialect spoken in the three alpine regions surrounding Mont Blanc (Aosta Valley, Suisse Romande, Savoy).
Thanks to its position at the foot of Gran Paradiso National Park and its many hiking trails, Introd is the perfect place for trekking or mountain bike cycling during the summer season. In winter season a choice among numerous itineraries is available for those who would like to take a walk in the snow, using snowshoes. Furthermore, the village lies in a central position very close to the main Nordic ski and Alpine ski stations.
Introd is also known for being one of the Pope’s holidays favourite holiday destinations. Pope John Paul II (ten visits from 1989 to 2004), and Pope Benedict XVI, (three visits, in 2005, 2006, 2009), spent a solid period in the village, alternating between relaxing and trekking excursions to intense moments of prayer, reading and reflection, facilitated by the beauty and the stillness of the mountain. Very important in understanding the story of the village, are its ancient buildings, testimonies of its past:
- Introd’s Castle, built around AD 1260, open to guided tours since 2007;
- The “Ôla”, an ancient construction housing the Castle’s stalls, stables and barns;
- The Granaries, considered to be the best example of Aosta Valley’s stone and wooden buildings in the Middle Ages. It is possible to visit it together with the Castle;
- The Church, consecrated to the Conversion of St. Paul, has a Baroque altar and many chapels lying around the village’s suburbs;
- The Two Bridges, that connect Introd’s centre to the villages of the lower Valley. Even though they have been built more recently, they are worth a visit. “Pont Neuf” bridge, with a height of 80 metres, is Aosta Valley’s highest bridge;
- Maison Bruil House, typical example of a rural Aosta Valley building, houses a Museum of traditional food and “Atelier du goût” workshops.
Introd has a natural inclination for tourism, linked to culture, agriculture and nature. In Introd’s municipality territory it is possible to visit the “Maison Musée Jean Paul II”, a museum dedicated to Pope John Paul II, and the“Parc Animalier d’Introd”, a private entity extended over three hectares that allows one to watch birds and animals of Gran Paradiso National Park from a very close range. Moreover, the numerous wood handcrafted workshops and the many agriculture and wine companies are well worth a visit, offering a large choice of typical products of the region.