The name derives from the Latin name of person Avitius. It is a mountain village in the province of Aosta, whose territory spans both sides of the Baltea and counts a number of districts. Avis is located near the gorge of Pierre Taillée, which separates Avise from La Salle, on the ancient Via delle Gallie. It presents a great geo-morphological diversity: on the left of Baltea lies the valley of Vertosan with extensive meadows and lakes Zioule and Leysser, the Col de Bard, Col Serena and Col Citrin; downstream several villages, including , next to Avis, the medieval village of La Forge, tight around two castles and a parish. On the right of the Dora, behind the village of Runaz, there is a large wood, and other villages, in addition to the Alpine area of the Glacier and the Fond du Lac, a lake of glacial origin.
The area most likely was already inhabited in pre-Roman times.
Archaeological findings allow to hypothesize that the region was already inhabited during the prehistoric times: around 3000 B.C., a community of shepherds and hunters, such as the Celts and the Salassi, people known for their hunting ability and attachment to their freedom. These populations resisted with force and tenacity to the Roman conquest, but after years of struggle, in 143 BC, they had to yield and to accept these victorious legions seize their land. The Romans, about fifty years later, founded the colony of Eporedia, today Ivrea, and, in 25 BC, the military colony Augusta Praetoria Salassorum, today Aosta. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Val d'Aosta was subjected to the domination of the Burgundians, the Ostrogoths (VI century), Lombard (568), later defeated by the King of Burgundy. From that moment the territory was ceded to the Franks till 888, when the lands returned to the Kingdom of Burgundy. With the death of Rudolph III, in the year 1000, Burgundy was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire and Avise eventually became part of the county of Savoy. The town belonged to the local lords, called Avise, which, strengthened their strategic positions inside the village, and in contrast with other feudal lords of the area, they did not submit to the House of Savoy. In the XIII century, the town was victim of a succession of battles between the feudal lords for dominance of the territory. In 1691, French troops invaded the Val d'Aosta and the village of Runaz, andpart of the territory of Avise, was completely burned down.
Not to miss:
The Castle of Avise, which dates back to 1492. It was built by Boniface d'Avise. Next to the main building stands a tower with a square base, decorated on top grounds with typically Gothic elements. The presence of a bricked doors and the addition of windows reveals the overlapping of different architectural phases. Details and the inside furnishings testify to the modus vivendi of the time.
The fortifeid house of Runaz, also known as Maison de Mosse, which features beautiful windows in late Gothic styl. It was built by the lords of Avise between the XIV and XV centuries on the ancient Roman road, in a strategic location, close to the passage of Pierre Tailèe. Today it houses the Municipal Library and is the headquarters of the Association Valdotaine Audio Archives.
La Maison de Blonay, which stands on a promontory near the church of San Brizio, consists of an embattled tower with a square base, which was the first home of the lords of Avise, and dates back to the XI century. The castle was added in a later period.
The Parish Church, built on the ruins of an old church, that was demolished because too small: The present building was consecrated in 1869 and features a superb Bell Tower.
The Museum of Sacred Art, at the Church of San Brizio, which contains artworks of the last centuries from both the parish church and chapels of the nearby villages.