Crisp alpine air, crystal blue streams, steep valley views and traditional valdostana cuisine. These are just some of the elements that put the joy of living in a weekend visit to the northwestern region of Valle d’Aosta. I had absolutely no idea that lavender is cultivated in this area, but driving south towards Fort Bard (SS26), we were taken by complete surprise when our eyes glimpsed this field in bloom. It led me to discover a stunningly beautiful photo on Flickr, the likes of which I thought existed only in Provence, France. Trust me and have a look at Forte di Bard; I promise you’ll see the imposing fortress in a different light.