One late November morning, when Milan was dressed in grey, we decided to take a trip to the mountains in search of a picturesque spot adorned with autumn leaves. So we ended up in Cillian, a small village nestled in the heart of the mountains, where time seems to stand still.
Our journey started on the road to Aosta, then climbed to Saint-Vincent, and from there, just a few kilometres away, is home to the most historic village we’ve ever seen: Cillian.
From Milan to Aosta and up to the top of the mountains
We set off from Milan in the morning, heading for Aosta, where we made our first stop, strolling through the historic streets of the city. Eventually, we decided to head up to Saint-Vincent, a place I was really looking forward to visiting. But, as it was getting dark, we decided to look for a place where we could spend the night. After a few Google searches, we found accommodation at Cillian, a small hamlet that dates back to the late 1800s and continues to exude the history of that time.
Cillian and Rediscovering the Past
Cillian is like an open book that invites you to flip through its pages. Here, Maison Gorris, an imposing 17th-century building, dominates the local architecture, and its history is as sturdy as its stone walls. The tragic story of young Marc Grivaz, Feilley and Charrière, lost during the war, vibrates in the cool mountain air, and the chapel dedicated to the Holy Innocents, with its vibrant frescoes, makes you feel part of the close-knit community of this village.
An Autumn Day Transformed into a Winter Painting: The vibrant autumn landscape, with its rusty leaves harmoniously intertwining with the stone walls of the houses, was suddenly changed overnight. The big surprise was when we woke up the next day in a village dressed in festive garb, its roofs and alleys covered in a pristine blanket of snow. It was as if this remote place, Cillian, was preparing to welcome its guests with the purest homage to the seasons: the first snowfall.
A Little B&B in the Heart of the Village
Right in the centre of the village, between the stone houses and narrow streets, is a small B & B, a warm and welcoming place. The former farmhouses have been carefully converted into guest rooms, combining rustic with modern comforts. Here, we spent two unforgettable nights under the thick blanket of silence, interrupted only by the creaking of wood in the stove.
How to Get to Cillian
To get to this place full of history and nature, it is best to travel by car, because once you arrive in Aosta, you will need a means of transport to go up to Saint-Vincent and finally to Cillian. Cillian is located within easy reach of the town of Saint-Vincent, and the drive to the village is an experience in itself, with breathtaking scenery unfolding as you approach your destination.
Conclusion: Cillian is more than a mountain village – it is a refuge for the soul, a place where you can experience the pure magic of nature and where the stories of the past come alive before your eyes. This year’s first snowfall was just the beginning of a memorable journey into the heart of tradition and history. Here, in Cillian, we found not just a weekend getaway, but a reconnection with ourselves: for only in the quiet and simplicity of a village forgotten by the world can you find the essence of what it means to truly live.