To the village where there are no pharmacies

To the village where there are no pharmacies

[Apr. 2023] During this year’s Easter holiday, we took a short trip to Valle d’Aosta, which is located at the edge of northwestern Italy.

Actually, we were planning to go to Turkey, and we had booked a flight and a tour, but we had to postpone it because of the big earthquake in February.

It was not because we were afraid of another earthquake, but because we felt guilty that tourists with cameras hanging around their necks were wandering around while people were in a difficult situation due to the earthquake.

Furthermore, since the earthquake occurred in the run-up to the presidential election, we were concerned that some sort of incident, such as a riot, might occur.

train from Milan to Chivasso to go to Valle d'Aosta in Italy
at the Milan central station

So, our second choice was Valle d’Aosta, and I enjoyed it more than I expected.

First, we took an old train from Milan’s Central Station to Chivasso, near Turin.

Then we changed to a red train and went to Aosta, the capital of Valle d’Aosta.

My husband said that red is the colour of this region.

When we got on this train at Chivasso, it was overcrowded, mainly young people, but at the next station, Ivrea, many people got off.

As I was curious, I looked it up and found out that Ivrea is the birthplace of Olivetti, a famous typewriter company, and it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site as a land of modern industry.

The people who got off here didn’t look like tourists, so I’m sure it’s still prospering as an industrial city.

the platform of Aosta station, the capital of Valle d'Aosta in Italy
this red train to Aosta

After this point, you will find yourself gradually entering a mountain valley.

Going along the river is just like going to a hot spring resort in Japan, so although this was the new place for me, I felt a bit of nostalgy.

And then, the snowy mountains that looked like the ones in oil paintings came into view.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen such a view.

The Valle d’Aosta region is right next to France, so the information on the train was in French in addition to Italian.

It took about 3 hours from Milan to Aosta, including waiting time for transfers.

snowy mountains seen from Aosta bus station in Valle d'Aosta in Italy
lovely mountain view seen from the Aosta bus station

From Aosta, we took a bus to our destination of the day, Pre Saint Didier.

You see, the name of this place also sounds French.

We reached our destination in about an hour.

This Pre Saint Didier is famous for its hot springs.

The population is said to be about 700, and it is more of a village than a town, but thanks to the hot springs, it is said to be popular as a health resort depending on the season.

By the way, I fell while looking at my mobile phone at the bus station in Aosta.

I hit my knees so hard on the stone ground that they hurt so much, but I was able to walk, so it seemed that it was a minor injury.

sheer mountains seen from Pre Saint Didier, a village in Valle d'Aosta in Italy
sheer mountains, a part of Alps

However, I wanted some pain relief, so I asked the hotel staff at Pre Saint Didier how to get to the pharmacy.

But to my surprise, apparently they do not have a pharmacy here!

That is outrageous, isn’t it.

I found a sign for Farmacia in a corner of the village, but it said it was open three days a week, only in the morning.

The hotel staff who felt sorry for me later brought painkillers from home for me.