VALLE D'AOSTA - Economy
A family-based production system
In agriculture and tourism, family management of businesses ensures reductions in overheads.
The role of the regional government must be borne in mind in any analysis of the formation of income.
The flexibility of the region's small industry, the relationship between agriculture and tourism, and the substantial role played by the regional government combine to produce a real reduction in costs per unit, whilst in 1999 employees' wages are generally higher than the national average.
Wine, stock rearing, SMEs, tourism
Agriculture has become increasingly specialised, retaining only a marginal interest in cereals, potatoes and fruit.
Wines of high - and rising - quality are produced in small quantities. All are entitled to the 'Denominazione di Origine Controllata'. Animal feed crops supply the region's dairy herds, some 40 000 head in 2000, which are pastured in the high Alps during the summer period. The region's cheeses are renowned throughout Italy. Virtually no other form of stock rearing is practised.
Tourism is one of the strongest points of the region's economy. The valley's natural beauty, its peaceful atmosphere in summer and snow in winter have allowed the development of a flourishing tourist industry.
Valle d'Aosta has links to Piedmont by motorway and rail, to France by the Mont Blanc tunnel and the Little St. Bernard Pass, and to Switzerland by the Great St. Bernard Pass. The motorway is crossing the region from south-east to noth-west over a distance of about 100 km. In 2001, Valle d'Aosta had 960 private cars per 1000 inhabitants, the highest figure in Italy.