The “Franchises” at Nus village
Les Franchises au Bourg de Nus
Nus, Aosta (Aosta Valley region)
The village of Nus is located in the valley of river Dora Baltea, about 12 km from Aosta city in the autonomous region Valle d’Aosta. The territory had been already inhabitated since the Bronze and Iron Age as witnessed by archaeological findings, while coins, bricks and other traces of a Roman settlement in Nus have been found around the "Castle of Pilate", a stronghold built in a strategic position to control the main trade route in the area. According to an ancient legend, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate is said to have been hosted there by a senator friend of him while on his way to the exile in Vienne, in Gaul. Also the name Nus is supposed to have Roman origins from the Latin word “nonus” (nine), since the village was “ad nonum ab Augusta lapidem", at nine miles from Augusta Praetoria (the today Aosta). Most likely in Roman times Nus was a “mansio” (a stopping point) along the road to Gaul, while later during the Middle Ages it became the seat of the Lords of Nus, one of the most important and ancient feudal dynasties of the whole Valle d'Aosta.
And just the Middle Ages are the setting of the great historical event held every year in late April to celebrate one of the main episodes in the history of the Valle d'Aosta: the granting of the "Charte de Franchises" to the Nus peasants on April 26th, 1296. The term "franchise" comes from "francus" (free) and represents concrete and well specified rights granted by feudal lords to their subjects (like freedom from serfdom, unfree labour and some taxes, or the inheritance right in favor of women) in exchange for contribution to the defense in case of war. The rich programme includes a crafts market, the medieval banquet, the tournament of medieval fencing, music and dance shows, archery and falconry displays, historical and local cuisine, leisure and educational activities for children, the historical parade featuring more than 500 historical characters in period dresses, the solemn mass celebrated with choir and music and ended by the reliving of the ancient custom of the "Recorderis" with the offering of pieces of white and brown bread filled with nuts, figs and chestnuts. During the event takes place also the “Ancient Ball” game, in which two teams of six players try to kick a stuffed ball in the opponent's goal using brooms made of branches and willow.
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Gruppo Lo Storico di Nus
Address: c/o Comune di Nus Via Aosta 13 - 11020 Nus
Tel: +39 329 2265882 Presidente
Tel: +39 347 1279845 Segreteria
Fax: +39 0165 35001
Nus Town Council
Address: Via Aosta n. 13
Tel.: +39 0165 763.763
Fax: +39 0165 763.719
Aosta Valley Tourism Office
Nus on Google Maps:
Video reportages from the event: