Courmayeur and the towns and villages of Valdigne, historical tourist and bathing centres thanks to their mineral water springs, now constitute an appendage of the large cities of the Po Valley megalopolis. The development of tourism has heavily remodelled the settlement and functional characteristics of the inhabited centres. Hotels and ancient aristocratic homes transformed into condominiums stand in an imposing landscape of holiday homes. A blurred conurbation bonds together the old mountain villages. Trade and service businesses ‘chase’ the fluctuating affluent population. The perspective of an ‘active geography’ allows the interpretation of the ‘tourist district’ character of Valdigne to be abandoned to trigger a local debate on policies which will ensure compatible tourism development: a metric of quality must replace that of quantity which dominated in the past.
Keywords: Courmayeur; tourism; sustainable development