The village of “Les Combes”, situated on a morainic buttress along the central valley, between the municipalities of Introd and Arvier, offers a spectacle of rare beauty. From here, the view ranges from Mont Blanc, with the Dente del Gigante and the Grandes Jorasses, to the Monte Rosa massif, via the Ruitor, the Emilius, the Becca de Nona and Mont Falère. These splendid panoramas are just as much an invitation to walk along the paths that wind through pastures and woods, and to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature.
Ten times, from 1989 to 2004, John Paul II chose the Aosta Valley in the small village of Les Combes for his summer rest period. The Town Council of Introd, in 2004 in honour of the Holy Father, decided to name “Le Plan-du-Saint-Père” the place where the Holy Father spent his holidays and where the Angelus took place. This place is surrounded by greenery and includes the clearing in front of the Salesian colony, near the new residence of the Pontiff.
During his holidays, John Paul II alternated relaxing excursions with intense moments of prayer and reflection, favoured by the quietness of the place and the discretion of the inhabitants. Often the Pope, during his excursions, met people; usually shepherds or residents, sometimes tourists. For everyone there was a good word, a smile, a blessing and sometimes a rosary as a gift.
Benedict XVI, reconfirming the choices of his predecessor, also chose Les Combes as a place of rest and prayer. The Holy Father stayed here in 2005 and 2006. He is expected for a new holiday from July 13 to 29, 2009. A lover of meditation, Pope Benedict XVI has found in his summer residence an ideal refuge for reading and prayer. Here he can also practice his youthful passion, music, playing the piano provided by the Municipal Administration.