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Aosta Valley Grolla and Friendship Cup

06/22/2011

This week, our newsletter is dedicated to the two most popular Aosta Valley traditional objects: the friendship cup and the grolla.

The friendship cup is a covered wooden cup, often carved, with several spouts (which are used to drink "à la ronde", i.e. passing the cup from hand to hand, never putting it down until it is empty). Its origins are ancestral. It was initially used as a daily wooden bowl. Its current shape is the result of an evolution over the centuries. The friendship cup, often called grolla by mistake for its similarity with the Grolle from Savoy, is traditionaly used to drink the "caffè alla valdostana", a typical beverage made of coffee, grappa, genipi liqueur and spices. 

The grolla is a wooden chalice and has a vertical shape. The word “grolla” is related etymologically to “grail,” and is believed to have been inspired by the Holy Grail itself. The grolla was already used in the Aosta Valley castles in the Middle-Ages. It is often used as a trophy during sports competitions but is also a perfect gift for handicraft lovers.

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