The Aosta Valley is a mountainous semi-autonomous region in northwestern Italy. It is bordered by Rhône-Alpes, France to the west, Valais, Switzerland to the north and the region of Piedmont to the south and east.With an area of 3,263 km2 and a population of about 126,933, it is the smallest, least populous, and least densely populated region of Italy. It is the only Italian region which has no provinces. Provincial administrative functions are provided by the regional government.The region is divided into 74 comuni.Italian and French are both official,though the native population speaks also Valdôtain, a form of Franco-Provençal, as home language. In 2001, 96.01% of the Valdostan population declared to know Italian, 75.41% French, 55.77% the Valdostan Franco-Provençal patois, and 50.53% all of them.