In a fresco of the Issogne castle, feudal residence in the lower Aosta Valley, the oldest visual evidence of the existence of fontina is showed in a painting, dating back to the late fifteenth century, representing a shop counter with a pile of cheeses, which look exactly the same as the fontina still produced today.
The term "fontina" appeared for the first time in a document of 1270, written in Latin, but the name is used as a toponym to identify a piece of land. The name has been used, since 1700, to designate the cheese in manuscripts, books, public records and inventories; some say the name could have been derived from the Fontìn mountain or from the village named fontinaz or even from a family name. From that moment onwards, however, this name has been used in everyday language to indicate this famous and unique cheese.
* For further information, you can refer to the first six chapters of the book that you find online.