Piemonte outdoors itineraries

Piemonte outdoors itineraries : 7 ideas around Torino and Cuneo

Piemonte outdoors itineraries, written with love by Grazia

Piemonte at a glance

Piemonte is an Italian region, set in the north-western part of Italy, that borders France and Switzerland. Its chief town is Turin home of the Mole Antonelliana, the Egyptian museum, Moncalieri castle, and Palazzo Madama.

Piemonte offers mountains, both Alps and Apennines, hills and valleys. It is perfect for any landscape you enjoy the most. It also hosts many lakes and in Cuneo, one of the region’s biggest cities, the Po river starts.

It is a very rich area, that started the industrialization process in Italy, with the big push of the car-manufacturer Fiat, which is still as of today, one of the biggest exporters of Italian culture in the world.

Grazia, a certified nature guide born and raised in the area, will share her favorite itineraries.

 

1-SENTIERO DEGLI ACCIUGAI (province of Cuneo)

It is a relaxing hike through the village of Macra, from which in the past tradesmen selling anchovies would leave to go to the harbors in Liguria get the fish and come back to sell it.

There is a museum called “Seles” that explains this harsh job, using the biographical stories of the locals. You can stop at a lovely tavern and try the genuine and rich flavors of the local cuisine. San Sebastiano chapel is in the magical woods, stunning from the outside and full of suggestive colors inside.

The difference in altitude is about 300 ms, and the path takes 5-6 hours, including the time for lunch.

 

2-SENTIERO DEI CICLAMINI (province of Cuneo)

The path starts from the village of Macra (875 m) and runs through the woods, alongside the watercourses that in the past were vital for watermills and forges. You can see the homes where woodsmen used to live, that appear as enchanted castles. The walk arrives at the village of Camoglieres (992 m), which offers a wonderful view-point over the valley. The hike then goes back to Macra. On the way, you can stop at San Pietro Chapel, a masterpiece of gothic art, with a stunning series of frescoes.

The whole itinerary takes about 2 hours but depending on how much you dwell on the majestic beauty of nature, and whether you stop at some local inn, it can take longer.

The best time to visit would be July-August, when cyclamen, which gives the name to the walk, blossom.

 

3-BORGATE DI ELVA (province of Cuneo)

A walk that covers the villages around Elva from Cavallina hill to San Giovanni hill, with almost no difference in altitude. It runs across the circular chapel in Elva, Fremo Concounà a rock hanging over the valley just like a trampoline, meadows, and villages.

There is Museum Pels, dedicated to the tradesmen of hair, who were important figures in northern Italy. Continuing the path there is Santa Maria Assunta church, where you can discover the work of Hans Clemer, a major flemish painter in the XV century. A mix of art and nature, that can be completed by tasting local food products such as honey and cheese, in a crescendo of flavors and scents.

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4-EXCURSION TO SAN MICHELE ABBEY (province of Turin)

Starting from the village of Sant’Ambrogio it follows “sentiero dei principi”, with a scenic sight of Avignana lakes and the huge plain where you can even see Turin. Following Croce Nera hill, it reaches the impressive abbey of San Michele.

This fortified abbey has dominated and become a symbol of the landscape, for the past thousand years. The old coded messages, wonderful frescoes, the thick walls tell us the history of this building.

There are many possibilities to enjoy lunch during the walk.

For the descent, it is possible to follow the Sant’Ambrogio hike, which runs through the medieval ruins and walls around the village of San Pietro.

This is one of my favorite Piemonte outdoors itineraries: the right balance between scenery, nature, and arts!

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5-PESIO FLOODGATE TO MIRABELLO CASTLE (province of Cuneo)

The starting point is Trento and Trieste square, where you can park your car. There is a walk towards Mortè hill until you take the hike to Mirabello castle. In half an hour you will reach Case castle, a bunch of old houses dated around the XVI century, the time in which Agamemnon I build the Mirabello castle on the ruins of a Roman fort. With a small detour, you can get to a panoramic view of the valley landscape.

Mount Cavanero, with its little difference of altitude, is a rich historical site, with splendid ruins of the celtic-ligurian civilization, from before the Roman conquest.

From Case castle, the walk continues towards Fontana dei Signori, Pian dell’Orun and Frere valley.

You can make a stop at the farmhouse Fontana Nata, and then start the walk back, to the parking spot.

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6- SILVER MINE OF RUGET (province of Turin)

In the town of Gravere, there is a silver mine formed of underground tunnels. It is still unknown when in time the mine was exploited. Some files tell us of a short-lived attempt to start using it again in the XVIII century.

However, in September 1996 a group of speleologists from the University of Provence in France presented a program for the research and the promotion of the mine as a tourist spot.

Of all Piemonte outdoors itineraries, this is the most particular.

 

7-BEC BERCIASSA AND THE PILLARS

From Roccavione (643 m) to Bec Barciassa (956 m), which works as a separator between the two valleys of Vermenagna and Colla. Due to its strategic position, the place was inhabited from the bronze age to the iron age.

The numerous archaeological excavations on the site brought back to life huts, ceramics, animal bones, and elements of reality really far from ours.

Continuing the path we find the Arnostia pillar, an ancient fortress belonging to the d’Angiò house. Then the pillar “della Battaglia” where the d’Angiò family lost this part of their land.

Following the woods we find pillar “del Moro”, where an angel with African traits reminds us of the expulsion of the Saracens, raising the question of who was good and the bad.

We hope you enjoyed this article and that you will have fun along our Piemonte outdoors itineraries.

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