Borgo San Dalmazzo and the Stura valley

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Ph. Ass. Marcovaldo - Demonte, Borelli Palace
ph. Ass. Marcovaldo - The Fortress of Vinadio
Ph. F. Voglino - Pietraporzio, Fr. Pontebernardo
Ph. F. Voglino - Sheep-breeding Museum in Pontebernardo
Ph. C.M. Valle Stura - The sanctuary of Sant'Anna di Vinadio

Borgo S. Dalmazzo is worth a visit for the imposing Benedectine Abbey of San Dalmazzo (11th century), a landmark for the pilgrims walking between Northern Italy and Provence.  In spite of the Baroque adjustments, the church preserves its Romanesque features, especially on the façade  and inside the crypt - the latter housing some parts preceding the year 1000.  Excavations brought to light some elements dating from the Romans era and underlined a superimposition of churches: from the Paleo-Christian one to the 14th-century chapel commissioned by Jeanne I of Anjou.

Walking along Borgo typical streets, one can buy mushrooms and snails: every year at the beginning of December this little town host a traditional and very old event called Fiera Fredda (= Cold Fair), dating back to 1569, that for gourmets represents a chance to taste the delicious alpine snails cooked in a million ways, following the refined local gastronomic culture.

After that, one can proceed towards the village of Demonte and admire its gothic arcades, the municipal tower, the picture displaying the Lepanto Battle inside the parish church of San Donato and the 17th-century Counts Borelli Palace, which houses a refined inside staircase and the entirely decorated halls on the noble floor.

The imposing  blockhouse of Vinadio is one of the most important examples of  military architecture in the Alps. The Forte Albertino was built during Charles Albert of Savoy’s reign, between 1834 and 1847: the complex had to be an impregnable fortress in defence of the border between Piedmont and France, but it actually never was the scene of important battles. It is 1200 m long, it has three floors and in Summer hosts the interesting exhibition called "Montagna in movimento - Mountain on the move" a multimedial display that shows ancient traditions and new habits of people living on the Alps. In Vinadio one should also visit the 14th-century parish church of S. Fiorenzo preserving the pronaos and the big bell tower of the coeval building .

From Vinadio one can reach the deep Stura valley that leads to the Lombarda Pass – negotiable in summer – at the border between Italy and France. There, at a height of 2035 m, one will find the Sanctuary of Sant'Anna (the highest in Europe) consisting of a 17th-century church with steep floor and a porch on the façade.

But the real charm of the valley are its typical houses with stone walls and thatched roof. We finally have to mention the actual symbol of the valley, the sheep of the Sambuco breed, renowned for its tasty meat and celebrated  during the All Saints’ Fair that takes place in Vinadio every year in late October.

 

Territorial Association of the Stura valley 
Via Divisione Cuneense, 5 – 12014 DEMONTE (CN)  
Ph. +39.0171.955555 – Fax +39.0171.955055
E-Mail segreteria@vallestura.cn.it - Website www.vallestura.cn.it  

Demonte Tourist Office  – same Address and phone numbers