Boves and the Pesio, Vermenagna and gesso Valleys

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The Chartehouse of Pesio
Ph. G. Pellegrino - Boves, frescoes in the church of Madonna dei Boschi
Vernante - Pinocchio's murals
Ph. Lift S.p.A. - Limone Piemonte
Ph. T. Aimar - Entracque

The Pesio Valley offers the charm of the Charterhouse - founded by Saint Bruno in 1173 and housing today a spiritual centre - lying in the middle of the green woods of the Natural Park of the Marguareis Massif. In the complex, which carries the sign of Boetto’s works (17th century) one should admire: a 15th-century fresco, a wide 16th-century cloister, the upper abbatial church (12th century) housing Parentani and Jan Claret’s frescoes. At the bottom of the valley lies the village of Chiusa di Pesio, a small but important centre as far as historical and artistic memories are concerned. There one can visit the Museum of the Royal Factory of Cut-Glass and Ceramics that shows the local traditions. 

Not far from Chiusa di Pesio there is Boves and the old religious complex of Madonna dei Boschi. The building, which shows Romanesque features, was quoted  in a document dating from 1261. During the centuries it was extended and painted several times, starting from some 15th-century frescoes dedicated to Mary’s life and Jesus’ childhood that were completed in the 16th century by other pictures displaying the Passion. The most interesting frescoes are the Last Judgement ones, probably painted in the second half of the 16th century by Rossignolo and influenced by the Sixtine Chapel. Boves is also well known for being the scene, on September 19th 1943, of a famous massacre of civilians by the 1st SS Panzer Division in which the SS set fire to more than 350 houses and killed many villagers in order to weaken the partisan forces from the surrounding area. Due to this tragic experience, Boves received the Gold Medal for Military Valor and the Gold Medal for Civil Valor and, in 1984, chose to give itself the title of “Peace Capital” (“Capoluogo di Pace”) and to begin a school actively committed in educating “citizens to construct their lives without selfishness and ambiguity in order to grow up generous and with full respect for everything and for everyone, well aware of the basic principles of human rights”. 

The Vermenagna Valley, which leads up towards Limone Piemonte and the Tende Pass, offers a wide range of opportunities for a pleasant holiday, such as the natural walks along the salt routes once furrowed by the Romans or amid the beeches in the Palanfrè wood. Vernante, Pinocchio’s village, deserves a stop for its more than 100 murals reproducing Mussino’s drawings, the first illustrator of Collodi’s book. 
In Limone Piemonte one should visit the parish church of San Pietro in Vincoli, a beautiful example of Piedmontese Gothic with a Romanesque bell church and a nice stone façade. The baroque inside houses a sculptured 17th-century wooden pulpit coming from the Charterhouse of Pesio, while not far from there one can admire a beautiful fountain dating back to 1510. Do not miss the theatre “Alla Confraternita”: this deconsecrated church is now used for cultural purposes. Besides, with its Riserva Bianca, Limone is one of the major ski resorts in the province. 

The Gesso Valley begins in Borgo San Dalmazzo, called Pedo by the Romans, and goes up towards Valdieri where it bifurcates into the gorges of Entracque and Terme di Valdieri. Here visitors enter the Natural Park of the Maritime Alps. Thanks to its proximity to the sea, the park houses some Mediterranean plants, such as the Juniperus Phoenicea and other endemic species. The charming village of Entracque preserves many tiny jewels, such as the 16th-century parish church of Sant’Antonino Martire, the homonym fountain and the Museum of Sacred Art. In the first weekend of September Entracque celebrates  with a feast the local red potato - its most renowned produce - with folklore, a market and a huge tasting opportunity.

 

Chiusa Pesio Tourist Office
Piazza Cavour, 15 – 12013 CHIUSA PESIO (CN) 
Tel./Fax +39.0171.734990 – info@vallepesio.it 

Limone Piemonte Tourist Office 
Via Roma, 30 – 12015 LIMONE PIEMONTE (CN) 
Tel. +39.0171.925281 – Fax +39.0171.925289 – iat@limonepiemonte.it  

Entracque Tourist Office 
Infopoint open at weekends, Christmas and summer holidays:
Piazza Giustizia e Libertà, 3 – 12010 ENTRACQUE (CN) 
Tel. +39.0171.978616 – Fax +39.0171.978991 – info@entracque.org 
In working address go to the Infopoint at the seat of the Natural Park of the Maritime Alps :
Via Provinciale San Giacomo - 12010 ENTRACQUE (CN) 
Tel. +39.0171.978068 – Fax +39.0171978991 – info@entracque.org