Monregalese valleys

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Villanova Mondovì - Dossi caves
Roccaforte Mondovì - San Maurizio's chapel
Typical P.D.O. cheese of the Monregalese valleys

The Mondovi valleys (Monregalesi) consist of a vast area which includes the Casotto, Corsaglia, Ellero, Maudagna and Roburentello valleys, where cold mountain winds are mildened by sea breezes coming from the coast. The region is famous for skiing in winter - in the ski area called Mondolé Ski (Artesina, Prato Nevoso and Frabosa Soprana) and in other smaller ski resorts - and for the chance of enjoying the coolness of the woods in summer. The five valleys have not many aspects in common, except for the presence of karst features almost everywhere, and except for a similar history that dates back to the medieval age of free communes.   

The most important cave of the Mondovi valleys is Bossea which offers a spectacular setting thanks to its vastness; it also contains the remains of the extinct “ursus speleus”. Also the Dossi Caves near the village of Villanova and the Caudano Caves, in the village of Frabosa Sottana are worth a visit. The water of the valleys is excellent everywhere, but the most famous sources are those of the Thermal Baths of Lurisia that where studied even by the Nobel prize scientist Marie Curie.

Among other natural attractions we recommend excursions to the peaks of Mount Pigna, Moro, Mongioie, Mondolè and Pizzo d’Ormea. The vegetation of chestnuts and beeches grow up to 1800 m of altitude, supported by mild temperatures and abundant rainfalls, and the landscape changes radically, becoming at once a high alpine prairie. The territories preserve the ancient Kyé culture, which is a variant of Occitan language, kept in the local dialect.   

Who loves art and history must stop at the Sanctuary of Vicoforte, whose construction started in 1596 during Charles  Emmanuel I of Savoy’s reign after a prodigious event. It is well-known for its elliptic dome, the biggest in the world among those in brickwork. In the upper Casotto Valley, one can visit the Casotto Royal Castle. The present building, founded in the XIIth century as a charterhouse, was erected in the XVIIIth century and used by the Savoy family as a Summer and a hunting residence. 

But there is much more to visit: in the valleys there are frescoed medieval chapels such as the Romanesque parish church of San Maurizio in Roccaforte  Mondovì  with two asymmetric naves, two apses and a cycle of Romanesque-Byzantine frescoes. In the same village there are also the picturesque Sanctuary of Santa Lucia, clinging to the mountain and partially dug into the rock, and the parish church of Prea, an hamlet whose inhabitants each year put up a well-known representation of the nativity scene. Also the little church of San Fiorenzo in Bastia is worth a visit: this simple cemeterial chapel, built between the Xth and the XVth century, hides marvellous frescoes that date back to the XVth century.

There are also plenty of gastronomic delights, such as the PDO Raschera cheese, produced in the pasture lands and skilfully seasoned in grottoes in a mountain village called Pamparato, also famed for its delicious maize biscuits. The local buckwheat polenta is also worth tasting, as well as the local “cupete” (consisting of wafers filled with dried fruit) and the typical Mondovi wine named Dolcetto.


How to get there
From Torino and Savona: take the A6 motorway and exit at Mondovì or Niella Tanaro, then follow the road signs towards the various valleys.
From  Imperia: follow the SS 28 road (known also as Nava pass road) that takes to the Tanaro valley and from Garessio follow the road signs to the Casotto valley.

Events and shows
Frabosa Soprana - Raschera and Bruss cheese Fair – August
Frabosa Sottana - Chestnut Fair and Golden Chestnut Award – October
Pamparato - Fair of the Taste Masters – Easter
Pamparato - Buckwheat Fair and White Chestnut Fair - November
Vicoforte Sanctuary - Commemorative Festival of The Birth of The Virgin Mary – September
Villanova Mondovi - Dialoghi di Eula (Festival della buona politica) in April - Addolorata (Festeggiamenti patronali) in September - BEE (Formaggi di montagna) in November

MONDOVI’ Tourist Office
Piazza Maggiore, 1 - 12084 Mondovì
Ph +39 0174 330358 

FRABOSA SOPRANA Tourist Office  
Piazza del Municipio – 12082 Frabosa Soprana 
Ph +39 0174 244010 - fax +39 0174 244163   

FRABOSA SOTTANA  Tourist Office  
Via IV Novembre 12 – 12083 Frabosa Sottana
Ph +39 0174 244481 - fax +39 0174 244730 

 - Artesina  Tourist Office 
   Ph +39 0174 242000 - fax +39 0174 242010   -  

- Prato Nevoso Seasonal Tourist Office 
Piazza Dodero n. 10 –– FRABOSA SOTTANA 
Ph. +39 0174 334133  - 

LURISIA TERME  Tourist Office 
Piazza S. Luca – Fraz. Lurisia – Roccaforte Mondovì
Ph/fax +39 0174 583701 

Via Pianfei, 2 – San Giacomo di Roburent 
Ph +39 0174 370 311 7382