Vermenagna valley

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Ph. M. Toniolo - MTB near the Tenda fortresses
The "vernantin" jackknives
Ph. G. Bernardi - The Cuneo-Nizza railway

The Vermenagna Valley, which leads up towards Limone Piemonte and the Tenda Pass, has always been a place of passage for soldiers and merchants between Piedmont, the French Riviera and Liguria and from medieval times to the first half of XXth century, was a natural way of transit for the commerce and smuggling of salt. The tunnel of Tenda was made in 1833, in order to facilitate the transit of mail stagecoaches: it was one of the first to be made in the Alps and it is still one of the main road links between Italy and France. There is also a spectacular railroad that connects Cuneo to Ventimiglia and Nice (France): the little train passes through helical tunnels and the traveller can enjoy breathless panoramas.

The  Vermenagna valley  offers a wide range of opportunities for a pleasant holiday. Limone Piemonte, the main tourist centre in the west-southern Alps, has been a ski resort since 1907. Today its Riserva Bianca offers more than 80 km of cutting-edge slopes.

In Summer, in addition to a wide calendar of events, it is possible to go hiking or riding (horse, bike, MTB) along the border between Italy and France. One can walk on the “salt paths” once furrowed by the Romans or amid the beeches in the Palanfrè Wood, near Vernante, a protected area that is part of the Natural Park of Maritime Alps.

Vernante, Pinocchio’s village, deserves a stop for its more than 100 murals reproducing the drawings of Attilio Mussino, the first illustrator of Collodi’s book, who lived there the last part of his life. Here jackknives collectors can buy the famous vernantin made with steel blades, horn hilt and with a particular locking system. They are available in different sizes and for two different purposes: the straight one for personal use and the curved one for farm works.

The low valley landscape, in the municipalities of Robilante and Roccavione, is characterized by chestnut trees and chestnuts are celebrated in merry Autumn fairs. In some hamlets between Robilante and Vernante one can still see traditional thatched roof houses. Occitan music, songs and dances like corenta and balet animate every local feasts. In Summer Limone celebrates the Abbaya (that is the final expulsion of the Saracen invaders) with a religious procession followed by music and dances.

How to get there
On the A6 Torino-Savona highway, exit at Mondovì or Cuneo, then proceed towards Cuneo/Borgo S. Dalmazzo and from there follow the indications to the Vermenagna valley.
Those arriving through the Tenda  tunnel enter directly in the Vermenagna valley that is the only valley in the province entirely covered by the railway (Torino-Cuneo-Nizza).

Events and shows
• Limone Piemonte – Antique and Collecting Fair – June
• Limone Piemonte – Granfondo La Via del Sale and Superenduro Italian Championship (MTB races) – June
• Limone Piemonte – Abaiya – August
• Limone Piemonte – Concerts on lake Terrasole – August 
• Robilante –  Accordion Feast “Notou Sounadour” – May
• Robilante - Polenta Feast - November
• Roccavione –Marrone (chestnut) Feast – October
• Vernante – Pinocchio of the Year - May


Limone Piemonte Tourist Office
Via Roma, 30 - 12015 Limone Piemonte (CN)
tel. +39 0171 925281 - fax +39 0171 925289

Vernante Tourist Office
S.S. 20, 12 - 12019 Vernante (CN)
tel. +39 0171 920550
fax +39 0171 301544