Varaita Valley

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Chianale hamlet
Bahío of Sampeyre
Ph. F. Voglino - Salamander on the Sarvanot Path (Rore di Sampeyre)

The region extends over a large valley, featuring gentle slopes and thick forests extending over 60 km which takes you from Verzuolo to the Agnello Pass. All the way from the hamlets of Piasco, Rossana and Melle you can find a host of tourist attractions, such as architectural masterpieces and delicious gastronomic specialities.

Out of all the Provençal valleys, this valley has been one of the most successful in preserving its intrinsic cultural and linguistic heritage, with events such as the Bahío of Sampeyre for example, which is probably one of the most representative Provençal cultural events in Italy. Its origins go back hundreds of years and have a distinctly carnival atmosphere, which revokes the final expulsion of the Saracen invaders from the Alpine valleys: the event takes place every 5 years (next editions will be in 2012 and 2017).

The artistic features of Sampeyre and of Costigliole Saluzzo and Verzuolo, two villages dominated by their respective castles, further enhance the intrinsic beauty of the area. The typical Alpine hamlets with their stone houses and slate roofs, as those of Chianale and Bellino for example, highlight the history of these independent and intrinsically proud frontier lands, areas which in the past acted as havens for persecuted protestant communities.

The Varaita valley offers to the nature lover a host of interesting attractions such as the Alevè forest which is the most extensive Cembrian pine forest in Europe, while the hill of Sampeyre offer a breath-taking view over Monviso and the towering Cottian Alps.

The valley is also the home of fine wood craftsmanship, each hamlet having its own workshops, as of the Rore ceramics, produced according to traditional cannons and as the harp production of Piasco, famed all over the world. There is also a host of gastronomic specialities and fruit and vegetable produce: ravioles  (elongated gnocchi), bread, tumin di Melle (fresh cheese), delicious grapes and Quagliano wine, chestnuts, apples and aromatic herbs ...

How to get there 
On the A6 Turin-Savona road, Marene or Fossano exit, then towards Verzuolo or Costigliole.For those arriving from the Tenda  pass border, once arrived in Cuneo, proceed towards Busca and Costigliole.

Events and shows
•    Casteldelfino: Apple and Herb festival – August
•    Costigliole: “Quagliano” Grape festival – September
•    Frassino: Provençal product festival – August
•    Melle: Tumin festival – August
•    Rossana, Piasco, Venasca: Chestnut festival – October

Tourist office
Piazza Marconi, 5 - 12020 FRASSINO
tel. +39 0175 978321 - fax +39 0175 978949