It is located at the end of the valley and provides an excellent starting point for a vast range of hikes.The small settlement is connected to the main road by a Romanesque stone bridge that can only be crossed on foot. The hamlet features very characteristic rural buildings sporting the stone roofs that are typical of Aosta Valley and northern Piedmont. There’s a local restaurant with bar open all year round, where to have a taste of classic Piedmontese cuisine. This hamlet of the Traversella village also hosts the Ribordone waterfalls, named after the creek that forms them; they flow under an ancient bridge with the so-called “donkey back” shape that is commonly found in Piedmont’s mountain villages. Fondo is 1074 metres above sea level and provides the starting point to a multitude of alpine trails and routes of the Alta Valchiusella. Indeed, from there you can reach Monte Marzo (2756 m) and Monfandì (2.820 m) two mountains belonging to the Gran Paradiso alps in the Alpi Graie range on the border between Aosta Valley and Piedmont. Those who may prefer not to go that far can take a walk in the beautiful surroundings admiring nature, pastures, animals and enjoy a true taste of mountain reaching the nearby municipal hamlets of Chiara, Cappia, Succinto, Delpizzen, Cantoncello and Tallorno.
(18 km from B&B FFR, 30 min by car)
This hike starts at Traversella and reaches Piani di Cappia 1340 m above sea level, for a total hiking time of 2h15′. According to the ancient oral tradition of the valley populations, the souls of the dead used to walk this trail so shepherds could not enclose their sheeps along the route because the dead passing by would scare them off. Another legend has it that old people used to jump off the trail to put an end to their lives. It is a self-guided, signposted route, a sacred corner of the Valchiusella that’s rich with symbols and signs of devotion that men used to show gratitude and appreciation to the Earth. Along the route are ancient petroglyphs, man-made rock engravings imbued with pagan beliefs and rites dating back to prehistoric times as well as to the time when Christianity was spreading in the Alps.
(11 km from B&B FFR, 25 min by car)
Lake Alice is a morainal glacial lake, roughly square in shape. Southward, Provincial road SP 68 runs along it while to its east you get access to water from a wide private beach. There are two trails designed for hiking or mountain biking, one named Agrifoglio, on the lake’s western side, and one named Lago, running between the lake’s southern bank and the provincial road down to Lake Piccolo. Not far from Lake Alice is lake Meugliano that though looking like an alpine lake is only 700 m above sea level. It is embedded in a magnificent natural landscape permeated by an antique charm. The lake is surrounded by conifer woods, mostly larches, Norway spruce trees and Scots pines; all around the lake are several hiking and mountain biking trails. In 2009 lakes Alice and Meugliano have been declared to be a Site of Community Interest; as such, they are part of an area where natural and seminatural habitats, wild plants and animals are being preserved safeguarding their biodiversity. In addition to offering a scenic backdrop as well as nice walks along their banks, these little slices of heaven provide the perfect habitat to a rich variety of animals and an equally rich vegetation.
(Lakes Alice: 5 km from B&B FFR, 10 min by car. Meugliano; 7 km from B&B, 14 min by car)
Cima Bossola, a mountain site in the municipality of Rueglio, is 1510 meters above sea level and is a very scenic point encompassing a wide view from Maritime Alps to the mountains of Lombardy in the distance. Starting off at Rueglio, the course pleasantly unfolds through easy, danger-free slight slopes, humps and crests and is particularly enjoyable early in the season as it faces south. Although placed at a not too-high altitude, this route offers a first-class vista of the Piedmontese plain. On the path that goes upward from Rueglio are a few farm roads that lead to mountain pastures, while heading downward you can follow the nice ridge that sets the main valley area from that of Vallone Savenca, and then get back to Rueglio through the Pian del Benecchio on forest tracks and unpaved roads that end up back at the starting point. In 1962, Cima Bossola was the first place in Valchiusella where a lift station for alpine skiing was built and where hundreds of ski lovers from the area as well as outsiders used to gather on weekends. After a very long string of snowless winters, the skilift station was closed for good in 1982. “Even though there are no skilifts any longer in Cima Bossola, I do believe that people’s interest and love for the place will not fade in time” said Diego Perotto, deputy mayor of Rueglio, a few years ago. In the present days when the snow is thick enough a cross country ski loop is laid out.
(11 km from B&B FFR, 25 min by car)
The wildlife observatory of Vaudanza-Palit
The wildlife observatory is found within a protected oasis including the areas of Traversella, Palit, and Monterosso – an extremely interesting environment rich in enchanting natural spectacles. The first leg of this enthralling tour is on a trail that rises pretty steeply through sparse woodland, not clearly marked in some overgrown spots. It goes on to reach a broad slope along an easy ridge crossing a very interesting natural area hosting a large black grouse colony. Shortly before reaching Fondo di Traversella, there’s a road going uphill to the Palit skiing station belonging to the Vaudanza regional district. From the square facing the skilift station (1250 m) you can follow the road overlapping the former downhill course track that rises in wide hairpin bends as the initial gentle slope turns into a short, steeper section. At a height of 1634m you’ll find the Valchiusella wildlife observatory, where you’ll learn all the secrets of the local plants and animals from professional, welcoming staff. Past the observatory, the route goes further up along a farm road reaching the top point of the ski tracks at an altitude of 1742m. From there, heading south-west you’ll reach the Palit subpeak at 2000 m. The route goes on along feeble tracks following the clearly marked ridge that stretches up to the summit of Punta Palit at 2162m (hiking time: 1h45’ to the observatory – same to reach Punta Palit).
(20 km from B&B FFR, 35 min by car to join the parking from where the hike starts)
These wonderful flowers answer the call of spring they know so well with no hesitation, lending their somewhat primeval beauty to the natural landscape looking at which we can’t but feel alive, in tune with the surrounding nature.
The glorious sea of narcissus flowers in bloom that surrounds the cabins and alpine pastures symbolizes the thriving nature embracing all those who are keen on discovering a corner of Piedmont that takes as short as an hour drive from Turin to reach; it offers unique, beautiful natural spots alongside places to enjoy a taste of traditional Piedmontese cuisine, and plenty of trails designed for hiking, mountain biking or horse-riding among beech and chestnut trees, creeks of crystal clear water, and flower-covered meadows.
(15 km from B&B FFR, 30 min by car)
Il Chiusella nasce alle pendici del monte Marzo e percorre la Valchiusella toccando i comuni di Traversella, Vico Canavese, Meugliano, Alice Superiore (ora ValdiChy); nei pressi di Issiglio riceve il suo affluente principale, il Torrente Savenca. Nei pressi di Vidracco, viene sbarrato a scopo idroelettrico dalla diga della Gurzia e, a valle dell'invaso transita in un secondo tratto profondamente incassato nella roccia e cambia bruscamente direzione volgendosi verso est e dirigendosi verso la Dora Baltea.
The Chiusella creek starts at the foot of Mount Marzo and flows all across the Valchiusella, touching the municipalities of Traversella, Vico Canavese, Meugliano, Alice Superiore (now known as ValdiChy). As it reaches close to Issiglio it blends with it main affluent, the Savenca creek. Near Vidracco, the creek encounters the barrage of the hydroelectric dam of Gurzia; downstream of the reservoir, it flows through a narrow pass deeply embedded within rocks and sharply changes direction veering eastward as it heads towards the Dora Baltea river.
Alice Superiore hosts the Guje di Garavot, two water ponds connected by a brook that flows through bare, polished rock walls marked by the signs of rising waters during rainy seasons and floods. Immersed in untouched nature, silence is truly golden in this magical place listed among the ‘luoghi del cuore’ – (places that are close to people’s heart) by Fai, the Italian Environmental Fund. This spot provides an equally pleasant experience to those who love to sit in quiet contemplation of breath-taking vistas as well as to those who are simply looking for a nice place where to cool off on hot summer days. Indeed, you can swim in the waters of the Guje; with proper equipment, you can even dive underwater to discover unusual, spectacular pond beds getting as deep as 9 meters.
The Guje di Garavot can be reached by a trail that winds its way across a wood of alders, chestnut trees, willows and birches, starting right close to the Provincial Road. Something eerie echoes through these gorges, permeated by the fairy-tale charm of their ponds reflecting alders, chestnuts and birches like blue-grey water mirrors.
Many legends were born in this natural setting where rock dares water as in an arm-wrestling game that’s been keeping in perpetual balance since the dawn of time. One of the most popular is about a paw print set in stone, believed to be the devil’s footprint, while a more practically minded explanation for it was found in the need to mark off the boundary between municipalities.
(6 km from B&B FFR, 10 min by car)