Trip in Val Chisone

Most travellers do not know Val Chisone. You can easily reach it by car from Pinerolo (nice smiling city at the foot of the Alps) and go up to Sestrieres. In winter time it is a far away, quiet place, where time seems to have stopped. The very few villages are nice and hospitable: Usseaux has been appointed as one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and Laux is small but really pleasant. Here the quiet, silence and peace that live along with tradition and nature overpowers the few tourists that come to this places.

Val Chisone, vista dal Forte di Finestrelle

The local cuisine is made of plain and tasty food. The calhiette is probably the most famous dish: giant gnocchi filled with sausage and butter. Taste the plaisentif – the violet cheese – made of the first mountain pasture milk enriched with flower essence and left to age for at least 80 days. We have been invited to the climbing tour to the Selleries Refuge (in the Alpi Cozie Park) by ciaspole (snowshoe) in a full moon night organized by Turismo Torino.

This is a unique experience I suggest to those who like this kind of travel: you leave at sunset,walk by an easy path  and go up to the refuge at 2,040 metres above sea level. In two walking hours we have been struck by Val Chisone  from above: astonishing and striking natural show covered by snow and enlightened by the moonlight. We found ourselves into a magical place, surrounded by the silence broken only by the sound of our paces.

We arrived at the refuge tired but happy, ready for a nice evening with friends, drinking some good wine and eating the food that you can find only in mountain places. Sleeping in a refuge: what an adventure! It is not easy to be at 2,000 metres surrounded only by snowy mountains and plain silence. We spent all the evening chatting in front of the stove and drinking the famous genepey, a liqueur made of plants of the genus Artemisia. Tasteful… but dangerous!

In Val Chisone there’s the Forte di Fenestrelle (Fenestrelle Fort) second for length only to the Great Wall. The huge building was built between the XVII and XIX centuries to protect the Italian-French border, but used mainly as prison. Today only the kitchen and the soldier’s houses are open to the public. But you can enjoy an astonishing view of the valley.

Useful suggestions

  • Moonlight trips to the refuge will take place on Jan. 26-27, Feb. 23-24, March 23-24, April 20-21. For further information:
  • Where to sleep? Hotel Laux: family hotel: welcoming hotel settled in one of the most suggestive locations of the valley on Lake Laux
  • Where to eat? In local inns and restaurants of the villages, and remember to try the local food!

Where is Val Chisone?

Visualizzazione ingrandita della mappa

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