Valli del Monviso
VALLI DEL MONVISO The Varaita Valley stretches for about 70 kilometres, ascending from Costigliole to an elevation of 2744 metres at the Agnello Pass, where the panoramic road leads on to the French Queyras Valley. The oceanic rock pyramid of Monviso, also referred to as “vesulus pinifer” by Dante, towers over the valley, but it disappears out of sight when ascending the switchbacks on the main road towards the first spurs of the mountains. Its unmistakable profile reappears only further up and offers unforgettable panoramic views. There is a succession of extraordinary landscapes.
The gentle and fertile slopes of the lower valley transform into alpine landscapes, green pastures and steep meadows, vast deciduous forests and woods of pines, larches and Swiss pines. The so-called “emerald” valley has always shone in the thousand shades of green of its lush vegetation. Everywhere wayside shrines, small chapels and pilgrimage churches sprinkle the slopes and knolls, evidence of the dense net of traffic and devotion as well as cultural and artistic zeal of the past. The valley is an ideal territory for sports fans and offers enumerable possibilities for leisure and entertainment in summer and winter. Bicycle enthusiasts can take up the challenge of the long since legendary ascent to the Agnello Pass; climbing crags, via ferrata and spectacular cliffs attract expert climbers as well as beginners; itineraries on ledges along the valley are ideal for mountain bikers and in winter for snowshoe hikers. The ski resorts offer entertaining downhill and cross-country slopes and the ice climbing fans will find the by now famous cascades, a real must in this area.
The strong Occitan tradition is characteristic for the upper part of the valley, in particular in the language. Evidence of this golden period remains everywhere: in the architecture of the houses, in the traditions, in the folklore and in the wood craftsmanship.
Furthermore the Varaita Valley offers typical gastronomic products such as cheeses of high quality, appetizing sausages, edible chestnuts and delicious mushrooms, liquors made of herbs and wines of tempting taste.
There is a vast panorama to discover, a fertile and generous landscape, a heritage of unforgotten traditions, a borderland rich in magic… In short: an invitation to seize the opportunity!

COPERTINAFor more information about the history, the costumes, the traditions and curiosities of the Varaita Valley read the book by D. ROSSI, val varaita, Guida a una valle occitana sorprendente per le tradizioni, affascinante per i paesaggi, +eventi edizioni, Cuneo, 2009.

It is available at the Comunità Montana Valli del Monviso, piazza Marconi 5 in Frassino, email, tel. 0175/970640, in the book shops of the valley and of the Province of Cuneo or online on the website of +eventi