Art History and Culture
Val Grande Area Wilderness National Park
The Val Grande National Park, established in 1992, extends into the heart of the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola, between craggy ridges and solitary peaks. It is the largest wilderness area in Italy, a wilderness a stone's throw from civilization. Until the 1950s and 1960s, the Valgrande was frequented in the summer months by mountaineers and woodcutters. After their abandonment, nature took over, making it a returning wilderness. It is a unique valley, where nature is slowly recovering its spaces, where endless woods, transparent waters and undisputed silences accompany our every step. A sanctuary of the environment, to be attended with absolute respect. But Val Grande is also history. The long story of a mountain civilization narrated by the places and people of the villages that surround this area between Ossola, Verbano, Val Vigezzo, Valle Intrasca and Cannobina.
Walking along the paths of the Val Grande we can discover the signs left by man in the past centuries when the valley was a destination for shepherds and woodcutters, traces of a hard and poor life that arouses interest and admiration for the ability to adapt to such an inaccessible and inaccessible. And even those who are content to arrive at the threshold of such a wild area, stopping in one of the centers that surround it, have the opportunity to grasp the sensations of a wilderness area. Because the Val Grande, even before being a park, is a valley of great emotions.
Lake Orta is a land that offers enchanted scenarios suspended between history, religion, art and nature. The itinerary that allows you to contemplate these landscapes starts from the Sacro Monte di Orta San Giulio, set in the green nature of the hills above the lake town. The visit to this place of worship is an opportunity to admire the works of the artists and architects who since 1590 have worked to create this devotional path dedicated to St. Francis, consisting of twenty frescoed chapels and completed by sculptural groups, which represent an apex in the history of Italian art, so much so as to make the Sacro Monte a World Heritage Site protected by UNESCO.
The tour continues by visiting Orta San Giulio and the homonymous island. The small village, a jewel of medieval architecture, with its narrow and suggestive alleys, has fascinated writers, artists and writers for centuries. By boat you can then reach the island and visit the millenary abbey of San Giulio which preserves frescoes and paintings from the school of the painter Gaudenzio Ferrari.
Finally, the day ends by visiting the small hamlet of Legro, which over the years has been transformed into a real open-air museum thanks to the colorful frescoes that illuminate the walls of its houses, representing scenes inspired by the works of Gianni Rodari or from the films that were shot on the shores of the lake.
We are talking about one of the most beautiful lakes in our country and, at the same time, one of the largest; the Lake Maggiore. This lake has such an ancient memory and history that make it one of the most valuable historical places in Italy.
Everyone observes the lake today but few know its history that dates back thousands of years. The origin of Lake Maggiore is undoubtedly glacial and, from the most ancient periods to today, the populations that have settled on Lake Maggiore are really many; from the Celts to the Gauls, from the Barbarians to the Romans up to the period of noble families such as that of the Visconti, the Sforza and the well-known Borromeo.
Centuries and centuries of pure beauty, art, tradition, folklore. Like when the greatest artists of all time looked out over that stretch of water to find inspiration for their works such as Hemingway or Charles Dickens who loved taking refuge on Isola Bella , a real paradise surrounded by nature.
Even the famous conductor Toscanini found inspiration for his music by looking at the slow movement of the lake and the atmosphere, over the centuries from the eighteenth century to today, does not seem to have changed. Therefore, the history of Lake Maggiore is not only made up of the monuments that anyone can visit on a holiday on the lake. The history of this land is made by the events, traditions and myths that accompany those who arrive on the shores of the lake on a mystical journey.
Langhe and Roero
Hilly expanses as far as the eye can see, ancient villages and castles perched, a succession of gentle slopes planted with vines whose rows draw rigorous geometries: these are the magnificent scenery of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato, which have become a World Heritage Site.
Splendid wine-growing areas of Piedmont which with their landscapes shaped by the combined action of nature and man have become part of the world heritage list .
These strips of land that extend in a lively game of profiles, modulated by the changing of the seasons, represent the exceptional quality of the Piedmontese landscape and its deep and lively wine culture.
These are areas of production of wines of international excellence and quality - such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Asti Spumante and Barbera d'Asti - made thanks to a rich heritage of knowledge and techniques, based on the deep knowledge of the vines here cultivated for centuries (Nebbiolo, Moscato Bianco, Barbera).
Discovering the history of Monferrato is a fascinating and stimulating adventure that will take you to know the origins of the human presence in Piedmont through archaeological artefacts, to then deepen the Lombard, Carolingian phase and retrace the history of the dynasties that alternated in controlling the territory. Monferrino.
The Aleramici, the Palologi, the Gonzagas and the Savoy were protagonists of the history of Monferrato and through the dynastic events of these families it is possible to tell a story of castles, buildings of worship, families, artists, cultures and traditions.
Among the symbolic elements of the Monferrino area are the Infernot, underground rooms built by hand-digging the canton stone, a particular type of sandstone from the Miocene era, whose geological history is linked to the formation of the Apennine chain. The absence of light and direct ventilation make this place an ideal place for storing wine, making the Infernots evocative witnesses of the centuries-old history of Monferrato winemaking, whose exceptional nature has ensured their inclusion in the World Heritage lists. UNESCO.
In the historical context of Monferrato we must not forget the extraordinary heritage of industrial archeology which tells the industrial history of the Monferrato areas and which tells the story of its inhabitants and its workers.
The ski offer of the Vialattea is vast: the international ski area of the Vialattea includes Sestriere, Sauze d'Oulx, Oulx, Sansicario, Cesana, Pragelato, Claviere and the French Montgenèvre. Ski area offers 249 slopes (7 green, 80 blue, 120 red and 42 black) and 70 ski lifts .
The area is characterized by large spaces, sunny and panoramic slopes that combine characteristic villages of Occitan huts with modern places equipped with all comforts.
The vastness and variety of the area are able to satisfy both the most demanding skiers, thanks to the long and demanding slopes, and those approaching the world of skiing for the first time.
Great attention is also paid to the little ones: do not miss the Baby Fun Parks of Sansicario and Sauze d'Oulx set up with nice inflatable structures suitable for bringing the little ones closer to skiing while having fun. Alone or in the company of one of the 800 ski and snowboard instructors of one of the 14 ski / snowboard schools in the area, you can discover the uniqueness of the places, the slopes and the paths that wind through larch and fir trees ... why not, you can relax and enjoy a good glass of red wine or an excellent typical dish in one of the refuges in the area.
Lovers of good Italian cuisine will in fact find themselves at ease in the various locations of the Vialattea: there are over 30 mountain huts that comfort skiers who prefer to stay on the slopes all day without giving up a well-deserved break in front of a typical dish. of the area.
Vialattea… ..an emotion to live.