Highlights and tour details
Set off from Alagna, going along part of the cycle/footpath which runs to the left of the River Sesia to reach the hamlet of Riva Valdobbia. Go into Val Vogna on the trail which climbs in the direction of Rabernardo (1453 m). Crossing Alpe Selletto and the villages of Cambiaveto and Piane you reach the village of Peccia and Montata after the bridge. A short detour allows you to stop at the local holiday farmhouse at Alpe Larecchio. Climbing back up the valley of the Valdobbia stream you reach Colle Valdobbia, the border between Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta, which is home to Rifugio Ospizio Sottile (2480 m), built in 1823 as a support point for emigrants headed to Switzerland. In the scenic descent you meet the alpine pasture of Tschalfrétzò di Sopra (2032 m) and then the village of Gressoney-Saint-Jean.
Points of interest
The entire route, also called “Grande Sentiero Walser” (Great Walser Trail), is scattered by the traces of mountain populations from Valais who settled in the Alpine valleys of Northern Piedmont and Aosta Valley from the 12th century. The Vogna Valley of Valsesia, with its mild climate, favoured the settlements of the Walser colonies from Gressoney in 1300 but also emigrants, shepherds, merchants, soldiers, nobles, and kings who crossed this important passage for centuries. Of note are the magnificent landscapes immersed in natural uncontaminated settings dotted by typical villages with Walser Museums: in Alagna Valsesia, Riva Valdobbia and Rabernardo.
Rifugio Ospizio Sottile
The itinerary is classified as difficult for the length and demanding difference in altitude uphill. To prevent tackling it in a single stage it is possible to stay overnight the day before at Rifugio Valle Vogna of Sant’Antonio, or add an intermediate stage at the Rifugio Sottile of Colle Valdobbia, the highest point reached by the itinerary, and descend the following day to Gressoney-Saint-Jean. The route follows a trail but at lower altitudes it includes short sections that cross roads with vehicular traffic.
The information contained in the routes is not the responsibility of the authors and verifiers of these routes.
Recommended period: June-November
Historical interest: Yes
Provinces crossed: Biella Valsesia Vercelli