Busca – Colle dell’Agnello: to conquer the highest mountain pass in Italy
3 DAYS / 2 NIGHTS
Conquer Colle dell’Agnello, between tradition and good cuisine:
it is long, intense, fascinating…. you conquer it slowly and it conquers you slowly.
And then the typical, traditional, local dishes and … I Ciciu del Villar.
Arrive to Costigliole Saluzzo in the early afternoon and check-in to 4* hotel.
In the afternoon, transfer to Villar San Costanzo for an easy trek on the hiking trail of Ciciu del Villar.
Along the itinerary you can observe scores of "Ciciu", curious geological formations caused by erosion. The environment is decidedly picturesque, and it is worthwhile to walk the ring route of the Tourist Trail which passes to the Tower group (more than 10 m high) and joins higher up with the Hiking Trail. This is a trail with a higher level of difficulty due to the steady gradient with which it reaches the upper boundaries of the Nature Reserve, but which represents a good educational example of the microenvironments of the wood which affect the distribution of the vegetation.
Hiking trail of "Ciciu del Villar" (640 m) – junction Colle della Liretta 1010 m) - Visitors centre of the Ciciu del Villar Nature Reserve (640 m)
Difference in altitude: +390 / -390m Time: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.) Distance: approx. 8km Difficulty: E • -
Dinner based on local produce in a restaurant of Saluzzo and stroll in the magnificent city full of history and culture.
Saluzzo was the capital of a small State, the Marquisate of Saluzzo, for almost six hundred years, surrounded by great powers such as the Kingdom of France and the Duchy of Savoy.
Return to hotel and overnight accommodation.
After a substantial breakfast at the hotel, very early departure for the climb to Colle dell'Agnello,
at the top of Valle Varaita departing from Verzuolo. At first, the road climbs with gentle gradients, immersed in areas which are still cultivated, alternated with deciduous forests. You pass small towns of the valley, rich in history, including Piasco, Rossana, Melle and Sampeyre. You easily reach Casteldelfino at 1,300 m of altitude. Passed the centre, the road climbs and with a gradient of around 10% you quickly reach the dam of Castello and immediately after Maddalena, which together are better known as Pontechianale.
The road now climbs with demanding gradients beyond the village of Chianale to reach the mythical "barrier which closes the road of the colle in winter.
10 km remain to the top and exactly 1000 m of difference in altitude: the first 8 km are extremely hard, with gradients always above 10% and highs of 15% and even if the road climbs with hairpin bends there are no stretches that allow to recover. Only 2 km from the top, the gradient falls, to resume in the last 1000m, but the view of the colle gives you the energy to finish the climb.
On way down, stop in a typical bar of Chianale for a light lunch, and return to the hotel in the afternoon. Nicknamed Borgo di Pietra (Village of Stone), Chianale is a small village of Occitan culture located 1800 m above sea level and it has been recently added to the list of the Most beautiful villages of Italy. Its name in Occitan is La Cianal which means "canal" and alludes to a work of channelling the Varaita torrent between the houses or, as others believe, indicates the source of the river itself.
Relax in the hotel and Spa route (150 minutes) in the wellness centre of the facility (Whirlpool, Bio Sauna, Finnish Sauna, Tepidarium, Balance Room, Alchemist's Studio,
Gourmet dinner of the Chef in the hotel restaurant - appetizer, first course, second course, and dessert - excluding beverages.
LENGTH 62 KM
DIFFERENCE IN ALTITUDE 2,411 M
MIN ALTITUDE 501 M
MAX ALTITUDE 2,735 M
After breakfast in hotel, transfer for a light tour of Venasca and Melle, two villages of
Lunch in typical restaurant with tasting of craft beer "which invites to drinking well and staying together"
In the afternoon, return to own destinations.
Price per person from:
€ 299,00 (groups of 2 pax)
No, on request (with supplement)