The Glorioso Rimpatrio dei Valdesi from France to Piemonte
Faith and Resistance in the Age of the Sun King
7 DAYS / 6 NIGHTS
The Waldensians are a Christian denomination founded by Pietro Valdo in Lyon, France, in the 12th century. They preached the return to poverty of the apostles, the abandonment of politics by the popes of the time and ended up being condemned as heretics and persecuted. Some communities took refuge in the Alpine valleys of Piemonte, where they remained clandestine for four centuries. Following the deportations and killings, about three thousand Waldensians fled from Piemonte to Switzerland.
In 1689, William III of Orange, king of England, financed an expedition of Waldensians to return to Piemonte. A thousand Waldensians, led by the shepherd Henri Arnaud, left from the shores of Lake Geneva, in Switzerland, clashed with the French troops, defeating them and, after 12 days of walking, returned to the alpine valleys of western Piemonte. We retrace the itinerary of the Glorioso Rimpatrio among high mountain landscapes and the memories of history.
Meeting in the morning in Torino with the tour leader at the Porta Nuova railway station. Transfer to Nernier in France (260 km), on the French shore of Lake Geneva. We proceed on foot from Nernier to Yvoire (2 km). Walk in the medieval village of Yvoire. Transfer to Combloux (75 km), facing the Mont Blanc massif. Check-in to the hotel, dinner in a restaurant selected from the main tourist guides with traditional dishes from the Haute-Savoie area, and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit of the Baroque church of Combloux (18th century). Walk from Combloux to Megève (6 km). Walk in the pedestrian streets of the historic centre. Light lunch with tasting of typical products. Transfer to Beaufort (40 km) to visit a dairy. Transfer to Seez (40 km), check-in to hotel, dinner in a restaurant selected from the main tourist guides with traditional dishes from the Haute-Savoie area and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit of the Espace Saint-Eloi, an exhibition of Savoyard craftsmanship and of the Arpin woollen mill which produces fabrics of pure virgin wool. Light lunch with tasting of typical products. On the way from Séez to Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise (8 km) through woods and pastures. By minivan we reach Val d'Isère (33 km, altitude 1,840 m). Check-in at the hotel, dinner in a restaurant selected from the main tourist guides with traditional dishes, and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. By minivan we reach Bonneval-sur-Arc (30 km, across the Colle del Iseran). Walk in the ancient village with traditional architecture. We continue on foot towards Bessans (8 km). Light lunch with tasting of typical products. Transfer to Exilles (70 km), in Val Susa, in Italy. Check-in at a hotel in the Susa / Exilles area, dinner in a restaurant selected from the main tourist guides with traditional dishes, and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit of the Fort of Exilles. Transfer to Salbertrand (8 km), to the Chenebiere bridge, where the battle between the Waldensians and the French took place. Visit of the Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista. Transfer to Allevé (30 km), to Pragelato, light lunch with tasting of typical products. Walking from Allevé, to Joussaud (6 km) and Pattemouche (3 km), check-in to the hotel, dinner in a restaurant selected from the main tourist guides with traditional dishes, and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Massello, Balziglia (50 km). Tour of the Waldensian museum. Walk to Massello (4 km) and visit to the Beckwith school. Transfer to Ghigo di Prali (19 km). Light lunch with tasting of typical products. Tour of the Waldensian temple (16th century), here Arnaud gave the first sermon after returning from exile. Walk to Ribba (3 km) Transfer to Torre Pellice (50 km) and check-in at hotel, dinner in a restaurant with traditional dishes, and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Walk to Torre Pellice, the main centre of the Italian Waldensian Church. Visit of the museum and the Temple (19th century), meeting and conversation with a representative of the Waldensian Church. Transfer to Bobbio Pellice (8 km), near the Sibaud stele, erected in memory of the oath of union and solidarity between the Waldensians. Light lunch with tasting of typical products. Transfer to the Porta Nuova railway station in Torino (75 km). End of services.
Rates / Supplements
Price per person from:
€ 2.480,00 (groups of 6 pax)
€ 3.180,00 (groups of 4 pax)
The price includes:
• Tour leader (speaking Italian, English, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese) present during the entire period of the trip
• Transport by minivan (seating 7-9 people) to the locations indicated in the program. The minivan has a combustion engine. For a surcharge, participants may travel “green” with transport in an electric minivan. See the “Any Supplements” section for more information.
• Admission to: Combloux (Saint-Nicolas Church), Beaufort (Dairy Coopérative laitière du Beaufortain), Seez (Espace Saint-Eloi exhibition space, Arpin wool mill), Exilles (Fort of Exilles), Massello (Waldensian Museum of La Balziglia, Beckwith School), Ghigo di Prali (Waldensian Temple), Torre Pellice (Waldensian Museum, Waldensian Temple)
• Accommodation in "boutique" hotels or accommodation facilities (agritourism, bed & breakfast, ...) selected from the main tourist guides (Michelin, Routard, Lonely Planet, Italian Touring Club, ...) and verified by Effatà Tour, in a central location, in twin bedded en suite rooms
• Full board from dinner on the 1st day to lunch on the last day. “Light” lunch at restaurants, agritourisms, farms, with local products. Dinners in restaurants selected from the main tourist guides (Michelin, Routard, Lonely Planet, Italian Touring Club, ...) and verified by Effatà Tour, with seasonal menus promoting local products
• Local taxes and VAT
The stages on foot are optional (minivans are available), without particular difficulties, require no specific experience but participants must be in good physical shape. They take place on secondary asphalted roads, dirt roads, easily passable trails.
Meditations and insights
Along the way there will be rest stops enriched by meditations, organised by Effatà Tour, taken from the writings of pastor Henry Arnaud, research by historians and the thoughts of Waldensian shepherds and authors. The “Glorious Repatriation” becomes an opportunity to practice a path of spirituality and experience the hike as an interior journey.
During the transfers, the Effatà Tour guide introduces and comments on readings of songs, music, audiovisual projections, which help the participants to appreciate artistic, historical, spiritual and cultural aspects of the “Glorious Repatriation” and Waldensian Church, both in the past and today.
The price does not include:
• Mandatory individual fee for paperwork management: €60. Includes individual cost of handling the paperwork and Axa insurance policy for medical expenses. Please contact Effatà Tour to consult the terms and conditions of insurance
• Travel cancellation insurance (optional). It is possible to take out a “Cancellation” insurance which allows you to cancel the trip. Please contact Effatà Tour to request a personalized cancellation insurance quote.
• Tips to drivers, local guides, restaurant / hotel service staff
• Drinks during meals, personal expenses in general
• Supplement for specific dietary needs: to be defined according to the participant's requests
• Admission fees and excursions not indicated in the program
• Procedures and fees for the entry visa (for participants from non-EU countries)
• Anything not specifically indicated under “The price includes”
Single room surcharge: €470 per participant
Green Trip with eco-sustainable mobility
It is possible to use a reserved minivan with an electric motor during all scheduled transfers (for an extra charge. For 6 participants: €230 per participant. For 4 participants: €310 per participant)
Families, Groups, Individuals
Via Tre Denti 1
+39 0121 353452