Navigation Menu

Oropa – San Giovanni di Andorno

Tipologia percorso


Dislivello in salita

500 m

Dislivello in discesa

650 m

Tempo complessivo

3.15 h

In senso inverso

3.20 h

Oropa 1180 m – Colle della Colma 1622 m – Santuario di S. Giovanni d’Andorno 1020 m

A short and pleasant section that connects, through old mule tracks preserved from vehicles, two Biellese sanctuaries: the more famous one of Oropa in the valley of the same name, and the less known and more sober one of S. Giovanni, in the Valle del Cervo.

Leaving the square of the old Church of the Sanctuary of Oropa through the door that looks towards the mountain, you go up the wide staircase that leads to the grandiose new church until you reach the square in front of the church, crossed by the carriage road. Following the branch on the right, you take this road which, among the beech trees, passes next to the stone that commemorates one of the first CAI conferences. Having neglected the carriage road on the left (which leads to the Rosazza Tunnel and therefore to San Giovanni d’Andorno), cross the brick bridge over the Oropa stream. Having gone around the stele on the left of the Rimembranza park, take a dirt track marked by the D17 trail sign. This track makes a wide turn to the left and crosses a pasture along the dependance line until it enters the carriage road at the height of the first hairpin bend having, at a distance of about fifty meters, the chapel of S. Eusebio. After a curve, you enter a dirt road on the right, closed to cars, which from a distance seems to end up against a wall and instead continues as a road to the right: you then take the path that branches off to the left, entering a sparse forest and wading through a stream. A little further on, go up a bushy copse clearing and on the bank of the Orone stream you enter a fir forest and follow it uphill with very narrow irregular serpentines. When you come across the road, follow it downhill for a short distance, until you come across the signs for the path on the right (trail sign D31) which goes up towards the hill (be careful not to follow path D17 which continues to the left). After two hundred meters of crossing, you ignore the downhill path to enter the coniferous forest on the right, which you cross with beautiful, comfortable and restful serpentines. At an altitude of 1480, in a now abandoned grassy clearing, there are the remains of what was once the Orone farmhouse or hut. The path continues to the left of these ruins with some serpentines, then goes back towards the east, crossing the slopes above the working stone quarries located near the entrance to the Rosazza Gallery (for a short stretch you have to go up off the path, due to a old landslide). Once out of the woods – which in the last stretch had now been reduced to twisted and isolated trees, we continue on the mule track which with some serpentines reaches the Colma 1622 hill, characterized by a crumbling pylon-chapel built with squared blocks of monzonite; 1.45 hours.

From the panoramic Colle della Colma, which opens between Monte Becco and the Tressone peak, the E29 path descends with a light traverse first in a north-west direction, and then follows a grassy ridge towards the north-east (which detaches from the Tressone peak) up to the Le Selle hut which is located on the ridge. Immediately after the hut the path descends with several serpentines on the road coming from Oropa, crosses it and continues until the next hairpin bend where the Caploun hut is located. From upstream, the Testette rocks loom over the road and path, characteristic spikes of overlapping boulders that seem to stand unstably up by a miracle of balance. Towards the north, 150 m up the road, you can see the “turret”, a characteristic rest area or shelter in case of bad weather, in a panoramic position over the Cervo valley, notable for its construction systems and the skilful use of stone (dome-shaped ceiling with reverse steps obtained by overlapping stone slabs).

Downhill from the Caploun hut, follow the path that descends to the next hairpin bend, and from here, with some rather steep sections and a somewhat difficult step, using ladders made with stones protruding from the supporting walls of the rolling stock, you reach the hairpin bend at an altitude of 1288, a characteristic 180 degree curved pearl with a wide radius. Since it was not possible to recover the old path, it is necessary to follow the road for about 300 meters up to a characteristic building called “il Riposo”, but known as “il Baraccone”. Here you take a dirt road heading south that goes down to the Selletto farmhouses, leaving the Mazzucchetti chalet with its characteristic roof on the left and becoming a path that goes south-west to cross the Rio Colombaro (be careful not to take it: the secondary paths that branch off onto the right). After the Rio, the path continues in a north-east direction dominated by the Gamma quarry open on the sides of the Rocca Colombaro, reaches the Gamma house passing through the courtyard in front and joins the road which here describes a hairpin bend. Continue along the road, downhill, passing the Rio Bele dominated by the open quarries on the slopes of Monte Mazzaro, until you reach the first houses of the Bele hamlet. Here you take the road on the right that passes through the middle of the hamlet and reaches the rear side of the Sanctuary-Hospice of San Giovanni, 1020 m, along a path among beech trees. The building must be skirted upstream, partly under it to access the entrance door open on the north-east side; 1.30 hours. Inside the Hospice-Sanctuary where there is the Hotel Locanda San Giovanni stopover place

Alternative road itinerary (not signposted because it is obvious) on the Oropa-Galleria Rosazza-Santuario di S. Giovanni section

This is the path desired at the end of the last century by Sen. Federico Rosazza to connect the two sanctuaries of Oropa and S. Giovanni, replacing the older and more uncomfortable mule track that passed through Colle della Colma. Leaving the sanctuary of Oropa as in the main itinerary, follow the asphalted road passing the Belvedere shelter (it is one of the buildings, notable for the construction systems adopted to use the local syenite stone in a wise and elegant way, and then arriving at short to the tunnel, about 350 m long, which you cross. At the exit you offer a wonderful view of the Cervo Valley. You then pass in front of a restaurant with pseudo-medieval architecture and descend with numerous panoramic hairpin bends, touching the “tower” and the “baraccone” already mentioned in the main itinerary, and arriving at the sanctuary of S. Giovanni d’Andorno. From here the road continues to the Concresio Bridge (where the GTA route joins).





Tappe su questo percorso