Navigation Menu

San Magno – Celle di Macra

Tipologia percorso


Dislivello in salita

600 m

Dislivello in discesa

1.100 m

Tempo complessivo

5.15 h

In senso inverso

6 h

S. Magno Frazione Chiappi 1761 m – Monte Crosetta 2194 m – Grange Serra 2232 m Celle di Macra 1270 m

One of the most pleasant itineraries of the GTA in the Cottian Alps: after crossing the pastures of the upper Vallone di Narbona it follows an open and panoramic ridge that first separates Val Grana and Val Maira, then becomes wooded and separates the deep valleys of Celle and Paglieres.

From the stopover point, go up to the Sanctuary square and take the path that starts near the fountain and goes up through the pastures, towards the north. Once you reach a cart track, follow it for a short distance up to a hairpin bend: here you take the path that goes up the steep slope with some short hairpin bends above the last hut. As it rises, the path bears to the right and enters the magnificent prairie overlooking the Sanctuary, with a wide panorama of the valley, rich flowering and the presence of a numerous colonies of marmots. Where the terrain becomes flat, you leave the path which continues to the right to go up the meadow towards the north-east along a sort of grassy trench (source under the path, on the right). A final short hairpin climb leads to the panoramic ridge of M. Crosetta, 2194 m; 1.15 hours. The name of Monte Crosetta is probably due to a religious tradition. The pilgrims who went from Val Maira to the sanctuary of S. Magno on the occasion of the festival used to bring a small wooden cross with them: it was planted on the ridge after which the last stretch was covered in procession, singing songs and prayers. The elders of Celle di Macra remember that they themselves still practiced this custom. You descend a little into the Vallone dei Cross or Narbona, with a halfway uphill route towards the north-west, on bushy terrain (alders and rhododendrons). Having almost reached the valley floor at around 2100 m altitude, you go up northwards through pastures (source), you pass near the Grange Martini on a grassy track and you reach the watershed with Val Maira, where the Grange Serra are located, 2232 m; 1.00 hour. Here the view opens onto the large pasture basin of the Grange del Tibert, suggestive for its natural beauty: on the left rises the system formed by the two peaks of Mt. Tibert (2647 m) and Punta Tempesta (2679 m) interspersed with Colle Intersile (2516 m), important connection between the Maira, Grana and Stura Valleys; on the right the ridge extends up to the Rocca della Cernauda (2284 m), separates the Celle Valley from that of Paglieres, and on which a pleasant stretch of the route will take place (not far to the east of the source). At Monte Bastia (2134 m) the path passes through a narrow passage called the “pertus” which on clear days frames Monte Rosa in the overlooking Col Birrone; you then descend along the ridge to Fumei 1801 m, a modest saddle with some granges (on the left a flat path leads in 100 m to a fountain); 1.30 hours. A meteorological curiosity: the Fumei are often clouded by mists and vapours, to which they probably owe their name; the fact is explainable, as these are the first buttresses on which the hot and humid air of the plain collides with the coolness of the mountain; this microclimate was exploited for a spruce plantation above Castellaro, which gave excellent results. Passing next to a hut next to the rock, the mule track cuts halfway up the eastern side of the grassy Mount Sociù and, through alternating steep pastures and woods, sometimes also beech, touches the huts at 1743 m and arrives at a pleasant hill 1573 m, where you once again overlook the Celle basin. Towards the north extends the Piano della Colla, a broad, soft, almost flat relief. The mule track now descends on the Celle side, between sparse larch groves and uncultivated meadows and reaches Castellaro, 1451 m; 1.00 hour.

The village is worth a short stop: in the center of the town the front of the castle still stands out (hence the name Castellaro) adorned with an elegant mullioned window on the side of which you can see a tastefully sculpted green stone. A peculiarity of the castle and of another house in Castellaro is that of having the façade wall made in a “sail” shape. that is, protruding above the roof level, and culminating horizontally with its own slate roofing: these are two examples of the rare stately buildings still existing in these valleys.

From Castellaro you do not follow the carriage road, but the old mule track which, among groves and land which is unfortunately no longer cultivated, descends to Borgata Chiesa 1270 m, the capital of the Municipality of Celle Macra; 0.30 hours. Stopover place Hotel Locanda Maraman

Of note is the church, flanked by a beautiful Romanesque bell tower and which houses a splendid polyptych in ten compartments from 1496, attributed to the “Maestro d’Elva”. Another valuable fifteenth-century work are the frescoes that decorate the chapel of San Sebastiano, not far away, on the carriage road to Serre.

Tappe su questo percorso