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Montagne Seu – Fraction Berno, Venaus

Tipologia percorso


Dislivello in salita

550 m

Dislivello in discesa

1.780 m

Tempo complessivo

7.20 h

In senso inverso

8.20 h

Montagne Seu 1771 m – Salbertrand 1032 m – Eclause 1383 m – Combes 1227 m – San Colombano 1302 m – Cels 960 m – Ramà  Sant’Antonio 980 m – Clarea 740 m – Giaglione (San Lorenzo) 710 m – Frazione Berno Venaus 558 m

A stage that can be covered by Salbertrand for many months of the year, of significant cultural interest, with a route halfway up the Val di Susa (high on the state road) which uses old abandoned mule tracks, some stretches of secondary roads and the ancient «Celt path ». In a valley known only for its ski resorts, the GTA itinerary avoids these and instead passes through many ancient centers (immune from devastating building interventions) where the characteristic architecture and layout of the buildings offers aspects of notable beauty and interest. It is useful to plan several stops in the villages: the stage made without stopping in the villages would lose part of its value.

From the Arlaud Refuge the wider mule track descends to Salbertrand, in a mixed coniferous forest which towards the bottom sees a predominance of Scots pine, and which occasionally opens up into pasture clearings, such as at the Berge grange 1551 m at the now ruined grange d’ Himbert 1394 m. With a final series of hairpin bends you finally reach the valley floor, emerging onto a cart track. This towards the right leads after a few hundred meters along the wide meadow plain, to the houses recently built across the river, from here a road passes the Dora Riparia and the railway: on the right is the railway station, while towards the left reaches the center of Salbertrand 1032 m, 2.00 hours.

In Salbertrand you can have a first example of the architecture that distinguishes the old villages of this part of the valley. Many notable artistic testimonies remain, including the pre-14th century church with a beautiful portal from 1512 by an artist from Melezet and with an interior full of old sculptures and frescoes from 1508, and beautiful stone fountains (one from 1524). In Salbertrand the battle took place on the night between 23rd and 24th August 1689 between the Waldensians, who were about to complete the «Glorious Repatriation to their valleys, and French troops who tried in vain to hinder their passage.

In Salbertrand, take the second passage covered by a vault on the left, shortly after the Pomo d’Oro restaurant, at the northern end of the town, which constitutes the beginning of the old mule track to the Eclause. It climbs up the sunny slope (lavender, marmottier plums) from which the slate roofs of the closely grouped houses of Salbertrand dominate with a beautiful view, and then becomes more shaded by pines and broad-leaved trees. Well-preserved old terraces testify to the intensity of cultivation in the past, vines also grew here up to 1200 m. After a steeper stretch delimited by walls you reach Moncellier di Sotto 1247 m; a little further up you come across the Pramand road: you are at the houses of Moncellier di Sopra 1332 m, between meadows and cultivated fields. Cross the road and with a short shortcut you return to the short carriage road that connects the village, and follow it to the right for the few tens of meters remaining at its end. Here, on the left of the last house the mule track starts again, which winds along a more gentle slope, and soon reaches the Eclause shelf, where it ends up on a country track that almost flat leads to the now nearby village, 1383 m: 1.20 hours.

Eclause is also worth a quick visit, made easier by the fact that the GTA crosses the entire town lengthwise; The rustic houses are beautiful and well preserved, many of which are still inhabited. On the square of the fountain, there is a notable artistically sculpted stone window. Further on, stands the elegant bell tower, an example of the Romanesque-Getic style that spread in Valsusa between the 15th and 16th centuries.

Once out of the village, where among the vegetable gardens there are the wash house and three old abandoned mills, you go down the mule track which after a while you abandon to take a good path on the left. This first descends among low broad-leaved vegetation, crosses the Ponte stream (often dry), descends into a larch forest with a few hairpin bends, passes a short stretch overgrown with bushes and emerges on a mule track that leads to the now nearby Combes 1227 m, 0.20 hours The quiet village is located with old and well preserved houses in a narrow oasis still cultivated all around, in fact the land has become uncultivated, including vineyards which in this area, so high for vines, were still in production until the 1950s. Leaving the main building, you go up to the chapel and turn along its left wall, towards the valley you can admire other huts perched on the ridge. After the chapel, go along the top of the supporting wall along an uncultivated terraced field, then go up to take the mule track again. Among uncultivated fields invaded by weeds, go up towards the north-east and after 500 m of travel, in correspondence with high piles of stones derived from the the ancient clearing of the crops, you go up to a level surface and a grassy country road which you follow to the right in the direction of the nearby houses of Margheria Superiore, 1314 m.

Anyone traveling along the GTA in the opposite direction must leave the country road precisely at the point where, shortly after the upper Margheria, the aforementioned mounds rise on the left, marked with a patch of stones and the usual red signs.

Follow the country road between beautiful meadows and after 200 m from the upper Margheria you leave it to take another cart track which branches off from this one on the left with a short climb, continues on level ground and reaches the Aut Munt houses 1306 m, from where you continues shortly descending to the asphalt road Deveys San Colombano in view of this last hamlet which can be reached in a few minutes by road, shortly after passing the Galambra stream, 0.35 hours, San Colombano, 1302 m is an interesting hamlet of Exilles. Its beautiful rustic architecture can be admired, if you are in a hurry, even by simply following the GTA itinerary through the town, walking along the main street until the stone fountain dated 1583, turning right downhill, to another fountain go left and exit the houses, then follow the old path to Cels. It initially runs horizontally along cultivated fields and meadows and then slightly downhill in the dense mixed forest up to Case Armella 1223 m, where it becomes a beautiful paved mule track, which descends with a wide view of the valley and the mighty fort of Exilles.

This is an imposing defensive complex whose origins can be traced back several centuries (after the year 1000, when the upper Susa Valley passed to the Dauphins of France, a castle had already been built there), with periodic subsequent additions of new circles of walls and other defense redoubts, mostly built in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

Almost at the end of the descent, you leave the main mule track to take another on the right that leads to the nearby village of Rif, 964 m; 0.45 hours.

Rif, together with Morliere which you cross and Ruinas which is just off the route, forms the Cels di Exilles hamlet, interesting architectural units for which a certain attention is recommended: they are protected by the Superintendence of Monuments of Piedmont.

From Cels to Giaglione the GTA runs along the route of the ancient Valsusino Celts path, unfortunately canceled in several places by the opening of roads.

From Rif, traveling along the narrow asphalt road, in a few minutes you reach Morliere 955 m, cross it, pass the crossroads for Ruinas (the village is nearby on the right and a visit is recommended) and continue among chestnut trees and then among terraced vineyards (sometimes with the shoots leaning against the rock to use the heat). After a curve, beyond Chiomonte which can always be seen on the right, the town of Rama appears, dominated by Rocciamelone in the background (and also visible throughout the GTA from Truc almost up to Colle della Croce di Ferro). After 2 km from Rif, you reach the route. della to the houses of Maisan 930 m (take it upstream): at the fountain you leave the road and continue straight ahead to take the old mule track between the houses, continue on the flat (at a crossroads take a left) and between large chestnut trees and then between cultivated fields reaches the village of Ramà Sant’Antonio 980 m; 0.50 hours (church from 1696 and just beyond covered stone fountain with a human head mouth). After walking along the road between the houses, you exit the village,

you emerge on a dirt road, follow about twenty steps and take a path on the right near a walnut tree (view of the Dora furrow with Chiomonte on the right, on the left the villages of Giaglione where you are headed. The path becomes a mule track continues eastwards, first on the edge of a meadow and then into the woods. After crossing a gutter, on the left there is a simple wall, where mountain dwellers coming from the valley with full panniers or other loads could stop.

++At a crossroads, do not take the mule track on the right that goes down to Maddalena (area closed to transit by decree of the Prefect of Turin) information signs with route deviation, follow the new one, signs the path rejoins the road and you arrive at the village Clarea.

For those arriving in the opposite direction after Borgata Clarea sign with indication and follow the deviation for Borgata san Antonio ++

You go up for a short stretch and continue on level ground in a picturesque alternation of vineyards and woods, with a beautiful view of the vineyard hills on the opposite side and the deep gorge through which the Dora flows. You come across the beautiful villages of Giaglione which are still well preserved: San Giovanni and Plano (in spring the almond trees bloom there and some olive trees have been planted near the houses), and finally San Lorenzo 710 m; 1.10 hours. Giaglione is a complex of villages of very ancient origin, among vineyards and cultivated fields overlooked by chestnut groves which supplied very renowned chestnuts. Follow the road that goes down to Susa for a few dozen meters (the descent to Susa is described further on) and then turn left onto a cart track which on a slight slope leads to the western wall of the Giaglione fort, along which the road runs which connects Giaglione with the Moncenisio state road. Follow a short stretch of it, then turn right onto a path that runs alongside the northern enclosure of the fort, go down to the state road and cross it to take a downhill path on the left which through the bush and then between chestnut and poplar trees leads to the houses La Corna 575 m, from which you reach the Novalesa-Susa road via a dirt road, turn left and you arrive at the hamlet of Berno di Venaus Place Stop Agriturisme Al Prà Muriet 0.40 hours





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