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Ussolo – Elva

Tipologia percorso



Anello delle Valli Stura Maira e Varaita

Dislivello in salita

1.200 m

Dislivello in discesa

900 m

Tempo complessivo

7 h

In senso inverso

7.20 h

Ussolo 1337 m – quota 1900 – Castiglione 1469 m – Colle di S. Michele 1935 m – Chiosso Sup. 1673 m – Elva (Serre) 1637 m

The terraced itinerary continues on the sunny slope of the Val Maira, with beautiful panoramas and many groups of barns and permanent houses with characteristic building typologies. You then reach the dividing line to descend into the deep valley of Elva and cross the many beautiful hamlets before reaching the administrative centre, which displays its famous church with frescos by the Master of Elva.

Go up the road (shortcuts) to the village of Vallone 1426 m, where you take the path that goes back up between the houses and further up you rejoin the road: after about 500 m you leave the latter to take a path (not very obvious but signposted) on a steep slope that leads to an arid and steep area. After a ridge the path becomes flat (you can see Prazzo), and, after crossing a stream, it reaches the abandoned Grange Alben (Narbèn) 1738 m. On a large pasture with rich flora, the route climbs very quickly more or less to the center of this area and reaches the crest at around 1900 m altitude, where the numerous scattered villages of San Michele di Prazzo appear in a beautiful sequence; 1.40 hours.

The path descends on the San Michele slope and enters the rich larch forest of Prier. Once you have crossed the stream, near a sheet metal shack you can see the ancient Prier granges above. Having become wider, the path passes through an arid area to reach the first meadows and immediately afterwards the picturesque village of Castiglione 1469 m, particularly interesting for its position as a stronghold, for some circular pillars typical of the whole valley, and for the characteristic passages covered. Once out of the village, go down the asphalt road (bridge with an old mill next to it), which you follow to the right for about 100 m until you come across a little-traveled path on the left. Take it and go up, through poor and crumbling terrain, up to a small larch reforestation; after passing the Comba Fiandino the path becomes clear and through fields and meadows it reaches the Cesani hamlet 1591 m. After passing the town you pass next to the chapel of San Giacomo and along the old mule track you go up to the Ferreri hamlet 1683 m. On the municipal road, with a beautiful panorama especially towards the west (where Mount Chersogno 3026 m dominates), you reach the village of Decostanzi 1714 m, the highest inhabited area of the municipality of Prazzo, interesting for the houses arranged in rows, with long galleries in wood facing south-west, once used to dry or even dry fodder and grains. After approximately 150 m of road towards the mountain, the path to Elva branches off to the right, clearly visible, which climbs along the edge of the woods up to a pass where it branches off in three directions: take the middle one, which almost flat passes on the side opposite of the collar (view of Elva). Continuing through woods and larch groves you reach Colle di San Michele (Col Sutàn) 1935 m; 2.40 hours. You descend into the Elva valley through larch woods with extensive undergrowth of rhododendrons, blueberries, etc., where many cattle still graze. You cross some canals, pass an animal enclosure on the left, go along the last stretch of the Gias Vecchio canal, cross an old wooden bridge over a canal and from here go up in a few minutes to the first village of Elva which you meet on this side: Chiosso Superiore 1673 m. You travel through the entire town, where you can admire a splendid series of circular pillars along a set of buildings arranged in rows and also embellished with stairs and large wooden galleries. Along the new road you go down to Chiosso Sottano, where a shortcut passes between the houses and leads to the old Mulino dell’Albergo 1507 m. Take the road again, now asphalted, which on a slight slope and a slight climb passes through other beautiful villages (old frescoes) and flows onto the provincial road a short distance from the capital Serre and the Hotel Locanda San Pancrazio stopover 1637 m; 2.40 hours.


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