Medium-long stage, with a long and tiring initial climb, followed by a very panoramic cross path.
The effort is amply rewarded by the wonderful scenery (we are approaching the Maritime Alps and we notice that the landscape is changing), from the visit to the beautiful Sanctuary of San Magno and from the limestone Rocca Parvo (2,394 m), undoubtedly with a Dolomite appearance.
The stage, although devoid of technical difficulties, is quite long: however, it can be interrupted in San Magno by taking advantage of the various accommodation facilities.
In the ascent from Grange Fumei to Monte Bastia, the path is destroyed by the passage of cows (the bottom is slippery, covered with dung).
The only water point is in San Magno: bring a good supply.
After a short stretch on the road, we take the GTA path and immediately attack the long climb (approximately 900 m height difference). The initial part is in the woods, on an excellent track. We overcome the built-up area of Castellaro. Shortly thereafter, we reach a pass and from there we continue on a comfortable level road, halfway up to the Grande Fumei (1,809 m). From here we resume the uphill path, ravaged by the passage of cows (the bottom is covered with dung and it's easy to slip). Once on the ridge, the view begins to open, revealing the plain to the east and the wild peaks of Val Maira to the west.
With the last climb up to Monte Bastia (2,136 m). The landscape is beautiful, we see again the Monviso (3,840 m) and, to the south, we spot the Maritime Alps. The path continues on level ground, open on the Vallone del Tibert. At this point, it turns into a roadway on a ridge - the stretch is truly enjoyable. We change side and go back up and down a cross path, crossing the head of the Comba di Narbona, to reach Passo delle Crocette (2,184 m).
We swiftly descend (approximately 400 m drop) towards the Grana Valley and we visit the beautiful Sanctuary of San Magno (those who are tired can interrupt the stage here, taking advantage of the various accommodation facilities). We get back on the road and face the last climb (about 550 m height difference): although pleasant, it is mostly on an asphalted road. From Baite Parvo we go back on the path: the environment is beautiful and we are impressed by the north face of Rocca Parvo (2,394 m), with an obvious dolomitic aspect (the rock is limestone). We arrive easily at the Rifugio Fauniera, a former Anas (Italian road authority) metal sheet hangar, completely restored.
The Val Grana is an authentic natural and cultural treasure chest.
Nestled between the Maritime Alps and the Cottian Alps, it boasts an environmental and climatic diversity that contributes to its remarkable botanical and faunal richness. It is not by chance that precious flowers and herbs have created that masterpiece that is the Castelmagno cheese.
In the month of May, flowering explodes, real magic for the eyes: from orchids to edelweiss, from crocuses to lilies ...
Inhabited since ancient times by the Mountain Ligures, the Alpine civilization was active for centuries in the Val Grana, providing us with the memory of an anthropological and architectural heritage of great value. Ancient paths, majestic mountain pastures, timeless villages, a treasure that today comes alive with new life.
The magnificent Sanctuary of San Magno, set in a very scenic position, is dedicated to the patron saint of cattle and pastures.
Built at 1,761m, it is located in the territory of the municipality of Castelmagno in a place that, at the time of the Romans, was probably dedicated to the cult of the god Mars, as evidenced by the discovery of an altar with inscription.
Already in the 14th century, there was a small church (built thanks to the alms of the faithful), to which was added the Allemandi Chapel around 1450. The sanctuary was subsequently enlarged and enhanced by the work of Giovanni Battista Botoneri. The Botoneri nave (sec. 16th) represents the Passion of Jesus and episodes from the lives of some local saints.
The king of Piedmontese cheeses comes from Val Grana: his majesty Castelmagno, produced from the milk of cows that feed on tasty high altitude grass.
A cheese with a grainy texture, when well matured, and with an intense flavor. The perfect pairing is with gnocchi (flavored with nutmeg) or with honey.
Ristoro del Pellegrino (GTA stopping place), at the Sanctuary of San Magno. Tel. +39 0171 986178
Rifugio Maraman, just outside San Magno, on the GTA. Tel. +39 391 121 3232
Rifugio Fauniera, just below Colle d'Esischie. Tel. +39 388 129 5174
Starting point reachable by car.
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest location reachable by bus is Macra, starting from the city of Cuneo with a change in Dronero.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.