Medium-length stage on the GTA, characterized by the long ascent to the plateau of the Thirteen Lakes and the descent from Colle Giulian: nevertheless, it lacks technical difficulties.
The postcard of the day is represented by the Draja Lake, surrounded by the Ricoveri Perrucchetti.
Water points are absent up to the Bergerie Giulian.
We walk for about a kilometer on an asphalted road and then take the GTA path that starts immediately the long climb towards Colle Giulian (about 1,000 m height difference). We climb on a good path towards Miandette, where the climb slows down and a flat stretch lets us catch our breath again. We then go up again, entering a valley and we soon leave the coniferous forest.
With a sudden climb, we are on the plateau of Lake Primo (2,296 m). We continue uphill towards the next plateau, near lake Draja: the view is fascinating and the scenery of the lakes is suggestive, thanks to the old abandoned military buildings (Ricoveri Perrucchetti) around the lake.
We continue on the comfortable mule track on the hillside, which on sloping ground takes us easily to Colle Giulian (2,457 m), a balcony overlooking the high Val Pellice. From there, if wished so, we can easily reach the nearby Monte Giulian (2,547 m) on an easy path on the ridge.
At this point, we begin the long descent towards Val Pellice (approx. 1,200 m drop), which starts decisively but always on a good path. After the Bergerie Giulian, the GTA flattens and passes on a comfortable carriage road. We go back to losing altitude on a series of narrow hairpin bends, which we cut on the path, sometimes steep but without difficulty. Finally, after a last quieter stretch, we arrive in the characteristic village of Villanova Pellice.
Due to religious persecutions, many Waldensian refugees fled from Bobbio Pellice to Calabria between the 12th and 13th centuries, founding today's municipality of Guardia Piemontese in Calabria, which still remains an Occitan linguistic island in Southern Italy.
Paolo Paschetto, born in Torre Pellice in 1885 and son of a Waldensian shepherd, is the author of the emblem of the Italian Republic, consisting of a star, a toothed wheel, olive and oak branches, which respectively symbolize Italy, work, and the will for peace and strength.
The plateau of the Thirteen Lakes hosts numerous military structures, including the Ricoveri Perrucchetti. Built in the late 19th century on the wide plateau around Lake Draja, they are dedicated to Giuseppe Domenico Perrucchetti, one of the founders of the Alpine Corps.
Further up is the Ramella lake, also known as the Cannons Lake.
Two of the cannons that made up the battery are still in position in their respective stands positioned along the banks.
Typical Waldensian dessert, the frichoulin are pancakes made with acacia and elderflower flowers, served hot and brushed with honey.
Trattoria VIllanova (GTA stopover), in Villanova Pellice. Tel. +39 0121 957850 - +39 340 329 7428 - +39 347 919 2788
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus from the city of Turin, with a change in Perosa.
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.