Relatively long stage, characterized by the decisive initial climb to Colle Croce di Ferro. It flows quickly, without being excessively tiring.
The views are wonderful and we admire the Rocciamelone (3,537 m) from different perspectives. Before going down to the charming town of Susa, we are saddened by the part in the woods devastated by a terrible fire in 2018.
The descent, from Ca 'Praletto (where you enter the burnt wood) onwards, is sometimes steep and it is not easy to find your way around because of the few trail markers (those on the trees no longer exist).
We start early in the morning following the GTA and skirting the Lake of Malciaussia. After passing the small village of Pietramorta, we cross the Torrente Stura di Viù and attack the climb (approximately 750 m height difference) towards Colle Croce di Ferro, always on a comfortable paved path, an old military mule track, never steep, steady and panoramic.
We are at Colle Croce di Ferro (2,546 m), where the panorama opens onto the Cottian Alps (we see the sharp tip of Monviso, 3,841 m), the Maritime Alps, and even the Turin plain with its hills. We lose altitude and the GTA takes us soon to the Capanna Sociale Aurelio Ravetto. We begin a long and pleasant cross path, very aerial. Once we pass the southern shoulder of Monte Palon, always on an excellent path, we quickly lose altitude (approx. 500 m drop) until we reach Alpe Arcella, where we take the comfortable flat road, passing Alpe Costa Rossa (1,940 m), with its monument dedicated to the partisans.
By interspersing stretches of road and path (at the top we see the shrine glistening on the top of Rocciamelone), we enter the forest burned in the 2018 fire. We pass the Trucco hamlet (those who are tired can break the stage at Rifugio Truc) and continue to Ca 'Favro. From Ca 'Praletto we begin the real descent (approx 1,100 m drop).
We enter the completely devastated forest and the scenery is terrible. Due to the fire (and because of the signs, often erased by fire), the path is not always easy to follow and the slope increases considerably. Finally, we conclude the descent in the hamlet of Stagno, of Susa, from where we follow the road to the ancient town, rich in history and precious corners.
The beautiful mountain of Rocciamelone, that with its 3,538 m overlooks the valley, was considered a sacred mountain by the druids. In Susa, there is still a Celtic altar dating back to the 7th century BC that looks right towards the mountain.
The summit of Rocciamelone was reached for the first time on 1 September 1358 (probably a record, in the Alps) by the Astese crusader Bonifacio Rotario who, captured by the Turks, vowed to the Madonna to dedicate Her a portrait, on the first peak he would have seen in case of his safe return at home. And so he did: he brought to the summit of Rocciamelone a valuable bronze triptych with the image of the Madonna. For its protection, a small chapel was built in 1798 and it became the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Rocciamelone: the highest in Europe (3,538 m!).
In Susa, there is the Arch of Augustus, built between 8 and 9 BC, one of the best-preserved triumphal arches in Northern Italy: it is largely intact, although the metal parts have been removed, such as the bronze letters of the inscription. The epigraph recalls the foedus, which is the "pact" of an alliance between Cozio, king of the Celts, and Caesar Octavian Augustus, the first Roman emperor.
Above Susa stands the Castle of the Countess Adelaide. It was thanks to her marriage (the third, in 1046) with Oddone di Savoia, to whom she donated the Marquisate of Susa and the County of Turin as a dowry, that the Savoy lineage took over Piedmont.
One of Adelaide's daughters married Henry IV, king of Germany, and later Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Excommunicated by Pope Gregory VII, Henry IV benefit the support of Adelaide, an energetic and prestigious woman, who even accompanied him to Canossa, to the Pope, to beg for the revocation of the excommunication.
Today Adelaide Castle is a museum that houses the evidence of its thousand-year history: from castrum, built on the remains of the Roman Pretorium , to a medieval castle, to Palazzo Sabaudo.
The gòfri is a waffle similar to a waffle, eaten in a savory version with cheese and cold cuts or sweet, with jams, honey, creams. The dough is cooked with a fer à gaufre, made up of two overlapping cast iron plates hinged on one side, in order to open like a book. The plates are heated and greased with lard before the semi-liquid mixture is poured.
Rifugio Il Truc, in the hamlet of Trucco. Tel. +39 0122 32963
Ostello Casa San Martino, in Susa. Tel. +39 0122 31686
In Susa, there are numerous accommodation facilities
Starting point reachable by car.
Departure point NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest location reachable by bus is Usseglio, starting from the city of Turin with a change in Lanzo.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
Starting point NOT reachable by train.
The nearest location reachable by train is Lanzo, starting from the city of Turin.
Here the LINK to check the timetables.
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.