Long and consistent stage, marked by the long climb to Passo del Turlo, along a beautiful military road.
The descent towards Alagna is very pleasant and panoramic, with the view of the enormous Piode Glacier and the entrance to the Alta Valsesia Natural Park.
The climb to Passo del Turlo, although without difficulties, is long and tiring: to face only if well trained.
Water points are absent from the Bivacco Lanti to the headquarters of the Alta Valsesia and Alta Val Strona Park.
We go down the road to Isella (where we pass an oven that has been active since 1700!), from where we head towards the gold mines of Guia and enter the Val Quarazza. After passing the Lago delle Fate (Fairies' lake), we travel the whole valley on a comfortable carriage road, along the stream. We pass Rifugio Crocette, cross the watercourse and, on the path, continue to Alpe Piana.
There begins the climb towards Alpe Schiena (approx. 450 m height difference), always on an excellent path, with some breaks. A panoramic traverse takes us to the new Bivacco Lanti, where we stock up on water. We start the second ascent (approximately 600 m height difference), long and tiring, but on an excellent paved military road, never too tiring.
Finally, we are at the Passo del Turlo (2,738 m). We start the long descent (approximately 1,500 m drop), always on an excellent path, with a constant slope and never too steep. After Alpe Fàller, a short cross path takes us to Alpe Mittlentheil (watch out for the rather aggressive sheepdogs). In this stretch, the fantastic scenery of the Piode Glaciers opens to the west.
Let's go back down and soon we pass the headquarters of the Alta Valsesia and Alta Val Strona Park (the highest in Europe). A detour on the southern side of the valley leads to the nearby Rifugio Pastore, where the most tired ones can stop. While descending, we reach the Acqua Bianca waterfalls. Shortly after we reach the square of the same name, where shuttle busses leave for Alagna. We continue on the road for the last few kilometers, along the Sesia River, up to the town of Alagna.
At the end of the 19th century, the tourist development of Valsesia deeply transformed the center of Alagna. Numerous villas were built in the Art Nouveau style, in vogue at the time, that merged greatly with the materials of the ancient Walser architecture (stone and wood), starting a peculiar expression of art nouveau, which over time has become a distinctive feature of the area.
Alagna was able to react to the post-war economic crisis by building, in the 1960s, the futuristic Punta Indren cable car, which brought people to 3,260m in the heart of Monte Rosa and gave an extraordinary boost to the town's economy.
Alagna (and in particular the Val Vogna) show different and beautiful Walser houses made of wood and stone, built according to an original model that develops a high degree of functionality and integrates perfectly with the landscape.
Typical are the wooden mezzanines that run around the houses and were used to dry the hay, and the lose, slate slabs, used to cover roofs.
In the village, it is worth to pay a visit to the beautiful Church of San Giovanni Battista, built in late Gothic style at the beginning of the 16th century and remodeled in the Baroque period: a curious aesthetic mix.
The specialties of Valsesia are the miacce (miljntscha in Walser dialect), wraps stuffed with speck and cheese, or with jam or blueberries that appear in the woods of Macugnaga in August.
They are cooked between two rectangular plates where the batter is poured, to be then served on a wooden tray.
Rifugio Pastore, on Alpe Pile. Tel. +39 0163 91220
Campeggio Alagna, in Alagna. Tel. +39 334 348 3594
Pensione Genzianella, in Alagna. Tel. +39 0163 923205 - +39 346 794 7758
Starting point reachable by car.
Starting point reachable by bus from the city of Domodossola.
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.