Lavender in the Piedmontese valleys

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In Demonte, in the Stura valley, and in Andonno, between the Maritimes Alps and the Gesso valleys, in this period you can admire astonishing purple landscapes.

As in Provence, also in Italy you can find beautiful lavender fields, you can visit them at the end of June and at the beginning of July, is this the period of maximum flowering. This perfumed plant grows spontaneously on the Alps and on the Apennines, so it is easy to see if you go trekking  in the mountains.


Among the territories rich in lavender fields in Piedmont, the Stura valley is, with no doubt, one of the best. In particular, in Demonte, a small municipality, located in the Cuneo province, which counts 2.000 inhabitants, from the early years of the XX century lavender has been a fundamental element for the local economy.

In the second half of the XIX century and at the beginning of 1900, in fact, numerous fields of “izòp” (as the lavender is called in Occitan), characterised the valley. The harvesting of this plant was linked especially to the pharmaceutical sector and it was a good source of income for the inhabitants.

Today, at the end of springtime, in Demonte, you can admire blue fields of lavender, which grows spontaneously and currently it is used to create precious essential oils.

In this small mountain village there is still the ancient Rocchia distiller, famous for its production of essential oil, obtained through a precise distillation process that uses direct steam injection.

If you like to admire lavender you should take the statale 21 and stop at kilometre 16.


At the end of July in Andonno, among the Maritime Alps and the Gesso valley, takes place the “Ai témp d’l’izòp” (“at the time of lavender”) fair, organised by the Gruppo culturale Tabás in collaboration with the Rye Ecomuseum of Valdieri.

Healing herb with refreshing and perfuming properties, lavender has been for centuries the protagonist of local history and still lives in the memories of the inhabitants of Andonno who pay homage to it through representations of the harvesting and the distillation process, food and wine walks and folklore, in a dedicated weekend to local traditions, to the trades of the past and to solidarity.

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