The Maira Valley

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It is one of the most pristine valleys. It starts from Dronero, with its legendary Devil’s bridge, and it goes up as far as Roccabruna, a town of 93 hamlets, San Damiano Macra, Celle Macra, Stroppo and then Elva with its green basin and parish church Hans Clemer, the master of Elva.

To explore it we start from Busca which contains inhabited area the seventeenth-century church of the Trinity,  two works by Gallo, Maria Ausiliatrice e la santissima Annunciazione. Then higher up, we reach Villar San Costanzo with the remains of the ancient abbey now incorporated into the parish church of San Pietro. But the most characteristic aspect is undoubtedly the “Ciciu del Villar“. Three kilometres far we see Dronero, the deep devil of the Maira stream, crossed by a bridge. Not far away, a detour leads to Roccabruna, characteristic for its 93 hamlets scattered in the green, while the path you can admire the castle of Cartignano. And then, again, in this tireless itinerary, there are San Damiano Macra, Pagliero and Paglieres, or continuing on the main Lottuolo road. Hence you can choose among many possible excursions: Albaretto, Celle and the quiet Castellaro.

Taking the state road again, have a stop in Stoppo, on Mount Nebin, it is a must.

To explore the Elva valley, leave the main road just before the Marmora bridge. Here stands Elva, where the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta is worth to visit, true jewel of art thanks to the Romanesque bell tower, the portal, the sculptures, the frescoes on the life of Christ attributed to Hans Clemer.

Elva valley

From Marmora Bridge there is another street that invites you to discover the village  with its Romanesque parish church and fifteenth-century frescoes and Canosio located at 1254 metres. Endless possibilities for excursions: Col d’Esischie, Colle del Mulo and Colle Preit.  Going up to 1220 metres, you come to Acceglio, a famous Calvinist centre that has a church, a convent and a rise to fresh, small-sized cheese made with cow’s milk on the mountain pastures. Continuing further, we arrive at Villar, at Ponte Maira, at Saretto, at Chiappera, at the foot of the silhouette of the Provencal Fortress. And now there is no road for cars, you have to continue by foot, perhaps up to the mountain Chambeyron, or towards the hills Maurin, Marinet, Gippiera, Nubiera, Sautron, Munie.

Marmora village

There is a small reserve that can be visited by bicycle, especially along the river of the Faussimagna stream after Morra del Villar, to discover the remains of the geological history that led to the formation of these particular phenomena. The reserve erosion columns can be observed in the main erosion columns. Particularly interesting it is also equipped with sixteen stations with tools.

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