The mouth of the verdant Pesio valley is marked by the charming town of Chiusa Pesio which it seems to have ancient Lombard origins, still visible today in the ruins of the medieval castle. The city centre preserves a beautiful aspect of past times and allows a glimpse of the landscape that leads to the majestic limestone system of the Marguareis, much sought after and well-known gym for the more daring climbers. To the north, the Valley presents the side that aims at Besimauda a particularly rich environment beeches and pastures while on the opposite side there are cedars and fir forests. At the top of the valley becomes a regional park. The heart of the Valley remains however the Certosa which became a hydrothermal establishment starting from 1840 then in 1934 it became the property of the Consolata missionaries of Turin.
Immersed in the green of chestnut trees, beech trees and fir trees within the park, the Certosa was founded by San Brunone in 1173. Over the centuries the building has undergone profound changes and in the mid-seventeenth century was redesigned by the architect of the Savoy court Giovenale Boetto, who foresaw the construction, between the other, of the elegant loggia that is at the end of the entrance avenue. When the Napoleonic Government in 1802 suppressed the religious institutions, the huge real estate and artistic assets of the Charterhouse of Pesio went missing and The austere walls of the monastery hosted a hydrotherapy facility frequented by high society European. At the outbreak of the First World War, the large hotel closed its doors and the ancient monastery Carthusian for long years remained abandoned to himself until, from 1934, with the missionaries of the Consolata returned to being a centre of spirituality.
Some routes for nature lovers:
- The first has as its starting point San Bartolomeo, at the Piano delle Gorre. The road, over the bridge on the Pesio, leads towards a dirt path and at the junction for San Giuseppe, turning right you can, in tranquillity, reach the Certosa. Following the directions the road now leads in the direction of Vallone di San Bruno. It is an easy route, passable even in winter.
- The second itinerary always starts from Pian delle Gorre, but the road to follow leads this time towards the Vallone del Saut. At this point, after a stretch of uphill road, we reach the Gias Sottano di Sestrera. Always uphill, surrounded by rhododendrons, we arrive at the Gias Soprano Sestrera. One more little patience and good breath and here is the Garelli refuge at 1.970 metres. The descent is easier, especially if along the Vallone di Marguares, skirting the ponds and re-joining the paths made in previously. This route allows you to visit the limestone screes of the Scarasson, the kingdom of a beautiful one alpine flora.
- The late spring and the month of June are undoubtedly the most suitable period for the trip to the Pis del Pesio. It is necessary to seize the melting snow to appreciate the increase in the underground collector capable of producing a suggestive Pis waterfall. Through this exploration we can learn about the more hidden areas of the park, even reaching, through the wall climbing of the Head of Baban.
The Colla Valley
The Colla Valley is the shortest of the Ligurian Alps and is characterised by the Bisalta massif (which takes the name from “bis-alta” that indicates the characteristic double peak, to whose ends are on one side the Brich Costa Rossa and on the other the Besimauda, which rises behind the town of Boves.
In Boves the sanctuary of the Madonna of the woods is worth a visit. The area, as for sports and walks, offers attractions suitable for every need and possibility. The dense network of alpine paths that run along the slopes and slopes cime della Bisalta allows pleasant and interesting walks that offer panoramic views of the circle alpine mountain, from Monte Rosa to the Ligurian Apennines. The passage in 15 kilometres from the 500 metres of the torrente Gesso to the 2,400 metres of Brich Costa Rossa offers a great variety of natural environments that host many animal and plant species. Finally, the characteristics can be admired throughout the territory farmhouses with barn and the last thatched roofs.