Some of these trails are known to have been frequented since ancient Roman’s time due to their accessibility. With time, they became more and more important as far as commercial exchanges between valleys. In the XVI century, under the menace of a plague epidemic, they were officially controlled. Always during the same century, at the time of religious tension, the Lanzo Valley passages were used to “discretely” transfer the Holy Shroud from Chambery to Turin. In more recent years, when the Lanzo Valleys saw the birth of Club Alpino Italiano and of the Turin mountaineering, the gentry of the Savoy dynasty ruling in Turin also used the trails, when visiting their vacation houses there.
Balme still offers nowadays-uncontaminated panoramas and nature. The visitor, who ventures to the most faraway corners of the valley, may still experience the discovery sensation at the origin of man’s desire for adventure. He may feel the same or similar emotions such as the ones experienced by several famous characters. In 1888 the philosopher Nietszche said, “The majestic chain of the Alps is at hand. In 50 minutes the train takes you to Lanzo and the high mountain is right there”. The reverend W.A.B. Coolidge, famous English mountaineering pioneer, in 1890 wrote on “The Alpine Journal”: “Few English mountaineers are familiar with the Lanzo Valleys which run to the North-West of Turin up to the chain of Alps dividing Italy from France. But the few who have visited them have been for sure stunned by the position of Balme village, in Val d’Ala, surrounded on all sides by steep walls and dominated by the gigantic Bessanese rock wall (11.917 ft), which fills entirely the valley deep end…». On the Turin-Ceres railroad the steam engines have been replaces by the more modern ones. All the stations from Lanzo to Ceres are still old style and it makes of this railway branch a rarity not very well known and appreciated.
In this itinerary section, in the spirit of nature discovery, we want to suggest interesting routes, lasting even several days, to expert and trained mountain visitors. The purpose is to bring the hikers to very nice sites, which are not as much visited as the more classic and known ones. The use of maps is recommended in case of summer fogs and it may also be useful should the trails not be very well marked.
Families and more relaxed hikers will find in Balme area many alpine lakes and pasture grounds where to spend beautiful days. We will shortly be able to give you all information you may require; meanwhile we enclose in this page a bibliography, useful to also plan some of the more classic trips.
- GIRO DELL’UJA DI MONDRONE
- LABIRINTO VERTICALE
- TRAVERSATA CORNETTI – COLLE DEL VALLONETTO – LAGHI BIANCHI – LAGO CASIAS – MONDRONE
- LAGHI VERDI – COLLE PASCHIET – P.TA GOLAI – COLLE PURACIERE – CIMA CHIAVESSO – COLLE DEL VALLONETTO
- PUNTA DELLE SERENE
- CIMA AUTOUR
Short trips particularly suitable to families with children:
Several days loop trips:
- BALME TREK TOUR
- I SENTIERI DEI PARTIGIANI
- ANELLO PIAN DELLA MUSSA – RIFUGIO GASTALDI – LAGO CROTAS – LAGO BESSANETTO – PASSO MANGIOIRE – PIAN DELLA MUSSA.
- TOUR DELLA BESSANESE
- “Escursionismo per Tutti…escursioni e passeggiate sui monti di Balme” di Roberto Bergamino ed Umbro Tessitore. Ed. Arti Grafiche San Rocco
- “72 Escursioni fra le Uje di Lanzo” di Sergio Marchisio. Ed. L’Arciere
- “Andar per laghi nelle Valli di Lanzo” di Roberto Bergamino. Ed. Arti Grafiche San Rocco
- “Guida dei Monti d’Italia – Alpi Graie” di G. Berruto e L. Fornelli. Ed. C.AI. – T.C.I.
- “Valli di Lanzo e Moncenisio” di G. Berruto. Ed. I.G.C.
13, Mont-Cenis Ciamarella “Alpi Senza Frontiere
Carte dei sentieri e rifugi a colori con reticolato UTM Per utilizzo GPS,
Institut Geographique National
103, Rocciamelone, Uja di Ciamarella, Le Levanne, Alte Valli di Lanzo
Carte dei sentieri e rifugi a colori, Scala 1:25.000
Istituto Geografico Centrale
2, Valli di Lanzo e Moncenisio
Carte dei sentieri e rifugi a colori, Scala 1:50.000
Istituto Geografico Centrale