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Project and management: arch. Paolo Massa Bova Bovat Graphic design and print: Spunto Creativo di Ricchieri Stefania - Lanzo (TO) Texts by: Marta Misurale, Grazia Biorci, Franca Gamberoni Photographs of: Archivio C.A.I. sezione di Lanzo Torinese, Archivi degli Enti Locali e Associazioni, Archivio Consorzio Operatori Turistici Valli di Lanzo, Adoglio Fulvio, Biancolin Valentino, Castagneri Gianni, Macario Ban Mara, Merlo Daniela, Passerana Giancarlo Giorgio, Pessarossi Giacomo Aknowledgments: Paolo Caligaris - Regione Piemonte, Fabio Giannetti - IPLA, Gino Geninatti - C.A.I. sezione di Lanzo Torinese, Livio Barello e Guido Rocci - Consorzio Operatori Turistici Valli di Lanzo, Vittorio Bonino.




The territory of Valli di Lanzo is located on the western side of the metropolitan city of Turin and develops along the main hydrographic axes oriented from West to East. It converges into the basin of Lanzo towards the plain that extends between the valleys and the city.

Valley and occupies a large portion of flat land. In such a varied territory extends the ancient road system, now used for hiking, which once was a dense network of connections between human settlements and trans-Alpine passes. Precisely because of the vital importance it represented for the Alpine communities, it was subject to continuous and widespread maintenance work, which until today has supported a richly articulated infrastructure for outdoor activities. In the area there are numerous hiking trails of different kinds and degrees of difficulty, developed as light infrastructure connecting all the municipalities in the area.

Among the different areas, the Upper Valley consists of three valleys oriented East-West: the Val Grande, the Val d’Ala and the Valle di ViÚ. These three valleys, which are predominantly alpine, mark the border with France with peaks that reach an average altitude of 3500 meters. The central area, the Middle Valley, extends between Lanzo and Ceres and includes the Tesso and Malone Valleys, which constitute the North-Eastern extension of the area. The secondary hydrographic basins to the Stura di Lanzo give rise to small wooded valleys oriented towards the basin of Lanzo/Germagnano with shallower sections and less steep profiles.

The routes offer numerous routes for hiking or mountain biking, trekking at high altitudes, routes accessible to people with difficulties. In addition to this, there are also numerous hiking trails of local value suitable for daytime activities. The reading of the territory through the description of its hiking network wants to suggest a conscious use of the landscape by tourists and inhabitants themselves, as a source of well-being and opportunity for discovery and sharing, as a moment of awareness of the fragility of the territory.

The Lower Valley overlooks Parco della Mandria, and the entrance to the Valle di Susa. It is located on the slopes of the first mountain range, and has an open and very panoramic profile towards the Po 3


The pages of this guide provide hikers with detailed information and descriptions about the routes along which the stages of the long-distance hiking routes extend. This material is available on-line; also in the area you can find additional elements of help and accompaniment, such as hiking vertical and horizontal signs and, a series of notice boards and direct information from tour operators in the major towns.

described here, must have a basic preparation on the fundamental notions of the excursion activity. In particular hikers should be provided of the necessary equipment in relation to the route to be tackled; should be able to evaluate the environmental and climatic conditions within the Alps; and have a adequate diet and a physical preparation; know topography; be able in orientation and to interpret the signs, have some competence about the flora and fauna, and in Alpine culture; be aware of the rules of behaviour in the refuges, in the bivouacs and along the routes.

However, it is essential that hikers, who intend to take these paths, are prepared with the necessary care to deal with the excursion in complete safety. In relation to the Alpine environment where the continuous climate and morphological changes can vary the conditions of use and the level of difficulty of the routes.

Despite the constant monitoring and maintenance actions planned by the Local Authorities, sudden climatic and environmental events can change the conditions of practicability of the paths, damaging the signage elements and the aid supports. For this reason, hikers must always proceed with caution and attention and check in advance the conditions of the route through the official information channels and direct contacts with operators in the area. Each itinerary are classified in relation to the officially recognised difficulty scale for hiking routes, taking into account both optimal environmental conditions and the appropriate level of preparation of the users.

The practice of outdoor activities, hiking, mountaineering and climbing take place entirely in the natural environment and are in any case activities that present risks and those who practice them take full responsibility. Local authorities and operators take precautionary measures to ensure that the various environments operate with a suitable level of safety, but in any case, a residual risk is always present and can never be zero. Anyone who wants to experience the itineraries 4

E = Hikers Routes on paths or evident traces in various types of terrain (pastures, debris, stones...). They are generally marked with paint or small men (pie- three stacked in a pyramid shape that allow you to identify the path even from in the distance). They can also be signed up in snowy environments, but only in mild slopes. They require special hiking equipment, a sufficient orientation and training for a few hours walk.

They require specific hiking equipment, sufficient orientation skills, and an adequate training for a few hours walk.

EE = Experienced hikers

Routes are generally signed, but there may be some difficulties: the terrain can be made up of slippery slopes of grass, mixed rocks and grass, rocks, snowy slopes or even single rocky passages easy to climb (use of hands in some places). Although these routes do not require any particular equipment, they may provide equipped parts, even if not so demanding. They require a good knowledge of the alpine environment, a good pace and absence of vertigo. The physical preparation must be adequate for a continuous day’s walk.

They require a good knowledge of the alpine environment, surefootedness and absence of vertigo. Adequate training for a day’s walk.

EEA = Experienced hikers with equipment They require an excellent knowledge of the mountains, equipment and the use of self-insurance devices.

The itinerary for which are indicated equipped routes (or via ferrata) require the use of self-insurance devices.


ESCURSIONABLE (ESA) The Hiking and Cycling Hiking Trail ESCURSIONABLE (ESA) is so named because it is designed to be accessible by people with disabilities or special needs. This project is realized thanks to the particular morphological condition of the territory that permits, with punctual and non-invasive interventions for the environment to obtain different levels of facilitated usability in most sections of the track plan. The route extends around the town of the Balme and pass near villages and small alpine pastures. All these stratifications have led to the actual shape of the main village. The access of the trail begins upstream of the village, and is conceived to move in flat throughout the first section of the route. This first step arrives to the area of Pakinò baby ski-lift. The second stretch goes up on the slope of the ski-lift. Once passed the top of the ridge, you are amid pasture Arbosetta, an interesting and well-preserved example of the rural house, typical of the high Lanzo valleys. Immediately, the rural road descends towards the entrance of Servin Valley. In the third section of the trail, you cross easily Rio Paschiet, then, along a forest track that offers an effortlerss walk downhill through larches and small clearings and reach at the end the village from downstream. The trail ends by closing the ring among the central streets of the village. The houses of the center of Balme show different stiles corresponding to different periods of time: you can appreciate old rural huts, small liberty villas, and the most recent holiday homes. The entire route offers panoramic views on the surrounding mountains and peaks. The territory is called the cradle of Piedmont mountaineering and is the theatre of epic campaignes. This traditions are collected in the Alpine Guides Eco-Museum. You can walk or ride the entire route, large and well maintained, without special training or equipment. Except in winter-time, when snowshoes are essential. It is a pleasant trip in every period of the year, because it offers an experience of full contact with the environment and the alpine wildlife that varies with the succession of seasons. Families, kids’ groups, schools and people with special needs or difficulties can find in this itinerary a perfect hiking/riding experience. Everyone, in fact, can discover how much this activity can be passionate, and, according to his own abilities and possibilities, improve the will of demanding other and more complex excursions around the valley.

The route in brief COMMON







3,2 Km


120 m


T (also suitable for the disabled)


All year round. In winter snowshoes are necessary



Advisory access Main access Upstream from the village of Balme, before taking the road that leads to Pian della Mussa, the detour to the left leads to the large ice rink area, from which the route starts in the direction described. Medium access The route surrounds the village Balme and crosses the Ordinary Street halfway along the route, near Hamlet Frè. Here you can start the journey in both directions. Secondary access Downstream from the village of Balme, near the water factory of Pian della Mussa, near the Village of Albaron, you can start the route of the forest track that descends from the east into the main square. The path in this direction of travel requires more physical effort because of the greater gradient of the first section. 6

STAGE 1 - ExursionAble single stage From the starting point, at the skating ring, take the wide path south-east. The first section is a very easy trail in autonomy also for people with reduced vision or mobility, as the path has been deigned purposely with the aim of providing good conditions both for travelling on wheelchairs and for walking safely, with guiding supports, for visually impaired people. As the walk develops in a mountain environment, unexpected weather changes are very common. It is therefore strongly recommended, for people with special needs and difficulties, to avoid travelling alone. As soon as you start, you perceive the strong presence of the natural environment of the forest over the mountain, and of the stream flowing in the valley. This one, right near the path, creates a impressive waterfall, named Gorgia that, right in the center of the village, offers the view of a impetuous water jump, tens meters high. After appreciating the visual and sound show of the Gorgia, the path continue on the mountainous side, where amid rich vegetation, you can hear the singing of numerous species of the alpine birds and the rustles of the forest fauna. After having passed the deep part of the forest, you will find in an open area near the Pakinò baby ski-lift. Here the sightseeing opens up on the rocky slopes of Uja di Mondrone (2964 m) offering the full spectacle of the steadiness of the pyramidal peaks, on which many athlets use to practice climbing. Using a good binocular, and with a little luck, you can see experienced alpinists climbing on the highest paths; or, with patient search, you will spot some of the numerous ibex that populate the valley, and that from time to time even reach the village.


At this point ends the easiest part for the journey, and begins a stretch of ascent that, turning south, goes up on the slope of the Pakinò baby ski-lift. Here in winter children can learn and practice alpine skiing. If you proceed on the slope along the path, or if you follow the forest track, you will easily reach the mountain pasture Arbosetta. From here you can go South on road n. 214B that leads to Hamlet Frè. You are then at the entrance of Servin Valley, a wild and pure place, and once admired the south sightseeing, you cross Rio Paschiet and take the forest track that on the opposite bank, leads you in northeast direction. You continue on this path n. 214C, and cross the wood half-coast. Among trees and clearings, you will see examples of alpine fauna, and also the high peaks and the steep slopes of the mountains all around the valley. With a short stretch on a large and well maintained path in slight ascent, you reach the plateau of the Villaggio Albaron, end of the excursion. Walking along the central streets of the village, you can go back to the starting point, and stop, for a short refreshment or for a longer stay, in the welcoming tourist facilities of Balme. Some of them are perfectly equipped and adequate for hosting people with disabilities or special needs.

Technical Notes Travel Time: 1,30 h (Joelette for people with disabilities) Trail Sign: 220 - 214B - 214C Halfway Point of connection with: Hamlet I Frè di Balme

Departure: Balme, Skating rink (1473 m) Arrival: Balme, Albaron Village (1420 m) Difficulty: T (suitable for people with disabilities) Length: 3,2 Km Difference in altitude: 120 m 8


Hikers’ facilities Refuge Les Montagnards Hamlet Cornetti 73, 10070 Balme x +39 347 3634082 v R STAGE 1

Suitable for × Itinerary of historical and cultural interest ✓ Itinerary for Mountain-bikes × Bridleway

For more information

✓ Winter itinerary R R

✓ Itinerary suitable for disabled people






1432 m a.s.l.


111 (November 2017)


57 Km


Ala di Stura, Groscavallo, Lemie, Usseglio, Francia


Holy Trinity, The First Sunday after Pentecost

ACTIVITIES SUMMER Hiking Trekking Mountaineering Climbing Mountain Bike Sport Fishing

Balme is the most elevated village in Val d’Ala (1432 m above sea level). It is the last village before the valley opens in the large plain called Pian della Mussa.

WINTER Nordic Skiing Downhill Ski Snow Shoe Baby Ski Touring Ice Skating

connoisseurs of the mountains peaks, became expert alpine guides and let earn to Balme the title of “cradle of the Turin alpinism” and “alpine guides village”. Today Balme is the ideal place for experience an immersion in the purest alpine environment.

The spectacular alpine’s peaks amphitheatre around Balme makes it a unique place. From here, in fact, one can admire the highest mountains of the Lanzo valleys: Mount Bessanese (3604 m) and Mount Ciamarella (3676 m) which mark the border between Italy and France. The mounts Mount Albaron di Sea (3,262 m asl), Mount Punta Rossa di Sea (2908 m), and Mount Uja di Mondrone (2964 m) separate Val d'Ala from Val Grande; while Mount Punta Servin (3108 m) and Mount Torre d'Ovarda (3075 m) delimit the border with Val di Viù. The natural landscape around Balme alternates green fields and suggestive woods of beech, larch, birch and pines, which surround rich areas of rhododendrons, junipers and blueberries. The river Stura crosses the valley and collects the water coming from the upper mountains’ streams and lakes.


This rich and varied environment is the ideal habitat for bouquetins, chamois, roe deers and marmots that can be seen abundantly all the year-long and at very close distance. Frequent sightings are confirmed in Pian della Mussa and in the neighbourhood of the alpine refuges Ciriè and Gastaldi. Alpine croaks, hawks, buzzards, bearded vultures and eagles have found their home between the mountain peaks and the sky above Balme. From the second half of the 19th century, Balme, which used to be inhabited by shepherds and miners, began to attract the interest of Italian and foreign alpinists because of the spectacular nature of its mountains. For this reason, many residents who were keen 11


At Christmas Eve, Antonio Castagneri, a balmese guide, together with the alpinists Martelli and Vaccarone, climbed for the first time in winter the mountain Uja di Mondrone. This successful event launched the winter alpinism as a sport.


Adolf Kind uses the first pair of ski to reach Pian della Mussa starting from Balme.


The aqueduct of Pian della Mussa is inaugurated. Still today it brings water to Turin.


Toni Ortelli, fascinated by Pian della Mussa, composed the famous song La Montanara.


Pian della Mussa: Pian della Mussa is a vast grassy plateau which occupies a large area shortly above Balme, at an altitude between 1700 and 1850 meters. It is crossed by the torrent Stura. Originally the plain was covered by a glacier, which later became a lake. The wide region is surrounded by many peaks of the Graie Alps. From the steep side of the mountains around the plateau, run several streams flowing into the torrent Stura. Pian della Mussa is an historical and traditional destination for excursions and trekking, and it is recognized as a site of Community interest.

La Gorgia Waterfall: Village centre, 10070 Balme La Gorgia (the gorge) is a wonderful waterfall of the river Stura that, right in the centre of the village, makes a leap of tens of meters. A 19th century bridge surpasses the waterfall, allowing to admire it in all its magnitude. Fortress Ruciàss: Via Capoluogo 15, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 55135 Built at the end of 1500 perhaps by the will of Giovanni Castagneri Ljnch, the fortress Ruciàss is an imposing defensive structure, conceived in order to let its inhabitants to reach oven, wash, fountain and chapel without ever going outside the building. This was particularly important in winter to cope with the usual great snowfalls.

Val Servin Circular Path: It is a pleasant route along the Servìn Valley near Balme. The path is walkable in summer, and in winter with snowshoes. The circuit allows to discover what remains of the centuries-old man’s work: prehistoric engravings, an ancient natural glacier, an abandoned village where, in the Middle Ages, miners coming from Savoy, Bergamo and Val Sesia originally settled. The route runs in a intact environment, among large beech and larch woods, rock walls and iced falls. Here it is easy to find herons’s footprints, while they are busy in fishing in the frozen pools of the stream; or to catch sights of chamois, roe deers and many other inhabitants of the forest.


Ecomuseo delle Guide Alpine:

x +39 0123 82902 - +39 347 6488387 v The Alpine Guides Ecomuseum is located in the ancient seat of the Municipality. Inside one can find all the documentation that tells the story of the origin and development of Balme as protagonist of the Turin alpinism in the 20th century.



NOTES Food and Drink

Ristorante Albaron di Savoia Villaggio Albaron 7, 10070 Balme x +39 339 8720825

Caffè Nazionale Via Roma 8, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 820009


Bar Centrale Via Capoluogo 98, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 233014

Agriturismo La Masinà Locality Pian della Mussa, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 820021 - +39 347 4439384 v R

Minibar Ciamarella Locality Pian della Mussa, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 320382 - +39 347 8768531

Bed & Breakfast Gloria Hamlet Cornetti 83, 10070 Balme x +39 338 2471376 v

Ristorante Bricco Locality Pian della Mussa, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 82842

Antico Albergo Camusot Via Capoluogo 21, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 82837 - +39 328 2032750 v

Trattoria Alpina Pian della Mussa Locality Pian della Mussa, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 820010 - 338 1250466 v R

Villa Teja Bed & Breakfast Hamlet Cornetti 71, 10070 Balme x +39 349 4478557 v R

Val Servin Pizzeria e Trattoria Hamlet Cornetti 76, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 820067 - +39 346 5219724 Rifugio Les Montagnards Hamlet Cornetti 73, 10070 Balme x +39 347 3634082 v R

Bivacco Gandolfo ai Laghi Verdi Open all year - 8 beds

Antico Albergo Camusot Via Capoluogo 21, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 82837 - +39 328 2032750 v

Rifugio Città di Ciriè Locality Giasset, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 738158 - +39 370 3329300 +39 329 2141782 v R

Bivacco Molino all’Uja di Mondrone Open all year - 24 beds

Agriturismo La Masinà Locality Pian della Mussa, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 820021 - +39 347 4439384 v R

Rifugio Gastaldi Locality Ciausinet, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 565008 - +39 348 3691127 v R

Rifugio Città di Ciriè Locality Giasset, 10070 Balme x +39 0123 738158 - +39 370 3329300 +39 329 2141782 v R

Rifugio Les Montagnards Hamlet Cornetti 73, 10070 Balme x +39 347 3634082 v R


NOTES Appartamento Curnet Hamlet Cornetti 65, 10070 Balme x +39 347 6466862

Pakinò Ski Lift Locality Balme, 10070 Balme x +39 346 4333416


Tourist information

Aghieri Ecocampus Via Capoluogo 139, 10070 Balme x +39 340 9574181 v R

For further information about the municipality, accommodation, hiking routes and events, please visit the following sites: R R R R

La Ghieri Skating Rink Locality Ghieri, 10070 Balme


Basket and Volley Camp Hamlet Cornetti, 10070 Balme