Val Grande of Lanzo is the perfect place for your outdoor holidays!
The Val Grande di Lanzo is located in the heart of the Graian Alps, one of the wildest corners of Piedmont, about an hour’s drive from Turin.
The valley is only 17 km long, but it’s very wide and open, hence its name (“Val Grande” means “Big Valley”). It ends at the foot of the Levanne Orientali mountain range, in the village of Forno alpi Graie.
There are three municipalities in the valley: Cantoira, Chialamberto, and Groscavallo. These are characteristic mountain towns made up of many hamlets and villages. These towns have remained the same as many years ago.
Our mountains are still “dressed” as mountains should be, an aspect that determines their identity value.
A new kind of hospitality is being born in our Valley, careful about slow and sustainable tourism, offering walks into unspoiled nature and many outdoor activities .
You can choose from a wide range of panoramic excursions, between green mountain pastures where you can taste butter and cheese produced at high altitude. Or you can opt for harder itineraries for hiking or climbing. These mountains are a paradise for rock climbers: you can find more than 700 climbing routes. Climbing lovers meet in September in the “Val Grande in Verticale” festival. https://www.vallidilanzoinverticale.it/
If sports activities aren’t your thing, you can focus on the local architectural panorama, starting with the Romanesque bell towers of the Cantoira’s and Chialamberto’s parish churches. These buildings testify to the presence of settlements already in the 11th century.
Then, many Liberty villas are scattered throughout the Valley: they evoke the golden age of the Belle Époque, when these places were the destination of elegant Turin tourism. One of these villas is Villa Pastrone, located in Richiardi (Groscavallo municipality). This villa owes its name to the film director Giovanni Pastrone, a pioneer of Italian cinema and author of Cabiria with the collaboration of Gabriele D’Annunzio. Pastrone shot some scenes of the film in his villa.
Moreover you will find the churches and sanctuaries, some on top of steep peaks. They offer ideas for walks to discover the Valley and the heart of its religiosity.
The sanctuary of Santa Cristina, located on the top of the mountain that divides the Val Grande from the Val d’Ala, reachable from Cantoira and clearly visible from it.
Another interesting spot is the sanctuary of Nostra Signora di Loreto, also known as the sanctuary of the Black Madonna, due to the color of the ebony statue kept inside, in the in the hamlet of Forno Alpi Graie (municipality of Groscavallo), located at the mouth of the wild Vallone di Sea and reachable by overcoming its 444 steps.
Madonna del Ciavanis, in the hamlet of Vonzo di Chialamberto, is the highest sanctuary of all the valleys, located in a grassy basin between mountain pastures. It is used in the summer season
Then you have the Chapel of the Madonna della Visitazione, in the Rivotti di Groscavallo hamlet: the white building stands out on the large green lawn, in a panoramic position at 1452 above sea level.
If you want to know the valley’s history and its ancient crafts, the Brunetta Eco museum, an ancient talc mine (link), awaits you in Cantoira for a guided tour, while other museums and ecomuseums will welcome you in the Lanzo Valleys. You can get to know them in preview by visiting the page dedicated to them on the Turismovallidilanzo Portal (link).
Mountains characterized by such a strong identity are still inhabited by strong and determined local communities, which have been able to keep in use the ancient Franco-Provençal language, the patois. Several popular traditions are very strong, such as religious festivals presided over by the figures of the couple of priors, dressed in the clothes that families have been handed down for generations.
Finally, after your holiday in Val Grande, on the way back home, you can buy typical products in the points of sale of local farms, starting with salame di turgia, mocetta, toma, but also sweets like torcetti and pasta di meliga. Bring with you these ancient flavors that will make you remember the days spent in our mountains, and dream of your next trip to our territory!
Come to visit us: there are many events in the Valley throughout the year, we have listed the most significant here, if you want to take a look!
We are waiting for you, to welcome you in the best way!