Highlights and tour details
This itinerary is part of the routes proposed in the Gardetta Bike Emotions map.
The climb is entirely paved and passes the Sanctuary of San Magno and the legendary Fauniera Pass, made famous by the “Giro d’Italia” and by the “Fausto Coppi” (with the noteworthy monument dedicated to Marco Pantani), before descending to the Valcavera Pass. A climb steeped in heroic sports ventures that echo on the Dolomitic walls of Rocca Parvo.
Points of interest
The Grana Valley winds gently between the Stura Valley and the Maira Valley. The slope is gentle in the initial section and accompanies the tourist who crosses towns and ancient villages that overlook the Grana torrent. Large expanses of woodland of chestnuts, beeches and conifers follow the road in a landscape that seems to have remained intact over the centuries.
In the medieval historical centre of the chief town Caraglio, you visit the Church of San Giovanni, a Gothic structure but reworked from the Baroque era on, the Capuchin Convent and the considerable Filatoio Rosso, built in just two years (1676-78) by the well-known silk entrepreneur Galleani, and now Piedmontese Silk Museum and exhibition centre for modern and contemporary art exhibitions.
You climb gently to Pradleves, then the route becomes suddenly steep and the high peaks of Punta Tempesta and Cima Test appear in the background.
In Castelmagno, the Valley opens up in all its Alpine splendour: a show of nature that on summer days invites the visitor to unwind from the stress of everyday life. Right here, at 1800 metres above sea level, rises a Sanctuary whose origins seem to date to cults of pre-Roman populations: dedicated to San Magno, brave soldier of the legendary Tebea Legion, it preserves paintings of the 15th and the 16th century. Castelmagno is not just the name of a town, but also that of the famous and delicious DOP cheese produced in the high alpine pastures.
For those who are passionate about cycling we point out the monument to Marco Pantani at 2481 metres above sea level of the Fauniera Pass, one of the most difficult climbs of the Giro d’Italia to remember the exciting feats of a controversial athlete, but certainly loved by the public.
The Grana Valley is considered a Provencal linguistic enclave: the lateral Sancto Lucio valley is home to the Coumboscuro Centre Prouvençal, which has been dealing with the recovery and preservation of the Provencal language, folklore traditions and local music for many years. In Sancto Lucio, there is also an interesting Ethnographic Museum.
A holiday in these ancient villages is a good opportunity to discover the artwork of Pietro da Saluzzo and other artists of the 15th century, but also to take home the memory of high level gastronomic evenings with delicacies such as potato dumplings dressed with the above-mentioned Castelmagno cheese, the characteristic “madernassa” pears, the jams of small fruits and the artisan liqueurs.
Departure, arrival and municipalities crossed
12020 Castelmagno (CN)