Highlights and tour details
FIRST SECTION: ALONG THE TRACCIOLINO FROM THE SANCTUARY OF GRAGLIA TO THE SANCTUARY OF OROPA
The itinerary from the Sanctuary of Graglia in Valle Elvo to the Sanctuary of Oropa in Valle Oropa runs along the Tracciolino, a highly scenic half-way road, about 900 meters above sea level for a total of 19 km, estimated route time about 2 hours.
The path, almost flat, runs along the village of Bagneri, home to one of the cells of the Biellese Ecomuseum. Bagneri, in the borough of Muzzano is an example of what was once self-sufficient farming community, which houses many homes and community facilities such as the school, the church, cemetery, the bakery and the carpentry store. In this context the Ecomuseum of the mountain civilization was created, with the aim of bearing testimony to the work of generations of mountaineers who transformed the original environment and to rediscover the meaning and use of simple handcrafted objects.
Continuing you can see the former Monastery of Trappa, reachable by a short detour. The complex, built after the mid-eighteenth century at 1,000 meters above sea level, owes its name to having been host to a congregation of Trappist monks fleeing from revolutionary France for a few years. La Trappa is also home to the Ecomuseum of Constructive Traditions and a guesthouse where you can stay overnight in the summer (20 beds) on reservation.
On the final stretch of the Tracciolino, just before reaching the Sanctuary of Oropa, just inland and the surrounds near the sanctuary there are many typical trattorias where you can taste the traditional dishes of Biella, above all the most noted is 'polenta concia', rich in butter and cheese
SECOND SECTION: THROUGH THE GALLERIA ROSAZZA, FROM THE SANCTUARY OF OROPA TO THE SANCTUARY OF SAN GIOVANNI D'ANDORNO
From Oropa we head towards the sanctuary of San Giovanni d'Andorno through a recently paved road that goes up the left side of the valley and touches its highest point with the Galleria Rosazza, a work commissioned in the second half of the 800s by the Senator Federico Rosazza just to connect the two sanctuaries. It is a very scenic panoramic route, about 11 km and more demanding than the Graglia-Oropa stretch: 308 m of difference in height for 5.6 km up to the 1488 m asl of the Galleria, and 468 m. for 5.3 km downhill to get to S. Giovanni (1020 m). The estimated time for this section is about 1 hour and 50 minutes. As soon as you pass the Galleria you will find the homonymous inn where in the summer you can eat and stay overnight.