Highlights and tour details
From Rifugio Melano you return to Colle Ciardonet, finding the track of the SDB. Bending to the right, you go up to Colle Sperina (entering the Park of Monte Tre Denti-Freidour); turning left you reach Colle Pra L'Abbà in a few minutes, a crossroads of forest tracks. Now turn right starting the long descent to Bastianoni, where you will find a parking area and the asphalt road. Cross the road and continue on flat ground until reaching the village of Ronco. From here you resume the descent through the forest to Grange. Alternating downhill and flat stretches, you reached the equipped area of Pradera along a dirt road. Leave the area on the right and take the path on the left before the bridge. At the end of the path, which runs along a dry-stone wall, there is a carriage road. Turn left and, after a wide hairpin bend and a short ascent, you will reach the small forest barracks. A little further on, take the track that descends decisively to the right, the end of which goes onto the asphalt road. Turn left and follow it until the first crossroads. Go up to the left reaching the village of Raimondi, cross it and take the path on the left that leads to Dagheri. Follow the road upstream of the village, arriving at the next one named Canali Alti. About 100 m downstream of the later, the road bends to the right; at this point leave the asphalt road and follow the path on the left, finally reaching the village of Fiola, where the road descends to Colletta di Cumiana. On the opposite side, a long hillside forest track leads into the woods, first passing Colle del Teit, then Colle Frascàl; after about 500 m from the latter, leave the forest track and go up the path on the right, reaching Colle di Damone, where a dirt road descends to Trana. Pass it and continue up a moderate climb until you reach a wooded ridge that leads to the panoramic rocky balcony of Pera Luvera. Now the path descends rather steeply, with some zigzags, ending on the dirt road that goes from the hamlet of Campetto di Piossasco up to Colle del Prè; turn left and reach the Colle, entering Parco del Monte S. Giorgio. Go past a fence on the right and, at first along the flat, then downhill, you reach the path junction of the Croce dei Castelli. Keeping constantly to the right, you finally descend to Piossasco, in the locality of Casa Martignona.
Points of interest
The Rocca Sbarua climbing wall, used by mountaineers, is located near Rifugio Giuseppe Melano "Casa Canada". The cliff has over 100 climbing routes, varying in length from 20 to 200 metres, with different degrees of difficulty. In the vicinity of the refuge is the path called Sentiero delle Carbonaie. On the spur that stretches southwards from the summit of Monte San Giorgio to the plain, there is a group of buildings that folklore calls "the castles", although many of them are simple fortified houses and palaces. The oldest, which dates back to at least the 10th century and is located in the highest position (457 m) is called Castellaccio. Just downstream from Castellaccio is the Piossasco-De Rossi palace, named after Gian Michele Piossasco-De Rossi, who commissioned it: the 17th-18th century building is unfinished and is reminiscent of the Savoy palaces in Turin. Further down is the Castello dei Nove Merli, probably built in the 14th century, but extensively remodelled and characterised by a recently constructed tower. Further down the valley are two other buildings: the one to the west, known as the Contessa Palma di Borgofranco, is reminiscent of a fortified house; the other one to the east, has a series of towers to which a long block of flats, renovated at the beginning of the 20th century, was subsequently attached: due to its use in past decades, it is known as the former Salesian House and now houses a rest home. Minor buildings such as barns and warehouses are remembered in consignments, maps and charts, but few traces remain, such as those of the building near Porta Nuova, which was used for years as a gardener's house. Nine other stately buildings, castles or simple palaces, are remembered in Borgo Piazza and it can be assumed that they correspond to some of the stately palaces in the village. Finally, there are traces and foundations of two other consortium palaces dating back to the middle of the 18th century, commissioned by Count Vittorio Piossasco-Rivalba and the Count of Bardassano: the remains of these buildings and of a pedestrian gateway are found near the Brinda fountain, but are difficult to identify.
Itinerary code: SDB
Recommended period: May-October
Classification: Medium and low mountain provincial
Provinces crossed: Torino