hiking

Waldensian Valley Loop (AVV) Stage 1: Torre Pellice Town Hall - Alpe Vandalino

Torre Pellice (12,20 km)
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Highlights and tour details

From the Town hall of Torre Pellice (Tourist Office), take the pedestrian area westwards passing through the Waldensian zone of the town to reach the village of S. Margherita. From here, through the village, you reach the area called Coppieri. From the Temple of Coppieri, take the paved road that climbs to the hamlet of Servera (715 m) to the bridge that crosses the Biglione stream. Without crossing it continue on, waymark 132, for the road that serves several small villas to enter the mule-track which climbs between the chestnut groves. Leave the mule-track before the bridge for the trail on the left and climb among coppice vegetation to exit into the open again at Ciampas (1012 m). Go along the wall that surrounds the houses until the edge of a grassy zone where you reach the dirt road that leads to Borgata Ruà. Crossroads with trail 133B that arrives from the village of Bonnet. Follow the trail sign 132 for the Bars, Castellus in a rich wood of beech trees. A little further down the valley you pass the mountain huts of Boularà (which can be reached making a small deviation on a visible track), then with a last section you exit from the vegetation arriving at Giabaudin (1170 m), from where there is a magnificent panorama of the middle and low course of the Pellice torrent. Close by and marked (10 min) there is a fountain, the entrance of an old mine and the “Pietra del Diau”. At this point we follow the trail that soon plunges into a dense hazelnut woodland and leads to a fork. The lane that enters the spruce forest is abandoned and you go left (132 Bars) gaining in a few hundred meters the top of the wall of Bars d’la Tajola (1139 m). A narrow hole opens up among the rocks and leads to a short ledge followed by a natural chimney falling sheer to a small clearing. According to tradition, this place served as a shelter for the Waldensians to escape from the frequent persecutions in the 16th and 17th centuries. The site is a grassy space (in dialect Bars or Barsaglias) opening onto a rock face, which, it seems, was climbed by fugitives using a pulley (or Tajola): from here the derivation of the toponym. Returned on the trail continue uphill in the dense forest of Scots pines and spruce trees to reach a plateau called Chiot d’Castluss (1385 m). From here, in 10 minutes, you climb with the characteristic rocky spur visible from the entire valley and called Castelluzzo (1410 m). The panorama that can be enjoyed of the middle valley and the small basin of Rio Carofrate is vast and particularly interesting. The top of the aforementioned mountain is formed by a large grassy space, surrounded by trees, beneath which open up rocky balconies, small natural cavities and corridors dug into the walls. From the top of Castellus at dawn on Easter day 1655, a large bonfire gave way to the shameful massacres of Pasque Piemontesi. If you move northeast, you reach the area of Bo del Tourn (1400 m) which is home to the so-called protohistoric altar of Castelluzzo. Following the trail sign 132, descend and climb the “combals” of several small streams, on the right meet the trail that descends to Rua’ Sup. and reach Sea di Torre Hill (1300 m). From the hill a stony cart track veers west, touching the fountain of Pra Ciabert (1330 m) and continues towards the cottages of Serre Lalie (1442 m). At the last hut on the right, take the trail that between alder vegetation takes to Vandalino Alp (1178 m). Alternatively, follow the dirt road that on several bends reaches the Alpeggio building of large dimensions active during the summer, which hosts the bivouac, two lovely fountains in the square in front. Passing behind the houses and going back up several grassy pastures you meet a deviation to the left 130 that leads to the Gard Alp. If we continue the trail, in approximately 20 minutes it is possible to climb to the nearby twin peak of mount Vandalino, formed by the eastern (2121 m) and western peak (2140 m). On a beautiful day, it is possible to observe a magnificent view of the slopes of the Valley and, in particular, the Monviso group and the plain.

Tappe
Points of interest

Mine and “Pietra del Dau”, Bars d’la Tajola (1139m), Castelluzzo, fountain of Pra Ciabert (1330m), summit of Monte Vandalino

Support points

Farmhouse Refuge Barfè, Bivacco Alpe Vandalino, Hotel Centro.

Accesso

Access to the departure point by car: from Turin, reach Pinerolo and continue for Torre Pellice. Once arrived, continue following the directions for the town hall. It is also possible to reach as far as Coppieri where you can leave your car and continue on the itinerary, or arrive at Sea of Torre Pellice.

Other information

Source: Unione Montana del Pinerolese
Itinerary code: AVV
Phone coverage: Mobile phone coverage is quite good for all operators.
Recommended period: It is advisable to travel the stage between spring and autumn, because some passages can be challenging (e.g. Bars d'la Tajola) and to avoid rainy periods.
Access by public transport: Yes
Classification: Medium and low mountain provincial
Provinces crossed: Torino

Notes on public transport
To reach the departure point, you can take the bus from Porta Nuova station in Turin to Pinerolo (http://www.sadem.it) and thenchange for Torre Pellice, or take the train from Porta Susa station (http://www.trenitalia.com/) and take the bus from the station of Pinerolo. Once at the station of Torre Pellice, follow the directions for the town hall "municipio".
Departure, arrival and municipalities crossed
Departure
Via Repubblica, 1
Municipio di Torre Pellice
10066 Torre Pellice (TO)
Torino
see on map
Arrival
Alpe Vandalino
10066 Torre Pellice (TO)
Torino
see on map
Si segnala che gli itinerari possono prevedere dei tratti in compresenza di traffico veicolare.
Le informazioni contenute nei percorsi non impegnano la responsabilità di autori e verificatori dei percorsi stessi.