Valprato Sacairi (area attrezzata) - Chiesale

Specifications
Starting place: 
Valprato, area attrezzata Sacairi
Starting altitude: 
1120 m
Arrival place: 
Chiesale
Arrival altitude: 
1172 m
Trail sign: 
632
Gradient: 
52m
Length: 
410 m
Difficulty: 
T - Touristic - See difficulty scale
Walking time: 
Going: 0.10 - Return: 0.05
Download
Tracks: 
Attachments: 
Support points: 

B&B Centrale – Ronco Canavese, partnered GTA, via Roma, 25 tel. 0124.817401, http://www.bbcentraleronco.it

Directions

The service area of Valprato Soana is accessible taking the SP48 that goes up to Piamprato Valley, after the T. Campiglia.

Description

At the service area the route of the old trail starts, delimited by dry stone works to canalize the herd passage along the way to the pastures. These manual works were made in the past with diligence and labour and using the stones removed from the soil to built the mule tracks, they turned some grassland stretches into cultivable and productive plots.

At the beginning of the trail a votive shaft (we find many of them along the route) recalls devotional moments and vows made by mountain people for escaped dangers.

At the entrance of Campiglia Valley, the route goes up to the left orographic side. These areas, in the past grassland and cultivated plots, have now been completely colonized by a sparse wood.

On reaching the hamlet called Chiesale (whose name derives from French "Chezal". It stands for rural hut or rather a single aggregate of colonial houses. See: G. Bertotti, A. Paviolo, A. Rossebastiano, the Orco and Soana valley - Note sui nomi delle località, torrenti e montagne delle Valli Orco e Soana e sul loro significato, 1994), you walk through all the constructions built in former times for agricultural and pastures activities (stables, barns, warehouses, etc.) and where upper floors traditionally housed families, usually, quite large at the time. The housing cluster characteristic, very common in mountains areas, is to be developed in height, saving space for cultivable lands, which were considered a gift to preserve by the mountain people (unfortunately, the application of this concept into the present construction projects arrived behind time). Therefore, the traditional structure was divided into lower floors, usually basements built over steep slope and dedicated to rural functions, and upper floors, in the healthiest part of the building, for residential use.

Recently, most of the buildings lost the original rural function, to be turned into mountain houses often used just for summer vacations, and sometimes losing, after the renovation, the original architecture and details characterizing these mountain communities (wooden balconies, typical stone roofs, stone walls, wrought iron gratings, etc). Some buildings still remain preserved in their original structure and are precious proof of an ancient manual ability capable of exploiting simple elements available in these inaccessible valleys (stone and wood) to create functional structures and, at the same time, of architectural quality.

The picture shows a building typology called "rascard", typical of Valle d’Aosta Region with Valser tradition. We have some examples in Soana Valley, which testifies to the close relationships between these inhabitants and those from Cogne Valley.