Discover the Soana Valley, among typical products, witches and biodiversity!
Uncontaminated ecosystems, Quality Trademark territory and products quality, local history, traditions, miths and old crafts.
The Soana Valley, among the five valleys of the park, it the one with the highest level of biodiversity. Which means ecological integrity, environmental quality and wide richness in animal and plants species, but also a wide variety of products, old crafts and traditions, which protection and enhancement is a goal for the Park and the territory inhabitants as it means to preserve fundamental fragments of nature and culture. It is a wild valley, misterious and rich of myths, where unique forests surround ancient hamlets abandoned but still worth a visit, that tell a story of effort, time slowness, but also joy, shared life and traditional parties. In particular it's here indeed that “masche” stories (the piedmont witches) flourish abundantly, witches that were expert in herbs and curative potions that have been persecuted at the time of the inquisition.
The experiences that the visitor will be able to do in this valley are like the walkings to discover the environment and nature beauties of the Pian dell’Azaria, beloved place for the writer Mario Rigoni Stern, or the excursions along the Royal Hunting path, the Rosa dei Banchi view and the Lavinia Tower, the San Besso Sanctuary uphill, a visit to the enchanting Borgo di Chiesale or the typical local products tasting.
From Pont Canavese, going uphill for the provincial road, you'll stop by Ronco Canavese and Valprato Soana, with the lovely villages of Campiglia and Piamprato.
Coming from Ronco and parking in the small square, by foot it's possible to visit the village centre and, at the same time, do not miss the delicious offers of the Venezia Butchery (among which mocetta and air-dried ham of the Valsoana) and taste the Panetteria Lauri scent (homemade breadsticks and bread, also with walnuts).
For those who want to stop by at lunch or dinner, we suggest to go to the Locanda Centrale where “we will be glad to host you and accompany in food&wine and sensory paths to discover the today, yesterday and tomorrow mountain”.
Passed Ronco, instead, the way keeps going on the provincial road towards Valprato and there are two possibilities: Campiglia or Piamprato. In both cases, the nature walkings that you'll be able to do are great and of every “difficulty”. If you venture after Campiglia towards the Pian dell'Azaria you'll be able to visit Elvis Perotti and taste its dairy products directly in the alpine pasture, among which a wonderful toma (Piedmont cheese).
If you instead chose Piamprato a stop at the Locanda Aquila Bianca is not to be missed (with the possibility to have an accommodation there) where – as said on their internet website – “you'll find a familiarity scient”.
In the Valley, moreover, there are also those producing the wellknown genepy: the Ort de Champyi since 6 years ago realizes – with cultivation within the Park and with native species (local ecotype) – the famous and very appreciate liqueur (that you'll find almost in every bar and tavern of the Valley, asking for the Valle Soana genepy). Since this year, lastly, another operator of this valley – Lo Pra - has requested and obtained the Quality Label for its genepy cultivated in Piamprato.
Going down you can stop in Pont Canavese, where the historical and appreciated Pasticceria Perotti is worth a visit, in order to taste pandolce and Gran Paradiso baci (chocolates), as well as giuraje (those candies that once were used for cerimonies, with sugar and haselnuts). Still in Pont you will be able to visit the Macelleria Boetto, tasting the Prosciutto and stop by Sparone for a delicious meal at the La Rocca Restaurant. These activities have received the Quality Label for the Gran Paradiso Area, the territory next to the Park borders.
What are you waiting for? A Wonderful Valley is waiting for you!
Photo: Francesco Sisti