The Mondovi valleys (Monregalese) consist of a vast area that can offer several thematic itineraries. This valley is well-known for the Baths of Lurisia but is also a land rich of art and historical buildings, with plenty of gastronomic delights, and the ideal place for hiking too. This is a suggested itinerary for a one day visit to discover the historical buildings and learn about the winemaking tradition of this valley. At Bastia Mondovì, it is worth visiting San Fiorenzo Church, an authentic jewel of Gothic with an exceptional “Bible of the Poor” composed of 326 square meters of frescoes. This town is home to Dolcetto Dogliani Superior, therefore it is worth including a guided tasting in one of winery producing this red wine. At Mondovì we will visit the Pottery Museum which stores the artistic and industrial works of the Mondovì area from the 19th onwards. On our way back we will stop at Vicoforte to visit the baroque masterpieces dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is considered a national monument of faith and art. The Vicoforte Sanctuary is the largest elliptical dome in the world and between March and October it is possible to enjoy the breathtaking rooftop vista from the lantern.
Tour among the enchanting landscape of Varaita Vally to discover little hamlets and occitane traditions. This valley has a rich culirary heritage among which we can find the ravioli (elongated dumplings), Quagliano wine, and chestnuts. The tour starts at Melle, an ancient hamlet well-known for the traditional cheese “Tumin del Mel”. Then we will move to Piasco, a small village with a long tradition of woodworking. It does not surprise that here we can find the first and only museum in the world entirely dedicated to the harp, the Victor Salvi Museum. On our way back we will stop at Saluzzo, the capital of a Renaissance Marquisate. Fourteenth-century mansions, baroque churches and small chapels full of art treasures: this is Saluzzo. You can first enjoy its lower part, walking through the old streets and neat shop windows, and then the upper part, where there is the Civic Museum and Cavassa House with its frescoed halls.
At the foot of Monte Rosa there still lives a German civilization of the Walser whose origins date back to the Middle Ages. Valsesia is a long and complex valley with ancient Walser hamlets set at the foot of the south east side of the Monte Rosa, offering an impressive sight of frozen waterfalls and peaks over four thousand meters high. The route starts near Borgosesia, at the Sanctuary of St. Anne and niches dedicated to Madonna. A little further on there is the town of Varallo Sesia, where one can admire the frescoes by Gaudenzio Ferrari in Santa Maria delle Grazie, and most importantly, it is possible to climb the Sacred Monte Varallo. Reaching the highest place of Sesia Valley, you come to the town of Alagna Valsesia, an old Walser colony notable for its extraordinary architecture of wooden houses typical of this fine German civilization.
A tour immersed in the uncontaminated high Tanaro valley. Here the landscape is rich in contrasts for there are not many places in the world where you can ski while watching… the sea! This land has ancient origins as it is proved by the presence of roman remains, medieval castles and gothic paintings. Among the most important historical building of Tanaro Valley it is worth mentioning the royal estate of Valcasotto, the Savoy summer residence which still preserves the 18th century furniture. At Garessio is worth a visit to the ancient medieval hamlet, the geo-speleological museum, the Valsorda Sanctuary and the San Bernardo mineral water springs. But Garessio is famous also for typical products such as the cheese “toma of Garessio”, and its pastry tradition among which we can find the “garessini” biscuits made with chocolate and hazels. The valley features a rich culinary tradition based on buckwheat polenta, mountain potatoes, and countless cheese varieties that you can taste in one of the local trattorias.