From Elva to San Michele di Prazzo
A stage at the foot of the Pelvo d’Elva, initially a bit monotonous because it is on asphalt, but which then resumes entering the boundless larch grove of the Tavanet wood. From the top of the Elva valley it crosses into the enchanting valley of San Michele, dominated by the bulk of the Chersogno.
Take the main road that leads slightly downhill in a north-westerly direction. After 400 metres, leave it and turn onto a secondary road that climbs to the right. Continuing on the tarmac road, you pass Villar, Reinaud, Clari, Dao and Rossenchie respectively, with splendid views towards the ever-present Pelvo d’Elva.
After going around two combe, you will reach the Alberg mill, with what remains of the original external vertical wheel, the lowest point of this stage. At the beginning of the 19th century, thirty-one mills were operating in the town of Elva, favoured by the quantity of water and the gradients.
Continue along the tarmac road for about 100 metres, then turn onto a small path that branches off to the right, leading between the houses of lower Chiosso, where there is an original eight-sided stone pillar with a slate roof.
Once back on the tarmac road, continue along a rather monotonous stretch, passing middle Chiosso and arriving at upper Chiosso, where the road finally ends. At the crossroads after the houses, take the little paved road to the right that goes around them from above, and then turn southwards through large cultivations of genepi, aromatic plants of Artemisia.
Once on the other side, a footbridge changes your direction. It is easy to cross a section of landslide where an excellent path has been formed, which then begins to climb steeply through the boundless larch woods of the Tavanet forest. When you reach the crest near Rocca Orsieres, go over a slightly overhanging balcony stretch overlooking the Scuro comba, and disregard the path just beyond it that descends to the left towards the gorge.
After entering the town of Prazzo, the path begins to climb again. Looking back, there are excellent views of the impressive valley road, the various hamlets of Elva and the Bettone and Betunet mountains. At the highest point of this stage, the summit, there is a long, gently descending balcony stretch that cuts across the steep slope of the Ciarmetta peak (must be avoided if there are snowfields). Continuing through the pine forest, you reach the San Michele pass, located on the divide between the Elva and Prazzo valleys.
Just beyond, the trail joins a dirt road which should be followed to the left, ignoring all detours. Further down, there are beautiful views of the hamlets in the valley.
Much lower down, as the dirt road bends to the right, leave it for a secondary forest track that branches off to the left. This soon leads to the Allemandi hamlet, where you will find the stop point, the agriturismo al Chersogno.
Alternatively, you can continue towards San Michele and then towards Villa, along the first section of the next stage, stopping at La Tano di Grich.
Text and photos by Cuneotrekking.com
- Ascent: 530 m
- Descent: 630 m
- Distance: 11.2 km
- Duration: 4h 30m
- Starting altitude: 1,639 m
- Max altitude: 2,004 m
- Difficulty: E (Hiking)
On the trail
Here are the points of support of this stage