E (Hiking)

Seventh stage

From San Michele di Prazzo to Ussolo

Seventh stage

A not too demanding stage that from the valley of San Michele di Prazzo leads to Ussolo, a village that became famous for the film “The wind makes its rounds”. An excellent opportunity to regain energy before tackling the subsequent stages and to enjoy the excellent views that open up near Punta Albeno without haste.

Take the tarmac road towards the valley. After a few hundred metres, turn right onto the shortcut that crosses a long hairpin bend. Back on tarmac, go downhill to San Michele and then turn right towards Villa. On reaching the hamlet, pass by the houses and the La Tano di Grich stop point. This is the name by which the inhabitants of the San Michele valley are known and means “crickets” in Occitan.

At the end of the hamlet, keep to the left and continue uphill. After passing a pillar, the original Occitan Trails route comes in from the right. After 200 metres, leave the road and turn left onto a bridge that crosses the San Michele stream, passes an old mill and heads between the houses of Castiglione, amidst cute wooden gnomes made for the Remo Einaudi path. After passing two characteristic covered passages (fountain), continue along the mule track that runs alongside an oven and then begins to climb along a stretch shared with the Massimo Prando path.

Go uphill through sparse larch trees with gradually more impressive views of the San Michele valley. Walk past the ruins of the Prier grange and enter the Duc gorge, which should be skirted completely by passing several streams. After a wide semicircle, continue uphill until you reach a wide, scenic clearing, the highest point of this stage, near the Albeno peak.

After a flat section the descent begins. A few hairpin bends lead to the ruins of the Albeno granges. Pass the Albeno stream and make a long southerly crossing with excellent views towards the forked peak of Rocca Corna on the opposite side of the Maira Valley.

After a sharp bend, Ussolo emerges at the bottom. Enter a pine forest and pass a few ruins to reach the dirt road that goes uphill from the valley. Turn downhill to the left and then take a shortcut that leads directly among the houses of Vallone. After going down to the bottom of the hamlet, follow the tarmac road (there are possible shortcuts) that quickly brings you to Ussolo, a medieval-looking hamlet that is home to the La Carlina stop point.

Text and photos by Cuneotrekking.com

Information

  • Ascent: 470 m
  • Descent: 480 m
  • Distance: 11.0 km
  • Duration: 3h 45
  • Starting altitude: 1,545 m
  • Max altitude: 1,826 m
  • Difficulty: E (Hiking)