The name is the result of the combination of the words "Pont" (bridge) and "Chianale"(back). Originally there were two major settlements: Bridge, named so for the presence of a bridge, the second Chianale, located in the valley. The present Municipality is the unification of a series of nearby villages and districts, located throughout the province of Cuneo in the Valley Varaita, which is also the departure point for trekking tours such as the Tour of Viso. In the area, surrounded by the Forest Alevè, there are four important mountain shelters connected to the valley by ski lifts. Since 1942 in the district of Castello, a dam was built to produce electricity, which has created an artificial lake, popular with tourists. To achieve this, the entire village of Church was demolished and rebuilt nearby. Today, when the water level drops, it is still possible to admire the remains of houses.
It is likely that the first inhabitants of the Varaita valley were Ligurians (an ancient Italic population), reached some time later by the Gauls. Ariberto II, King of the Lombards, donated the territories of the Hautes Alpes and Val Varaita to the Pope. At a later date, the land were conquered by Charlemagne and then became part of the domain of the Counts of Austria. In the XIV century the territory was ceded by the Marquis of Saluzzo to the Dauphiné of Vienna of which the town shared the same history and fate. In the XVII century the valley was directly involved in a clash in which the troops of Piedmont defeated the French. With the Treaty of Utrecht, the higher area of the valley known as the Castellata, was ceded to the Savoy.
- the Chapel of Santa Maria Maddalena, built in the district that has the same name and preserves inside four paintings of the Evangelists, that date back to the XVII century. The characters are portrayed bizarrely with hands and feet with six fingers;
- the Baroque Parish Church of San Lorenzo in the district of Chianale, which features an admirable XVIII century altar;
- the Church of St. Peter in Chains in the village of Chiesa, built in the XX century and features a beautiful portal of the late Romanesque period, which belonged to the former church, also dedicated to St. Peter, submerged in 1942, along with the entire village, to create an artificial lake;
- the XIV century Church of St. Anthony in the village of Chianale, which features a very original structure and an even more particular sail-shaped Bell Tower;
- the Museum of Textile Crafts in the village of Chianale at the Capuchin convent.