The name derives from the Celtic origin of "ugello" (tall, high), due to the particular location of the town. It is a small town near Turin, situated at more than 1400 meters above sea level in the Val Chisone and is composed of five mountain villages. Typical features in each of the districts are the picturesque murals and the remarkable fountains.
The discovery of cave drawings evidence that the area was inhabited since ancient times, followed by the Ligurians, the Gauls, the Celts, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Lombards and others. The town, throughout the period of the Middle Ages and early modern times, submitted the domain of the French. At the end of the XI century it was site of contrasts between the French Princes de Vienne and the Savoy: the latter consolidated their control on Pellice, the lower part of the Chisone Valley, low Val di Susa and Valle San Martino. The French took possession of Brianzonese, the upper Val di Susa, the area of Pragelato and the higher part of Varaita Valley. In the first half of the XIV century administrative autonomy and tax exemptions were granted by Umberto II. The town became part of the federal system of Escartons, a group of municipalities who paid their taxes directly to the Dauphin, who subsequently divided in duties and the construction of new areas between them. In 1349 the last Dauphin ceded his lands to France. In 1574 Pinerolo and the entire surrounding area, including Usseaux returned to the Savoy, without losing the exemptions reclaimed over the centuries. Usseaux since 1730 was granted in fief and submitted the domain of different families of Lords. The territory was assigned to the province of Pinerolo until 1923, and in 1928 it was annexed to Fenestrelle, but after the fall of Fascism it returned to be an autonomous municipality.
Not to miss:
- the Parish of St. Peter the Apostle with its elegant façade with soberly plastered decorations, flanked by a Bell tower with pinnacles and surmounted by a conical spire.
- the Church of San Bartolomeo in Balboutet, rebuilt in 1843, it features a rectangular plan and side chapels in Neoclassical style.
- the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena in area Laux.
- the Church of the Annunciation in area Pourrières with XVII century origins.
- the ancient Mill, the Old Bakery and the Public Washing area, that all date back to the XVIII century.