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Gesso and Vermenagna Valleys

Description

Valle Gesso means 360° of scenery. Thanks to the old hunting royal residence of the King Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia this valley has been little damaged by the years and it has been preserved from poaching and excessive building.
Thanks to the Park of the Maritime Alps this valley has become a very good destination for hikers, mountaineers and for schools organising days about environmental studies.
There are seventeen huts and bivouacs in this park giving the possibility of walks and hikes to admire closely the alpine wildlife with marmots, chamois, ibex, mouflons, squirrels, foxes, beech martens; among the 170 bird species there are the eagle and the lammergeyer that was successfully reintroduced here some years ago and among the about thirty endemisms there is the well known saxifraga. More than eighty lakes can be reached along the mule tracks, the old roads of the salt and the military roads built as defence of the borders in the thirties.
The valle Vermenagna can be reached also with the railway line Cuneo-Nice. We suggest you to stop in Vernante, the village of Pinocchio. Attilio Mussino, the first illustrator of the book written by Collodi, lived here for many years and here died. Vernante houses more than a thousand murals illustrating exactly the drawings by Mussino, a small museum dedicated to this artist and to the local etnography and a naturalistic museum. The noteworthy products are the handmade knives known as the vernantin and made only in a small number. A short walk leads to the Turusela, the medieval tower of the ancient castle of the family Lascaris.
The Valle Grande starts from Vernante with the Reserve of Palanfrè, important for the wide beechwood and the ancient specimens dating from about 320 years ago.
You can continue to Limone Piemonte, an important ski resort. Walking in its lovely centre admire the typical alpine houses made by stones, visit the 12th-14th century Gothic Parish with its pulpit coming from the Charterhouse of Pesio, the church of the Convento dating from 1674 and the fountain of S. Pietro dating to the 16th century.

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