The wihMonviso top is a traditional destination for all mountaineers... the Italian Alpine Club was actually founded here by Quintino Sella in 1863. The Po, the longest italian river giving the name to this vally, rises right here.
The itinerary begins in Revello with the Marquises' Chapel, located in the Marchesa Margherita di Foix's Residence - nowadays town all - , and frescoed by the Hans Clemer's school (1515-19). Do not miss the Collegiate Church of Assunta too, founded in 1483 by the Marquis Ludovic II and housing a Hans Clemer's polyptych, two other polyptyches by Pascale Oddone and a wonderful portal sculptured by Sanmicheli in 1534. The town of Revello also houses the Staffarda Abbey, an imposing complex of buildings rected between the 12th and the 13th century by the Cistercian monks: one can visit the guestrooms, the market loggia, the cloister and the church. The Romanesque church houses precious works such as Oddone's altarpiece (1531) and Nigra's wooden altar (1525).
The Madonna della Rocca in Barge consists of some chapels dating from different periods, lying one next to the other and surmounted by a big rock. This particular technique, which exploited the natural shelter of rocks, was also used to erect the typical buildings of Mount Bracco. called balme.
On boths banks of the river, the Po Valley also deserves a visit for Ostana (roman origins) and Oncino, a charming alpine village: both places are winderful panoramic "balonies" facing the Monviso. Ostana houses the small church of San Bernardo, where the visages of the frescoes are erased.
The village of Crissolo offers the Sanctuary of San Chiaffedro with its sober medieval inside, the saint's relics and a collection of votive offerings. History and curiosity characterize this area: in 1480 the Saluzzo Marquis Ludovico II bored the first alpine tunnel just below the Traversette Pass in order to facilitate trades between the Marquisate and the Dauphiné. The tunnel - still passable - is called "Buco del Viso" (Monviso Hole). According to the legend Hannibal crossed the Alps with his army and elephants by the Traversette.
Castellar in the Bronda Valley offers the beautiful Romanesque rural chapel of S. Ponzio, frescoed by Pietro da Saluzzo.
Pagno deserves a visit for the Abbey of SS. Pietro and Colombano, founded in the 8th century by the Lombard King Astolfo: among its frescoes one will notice the Archangel S. Michael by Hans Clemer.
Texts from "Percorsi artistici, storici e religiosi nelle valli e nella pianura della provincia di Cuneo - Tra Arte e Fede" per gentile concessione dell' A.T.L. del Cuneese. Images Archivio A.T.L. del Cuneese.