Places of interestThursday 10 December 2015

Spend a December weekend with marvel, hike in Piedmont mountains

For those of us who love hiking, choices for itineraries simply abound in the Alps of the Sea.

Spend a December weekend with marvel, hike in Piedmont mountains

For those of us who love hiking, choices for itineraries simply abound in the Alps of the Sea. We propose two amazing hikes, to spend a December weekend with marvel, exploring different Piedmont mountain areas in the Cuneo province, with a stunning geological, historical, archaeological, and wildlife variety. Enjoy!

Saturday December 19th

Gesso Valley's Sinkholes: Pian di Funs

An intermediate-level hike that begins in the village of Entracque (Cuneo Province) and, through dirt roads and trails, gets - possibly snowshoeing in case of snow- to a scenic overlook, called Pian dei Funs due to sinkholes' presence - karst phenomena are called "funs" in local dialect. Other highlights of the hike: wildlife such as chamois, roe deer, birds of prey; high limestone walls with a Via Ferrata running through them; and the Gorge of Reina (Queen's Gorge), another remarkable karst phenomenon.

Altitude difference: about 400 m

Duration: full day

Difficulty: intermediate-level hikers

Departure: Entracque

Return: estimated around 4pm

Cost: € 10.00

Sunday December 20th

360° Overlook: Mount Roccerè

Contrary to popular belief, best views are enjoyed on not-so-high peaks that allow an all-round view, in this case from Langhe to the Alps of the Valle d'Aosta region, passing through the Maritimes and Cozie Alps' highest mountains. This is a challenging hike that begins at the village of S. Anna of Roccabruna (Cuneo Province) and, first, reaches Ciabra's Mount and then Mount Roccerè's summit – possibly snowshoeing as well in case of snow. In addition to the wide overlook that sweeps from the Ligurian Apennines to Mount Rosa across the south-western Alps, the area is also an archaeological site with engraved rocks and outcroppings of white quartz going back more than 4000 years - for more information www.coppelleroccere.com. Wildlife is also present in this area and tracks can be easily found especially in case of snow. Mount St. Bernard is not far from here known for Ciciu del Villar's natural area.

Altitude difference: about 650 m

Duration: full day

Difficulty: trained hikers

Departure: S. Anna di Roccabruna

Return: estimated around 4.30pm

Cost: € 10.00

For Reservation call Marco Grillo +39 329 1695053 - Reservation is required for both hikes not later than 2pm of previous day.

Marco Grillo has been a Naturalist and Environmental Guide since 2000. In 2011 he also obtained the Rafting Guide Level II qualification. Choosing the guide's path more as a lifestyle than a profession, he has been interested in nature since 1996 when, as a volunteer, he participated in the Maritime Alps National Park's censuses of chamois and ibex. He currently leads individuals, groups and schools in nature and participates in projects related to the presence of wolves, the bearded vulture, the dipper in Piedmont and raptors migration. He organizes trips in the Cuneo valleys, trying to expose participants to its nature's peculiarity. He is a passionate bird-watcher and tries constantly to deepen the study of nature in all its aspects, both to increase his skills and to become more effective in sharing the ideals he believes in.

Deborah Bellotti

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