Fontane to Valpiana / Anzino / Bannio

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Spring & Summer walk. Fatigue level: comfortable. Distance: 6.5Km (round trip). Duration: approx 2 hrs.

Fontane to Valpiana, Valpiana to Anzino, Anzino to Bannio

Much of this walk is on the mountain roads around Bannio/Anzino and thus makes for relatively easy walking. A section follows a good, relatively flat mountain path through the trees. Our route here sets off from Fontane where we have our apartments, but it could be started in Bannio, following the one road up to Parcineto and then picking up our route from there, which would give you a nice circular tour back to Bannio via Anzino. The walk takes in the river at Valpiana, across to Anzino on a well established mountain path, through Anzino and along the road with views down to Pontegrande, then back up to Bannio, where we have included a section that takes you through the old buildings.

Valpiana Baolina, Valle Anzasca, ItalyFrom Fontane take the road down to Parcineto, then go right at the T-junction and follow the road to Valpiana. Pass next to Valpiana and on down to the torrent (river). After crossing the bridge, as the road curves to the right, immediately take the path on the left (see the signpost photo to the right). Apart from the very beginning of it either side of the small bridge and particularly the initial short climb (see photo below), this is a fairly level path and comfortably wide for the most part, but watch your step as there are some narrow sections.Valpiana to Anzino, Valle Anzasca, Italian Alps

Follow the path - which gives good views of Fontane and Bannio, especially in the spring when there are less leaves on the trees - until you reach some houses (Alpe Baolina) and you will then join up with the end of the made-up road.

Here you will see the impressive Villetta Leonilde (pictured in the photo below). This villa (and the road up to it from Anzino) was built at the request of a middle eastern gentleman many years back. At one point it was given over to a young local disabled man and he could be heard playing the accordian from where we are on the opposite mountain. It is still well kept, though I never see anyone there apart from groundspeople keeping it nice. A beautiful but slightly haunting place.

Anzino in Valle Anzasca, Piemonte, ItalyFollow the road down into Anzino. You will pass several large cappellas depicting Christ carrying the cross and ultimately His resurection. There is a circular route that goes up to your right, allowing you to view all the cappellas that tell the story, though the correct order is to begin from the church. Our route takes us in the opposite direction, towards the church, as we enter Anzino, a peaceful - some might say sleepy - place. There is a bar, which may or may not be open, but as far as I know there's no shop. Anzino makes Bannio seem a 'busy' place by comparison! But Anzino has the charm of a small mountain community that is happy to be away from the hustle and bustle of town life, and I can't blame them for that! If you have small children, there is a play area as you continue down the road.

Pass through Anzino and continue the gentle descent along the twisting mountain road - you shouldn't come across more than the occasional local vehicle apart from in the peak August summer period. Note that there is a signposted path that criss-crosses the road and gives a more direct route - it's steep and can be slippery in places and requires walking boots (or at least trainers when dry), but does reduce the walk time if you're suddenly in a hurry!

You will cross a bridge and come to where the road forks. Go left, up towards Bannio. Follow the road for a gentle climb, keeping to the side and watching for the occasional vehicle coming round the corners. Alternatively, there is an old footpath that again criss-crosses the road, and the same applies regarding steepness and suggested footwear!

Bannio, Valle Anzasca, Italian AlpsJust as you reach the outskirts of Bannio, you will see a tiny cappella (chapel) on your right. If you have come up the footpath rather than the road then you will join the road at this very cappella, so the instructions here are good for either route. Opposite the cappella is a main path or 'via' signposted Via Umberto 1, to Alpe Soi.Bannio in the Anzasca valley, Italy

This path takes you through the middle of the wonderful old houses of Bannio, typically Italian in the narrowness of the streets in between but also uniquely 'mountain village' in their style. Follow straight on this path until you meet the road again just above Bannio.

If you began the route from Bannio then you will want to turn right here and follow the road back into the town. Otherwise turn left and follow the road back up to Parcineto and on to Fontane.Anzino in the Anzasca valley, Piemonte, Italy

Pictures: hover your mouse cursor over each image and you should hopefully see a description.

Villetta Leonilde at Baolina, Bannio/Anzino, Piemonte