Fontane to Alpe Soi / Alpe Munda' / Valpiana

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Spring & Summer walk. Fatigue level: moderate. Distance: 7.7Km (round trip). Duration: approx 2 hrs.

Fontane to Alpe Soi, Alpe Munda', Alpe Castelletto, Alpe Giavine, Alpe Ca d'Ruez & Valpiana

A circular route combining road walking with woodland paths, around two hours total walking time, following the route of the torrent both ways, with three bridge crossings giving some good views, no particularly steep climbing, and various places to pause en route and take in the scenery. One of our very favourite walks. Rated moderate fatigue mostly because it is nearly 8Km in total.

walks in the mountains of PiemonteFollow the path from our apartments in Fontane, down to the road. If you are visiting the Anzasca valley then find your way to Bannio and continue to follow the road up to Fontane and start our walk from the 'Piazza' car park at the bottom of the path.

Follow the road up and keep on it all the way to Alpe Soi - it is a fair distance, though that really depends on what you're used to walking. I once thought it was a trek, now it seems a very comfortable walk. It's mostly uphill but gentle and allows you to relax and take in the scenery. Listen for the occasional vehicle, especially in July/August, but it's not a fast road!

Walks in Anzasca valley, PiemonteYou will come to the delightful church at Alpe Soi, which is most certainly worth at least a quick visit, or even to sit outside and just take in the atmosphere of the place and surroundings. It is an ideal place to take a short break. If you need a drink or more, walk down the path from the church, into the houses, and you will come across Rosy's restaurant and bar 'Ristoro Alpe Soi'. If it's your first visit then I recommend you take time to see the place - better still, to take a drink, ice cream or something to eat there. It will be memorable, for the right reasons.

Continue on the road beyond the church, some way further, until you see a path clearly signed 'Alpe Dorchetta/Anzino' on the left, close to a mountain house (our photos above and left should help you to locate the signpost - if you find you've reached Bocchetto, you've gone too far! Double back around the bend you can see above).

Walking routes in PiemonteFollow the path down, over the bridge and then left (again signposted Alpe Dorchetta). Note that though initially signposted to 'Alpe Dorchetta', you do not go to Dorchetta (you may see other signposts directing you there). Follow the red/white markers and aim for Alpe Giavine and Anzino.

The woodland path is usually clear to follow in itself, but it is also well signed with red/white painted markers on stones and trees. Watch your step, especially if it has been raining. There is no steep climbing but be sure to check the red/white markers to confirm that you are heading the right way, particularly at one or two points where the path Walks around Anzino, Valle Anzascaforks (the other paths use different colour markers).

You will eventually emerge from the trees and come towards an isolated house in a clearing - this is Alpe Munda' (936m). Our picture below shows the clearing in spring, with some late snow still on the ground.

Simply follow the marked path, which passes so close to the front door of the house that you will feel you are in their entrance way! They have (at the time or writing and for a few years now) several ducks etc. that sometimes wander around the front, and a cat that gets very curious when it sees strangers and follows at a distance, so if you have a dog with you, please take care to keep it under control as you pass so close to the house.

Rambling in PiemonteSome streams will need to be carefully stepped across. Note that the red/white markers occasionally arc left or right to indicate the way when it may not be obvious, or where the path appears to split.

You will arrive at another isolated house at 'Alpe Casteletto' where the path sweeps round like a hair-pin bend to the right and down. Eventually you will arrive at the end of a made-up road - this is 'Alpe Giavine'.

Now simply follow the road all the way, passed the drinking trough and hillside hamlet of 'Alpe Ca d'Ruez', over the bridge at the torrent and back up to Valpiana, then onward to Parcineto, turning then left to follow the road up to Fontane (or go straight on if you started your walk from Bannio).

Walking in the Mountains

While walking in the mountains we sometimes forget that we are in an area that can hide some surprises if we're not alert. The coarse grass can be extremely slippery at times. It also sometimes hides small stones or branches, and if you place your foot on one of these you can find yourself in a 'reclined position' pretty rapidly - so take care where you step. It is easy to become taken in by the beautiful scenery and forget to check your footing. Always be wary of coming off an established path. Experience has taught me to be very careful if you try to descend other than by a clear path. Short cuts can seem inviting, but not only can the long, coarse mountain grass become slippery, there is usually a build-up of leaves and these can quickly turn into a kind of surf board, taking you down the mountain side. Walks around Bannio/Anzino in Valle AnzascaIf you do feel yourself going, whatever the reason, drop down onto your bottom - your weight and the friction will slow you down, and while you may suffer a scrape and bruise on your backside, it's far better than falling forward and hitting your face or head.

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