GEOTOURISM IN VALSESSERA: RING OF SANCTUARIES
The itinerary starts from Masseranga di Portula: walk along the road leading to the church of S. Bartolomeo and reach the start of path G6 on the uphill side of the parish church; uphill and then almost flat, leave the hamlet behind and head towards Coggiola.
This path, called the Gold Road, is part of the Mountain and Culture project of the Province of Biella and follows the route that, between the 19th and 20th centuries, the workers of the upper valley used to take every day to go down to work in the factories at the bottom of the valley.
After a few minutes, you reach the ruins of the Bozzalla Pel wool mill, built back in 1835 (one of the first factories in the valley) and then destroyed by fire. The trail crosses the Carnasco stream, whose waters used to power the factory.
Going up the other side, continue along the Dosso dell'Oro, which is entirely covered with chestnut trees. Beyond the Fava farmsteads, continue along the path (once paved) to the hamlet of Castagnea di Portula.
Following a piece of tarmac between the houses, cross the entire hamlet uphill to the dirt road of Novareja, which runs halfway up the hillside to the Sanctuary of the same name and beyond, reaching Piancone with its hydroelectric power station.
From here, take the firebreak on the right that goes up to Col Meula (signpost G21), beyond which you continue along path G3 that leads to the Carecca chapel on the edge of the Ardeccia-Confienzo watershed. Proceeding southwards, you quickly lose height along the hairpin bends, after which you walk on a moderate descent, pass Alpe Sambuca and then reach Ardeccia at a solid masonry bridge. The path reaches the confluence with the Sessera and continues to the hydroelectric power station and the Cavallero Sanctuary. From here, ignoring the metal footbridge leading to the hamlet, you walk along the left bank of the Sessera: the path becomes a wide footpath leading to Zuccaro.
Route to be enhanced with funds from the RDP 2007-2013, Measure 313, Action1
Location: Coggiola, Portula (Zegna Oasis and Sessera Valley)
Means of transport: On foot
Uphill height difference(m): 761
Travel time: 5 hours 30 minutesKML (Google Earth, Google Maps)
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