NATURE, SPORT AND CULTURE
From the lower Val Varaita it is possible to access parallel valleys: the Maira Valley, reachable through the Pass of Sampeyre; the Po Valley, through the wild Gilba Valley which starts right from Brossasco; the Bronda Valley, through the Pass of Isasca.
The upper valley, however, is not so far away, if one considers that the climb to Colle dell’Agnello (Agnello Pass), the border to France (2744 meters), is about 50 kilometers away. From there one can admire a breathtaking view that ranges from the harsh Italian Alpine environment to the sweetness of the French heights.
By following the course of the Varaita creek, one can admire a landscape that stands out for the intensity of its green tones - not surprisingly the valley is called "Smeraldina". Among the highlights are the natural Park of Alevé, one of the largest Swiss pine forests in Europe, and enchanting villages recently renovated to enhance their original features: Torrette, Casteldelfino, Sampeyre, Chianale and the small fairy-tale villages of the Bellino Valley.
For those who love walking, countless paths catering to varying degrees of ability allow hikers to reach high altitudes, from which can be seen close-up the mountain-jewel instinctively sought after by travelers: Monviso, our King of Stone.
Among the most famous trips are: the Refuge of Vallanta, the Pass of Losetta, Mount Pelvo, the Valley of Soustra, the Tenou, the Pass of Autaret, the Blue Lakes ...
In addition to hiking, mountain climbing, rock climbing and various mountain bike trails are also available, as well as snowshoeing.
For ski lovers, facilities are located in Pontechianale and Sampeyre. Ski mountaineering can be practiced throughout the upper valley, where it is also possible to climb on icefalls.
In nearby Piasco (7 km from Brossasco) there is a large outdoor public swimming pool which can be enjoyed in the summer. Piasco also offers mountain bike rentals. While in Venasca (2 km from Brossasco) one can practice horseback riding.
Last but not least, summertime on the beautiful artificial lake of Pontechianale (1600 m altitude) offers opportunities to kitesurfing, canoeing, paragliding and go trout fishing.
Handcrafts and Typical Products
The Valle Varaita boasts a long tradition of wooden furniture crafts, the capital of which is Brossasco where an annual Wood Festival takes place (in 2018 it ran from April 29th to May 1st). In addition to furniture one can admire carved objects and wood engravings depicting geometric rosettes typical of the area.
Among the gastronomic products one can appreciate: The excellent "tumin dal mel", fresh cheese, to which the town of Melle dedicates an annual summer fair; "Ravioles", succulent potato and cheese gnocchetti; Various types of mountain pastured cheeses and local cured meats; Honey; Medicinal herbs; Chestnuts and desserts made from chestnut flour (fruit that Venasca dedicates a fair to at the end of September); Artisanal beer from Piasco, Melle and Frassino. Many farmhouses also offer the opportunity to taste the local cuisine.
For shopping enthusiasts, the proximity to the beautiful city of Cuneo (at Km 30) offers "consumerist" alternatives, given the abundance of shopping centers in its suburbs.
Art and Culture
At 19 Km from Brossasco lies the art city of Saluzzo, the capital of the homonymous Marquisate, with a medieval old town of considerable beauty. Nearby Saluzzo are other places of historical and artistic importance, such as the Castle of Manta, the Abbey of Staffarda, and the Castle of Lagnasco; in nearby Piasco one can visit the harp factory and museum.