Unione Montana Alpi Graie
Unione Montana Alpi GraieThe Unione Montana Alpi Graie was founded in 2014 and is composed by Groscavallo, Lemie, Rubiana, Ussegio and Viù municipalities. It covers about a 350 square kilometers area, all of which in the mountains, that is 600 m above sea level and more. It has a population of 4.090 inhabitants. Many of the mountains surrounding the territory are majestic and magnificent: Rocciamelone, Lera, Croce Rossa, Punta d’Arnàs, Torre d’Ovarda, Punta Golai, Punta Lunella, Civrari, Arpone, Ciamarella, Eastern Levanna, Punta Groscavallo, Punta Girard, Punta Mezzenile. Three are the reservoirs: Malciaussia, della Rossa (the highest in Europe) and della Torre. Countless are the small alpine lakes: from Trione to Unghiasse and Sagnasse, from Viana to d’Ovarda, from d’Autaret to Turlo little lakes. Several are the high altitude mountain huts for more expert hikers: Daviso, Cibrario and Tazzetti are the most popular. Wide uncontaminated spaces are available on the territory where hikers, bikers, snowshoes hikers, ski mountaineering skiers have the opportunity to enjoy not only nature and wonderful panoramas, but also historical memories (partisans’ routes, Celtic and Roman areas, historical villas), historical structures mainly of religious architecture, museums, traces of alpine architecture (fountains, bridges, cabins, old furnaces) and naturalistic parks. Many are the sports offered: ski, ice-skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoes hiking, ski mountaineering, climbing, mountain bike riding. There also are multipurpose fields, a summer swimming pool, an adventure park, equipped cliffs and miniature golf. Art, music, sport competitions, fairs often animated by folk groups, alpine choirs and local musical groups are the numerous events lightening up the summer and winter seasons. Cornmeal pastries, turgia salami, mountain pasture and goat cheeses, mushrooms, chestnuts, mountain berries and potatoes, honey are the many typical local products. Various are the accommodation offers: vacation houses, mountain huts, agritourisms, hotels, camper areas, camping grounds, restaurants serving mountain-cooking meals. The services network includes some banks, post offices, tourist information offices, drugstores, clinics, night and Sunday emergency medical care and ambulance service.
Groscavallo and its many hamlets extend to the end of Val Grande where the Uja di Ciamarella, Uja di Gura and eastern Levanne majestic summits stand out.
The name’s origin is not sure. According to some academics, it could originate from the Celtic words graus and wald, since the first inhabitants of the territory were Celts and Ligurian. Others believe the name’s orgin is in the Latin words grossa vallis, that is Valle Grande.
From a document dating from the XIVth century it is known that a Count of the Savoy Family granted a stronghold as feud to the Amedeo and Reinardo Gonterio brothers. Groscavallo is also named among the properties passed from Monastero di San Mauro Pulcherada to the Count of Savoy. Copper, iron and silver mining activities started to develop. The Savoy members so as to destroy castles and fortresses recruited groups of miners. The territory became the land of mines and skilled miners whose fame was not only known in the Lanzo Valleys but throughout the whole Savoy Duchy. This activity was brought on from the XIVth to the XVIIth century, after which agriculture and farming, mainly made up of sheeps, took place. During the first half of the XVIIIth century, due to splitting up of Lanzo Castle’s properties, the feuds of Bonzo, Groscavallo and Forno were granted as count property respectively to Bernardino Valfrè of Bra, G. Antonio Cavalleri and Giuseppe Dalmazio. In 1927 the territories of the three villages were consolidated in Groscavallo Town Hall. GO TO THE PAGE
Following the country road, having passed Viù and where the Torre d’Ovarda valley opens up there is a wide basin, rich in vegetation, where Lemie (960 m) is situated.
Different are the theories about the place name origins. Some academics want the name deriving from the Latin word lamiae, meaning the place of the fairies and witches. Others believe it origins from the Latin word limina, meaning the limit of place on the borderline probably of Augusto’s XIth Regione Transpadana (Region across the Po River). The story tells of the ancient Lemie village situated in an area where the fields were called casali, that a flooding in the XVth century completely destroyed it.
Around the year 1000, Lemie was subjected to the Turin Bishop. Later on, with Forno di Lemie and other villages of the Valley, it was granted as feud to the Viscounts of Baratonia. Later on the Giusti of Susa and the Provana of Leinì followed in the feudal jurisdiction. In the XVth century the Arcour obtained the Lemie and Usseglio mining claim. In 1741, the lawyer Giacomo Ottavio Gastaldo, last feudatory, died without heirs and the feud became state property. Already in the XIVth century many iron and copper mines in the area were exploited. For this reason, according to some academics, families from Val Sesia and Bergamo moved to Forno di Lemie where there was a furnace for metal casting. Lemie was an independent municipality until 1810.
In Roman age, Rubiana was a trade transit point. The first time Rubiana was mentioned is in medieval age when its name appears in Abbazia di San Giusto di Susa assets. This abbey was founded in 1029 by marquis Olderico Manfredi and Asti bishop Alarico. From 1414 to 1786 Susa’s monks dominated Rubiana and then the abbey was abolished.
Following the road after Lemie you will come to Usseglio (1265 m) last municipality of the Valle di Viù. It is a village situated in a wide green basin, crossed by the Stura stream and surrounded by majestic mountains.
Usseglio, called in old times Uscelli, it is mentioned in Medieval documents as Uxeillo or Uxellis, names of Celtic origin meaning “high mountain”. Another theory identifies Usseglio as Ocelum, a site that Roman historians suggest as borderline place with Cisalpine Gaul. Various evidences bear witness of Roman settlements and of its strategic position proving that through Autaret and Arnas mountain passes it was possible to reach Gault. In the XIIth century this territory was part of the Turin Bishop’s properties who, in 1168, assigned it as emphyteusis (lease of real estate) to San Giacomo di Stura Abbey. In 1266 the feud was granted to the Viscounts of Baratonia. Usseglio history followed the one of Lanzo Castle and was subject to the jurisdiction succession of the Provana, Arcour and Gastaldo. At the beginning of the XXth century it became an important vacation site for the Turin aristocracy. The most important dignitary was Count Luigi Cibrario (1802 – 1870). Named senator of Italy’s Kingdom in 1848 he also covered other important public roles. GO TO THE PAGE
The Viù name originates, according to some academics , from the Latin word vicus interpreted as village, according to others meant as way or passage. Neolithic finds and rock engravings prove that the Viù territory has been inhabited since the prehistoric age. The presence of Romans is also proved by the coins found on the site of the old castle in the Versino hamlet. In 1159 the Viù feud was granted to the Baratonia Viscounts. As from the first half of the XIVth century, Viù historical events intertwine with those of the Savoy Family. In 1313 the territory was granted to the Acaja Family, later on, in 1345, to Amedeo VII, known as “Conte Rosso”. Between 1333 and 1335 three quarters of the territory were handed over to the Giusti Family of Susa and, in 1350 were transferred to the Provana of Carignano and Leinì. In 1465 the Arcourts inherited the last quarter of the territory. In 1633, the duke Vittorio Amedeo I unified the feud under Ottavio Provana’s authority and named him first Count of Viù. Between 1799 and 1815, during the Restoration, an outpost of the Austrian – Russian troops which had occupied Lanzo was set in the Maddalene hamlet. After the Savoy Family coming back, the Turin aristocracy began to frequent Viù which became their resort site. GO TO THE PAGE