Val Ceronda and Casternone
Val Ceronda and Casternone
Fiano is located to the North West of Turin, on the borders of Varisella municipality, from which it is divided by the lower course of the Ceronda.
The historical center of the village is all around San Desiderio, the great parish church. Majestic and austere, the church recalls traditions and atmosphere belonging to the past that reflects on the old walls of the surrounding houses and on people faces. The XVIth century church had the facade renovated in 1791 by Architect Falchetto.
The name Fiano is mentioned for the first time in an 1159 document with which Emperor Frederick I (Barbarossa) granted the area, and other several pieces of lands, as feud to the Turin Bishop.
In 1246 Marquise Bonifacio of Monferrato assigned the territory to Guglielmo and Giacobino Viscounts of Baratonia. Around the mid-fifteenth century, Eleonora of Baratonia brought the viscountcy as dowry to Guglielmo Arcatore. The Arcatore family changed its name in Arcour, Harcour or D’Harcourt. In 1772 Carlo Emanuele III finally granted the feud to Giuseppe Francesco Hongram of Nizza Monferrato. Among others, the Counts of San Martino, the Borghese and Pamparato families were also lords of this territory.
Givoletto is at the foot of Monte Lera, in the quietness of Val Ceronda. On the side of Monte Lera, the stations of the Cross bring to Santa Maria Ausiliatrice little church that is an obliged stop for a trip to the Madonna della Neve Chapel.
On the ridge of Monte Lera (between 875 and 1300 m of altitude) a natural reserve has been established so as to protect the Euphorbia gibelliana, perennial plant specie that, according to the experts, is growing only here. It is a herbaceous bushy plant, 60/80 cm high, living in colonies. The trunk ends with a five sections umbrella supporting one flower only, surrounded by five green-yellowish leaves, teased at the base and of elliptical long form.
Givoletto history officially begins in 1014, when it is mentioned in a Benedict VIII papal bull. Later on is mentioned again in the Corrado il Salico, Arrigo III and Ottone IV imperial diplomas.
The La Cassa municipality is located at about twenty kilometers North of Turin, very close to the Pre-Alps. To the East is the Mandria Regional Park with an area equipped for tourists. Part of the Park is included in municipality territory. “The La Cassa damp area” is very interesting and striking, with several observation points for scientist and students. The particular fauna and flora habitat in the area Langhe del Ceronda, near the creek ford, offers the view of a particularly astonishing landscape.
It is thought that in the old times, La Cassa was site of Ligurian and Celtic settlements, later occupied by the Romans. Once the barbarian invasions ended, the territory definitely went back to the Longobardi’s jurisdiction.
VAL DELLA TORRE
It is a municipality composed by 42 hamlets scattered in the wide basin where the Casternone originates, which it crosses to reach San Gillio and join with the Ceronda.
The many archeological findings on the territory give evidence of an important Roman settlement.
Furthermore, the Val della Torre territory is historically characterized by two different settlement: on of religious origin, Brione, and a military one, the castle.
Vallo Torinese is a community where fraternity and reception may be perceived on people’s faces and in their gestures, these being the result of a precious and patient work done by shepherds on the local population during the past century.
They are simple people who have been able to realize great things through extraordinary twine of humanity and spirituality.
The thousand-year old past is the same as that of many Italian villages worthy of attention. Thanks to the recovery, in the Gaiera region, of some archeological evidence we believe that in the Gaelic-Roman age already existed in the Vallo area a Celtic settlement. In the first century AD, at the time of the Roman colonization, Vallo was a small “castrum”, a fortified village built to protect the roman road coming from the Susa Valley. This road, through Brione, La Cassa and Baratonia, was then crossing the Stura near Cafasse, on the way to climbing the mountain and then descending to the Viù Valley.
Vallo is buried in thick birch, oak and pine woods with a few majestic horse chestnuts trees that line the entrance to the Chapel, from where you may enjoy a beautiful panorama with Monte Turu on the right, Monte Druina on the left.
In a few minutes from Vallo we reach Varisella the history of which deeply intersects that of its Baratonia hamlet. This little hamlet was an independent municipality up to the last century and seat of a viscountcy. Nothing is left, except the outside walls, of its Castle.
During the partisan Resistance Varisella played a very important role being the seat of the Lower Lanzo Valley’s Command.
The castle existence is proved by a 1090 document. Likely, even before the year 1000, a small hamlet existed at the base of it, but only ruins are found nowadays. Some bricks and fragments induce to think they could have been settlements of the late Roman period.