ertainly the Provençal troubadour Peire de Vidal who sang a “Doussa terra de Canaves” was struck by the nature of these valleys, the landscape that shows a harmonious human presence and expresses its particular sweetness, from the sweet green hills and vineyards to the austere outline of the mountains.
In the Canavese Valleys we can find, in the wild highlands, pristine nature, the integral wilderness with a unique flora and fauna, while at lower altitudes we can discover gentle landscapes of green hills, interwoven with vineyards and orchards, dotted woods and villages.
The Canavese Valleys are home to the Piedmont side of the Gran Paradiso National Park, the oldest protected area of Italy, established in 1922 to protect 2.200 hectares of the hunting reserve donated by King Vittorio Emanuele III to the Italian State. The animal symbol of the park is the ibex, but it’s really easy, especially if accompanied by an experienced guide, also see chamois, marmots, large birds of prey like the eagle and the bearded vulture or discover the amazing biodiversity of flora present in the Park. In the forests of the valley the most common trees are larches, mixed with spruce, stone pine and more rarely silver firs. As you climb the slopes the trees are replaced by wide alpine pastures, rich in flowers in late spring and summer. Going up and up to 4061 meters of the Gran Paradiso peak, rocks and glaciers dominate the landscape. A dense network of trails allows hiking for every need.
The presence of the National Park constitutes an attraction that each year calls a large number of visitors from abroad.
The Gran Paradiso National Park has its own network of facilities for the reception, information and visiting tourists: visitors centers in Locana, Noasca, Ceresole and Ronco; Secretary and environmental education center in Noasca; nature trails in Noasca, Ceresole and Ronco; exhibits on wildlife, on the local culture and environment, information kiosks. Thanks to these facilities it is present an articulated offer for school trips and environmental education that can use the Park as an interesting laboratory for research and discovery of biodiversity. In addition to educational programs dedicated to the flora and fauna we also propose itineraries and stays dedicated to renewable energies and the popular culture of the territory.
The quality of the environment and the pleasantness of the valleys of the Canavese landscape are not limited to the Park area, from Alto Canavese to Valle Sacray, from Valchiusella to Dora Baltea. A dense network of trails, paths and lanes, are particularly suitable for hiking, biking and horseback riding, especially for those seeking relaxation and a friendly environment to practice their activities. It’s available a rich carnet of day trips or several days trekking, that you can tread on your own or accompanied by tourist guides, alpine and nature guides. We suggest you, to fully enjoy safely all the nuances of your excursion, to take advantage of the guides partners of he Consortium that will introduce you to the secrets of this land.
In Canavese there is another protected area, the Natural Reserve of Sacro Monte di Belmonte, who also owns extraordinary natural, cultural and historiacal attractives.
The nature reserve was established by the Piedmont region in the area of Cuorgnè, Pertusio, Prascorsano and Valperga, and includes the Belmonte hill relief, unique granite outcrop that stands alone at the entrance of the Orco Valley. From Belmonte the view dominates the plain, from the moraine La Serra di Ivrea to the hills of Turin. Outcrops of pink granite alternate with forests made up of chestnut trees, oaks and birches. The red granite of Belmonte is a rock subject to intense alteration of meteoric origin, so it forms deposits and badlands locally called “sabbionere”, where sand, depending on the location, takes on a reddish color, violet or white.
The vegetation retains some typical wetland species of a certain rarity, such as royal fern and the sundew, small carnivorous plant, a few centimeters high, with jagged leaves of sensory tentacles for hunting of small insects. A traditional walking path that involves the Belmonte Park (beyond that of the Via Crucis that covers the top of the Sacred Mountain) is the so-called Path of Tabernacles, which leads in about 40 minutes walk from the centre of Valperga to the Sanctuary of Belmonte, on a path dotted with the votive pillars of the 15 mysteries of the Rosary.
Even the beautiful creeks are to mention for relaxing and bathing in summer (Orco, Chiusella, Piova, Savenca) where are present several areas equipped for tourists (camp areas, bbq, wc etc).