Hike to Cima Bastia...the Cross on Monte Fenera Piemonte ~ Romancing Italy

May 7, 2009

Hike to Cima Bastia...the Cross on Monte Fenera Piemonte

Cima Croce View of cross from the houseFinally, FINALLY, I am getting out and hiking. And it's not just because the weather has not been cooperative. I have just not made it a priority. This area is filled with hiking trails, some of which start just outside our property!!!

From our house, I see a a landmark cross on the hill in the distance. It stands on Monte Fenera which is a Natural Park in Piemonte. By the way, this is also where the white storks have been seen (by park rangers of course), as well as the rare and antisocial black stork. Can you see the cross?

We left late in the day as we wanted to catch another "Motor GP Rossi show", this time at the race track in Spain. I'd like to say that this was the real reason we drove halfway up the hill, but I'll have to admit, I am not in shape to start the hike from the bottom of the hill. One day...

We drove from Valduggia to Colma and picked up the trail #772 that headed up the hill. There was a short cut which took us past an old village, abandoned and in ruins but still visited by some who come for the God spot.

The trail led us through patches of helleborus or what is commonly known as the lenten rose. Oaks and silver birch were everywhere along with chestnut and of all things, towering wild cherry trees. A kept quizzing me on the identity of different trees, but because my head is about as hard as a nut, I think I will get it right only in about a lifetime.

Old stone mountain homes of Cima Croce PiemonteOld mountain homes of a bygone era were made only of stone and without any wall treatments on the inside. Basically, this was it. Because of the cold winter months, the windows were tiny. Surrounded by these tall trees, they weren't missing out on any views!

An average day was hard, rising before dawn to care for the livestock and work around the house. When it was the season to farm, the young men trekked back and forth to the plains below to work on the land. When it was time for harvest, they stayed below until the harvest was done and then returned to their homes here in winter.

During the winter, the livestock remained enclosed in the lower floor while the family lived above benefitting from the heat generated by the animals.

I huffed and puffed the rest of the trail until it thankfully popped me out near the crest. To the right was the Oratorio St. Bernardo, an old 18th Century chapel that is still used today by a few.

Up until the beginning of the 70's, the festival of St. Bernardo was celebrated on the first Sunday of August. After mass, a wooden statue of St. Bernardo was carried down the hill as far as the cross of Colma after which each person participated in a traditional lunch.

The views of the Alps are amazing from this area as well as from the cross.....which was the destination in the first place. We passed back across the trail we ascended and walked up a small hill to the cross.

The view of the Alps. I think you can still ski at the higher levels.

View of Borgosesia and the Sesia river.

The cross at Cima Bastia.


  1. I love the livestock central heating idea, it might catch on when we run out of gas. Spectacular pictures again Bev and good interesting commentry.

  2. I want to visit Italy too. :) Great pics!

  3. Oh Martin, you made me laugh. But somehow I won't put it past you to actually DO IT!!!!

  4. Hello Online Payments, Thanks for dropping by. You should take some time to visit this incredible country. I am sure you will love it - there's something remarkable for everyone.

  5. Hey Bev,

    I am now in Pisa for the month...I can say that Italy IS great! WOW...I am really enjoying it...great people, great weather, and great places to visit. Wish I lived here :)

  6. Yeehaaa! Good for you Annmucc! I am so glad you ended up here like you wanted. And I am happy to see you are living it up right away. I am sure you will enjoy your month here...you seem to have a capacity to love life.
    Keep it up!


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