PreambleThe valley of Susa, in the history books, is best remembered for the passage of armies and their generals, and as an outpost fortified to defend the plain. The history of the valley is not only that of Hannibal, of Frederick Barbarossa, and Napoleon. It is the story of the men and women who have lived, worked the land and interacting with the mountain. Hannibal and Barbarossa might not even know the name, but they knew how to define in the dialect of all the plants and herbs that grew on the slopes.
Called to fight, not pulled back. They were the first "bogianen" (I do not retire in Piedmontais Dialect) those who have remained steadfast in their positions, the hill dell'Assietta. And when she arrived the industry, have yet to give their development, by force of arms they knew the effort of the hoe and the weight of the basket. Today, times are different and the valley is different, but it is still alive and active the sensitivity of those who, through the recovery of the country and traditions wish to pass on to future generations the knowledge of the past The Susa Valley, arranged longitudinally, is crossed by the river Dora Riparia. It is touched both by the Hautes Alpes (on the right side of the Dora and Cenischia) and by Graian (on the left of the same streams). The streams Dora of Bardonecchia and Cenischia from Montcenis form two important valleys which radiating from the main one.
The name comes from the city of Susa, at the start of Val Cenischia. From this comes the road that runs through the Pass of Mont Cenis, that right at the city meets with the one coming from the Montgenevre Pass.
The origin of the Susa Valley to be found between 40 and 25 million years ago, during one phase of the process of the Alpine orogeny.
A "GLACIAL" Landscape.
10,000 after the last retreat of the glaciers the landscape of the Susa Valley still shows evidence of their passing.
-the " U " shaped profile of the Susa valley due to the impressive action of glacial erosion.
- the so called " erratic boulders " wich collapsed on the lobes of the glaciers and were then later deposited on the lateral slopes of morainic hills.
-the smooth and streaked rocks caused by the abrasive effect of sharp debrise contained in the mass of ice on the glacier bed.
-the glacial hollow left behind are today the morainic lakes like the ones in Avigliana.
-the shape of the morainic hills show the mould left by the glacier near the entrance of the big city.
Getting ThereThe Susa Valley is located in the Piedmont region in the center of the characteristic range of valleys fanning out around Turin.
It is reachable through:
- the motorway network: the A-32 motorway from Turin to Bardonecchia until you reach the Frejus tunnel
- the ordinary road network: the SS24 and SS25 of Montgenevre Mont Cenis connecting Turin to France through the Susa Valley
- the railway line from Turin take the Torino-Bardonecchia-Bussoleno
See the timetables on the website www.ferroviedellostato.it
- plane: both the airport of Caselle Torinese (To) is to Malpensa (I) are provided with bus service to the Porta Nuova station (Turin), from where you continue to Susa Valley by train or by bus
The most striking: The "8" Trail of Avigliana Lakes
The harder:Via Crucis
The most refreshing:Pis Waterfall
The Castle:San Giorio
Places of historical interest
The Dynamite Factory:Nobel
The Monastery of the Alps:Saint Michael
The route of the Tour of Italy
The Hill of the Windows:The Judgment Day
The Door of Italy:The Montcenis
A heritage to us. The history of the high altitude roads in the Western Alps:History
THE MOUNTAIN THROUGH TIME
The transformation of the landscape.
The sense of the wilderness wich is perceived in the Susa Valley is misleading. Not long ago this mountain was much more inhabited than today, these mountain sides were cultivated and the forests were carefully looked after.
The pictures from the early 1900s show stone terracing with vegetables gardens and orcharas, chestnut trees, rows of fruit trees, and wineyards wich grew at almost 1000 m.
The progressive neglect of agriculture due to industrial growt in the Susa valley, meant that the mountain sides quickly became a wilderness.
The stone terraces gradually caved in and made a perfect southern exposed habitat for some animal species (reptiles and insects) and planst among wich the indian fig tree (Opuntia sp.) and the locust tree (Robinia paseudoacacia) imported from North America by the french botanist Jean Robin in the XVII century.
This infesting plant has adapted very well to the local ambient to the detriment of the autochthonous plants.
The locust is appreciated for his capability to consolidate land that is vulnerable to erosion, and for its resistance to fire.
External Links.CAMPING IN AVIGLIANA.