Val D’otro Preserves The Most Interesting Ancient Walser Settlements In The Entire Valsesia Area

In the heart of the Alagna territory lies a vast area of ecological splendour and marvellous scenic perspectives that can only be reached on foot. Val d’Otro was named after the torrent that crosses this valley and it can be reached after an easy hike from Pedelegno, a hamlet in Alagna.

Val d’Otro preserves the most interesting ancient Valsesian Walser settlements in the entire territory where their style has left a lasting impression. Alpe Follu is probably the first and best known area of pasture encountered among those scattered about the valley floor.

the trail offers splendid scenic perspectives of the town of Alagna and of the high peaks that form its crown.

At approximately halfway into the trail a graceful fountain offers its clear fresh water to welcome the excursionists. Continuing uphill, the landscape radically changes from lush, dense vegetation to the immense grassy plains of Alpe Follu with a 1700-metre height difference. Every corner of this little hamlet recalls Walser culture from the houses built of timber and stone to the little church dedicated to the Madonna della Neve, as well as the names of surrounding hamlets: Felleretsch, Tschekke, Dorf, Scarpia and Weng.

After a break at the marvellous Alpe Follu refuge hut, excursionists are free to choose from the many trails, which vary in distance and duration, best suited to their abilities; thus offering everyone fun and delight in admiring the scenery. The numerous little alps in the inhabited areas are naturally only available during the summer period.  

From Follu, the Foric pass can be reached after 2400 metres and this trail then leads to the nearby Ollen valley. From the left side of the valley instead, the trail leads to the Tailly lakes and the Tailly alp. Another hike with a 2504-metre incline will lead to the Ravelli camping ground.

The highest summit is Corno Biano (White Horn) at 3320 metres with its two small glaciers on its slopes: the Otro glacier which takes its name from the torrent that runs through the valley and the Puio snowfield. In the early 1900s, the valley was served by a little cable-way that connected the Belvedere to the various hamlets of Otro and by a little gondola lift that connected it to the nearby Alagna. By the early 70s however,  the lack of visitors ultimately resulted in the closure and the dismantling of the lifts as well as the once-renowned Belvedere hotel.

Today, Valle d’Otro is still considered a vacation destination where visitors can lose themselves in the silence and fascinating beauty of the scenery or experience the antique Walser traditions of agriculture, pastoralism and hunting that are still practiced in this marvellous valley. The hunting activity is regulated by a wildlife hunting reserve (azienda faunistica venatoria).


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