Upper Varaita Valley
Territory  -  Habitat  -  History  -  Architecture  -  Tourism  -  Sports
  The upper Varaita Valley is a unique conservation area with many well-preserved old buildings typical of the local Alpine architecture dating back to the golden age of The Republic of Escartons.

In a few hamlets (like Chianale, Genzana, and others located in the Bellino Valley), most houses respect the authentic, ancient building typology characterized by stone walls, wooden lintels and loadbearing masonry structures, wide slate roofs (called "lose" in Occitan) and wooden balconies. Other typical stone elements are staircases, pillars and large doors with monolythic architraves.
  Many decorative components are an integral part of these buildings, like, for example, stone faces (mores de peira) probably of Celtic origin, and traditional facade frescoes dating back to the Eighteenth century.  
  Sundials are a special decorative touch to be found especially in the Bellino Valley. Most of them date back to the Eighteenth - Nineteenth centuries and display an "Occitan" pattern with a square frame and a polar style. They were made by local artisans and often show authentic mottos in Latin, French and Occitan.

All in all a truly unique example of Alpine architecture utterly unspoiled and completely authentic.
Territory  -  Habitat  -  History  -  Architecture  -  Tourism  -  Sports