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Orco valley

The Valle Orco, starting from Pont Canavese and reaching up to the Colle del Nivolet at the border between Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta, is located within the Gran Paradiso National Park, Italy’s oldest protected area, to which we have dedicated this page.

Valle Orco is a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of possibilities, from peaceful photo walks to multi-day treks, from high-altitude mountaineering to rock and ice climbing, and even canyoning, paragliding, and windsurfing.

For cyclists, it is also a haven. The stage of the 2018 Giro d’Italia at Colle del Nivolet (2600m) was among the most appreciated, and this pass has become a dream for many cyclists from Piedmont and beyond, who can ascend it from June to September, once free of snow.

Numerous secondary and dirt roads ascend from the plains to the hills, making it a perfect territory for gravel biking and bikepacking.

Additionally, families will find numerous activities for their children, such as adventure parks, zip-lines, bike or horseback excursions. It’s possible to participate in naturalistic tours to spot marmots and chamois, along with the rich and unique local flora. Thus, Valle Orco offers a wide range of opportunities to enjoy nature and outdoor activities in a protected and charming environment.

Just out of the tunnel connecting Noasca to Ceresole, a spectacular alpine panorama unfolds, such as that of the three Levanne rising above the artificial Lake of Ceresole Reale. The lake’s waters power the Rosone hydroelectric plant and, in summer, offer the opportunity for water sports like windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing.

Valle Orco is also a stage of the Skyrunning World Championships, hosting the Royal Ultra Sky Marathon. Moreover, it is a legendary climbing destination with the Caporal and Sergent walls (ironically named by early climbers to recall El Capitan in Yosemite, given the similar climbing style). It’s the birthplace of Italian free climbing in the early ’70s and the birthplace of the revolutionary “Nuovo Mattino” (New Morning) movement, to which we have dedicated this page.

The valley offers opportunities for slow tourism throughout the seasons, ideal for families and those who wish to be in direct contact with nature. In the Gran Paradiso National Park, you can spot marmots, foxes, ibexes, chamois, and a variety of birds like buzzards, bearded vultures, hawks, eagles, and more. During winter, snowy landscapes can be enjoyed with snowshoeing and skiing.

Valle Orco preserves the high-altitude trails and mule tracks used by Vittorio Emanuele II during his excursions to reach the Royal Hunting Lodges. Additionally, there are historical and traditional buildings that testify to centuries of history, such as the grand Sanctuary of Prascondù, the Rocca di Sparone linked to the figure of King Arthur, and the towers of Pont Canavese, including Ferranda and Tellaria, representing a historically valuable heritage. Also worth visiting is the first Italian museum of plastics, located in Pont Canavese.