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The gold of Val Toppa

Pieve Vergonte (VB), Italy
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Difficulties
Technique
Experience
Landscape
Length (Km): 4
Time: 2 h 00
Starting altitude (m): 225
Arrival altitude (m): 815
Altitude difference (m): 590
Period: April-October

Description

Departure point:    

Pieve Vergonte (VB), Italy

How to get there:    

By train: Pieve Vergonte Station, Ferrovie dello Stato. Timetables: http://www.trenitalia.com/; www.ffs.ch
By car: A26 motorway to Gravellona Toce, then SS33 of Sempione, exit for Pieve Vergonte.

General Description:    

The “Val Toppa” is the valley of the stream Marmazza, on which the village of Pieve Vergonte developed itself over the centuries. The discovery of important gold veins, exploited since ancient times, has marked the history of the valley. The itinerary provides the access to one of the mines, object of a recent recovery and enhancement which allowed the equipment in safety of a long stretch.

The route:    

From the station follow via Massari along the industrial area. Once you passed the industrial buildings, continue still on via Massari reaching the Cultural Center Massari (at number 21) inside are also housed the Mining Museum and the Library. Here are many original finds, documents and maps that testify  the hard work of the miners. At the end of via Massari turn right and then go til the end of via Buchero, and at last via Pizzo Camino, from here the trail continues, just before reaching the stream Marmazza. The trail goes up in the wood and arrives at  “Ca’ Strusit”, the building once used by the guardians of the powder of the mine. At Ca’ Bianca, fully restored, it is possible to stay overnight on demand. From here, after wearing a raincoat and an helmet which are supplied,  in 10 minutes, on a trail, you reach the entrance of the mine.
On demand it is possible to do an alternative itinerary, along the old mule track of minors, leaving from Fomarco 720 m high, with a difference in level of about 80 m and therefore less tiring, using the transport service by bus organized by the town of Pieve Vergonte for schools groups.

Useful information:    

It is advisable to walk this trail with the guide as it is the necessary condition to access to the mine
For information and specialized educational visits for schools contact:
Comune di Pieve Vergonte, tel+39 0324 86265 ( 9.00 – 13.30) - www.comunepievevergonte.it

Where to eat:    

Ristorante Gianni e Pinotto
Via Massari 23 - 28886 Pieve Vergonte (VB)
Tel. +39 0324 86521

Ristorante Cacciatori
Via Piedimulera, 37- 28886 Pieve Vergonte (VB)
Telefono +39 0324 83520
Email: sc.cacciatori@libero.it

Surroundings

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