From Saluzzo go towards Pinerolo (SS.n. 589 road), you can reach the STAFFARDA ABBEY (267 meters. tel. 0175/273215) the most revealing medieval monument of Piedmont.
In its entirety, the most important Cistercian architecture example of the Region are the church (XII-XII cent.), the garth, the guest room and the market (1270) built in Romanic-gothic style. From Staffarda, continuing on the SS. 589, an interesting turning leads to BARGE (372 m.), a small town at the bottom of the Mombracco Mount. Two CASTLES once retrenched the town, and from the city centre you can now see the ruins.
A Romanic BELL TOWER (XII cent.) act as the parish bell tower, which is a F. Gallo’s baroque work. Barge is known for quartzite quarries also called “bargiolina” stone, used for paving and covering.
From the centre you can easily reach the Convent of CERTOSA DI MOMBRACCO on the BRACCO MOUNT (923 m.). Here you can visit the Santa Maria church and the rests of an ancient cenoby, that had been a Certosini’s accommodation until the 1642, and later, from 1794 to 1800 the French fathers from Trappe lived there.
Along this route, you can take a deviation to the mysterious SANTA MARIA DELLA ROCCA CHAPEL, where once was the place of some hermits.
At the bottom of the Bracco Mount, in Torriana village there is the ETNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM “LA BRUNETTA”.
BAGNOLO PIEMONTE (367 m.) is 4,5 km farther north from Barge and here you can visit the big ROMANIC BELL TOWER (7 floors) in the centre of the town.
Bagnolo is an important centre of Luserna’s stonework and extraction. In the village of VILLAR, Montoso direction, you can find the ancient and valuable MALINGRI CASTLE (you can visit it on demand).
From Barge you go back to Revello through ENVIE (327 m.), a small agricultural village with its ROMANIC BELL TOWER of the SS. Marcellino, Pietro and Erasmo Parish. There is also a fourteen-century castle, restored during the XIX century.
From Staffarda you continue across the beautiful historical centre of Revello (351 m.), where once was the most fearful stronghold of Piedmont. It was also chosen as the Marquise Margherita Foix’s accommodation, who was Ludovico II of Saluzzo’s wife. Thanks to him they built the COLLEGIATA CHURCH (1483), the most important monument of the town. It is decorated with a magnificent renaissance marble portal (1534), a Matteo Sanmicheli’s work, and it has got on the inside beautiful polyptycs dating back the XVI cent. The MARCHIONALE CHAPEL is the rest of the Marchionale Palace. It is decorated with a series of frescoes commissioned by the Marquise Margherita. She, his husband and the family are depicted in the apse of the Chapel (XVI cent.). The frescoes represent histories about the Saints Margherita and Luigi from France and the Last Supper, in Leonardesque style. On the hill there is the Bramafam fortalice. It was destroyed by Richeliey in 1642. In the hollow after Revello there are the small villages of MARTINIANA PO (460 m.), RIFREDDO (433 m.) and SANFRONT (490 m.). In Riffredo are preserved the rests of the small but powerful FEMININE CISTERCIAN MONASTERY (XIII cent.), apart from the TOWN HALL (XV cent.) in gothic style. PAESANA (614 m.) is 6 km from there, it is a village for summer stay and also the base of the Tourist Office.
From Paesana, going upstream the Po valley, there is the turning to ONCINO (1220 m.), a typical alpine municipality, where some beautiful excursion starts. From here you can reach the Alpetto hut, the first mountain hut built in Italy by the Alpine Club. Shortly afterwards, on the right, there is a turning to OSTANA (1250 m.), one of the most important alpine municipality for the high construction quality. Here you can also visit an interesting ETNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM (Town Hall). From the centre you can reach by car the San Bernardo village where, in the small SAN BERNARDO CHAPEL archaeologists found rests of frescoes from the XV cent., referable to the Pietro from Saluzzo’s style.
Among the many villages several walks are signed, one of them is the astonishing view over the Monviso situated in Serre.
33 km from Saluzzo there is the village of CRISSOLO (1338 m.) at the beginning of the valley. This village is the centre and point of departure for all the several excursions of the Monviso’ mountains. On the road to the Pian del Re you can see on the right the interesting SAN CHIAFFREDO SANCTUARY (XIV-XIX cent.), who is the more worshiped martyr of the area. 5 km from here you reach PIAN DELLA REGINA, a GTA overnight stop that has got also ski tows and a cross-country skiing trail. PIAN DEL RE (2020 m.) is 4 km from there. It is a big plateau, here there are the PO river’s source. It is a wildlife reserve.
From this place starts the PO REGIONAL PARK, following all the course of the river. Here several paths to the Monviso start, like the one that leads to Giacoletti hut and Quintino Sella hut. In 1480 the Marquise Ludovico II made dig the first alpine tunnel of the history, the so called BUCO DEL VISO, at the Colle delle Traversette (2900 m.). Nowadays it is walkable and it can be covered in 3 hours from the Pian del Re.