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Maira Valley

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This Valley is crossed by the Maira river for about 60 km and it is very narrow and wild. It goes from Dronero up to the Col de Maurin (2.637 m.). From here a track connects Italy with the French Ubaye Valley.
From the Maniglia Mount (3177 m.) a long ridge connects the Rocca La Marchisa (3.071), the Chersogno Mount (3.026 m.) and the Pelvo d’Elva (3064 m.). After this mountain relief an ex military road starts from the Colle della Bicocca (2.285), passing through the Colle di Sampeyre, Col Birrone and Col Valmala. All these three passes connect the Maira Valley with the Varaita Valley.
Maira Valley, inhabited during the prehistory by Ligurian and Celtic populations, has been slightly touched by the Roman’s colonization.
The Valley doesn’t communicate directly with France but has got some cols and passes to go through (colle del Mulo, colle Fauniera, colle d’Elva). This is why during the Middle Ages it was the centre of many commercial arteries (by the end of 1300 merchants from Acceglio went to the Barcelonette Fair to do roaring trades with French people). These mountain populations soon stood out for their deep culture and knowledge in politics, in fact in 1396 the inhabitants of the high Maira Valley created their own local statutes (the code it’s preserved at the Public Records Office of Cuneo. This code is older than the one of Saluzzo, capital of the Marquisate, remounting only at the beginning of the 1400). The municipalities that decided to accede to the statute were: Acceglio, Alma, Canosio, Celle, Elva , Lottulo, Marmora, Paglieres, Prazzo, San Michele, Stroppo, Ussolo. In 1476 also Dronero and in 1510 Roccabruna accede to the statute.
This system shows a deep political autonomy and a high degree of organization. A similar example happened to the nearby Chastelado (Bellino, Casteldelfino e Chianale) in Varaita Valley.


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