monte fenera

Point of interest
Sites not to be missed


The Mount Fenera territory became part of the regional system of protected areas in 1987 with the establishment of the Mount Fenera Nature Park. It covers an area of 3,378 hectares. The park is named after the namesake mountain, which rises, mighty and solitary, above the hills of Lower Valsesia, and whose profile can be recognised from the Novara and Vercelli plains.

Two peaks rise from the top of the mountain. On the lower one, at an altitude of 894 m, is a small church built in 1700 and dedicated to St. Bernard. The higher peak, 899 m, also known as the Bastia Peak, presents a high cross made of bricks. The Bastia Lodge is located just below the summit, on the southern slope. A number of tables with picnic benches have been placed partly near the lodge and partly on the northern slope.

Mount Fenera has numerous caves on its western slopes, some of which are of considerable archaeological and palaeontological interest. Indeed, they have revealed signs unique to Piedmont of the presence of the Neanderthal man, who lived in these places around 300,000 years ago, of the Cave Bear and of the Merk Rhinoceros. These include the Ara Caves, which can be easily reached by a path with a minimal difference in height, or the Ciota Ciara cave, which can be visited by appointment.

Mount Fenera is a genuine microcosm, home to many excellent guests including the black stork, a very rare species that has been frequenting the park for some years, the wallcreeper and the peregrine falcon. A typical trait of the park is the existence of buildings called ‘taragn‘, with roofs made of layers of straw, often rye. They were characteristic peasant and folk dwellings, and date back to the 8th-9th centuries. The widespread use of kilns changed this situation, and all thatched roofs throughout Italy were gradually replaced by wooden or slate roofs. However, in the Lower Valsesia area, the use of thatched roofs only declined later, between the 18th and 19th centuries.

Grotta della Ciota Ciara
Grotta della Ciota Ciara



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