Who goes to the mountains in summer? Only crazy people and sports fanatics? And what do people do in Alagna during July and August? The crazy ones are there for sure, and the sports fanatics as well, but to find them just go to any gym … However, in Alagna there are also stories: stories of normal people, people who are tired of the city and the sea, because after years of the Romagna Riviera and crowded beaches with bathers, one ends up looking elsewhere. And even if the mountain is not interesting every year, it still remains a mystery. Who has never wondered what lies behind that huge rock that prevents the eyes from seeing the horizon? And who has never thought of a story (even imaginary, if you don’t want to cross manmade or natural boundaries), or an adventure in search of new land, new ideas and, why not, new lost treasures?
Our valley is rich: the surrounding area and the territory of Alagna, are covered in greenery especially in summer, as is our culture, history and nature. A summer in these parts is not reduced to long and boring walks, to going to bed early, or to wake up in total silence and anonymity. A summer in Alagna means writing a story full of emotion, a story of feelings, a story of small and big pleasures: your story. Would it be the same at the usual seaside resort? Hard to say, but for many the answer could be a definite no. If you think you don’t have a story, or don’t know how to write it, we’ll give you a hand, with a title (and some advice): the 5 + 1 things to do in Alagna in the summer. Ready to start? Make yourself comfortable: let’s go!
HIKING ON MONTE ROSA
We will talk about this topic first, because there are two cases: either your purpose for coming here is to walk or not. Hiking is not just about reaching a destination, but also enjoying the route while getting there: this is why it is called a walk and not a race. We ,Valsesians who live in this corner of the Alps can boast of living in the greenest valley in Italy (and in one of the most beautiful regions in the world, at least according to the authoritative Lonely Planet). For us, walking out of the house and going for a walk, even walking up a steep uphill, means taking a breather, returning to the nature of our country, observing animals, landscapes and star gazing. Download the trail map and pick one at random, it doesn’t even matter to reach the top! Reaching the mountain refuge or conquering the summit are worth nothing in comparison to all that you leave behind. Those goals will never feed your curiosity, on the contrary, it will give you “permission” to take that well deserved break and recharge your batteries!
MEALS IN MOUNTAIN REFUGES AND RESTAURANTS
The food. It is undeniable that food is a weak spot for most of us. In fact: who would refuse a delicious steak born and bred in the region, or a mix of vegetables freshly picked from the grandfather’s vegetable patch, or some other delicacy (based on your taste of course) prepared and served with love while enjoying the relaxing atmosphere? Can you imagine that scene? Can you picture yourself in a 4-star hotel with a gourmet kitchen? Or in a meadow, with a sandwich and a cold beer? I believe that everyone has a “perfect” scenario in their heads, so why not come and try to make that dream come true? Put your faith in your heart (and in us) to create that perfect banquet for you. Take a look at the restaurants and pubs open in summer and remember: your only limit is imagination!
MONTEROSA SKI IN SUMMER
So far we have talked about some of the smaller qualities that characterize days spent in Alagna, but it would be completely out of place not to miss our hearthstone: the Monterosa Ski lifts. Yes, because the cable cars are not just for skiing: people don’t realize it, but in reality they are the silent agreement between the mountains and man, a (now) unnoticeable but incredible opportunity to reach the apexes in our world. Can you imagine having to reach 3,000 meters on foot? It is already a beautiful route, without considering any ailments, age, or handicap … so, for those who want to go further, the cable car is a simplification, but for those who cannot for some or other reason, it is a great gift. Imagine what it was like when you fell asleep in the car and your parents carried you to bed without waking you up. In this way anyone can breathe the same air as eagles, and it is not an expression.
FOR THE CHILDREN (LARGE AND SMALL!)
The fourth thing to do in Alagna in the summer, is dedicated to that special part of the population and the only human beings who are truly free. We are obviously talking about children. I, as author of this article, was born and raised in Alagna and I will never regret it, indeed it is my sincere wish to everyone! How wonderful it is to be able to run on the street without the fear of oncoming traffic, how wonderful it is to be able to go out at night without parents worrying where and how you are, how wonderful it is to be able to build treehouses and run in green fields. I wish all children had the same luck: after all, the future is (or will be) in the hands of our children, and it is a beautiful (and intelligent) gesture to teach them to write their own story, invent it and live it in an environment like that of Alagna. Take a look at the Outdoor Day Trips section and you will find a list of interesting excursions suitable for adults and children of any age.
THINGS TO DO ON RAINY DAYS
Aaaah … the rain. How many plans have gone up in smoke because of the rain. And yet, have you ever looked on the bright side of it? Water is life, and without water every end would be different, but above all: how beautiful it is to stand in silence under a roof, on the top floor of a Walser house, and listen to the drops that free fall hundreds of meters from the sky and break on the roof tiles? That water is nothing more than our sea water, coolness when the summer heat does not let up … but without water everything would be dry and sad! Thousands of possibilities of what to do come to mind, and all you have to do is not concentrate on the only inconvenience, namely the fact of getting wet. A sunny day outdoors is nothing more than a day spent indoors playing cards, near the fireplace, inside a beautiful wooden house. Why not take the opportunity to visit some of the many attractions the region offers, like the museums, historic houses, farms or even wine bars where you can sip a glass of wine and listen to the stories of those who have lived here for years, or listen to the bartenders who come from who knows where, to work for a couple of seasons and then leave for some unknown destination? Here are the stories mentioned in the introduction. All this does not only apply to rainy days, but it is a viable alternative to generally more popular activities, such as trekking or sport fishing.
… TO BE CONTINUED
Now, after carefully choosing the various scenarios and the protagonists, after adding the commas and the fullstops, the day comes to an end: it’s time to go back home, to say goodbye to the sun and embrace the evening, to think about and metabolize what we have done and experienced … but it is not time for the ending yet: a simple fullstop would suffice, because tomorrow is another day, with a new beginning, with new obstacles to overcome, and with infinite emotions to be experienced alone or in company. I am confident you will be able to write a unique and incredible story about these beautiful mountains; your story. We leave you with the hope of seeing you soon, in person and welcoming you to one of the many places where you can stay in Alagna-Valsesia. See you soon!