Today transformed into hiking trails, there are some routes in Ossola Valley that give you the chance to take a trip back in time. The Anzasca Valley’s Via del Pane (Bread Route) is one of such trails. The route winds its way through small, partly abandoned rural settlements, where ancient structures in the past used for baking are still preserved.
Knowledge of alpine culture is combined with a pleasant walk in the mountains, along mule tracks and footpaths to explore ovens, mills, sacred shrines and oratories framed by beautiful natural landscapes.
In ancient times, every small village in the Anzasca Valley had a community oven, which was used in turn by residents. There were also mills used to grind rye and chestnuts.
The starting point is the hamlet of Colombetti, an architectural gem of the Anzasca Valley and the entire Ossola Valley, a beautiful example of a mountain settlement with loggia houses and arches. Passing through the woods, you come to Castiglione and then the hamlet of Pecciola, then Porcareccia and on towards the charming village of Olino. If you look closely you’ll see the now barely visible signs of ancient terracings that almost completely covered the slope of the mountain. Olino is a cornerstone of the Via del Pane. It still houses two community ovens as well as a room once reserved for the preparation of dough.