Three thousand years of inhabited mountains

Panorama over valle Pesio and the plains from Passo Scarason | APAM Archive, G. Bernardi

The valleys of the Park were already frequented in prehistory : since then, these mountains lying between the coast and the plains have been crossed by countless travelers: shepherds, merchants, soldiers, pilgrims, mountaineers, speleologists, ... Each has left tracks behind them: they are alpine pastures, imposing religious buildings and splendid charterhouse farms, ancient routes for carrying salt, military fortifications, alpine refuges resting on the soft and welcoming shapes of these mountains.

This section of the site traces in brief those moments of prehistory and history that have left signs on the Park territory so deep that they can still be seen today, centuries or even thousands of years after; they are archaeological sites where you can see the work of a Bronze Age blacksmith, traces of the imposing religious and economic organization that the order of the Carthusian Fathers left on the Valle Pesio, such as the remains of activities linked to the manufacture of glass and ceramics, there are the signs of the fighting that took place on these mountains during the Second World War, abandoned villages and impressive military mule tracks that cross an alpine landscape in an eternal dance (or rather, in an eternal arm-wrestle) between the intervention of human beings and the power of nature. Today, houses high in the mountains, built to preserve the heat and escape the avalanches and the crumbling dry stone walls along the mule tracks in the woods seem prehistoric artifacts, but many were used by our great-grandparents.

Then came the Park and alpine tourism, to bring two new ideas of nature: the conservation of a biodiverse world for future generations and the aesthetic and ethical enjoyment of the natural environment. The challenge today is to be able to reconcile these two important aspects.


Le montagne del Parco sono state attraversate, utilizzate e abitate a partire da tempi remoti.

I Certosini in Valle Pesio

Cercando un deserto, hanno creato un giardino: l'impronta dei Certosini in Valle Pesio.

La Certosa di Santa Maria

Fondata nel 1173, Il cuore del "deserto" certosino sorge in alta Valle Pesio, a 860 metri di quota.

Il villaggio di Carnino

Un minuscolo insediamento alpino al centro delle antiche vie di commercio fra il monte e la riviera.

L’esplorazione speleologica

Alla scoperta del Marguareis oscuro: un'appassionante avventura che non accenna a finire...

L’esplorazione alpinistica

Belle montagne di roccia brutta, che hanno lasciato il segno nella storia dell'alpinismo.


I paesi più grandi sono diventati i poli dove si concentrano i servizi essenziali agli abitanti.

Popolazione in Valle Pesio

La storia demografica ed economica della Valle Pesio è segnata dall’arrivo dei Certosini.

Popolazione in alta Val Tanaro

Evoluzione di una terra di confine, incastonata fra Piemonte, Liguria e Provenza.