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Occitan village at the foot of Monviso

An irresistible will to revive characterizes this Occitan village in the upper Po valley. Ostana looks ahead and not only at the Monviso (Viso Mountain) with its pyramidal top dominating the other peaks all around.

The name Ostana (Oustano in Occitan) probably derives from Augustana, referring to the month of August. If this is the case, the origin of the name dates back to the Early Middle Ages and is linked with the transhumance. Ostana in the past was probably just  populated for summer pasture.

In 1921 the village declared 1187 inhabitants, today it counts a few dozen of people, but who has gone returns whenever they can to arrange, to work, to sing and to dream with those who still live there.

The dream is a village that revives. In Ostana, particularly in summer, but also during winter time, when the sun shines on the white blanket of snow, cultural initiatives spring up everywhere: rural festival, dances and choral songs of spontaneous groups, conventions of Alpines, bread cooking, activities at the ethnographic museum, collective care of the environment.

Celebrating is meeting, is a good opportunity to work together, to discuss those projects that help the return and the welcome of those people who want to settle down in this village, maybe just to rediscover the sense of their lives.

In front of the town hall the Occitan flag is waving as a real sign of a linguistic tradition that is still alive.

In the last years a careful work has changed Ostana appearance into a small laboratory of alpine architecture, thanks to the public administration who trusted it, to the population that have understood and followed the suggestions for a no-folkloric restoration and above all thanks to the architect Renato Maurino who has conceived this open air laboratory. Walking through the village and its hamlets, the results of this restoration and construction works are visible and clear in the new public and private areas and buildings: the tradition is compared with the contemporaneity. And this dialogue is becoming a reality in architectural solutions which continue the brilliant spontaneity of the ancient masters of wall. This is the miracle of Ostana, a miracle that starts from the architecture and spreads around other fields: the economy and the culture. This miracle it is also hoped for the Occitan language that has ancient roots but it must be useful in today's life... not only in the Po valley, but also in all the Occitan valleys.