Ostana is one of the municipalities of the upper Po valley, placed in the Cuneo province, in the western Piedmont (north-west of Italy).
The Po Valley is one of the shortest of the Occitan valleys: from the Padan plain, in a few dozen kilometres it reaches an altitude of 3841 meters above sea level with the peak of Monviso, that dominates the western horizon.
From Ostana you can easily reach the other two villages of the upper valley, Oncino and Crissolo.
Oncino lays on the right-hand side of the valley and was famous for its fine pastures and large herds of cattle. The first alpine refuge of the Italian Alpine Club was built near Alpetto lake and is now flanked by a new building. From Oncino many paths set out across the crest toward Val Varaita.
On the left-hand side of the Po river you can find Crissolo which is the last village of the valley before reaching Pian del Re. This is the site of the great peat bog where the Po river first sees the light and home of the black salamander, the symbol of the territory. From Pian del Re many trails branch out toward the surrounding mountain peaks of Monviso, Punta Roma, Punta Udine and Granero, and toward the lakes that lie at their feet. Departing from Pian del Re, a trail leads to Buco di Viso, the first tunnel in the Alps, built in 1478 by the Marquis of Saluzzo. The sanctuary of San Chiaffredo belongs to the territory of Crissolo and is worth a visit.
The Po valley in its lowest part surrounds the Bracco Mountain (Monte Bracco) with its signs of prehistoric man and reaches the Padan plain at Revello which, with Staffarda, Rifreddo and Barge, used to be the sites of abbeys and at present represent the most important medieval monuments of the area.
For more information about Po Valley and other Occitan Valleys visit the sites:
www.cuneoholiday.com (see the download area) www.ghironda.com www.alps.it