OverviewLa Petite Turrà (France, Region Rhone-Alpes Department: Savoy), dominated by its 2507 meters, the Col du Mont Cenis.
It is located at Nor-West of the Hill and, although not being one of the highest peaks of the mountain arc around the lake of Mont Cenis, it is certainly one of the most beautiful scenic locations throughout the area.
La Petite Turrà is a real balcony on Savoy, is a natural observatory, is a paradise for the eyes (the view over the Vanoise and the lake is uncomparable).
Also in August, the area is often whipped by icy winds from the north, but this is not a limitation of the place, but rather a further boost to visit.
The Petite Turrà sky is always incredibly clear and blue.
Getting ThereFrom Turin:
take the A32 motorway Turin-Bardonecchia, exit the Town of Susa (35' by car); then follow the indications for the Hill of MontCenis. You have to do the route that follow the ancient path of the Napoleonic Road (It's thank to him if the most important Hills between France and Piedmont were finally opened with modern routes). You have to do nine chilometers to reach the beautiful plateau of MontCenis (approx 20' by car). Don't forget that in the late autumn, the first snow could cover the last bends of the road (Scale del Moncenisio), then if you go with a fourweeler it is better!.
Once you has arrived at the Lake, you have to continue in direction Hill of Montcenis.
You park your car at the Granges of Ramasse location, where start the dirt road direction La Petite Turrà.
Trail DescriptionThe starting point of the road to Petit Turrà is located at the Granges "Ramasse" (2.030m.).
Before you get on the bike, take a look at the south wall of the Petit Turrà is overhanging on the Col du Mont Cenis, you will see in the rock the gun embrasures of the French fortress. They look like the eye sockets of a giant.
From those holes, in June 1940, a handful of French soldiers with two guns prevented thousands of Italian soldiers to pass the hill.
The path climbs steeply through a forest of larch, following the south-east side of the mountain, at some point encountered a wooden gate that you can pass (remember to close it, otherwise escape the cows).
After drawing an arc around the northern side of the mountain, reach the Combe de Clery (2120m.), where you move on the North side of Le Grand Coin
Up to a hut and a small chapel, off to your left (south) the dirt road that leads to the Pas de La Beccia and the Fort of Petit Turrà.
Sweep down the long stretch of dirt road, irregular and very stony, which will take you to 2380 m. almost to the bottom of the Combe de Clery.
Continuing along the dirt road on the west side of the Petit Turrà, pass through the military village and then up to 2507 meters of the fortress itself.
It is amonumental entrance with a large number of defensive slits for riflemen.
Once you are in the passed parade of the fort, with spectacular views to the north of the Massif de la Vanoise, and to the south a complete panorama that goes from Lake Monceniso to all the lower Susa Valley.
The visit of the fortress is possible and very impressive (especially the tunnels dug into the rock), you just have with you waterproof clothing and two light torches.
When to BikeSummer, Early Autumn.
In Short.Start: the Ramasse 2030m.
Arrival: the Petite Turrà 2507m.
Difference in altitude: 480m.
7 km path length.
Rocky dirt road.
Travelling time: 1.45 hours.
Montcenis Lake in the twenties
Mont Cenis:everything that is gone!Montcenis July 1943(rare Agfa color slide).
The graphic reconstruction emphasizes the water level after the construction(1967) of the E.D.F. dam (Electricité de France).
The nineteenth-century hospice of Moncenisio, the small cemetery, pastures and huts of the shepherds, the islands of the lake...everything disappears under water.
The plateau of Mont Cenis forever changed his image.