The Lanzo Valleys bear witness of the many processes which, in the course of various geological eras, created and later shaped a small part of the Alps range. The geo-sites, geological and geomorphologic sites, prove the territory landscape evolution. Geotourism makes it possible to promote these natural monuments of which the Lanzo Valleys are particularly rich. Itineraries and hikes combine trekking amusement to the geological treasure discovery.
Many geo-structural forms (tied to the rock fracture systems) are present. In Val Grande, the Pera Ciapel (“hat stone”) is similar to a “stone mushroom”. Bec Ceresin (1708 m) is the most curious tower in the Lanzo Valleys and the square Roc d’le Masche boulder is tied to fairies’ legends.
The old glacial structures are standing out. The Bec di Mea (1546 m) rocky cusp, the various glacial erratics such as the one near the Cantoira Vrù hamlet, the moraines left by ancient Pleistocene glaciers occupying our valleys, the Piazzetto frontal moraine in the high Val di Viù are the most outstanding. Many other glacial landscape structures may be observed on the Pian della Mussa, Piana di Usseglio plains and in the Malciaussia glacial hollow.
Water has also shaped, and still does, different structures: the magnificent Gorgia di Balme and the Gorgia di Mondrone on the Stura di Ala stream, the famous Marmitte dei Giganti del Ponte del Diavolo at Lanzo, but, for sure, the Castej d’le Rive, Val Grande characteristic earth pyramids, stand out.
The Block stream del Complesso Ultrabasico di Lanzo is certainly of particular interest. It is a wide geo-site formed by peridotite rubble flows, being the largest surfacing of Earth’s mantel rocks in the world. Furthermore, the Lanzo Valleys also offer an example of Karst structure: the Grotte di Pugnetto. These are particular underground cavities in the Western Alps, which developed in quarzite schist grounds, not in calcareous soil.
Finally, the many mining sites scattered on the territory have been very important for these Valleys. They have favored the economic development from the Middle Ages to the second half of the XIXth century, particularly with iron, copper and silver mining.