Valle del Tesso and Malone

Valle del Tesso e Malone - profilo

Valle del Tesso and Malone

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COASSOLO TORINESE

Coassolo (724 m), one of the biggest Valle Tesso municipalities, is situated on the Vaccarezza slopes.

As far as the Coassolo name is concerned, an old legend dating from the Black Death times tells of a man desperate cry “sono qui solo ” (I am here alone) when he realized being the last man alive in the village. According to other academics, instead, it could have origins in the Latin word coactus meaning “not free, prisoner” and for this reason it is possible to think the territory as being site for a penal colony. Others believe the name’s origin is from the Latin word covum “cova” and the diminutive suffix eolus, meaning small-excavated place.

Since the XIIth century, Coassolo’s history is bound to Lanzo’s. In the XVIth century all Lanzo Castle’s territories, that is Pessinetto, Mezzenile, Cantoira, Groscavallo, Ala, Ceres, Monastero and Coassolo, were incorporated in a feud granted by Duke Emanuele Filiberto to the Marquise of Este. The heavy duties imposed by the Marquise on the village inhabitants are still famous, particularly the 220 ducatoon milling duty. In 1615 Coassolo backed out of Lanzo’s domain and named a castle lord of its own. From 1792 up to Napoleonic times Coassolo became a feud of the Milanesio Counts.

After incorporation by the Sardinia-Piedmont Kingdom, its history became the same as Italy’s. We must not forget Coassolo inhabitants’ contribution to the partisan guerrilla and to the evacuated population during World War II.

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CORIO

Corio’s territory (625 m), on the boundary between the Lanzo Valleys and Alto Canavese, overlooks the high Malone Valley.   It fans out at the foot of mounts Soglio, Angiolino and Uja. This territory has an administrative center and many hamlets, the houses of which are all built with dry stone walls and slate roofs.

Many are the theories about the name’s origin: curia (meaning courtyard or barnyard of a larger built up area), corigo (due to the heart shape hamlets arrangement) or cor (Indo-European root meaning rock or height). It is possible to deduce from some toponyms that Corio was already inhabited before Roman colonization. Ivrea’s Museum preserves finds and artifacts, which, together with city planning, prove the existence of Roman settlements on the site.  Corio’s first document dates from the XIth century when the Benedictine nuns’ cloister was founded in Busano. Corio, bound for many years to Rocca Canavese by historical events, was administered by many lords: the Canavese Counts, the Valpergas, the Monferrato Marquises, the Castellamontes, the Biandrates, the Acaja Princes and finally the Savoy Kingdom, the vicissitudes of which it experienced.

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MONASTERO DI LANZO

Monastero di Lanzo’s territory is on the western lush side of Val Tesso (825 m). This valley is often pushed in the background even if it is rich of religious – artistic and landscapes attractions.

The name should originate from a cloister built by Benedictine friars: they ran away from Novalesa Abbey in the Susa Valley due to the Saracen invasion. The monastery, intended for spiritual exercises, silence and contemplation, was built near the nuns’ one that the San Mauro in Pulcherada Abbey, landowner of the site, had already built. The last evidence of the friars’ presence dates back to the XIIth century when they built a Romanesque stone bell tower that is nowadays a National Monument. In the XXth century the “Lanzo” attribute was added to the name Monastero so as to avoid anonymousness. Many hamlets are present on this territory but the largest and best known is, for sure, Chiaves. The “Parco della Resistenza e della Pace”, built in memory of the liberation conflict, offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding valleys. This hamlet’s peculiarities are the “chintane”, narrow alleys that penetrate the old center of the village. The best known of them certainly is the “Pintura” which connects Chiaves with Cresto hamlet.

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