Rassa is a small mountain village at 917m, located in the province of Vercelli, in Upper Valsesia. Dating back to the Twelfth Century the village has remained intact and continues to be one of the most beautiful in Valsesia.
Located at the confluence between the River Gronda and the River Sorba, the village houses flank the turquoise waters that descend to the main river of the valley, The Sesia.
The village is therefore an ideal base for exploration excursions of the Val Gronda and Val Sorba where there are numerous ancient paths. There are countless day hikes to enjoy or hiking trails with several days trekking programs to fully immerse yourself in the surrounding nature.
This incredible setting of rivers, pastures, lakes, mountains and forests constantly changes with the passing of seasons and has always something to offer throughout the year.
At the entrance of the village is a sign "Welcome to the Valle dei Tremendi". The name evokes old legends but also historical episodes that refer to the "hardening" and the strength of character of the inhabitants who fought and still struggle against the adversity of nature in a closed and cold valley. Valle dei Tremendi is also a reference to the story of Fr Dolcino and Margherita.
Fr. Dolcino(1250-1307) was a preacher described as a heretic inspired by Franciscan theories burned at the stake in 1307. He lived with his companion Margherita and his followers for the last two years on the top of an inaccessible mountain near the village of Rassa, the Calva Wall, and has left an important mark in the culture of the Valley. Its history is very controversial: on the one hand, the Church recognizes him as a heretic and who wants at all costs to silence it to avoid being told "uncomfortable" truth and on the other the history of the people, the oppressed and hungry people who sees in Dolcino and in his words a way of salvation, the "escape" from the oppression and the injustice of "power".
His own death and that of the beautiful Margherita and all his followers are, however, an escape from oppression, the ultimate desire for rejection of injustice, the desire and the attainment of freedom .... Fra Dolcino's story, though still rejected by the Catholic Church, is in our hearts, in the hearts of the people of the valley.
Today, the peaceful village of Rassa is home to 30 permanent residents. This figure rises to around 150 during the summer months, as "many" people come to spend their holidays in the mountains to escape the heat of the city.
The village has three restaurants, each with their own unique character, offering a different dining experience and all offer the tasty traditional cuisine of the valley. There is a small bar in the Village "Il Circolo dei Tremendi" with a small grocery store. You will also find a Tabaccheria that sells a bit of everything. Each year on August 15th Rassa celebrates the "Festa del Mirtillo" (Blueberry Festival). Here you can taste the blueberries with sugar and fresh cream, sweets and cakes made from blueberries or taste a variety of grappa including blueberry. Walk along the village streets amidst the countless stalls selling typical local produce such as cheese and honey or local crafts.
The Alps are our mountains, one of the environments of our continent where nature is more evocative and often severe. The people that occupy this area, both North and South, have developed their own social activities and traditions by adapting to this environment, maintaining rural life systems, often isolated and not conditioned by rapid social evolution. Tourism has partly changed this condition, bringing well-being but too often by radically modifying the environment and traditions.
Fortunately, there are still small natural oasis’s where life has remained like that of a hundred years ago, where man's work perfectly integrates with the surrounding environment where houses and villages are born from rock and wood in an old tradition of a thousand years. Rassa is one of these privileged places: a few minutes drive away from the main Valsesia valley it is like being transported by time machine into the past, breathing pure air and reliving a slower harmonic life.
The passing of turquoise water under the bridges, melting snow in the spring to leave place to a thousand varieties of scented flowers, warm summer days eventually changing to the colors of autumn and the fresh, crisp days of winter. Here the seasons come and go and here the pace of life gives us time to enjoy each one for its impressive beauty.
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