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Valprato Soana, Province of Torino, Piedmont

It is located in Val Soana, at the border with the Aosta Valley, at the junction of two valleys, one rising towards Campiglia Soana and the other towards Piamprato. The area is also included in the Gran Paradiso National Park.

Info

  • Population: about 120 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 10080
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0124
  • Patron Saint: St. Silverio, celebrated on the Sunday before the last in July
  • Frazioni & Localities: Campiglia Soana, Piamprato.

History

The first documents date back to the early medieval settlements under King Arduino and later the Valperga Counts; in the twelfth and thirteenth century the valley was divided between Guelphs and Ghibellines. In 1356 the Ghibelline Valpergas formally swore allegiance to Amadeus V of Savoy. In the fifteenth century Valprato was ravaged by the rebellion of the Tuchini, who found support in the Monferrato counts. The Savoy were able to settle the pauper rebellion with a sort of amnesty and a restoration of the status quo.

In later centuries there was a growing economic development thanks to the noble tradition of the Magnin, or tinkers, who became famous in France and Switzerland. The loss of this tradition was followed by depopulation. During WW2 Valprato Soana was home to various groups of partisan fighters and, therefore, suffered devastation and reprisals during the German retreat in 1944.

What to see

  • The Sanctuary of San Besso at 2047 meters a.s.l., near the spur where the holy martyr was precipitated. Besso was a member of the famous Theban Legion, coming from Thebes among the first to convert to Christianity. This legion was moved by Emperor Maximilian in the Alps in 286 to fight the Gauls. The legend says that since some of the Gauls had already converted to Christianity, the Theban refused to fight and mutinied, led by St. Maurice.

Genealogy & Links