Since the 30's, Emenegildo Zegna had been designing and financing the panoramic road linking Trivero to Andrate, in the Canavese region and which still has his name. He changed the Triverese mount in a garden in harmony with nature, by promoting the planting of thousands of firs, rhododendrons and hydrangeas. The E. Zegna group, created the Zegna Oasis, aiming at going on with the founder's work, with the same care he had towards his land of birth. The project has been developed along the 26km Zegna panoramic road between Trivero and Rosazza. It aims at increasing the value of the territory and it offers the visitor the real opportunity to get in touch with nature, by using a new sign system.
THE GOLD BEETLE
A very rare and iridescent coleopter called Carabo (Carabus olympiae) is the symbol of the Zegna Oasis.
A midsummer day in 1854, Ms Olimpia Sella came across a little dead body, walking near the Bocchetto Sessera: an insect, an iridescent coleopter never seen before. She was the cousin of Eugenio Sella, a popular entomologist, so she gave him that wonderful insect. He suddenly understood that it was an unknown species, so in Spring they went hunting. The first specimen was called Carabus olympiae sella, in the lucky founder's honour. After that, teams of researchers rallied as well as greedy insect traffickers, and after years of unrestrained captures, a Carabus was as difficult to find as the philosopher's stone. But thanks to the interventions made by famous European entomologists in the early 40's, the basis for the protection of this precious coleopter were laid. Nowadays the Carabo is protected by a law of the Piedmont region.
Many sports can be made without damaging the natural environment, thanks to the special natural conformation of the Zegna Oasis territory and to the many facilities existing from the beginning of the Panoramic road construction. Besides hiking, there are some winter sports: mountain-biking is very important, because of the many routes, most of which are closed to the traffic and run across the wild nature of the Alta Valsessera.
The air sports are supported by the endless draughts coming from the plain: paraglinding and sailplaning; moreover, it is possible to go horsing, to practice sports climbing in natural gyms, to play bowls in the Stavello pitches and tennis in Caulera, or the amusing summer bob-sledding on the Bielmonte track. Many openings and panoramic places are ideal for bird watching.
TRAILS FOR MOUNTAIN BIKE
In the Zegna Oasis, three trails are clearly marked and signed where you can mountain-biking, starting and ending to the Bocchetto Sessera.
A ITINERARY: "Artignaga tour": length, 9 km; everage time, 1h; not very demanding difficulty (within everybody's reach); total rise, 80 m.
B ITINERARY: "Bielmonte- Moncerchio tour": length, 8.5km; everage time, 1h; medium demanding difficulty; total rise, 200m.
C ITINERARY: "Valley tour" (Piana del Ponte, Selletto Grosso, Dolca and back): length, 22 km; everage time, 2h 30 min; medium demanding difficulty (some descents are very hard); total rise, 550m. You can also cut in half this itinerary, coming back from Selletto Grosso).
HOW TO REACH IT
The Zegna Oasis lies in the Biellese Alps, in the Biella Province. Trivero is the starting point of the tour and it is about 110km from Milan, by car and 99km from Turin (A4 motorway TO-MI, exit of Carisio, take the Biella's direction for a short time, then turn to the right to Strada Panoramica Zegna (Zegna Panoramic Road) to Cossato, Vallemosso and Trivero.
It is a tourist resort, at 1500 of altitude, placed inside the Zegna Oasis, about 12km from Trivero. In winter, 20km of downhill ski runs, with lift stations and 20km cross country ski trail are available. It offers every kind of runs and especially suitable for families, beginners and snow-boarders. In the other seasons, Bielmonte is the ideal place for walks, by horse or by mountain-bike.