The Dorca

SENTIERO PEDONALE RIMASCO – LA DORCA (intermediate stop) - CIMA CASTELLO signpost CAI N.367

First trail: RIMASCO – LA DORCA (intermediate stop)

Walking time: 1 h

Difference in altitude: 300 meters 

Difficulty level: medium

Starting from the parking area of Cà dell’Abate, next to our chair lift, we proceed for one kilometer on the main road towards Carcoforo and we reach locality Resiga, (sawmill) 953 m.

After crossing the bridge on torrent Egua, in proximity of a rural house, we find, on the right, the signpost to reach the Dorca village.

From this point starts an ancient and well conserved footpath completely made in stone, it is a real work of art that climbs the rocky wall with a constant slope, elevated sections, taking advantage of ledges and ravines until we reach a plain area which hosts the antique village of Dorca (1253 m.)

As already said, the village of Dorca has a very ancient origin, maybe pre-13th century, some experts suggest that the first inhabitants of the village would have been the Celtic people.

One of the most important building is the “Torba” of Dorca, a typical Walser house made of stone pillars on which the wooden beams rest, there is also a plaque that brings the date of 1276 as evidence of the ancient origin of this place.

At the present time, the village is uninhabited and it’s frequented only during summer holidays.

Besides the church, on which appears an inscription dated 1650, and some frescoes of religious motives located on the external walls of the houses, noteworthy are the representation of the flower of life and the stone fountain (20th century).

We point out that it’s under construction phase a system of rack that, when ended, will make the climb much easier with the aim of developing the tourism in this area.

Second trail: LA DORCA – CIMA CASTELLO

Walking time: 2 h 15 minutes

Difference in altitude: about 700 meters

Difficulty level: medium

Leaving the village of Dorca and proceeding at the border of pastures we reach the alp “Sui Prati” (1344 m.) then the “Cima dell’Oro”, followed by “Selletto di Sotto” and, at last, “Selletto di Sopra” (1646 m).

Along a less traveled path we reach other alps: “Castello” (1739 m) and “Casarolo” (1783 m),we pass just above the huts of “Alpe Vallé” going through a wood of alters.

Then we get to the ruins of an abandoned hut and turning left we arrive at “Colma Drosei”(1937 m).

From the pass, turning right just under the crest, following the track we reach, in a short while, “Cima Castello” (1985 m) over hanging on Rimasco.

From “Colma Drosei” you can descend on the opposite side along the itinerary with signpost N. 391 of Val Cavaione (Rossa or Boccioleto).

THE HISTORY OF DORCA VILLAGE

This village stands amphitheatrically in the centre of the Alps, and was one of the first places in the valley to be inhabited in a permanent way.

The stone mule track was designed at the beginning of the 20th century by geom. Pietro Antonietti of Fervento to facilitate access to the town.

The hamlet is of very ancient origin, perhaps before the 13th century, some experts think that the first inhabitants were Celts.

According to this hypothesis it seems that originally Dorca was a dependence of the not far Alpe Seccio, a place that lies beyond the watershed in Val Cavaione. This thesis is supported by the findings of rock engravings with crosses and cupels, and from an oral tradition telling that the dead were transported to be buried in the cemetery located there.

It is historically documented that Dorca was once part of Alpe Castello, owned by the Episcopal Mensa of Novara since the early 14th century, and whose management was entrusted to the Scarognini family of Varallo. The mountain pasture became a permanent inhabited center, founded by some Walser settlers from Rimella or Alagna.

The oldest written document in which the names of some inhabitants of Dorca are mentioned dates back to 1414, the year in which Milano Scarognini leased the alp of Dorca to the brothers Pietro and Zanetto Antonietti. Testimony of the antiquity of the place, as also remembered by a plaque bearing the date of 1276, is a typical house built with stone pillars on which the wooden beams, of clear Walser architectural matrix, rest.

On a column of a house appears the drawing of the “Sun of the Alps", an ancient solar symbol often used by Alpine peoples. The water that flows in the fountain, dating back to the 20th century, has characteristics similar to that of “Fiuggi”, according to the results of the laboratory tests carried out by the Institute of Chemistry of the Royal University of Pavia in 1939.

Cartina sentiero Dorca
Mappa del sentiero

Notes:

The final track which leads to “Cima Castello” is recommended only to expert hikers.

Walkable regulary

Type: hiking

Category: meadows, pastures, wooded sections

Difficulty: E – hikers

Recommended period: Spring – Summer – Autumn

It connects with the path: 391 – Colma Drosei

Website: caivarallo.it

“Thanks to Giorgio Capponi, Giorgio Dedominici and Simone Moretti for the kind concession of the photos"

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