Nestled in the Western Italian Alps, a stone’s throw away from the French border, Sauze d’Oulx is a trendy year round resort in the province of Turin, located on the Via Lattea, or Milky Way, a skiers’ paradise spanning 400 kilometres linked by a network of about 100 lifts.
Known as the “Balcony of the Alps” for its especially scenic position 1500 metres above sea level, Sauze unites a perfect combination of natural beauty and historic charm with access to both groomed runs and bucolic off-pistes.
Sunny Sauze is not only one of Italy’s most up and coming winter ski resorts, but also a summer retreat ideal for activities like mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding and golfing.
With over 30 restaraunts, bars, pubs and clubs, the vibrant town, expanding around a typical alpine village, offers a vast selection of dining and nightlife options.
Build around 1532 with the help of the local population, it was concescrated in 1538 by the Bishop of Apt. The building was seriously damaged during clashes and repeated incursions with the Valdesi religious movement, who were remembered for robbing and destroying the churches in this valley, burning furnishings and archives. The main alter was built by a local craftsman from Thures at the beginning of the 18th century (successively repainted by a master guilder from Pragelato using no less than six thousand gold leaves). Its main feature is a border made of carved wooden columns that frame an illustration of the baptism of Christ. On the baptism font (1540), made out of green marble from Foresto , there is a sculpture of the Dauphin of France coat of arms and excellent craftsmanship you can find the lock (1534) made out of wrought iron on the side door.
The steeple, in false Romanesque style, has a square base and is divided into 5 floors. On this has been erected a very tall central spire made out of octagonal sections and embellished by 4 smaller triangular spires. In the old part of the town, next to the building that once housed the council offices, is the church dedicated to the Saints Joseph and Rocco.
In Jouvenceaux you can find the the chapel of Sant’Antonio Abate. There are many chapels in the valley dedicated to this saint , and he was often pictured with a pig at his feet. From the beginning of the 7th century the Antoniani monks used the fat from pigs to help the needy ,and to sooth the suffering of the sick they would dust the scabs of those who had ergotism, commonly known as St Anthony’s Fire. The big T in “TAU” that the monks wore round their necks appeared in the churches where the monks worked, and you can also find it above the door in the Chapel of St Antonio Abate. The paintings on the walls have been dated back to end of the fourth century – beginning of the fifth century and have been attributed to art school of the Serra brothers. The paintings , evidence of the search for Christian values in the troubled medieval times, picture the Universal judgement, Heavenly Jerusalem, St Micheal, the Annunciation, the good and the bad communion, St Anthony, the Confession, St Christopher. The chapel possesses a papal bull from 1498 in which it promises special pardons to those who would restore it in the case of “probable ruin”
Around Sauze there are a number of small religious buildings, The Chapel of St Andrew at Tachier, the privately owned chapel at Richardette, the Madonna of the Snow next to the mountain refuge Ciao Pais, and the Chapel of Saints Vittorino and Letizia at the experimental centre Vittorino Vezzani.
The fountain of Sauze d’oulx, built in the 16th century as were most of the fountains in the Upper Valley, is octagonal in shape and can be found next to the church of St John the Baptist. Originally it was in the small square beside the old communal bakery near the church of St Rocco and St Joseph. It was moved manually to its present location by the local population of Sauze.
To be noted is the fountain at the northern entrance to Jouvenceaux. Characterised by its round shaped stones, it bares the mitered coat of arms of the Abbots of the Provost of St Lawrence in Oulx. It was placed there (during the times of Napoleon) following the dispersion of material assets of the Provosts themselves. The other one has three sculpted stones, the first with the French coat of arms, the second with the date 1555 and the third is decorated with a lily and a dolphin.
A Sauze d’Oux si producono varie qualità di patate, tutte ottime: le patate di montagna di Sauze d’Oulx sono squisite anche solamente bollite, ogni qualità si presta, poi, ad un diverso utilizzo nelle varie pietanze. Ogni anno nella prima metà di settembre si svolge la tradizionale Sagra della Patata: una giornata di festa con pranzo con menù a base di patate di montagna e mercatino dei prodotti di Sauze d’Oulx.
Formaggi di Alpeggio
Condividono con le patate il primo posto dei prodotti tipici di Sauze d’Oulx, specialmente i formaggi prodotti ad alta quota, dai vari alpeggi e all’ex Istituto Sperimentale Alpino: Murianeng, Reblochon, Sbrinz, Seiras del Fen … e poi burro e yogurt di di ottima qualità e purezza. Da soli o utilizzati in cucina, i latticini di alpeggio sono veri e propri sapori per gourmet e palati raffinati, oltre che un apporto fenomenale dal punto di vista nutritivo.
A fine agosto, analogamente a come accade per le patate, si svolge la Sagra del Formaggio, il menù del pranzo è, ovviamente, a base di formaggi locali.
Miele, erbe officinali, liquori
Le benefiche proprietà e il sapore del miele di montagna, sono ormai rinomati. Un pò meno conosciuti sono gli utilizzi e le proprietà delle erbe officinali che rappresentavano un enorme patrimonio di conoscenza per i nostri nonni. A Sauze d’Oulx si producono ottimi liquori di genziana e genepì
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