Right in the heart of the Chisone valley, where the waters of the Germanasca flow into it, lies the medieval town of Perosa, that was for a long time a frontier town between the Dauphiné and the Savoy territories. It was first protected by the Castle on the hill, and then by the Bech Dauphin, of which the ruins remain, guarding the access road.
This is the real capital town of the valley, and was the site of textile factories in the nineteenth century. Today, Perosa is a holiday resort with the only swimming pool in the valley. It is home to the Mountain Community offices and still has its old bomb shelters in Gay Park, next to the permanent exhibition about the Resistance that is housed in the Anpi pavilion.
The Baroque parish church of Saint Genesius lies on the hill and contains sculptures by Augusto Rungaldier, confirming the importance of the town’s past, which unfolded in an environment of great charm. De Amicis described it thus in 1884: “Here is a wide basin, surrounded by steep rocks and flourishing crops, populated by factories, small gardens and villas, in which Perosa shines white and gives off smoke.” Perosa – literally “pietrosa”, meaning “stony” – is the site of stone quarries, in an area where at one time silver was also mined.
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