During our trip we crossed many borders without even noticing. One exception was the Stramil path, for once a physical border.
The Stramil is a path located high in the mountains between France and Italy at an altitude between 1000 and 2000 meters. It has been recently renewed and reopened. It plays an important role in the relationship between Italy and France since it crosses 39 km of both French and Italian grounds.
Why is the walking path worth a visit? First of all: the landscape is fantastic. High mountains, deep valleys, rivers and waterfalls. Nature shows everything it has to offer! Secondly: The Stramil path has a long history. It was used in the Middle Ages for the trade of salt and other goods among the villages on both sides of the mountains. For this reason, it’s often referred to as La via del sale, literally the “Old Salt Road”. During the Second World War the route was used for military purposes and enlarged. During all its existence the Stramil helped people connect. Even marriages and love stories started up there!
If you want to travel along the route, you have several options. You can hike, cycle or drive. However, be aware that the car will not drive you everywhere as the road gets impracticable. We started our trip 20 km away from the French-Italian border in the Italian city of Ormea. Our van took us up until the small town of Briga Alta. From there, the road was still visible, but completely covered in snow. We could not drive or walk any further. Not with our van and certainly not with our sneakers.
Be well-prepared for the hike and see what the Stramil has to offer to you!