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Set of documentaries and shows, books and movies (such as the post-apocalyptic film La città dell’ultima paura by Carlo Ausino), Monte Musinè is probably the most well-known non-mountaineering attraction in Piedmont and perhaps in Italy.
Its fame is attributed to the numerous sightings of unidentified flying objects, the legends, and the mystical and esoteric atmosphere that surround the place.
The map: Monte Musinè Caselette (TO)
In the map below, we have indicated historical points of interest in brown, natural sites in green, and itineraries and trails in blue.
To visit Monte Musinè, it is very convenient to base yourself in Alpignano and reach it through the cycle path that crosses the countryside next to State Road 24 or in the large camper parking area in Val della Torre.
We have also marked supermarkets and minimarkets, as well as parking areas where parking is allowed for campers or vans as of June 2023. Finally, we have indicated points where water can be obtained.
Please note that all this information, as well as the tolerance for parking, may change in the future.
Geography and geology of Monte Musinè
Located only 12 km from Turin, Monte Musinè is the closest mountain to the capital. On clear days, it offers an excellent panoramic view from its summit. The Musinè is also visible from other provinces in Piedmont.
Despite its modest height, from its peaks, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city of Turin, the Po Valley, and the surrounding valleys and mountains.
The Musinè is one of the best examples of surface outcrop of the Earth’s mantle: a large slab of continental mantle uplifted and brought to the surface by tectonic rifting movements.
Since it has not undergone the metamorphism that affected most of the Alpine chain, the rocks that make it up are very close to their original state.
History of Monte Musinè
Musinè in Prehistory
Archaeological investigations carried out on Monte Musinè have revealed pre- and protohistoric remains, such as traces of a hut from the late Bronze Age (around 1700 BC) on the border between Val della Torre and Caselette, between the old magnesite quarries and the large lake of Caselette.
Musinè in the Iron Age
The Late Iron Age is instead documented by several findings in the territory of Almese, such as the various ceramic artifacts found near Monte Truc Randolera and in Caselette, on the top of Moncalvo, a probable ritual site at Rocchette (3rd-1st century BC), and at a point just below the summit.
A more recent discovery is the aforementioned Cerchio di Airal, in the hamlet of Brione di Val della Torre.*
Musinè during the Roman Empire
In the Augustan age, in the last years of the 1st century BC, the area of Musinè, already inhabited by the Celts, came under the rule of Rome. Traces remain in the remains of the ancient Roman aqueduct of Musinè and of two contemporary buildings right at the foot of the mountain: a rural villa in Caselette in the Pian area and a larger residential villa in Almese near Grange di Rivera.
Musinè in the Middle Ages
At least since the medieval period, Musinè represented a territory of common uses for the communities settled at its foot, such as timber reserves, grazing land, and gathering places for herbs and wild fruits. It was the mountain of the village. It owes its name to the Late Medieval Latin mons Vicinea, from vicus (village).
Modern and contemporary age
For centuries, the periodic cutting of coppice woodland on Musinè has been an important source of income for the municipality of Caselette.
In addition to pastures, plants, and firewood, the mountain was important because it collected the water from the fountains, channeled to supply the village, and for the extraction of magnesite, already used by the Romans for the floors of the rural villa, but becoming a real mining activity after the mid-19th century, the only industrial activity in Caselette until the post-war period.
Points of interest
The Musinè Park
The mountain is part, together with the lakes of Caselette, of the Site of Community Interest (SCI) of the European network Natura 2000 (continental ecological network) under the name Monte Musinè and Laghi di Caselette.
The Musinè Park, which offers a wide range of outdoor activities such as hiking, panoramic walks, and cycling routes.
With its green meadows, ancient woods, and breathtaking views, the Musinè Park is indeed an oasis of tranquility that allows visitors to relax and regenerate in contact with nature. Here, it is possible to practice trekking, mountain biking, and climbing, enjoying an immersive experience in nature.
The most popular trail starts from the sports field of Caselette and follows the entire southeast ridge. Passing through the various stations of the Musinè Via Crucis one by one, you reach the sanctuary of Sant’Abaco, then take the path behind it and walk along the southeast crest for about an hour to reach the summit.
Numerous other well-marked trails starting from Almese, Rivera, Milanere, and Val della Torre allow you to explore the mountain, discovering breathtaking panoramas and various places of historical and natural interest, including the remains of a Roman aqueduct, two Roman villas, centuries-old pine forests, a moraine pond, and perfectly preserved ancient magnesite quarries.
Winter Sports Activities
Due to the absence of snow, skiing and other winter sports are not practiced on Musinè.
However, in the early 1970s, on the eastern slope of the mountain, near the current Primavalle naturalistic area, the Villaggio Primavalle was built, which housed the Musinè Sports Center (of which some foundations remain near the educational pond). Here, on synthetic material slopes, downhill and cross-country skiing could be practiced in every season.
The area of the former village has naturally rewilded, and species threatened elsewhere have settled there.
The Cross of Monte Musinè and the Orientation Table
On the summit, consisting of a large grassy square with exposed rocks, a white cross made of 15-meter reinforced concrete was erected in 1901, making it easy to distinguish Musinè from all the other surrounding mountains.
On the summit, there is also a stainless steel orientation table indicating the main visible mountains.
The Roman Villas and the remains of the Roman Aqueduct
Musinè is rich in ancient history, with Celtic and Roman sites that testify to the passage and influence of these two civilizations in this area.
In our exploration, we followed the ancient paths and visited all the important sites of interest: the remains of the Roman aqueduct and the Roman Villas of Caselette and Almese.
The Roman Aqueduct of Musinè is an extraordinary testament to the engineering skills of the ancient Romans. This water supply system was built to provide drinking water to the cities and Roman settlements in the region.
The aqueduct, with its majestic but now vanished arches and its solid structure that has endured for millennia, stretches for several kilometers through the Musinè territory and represents an impressive hydraulic engineering work.
The Roman Villa of Caselette, like the one in Almese, where the rooms and spaces that constituted the rooms are still distinguishable in the basements, are further evidence of Roman presence.
Unfortunately, the visiting hours of the two civil buildings are limited to a few days a year, and we hope that the municipality will find a solution to make this historical heritage more accessible.
The Sanctuary of S. Abaco (16th century)
The Sanctuary of Caselette has uncertain origins: the first documents mentioning it date back to 1551, and a bell tower was built between 1765 and 1770.
The path that leads to it is the result of Sunday volunteer work by young people from the village, encouraged by Count Cays.
Since 1854, along the ascent, the stations of the Via Crucis have been built. Don Bosco, who visited Caselette during those years, describes this Via Crucis as a speaking monument of the piety and religion of the people of Caselette.
The religious feast of Sant’Abaco is celebrated on January 19th. On the preceding Saturday, an afternoon of festivities takes place at the sanctuary, culminating in a torchlight procession descending from the sanctuary to the village.
The Magnesite Quarries of Musinè
The Magnesite Quarries of Musinè are evidence of the mining activity that characterized the region over the centuries.
These quarries already provided the material used for the floors of the Roman rural villa of Pian, but it was from 1875, thanks to Luigi Sery and Giovanni Mallion, two entrepreneurs from Pinerolo, that the mineral extraction in the area took on industrial proportions.
Magnesite was then used in the manufacturing of porcelain and as a refractory material for furnace linings.
The mining activity continued until the outbreak of World War II when the quarry was abandoned.
The landscape of the Magnesite Quarries of Caselette presents a lunar appearance to visitors. From the green forest, one transitions to an area characterized by sparse vegetation and sandy yellowish-white dunes, except for a few pines that grow with force among them.
Until recently, the remains of carts used to transport the extracted material downstream were present on-site.
Musinè: Myths, Legends, Mysteries, and Magic
Monte Musinè is particularly loved and attracts mystery enthusiasts, occultism enthusiasts, and ufologists as it is a center of myths, legends, documented unexplained events, and has always been considered an esoteric site.
Some argue that the mountain is a radiant spiritual catalyst point for mysterious routes or orthogonal lines, while others claim more forcefully that it is a gathering and collecting place for magical herbs used by the masche (the Piedmontese term for witches).
This latter fact seems to be confirmed by historical testimonies, at least in past eras. It is certain, however, that its (real or imagined) history has led practitioners of Wicca and other neo-pagan religions imbued with magic to gather here to celebrate special occasions.
The UFOs of Musinè
Musinè is particularly known internationally as a place of UFO sightings.
Over the years, Musinè has indeed recorded a high number of alleged UFO sighting reports. Eyewitnesses have reported sightings of unidentified flying objects moving anomalously in the sky above the mountains, bright lights, and objects of unusual shapes performing rapid and silent movements.
Explanations for the UFOs in Musinè are varied and debated.
Some suggest that they could be secretly developed advanced technology devices by governments or military agencies.
Others believe that Musinè harbors a genuine alien base, as evidenced by the ongoing UFO sightings, the presence of nightly will-o’-the-wisps, and streams where water flows against gravity.
Some more skeptical theories attribute the sightings to natural phenomena such as meteors or optical illusions.
The mystery of UFOs in Musinè has sparked great interest among UFO enthusiasts, researchers, and local communities, becoming the subject of investigations, books, and documentaries on the phenomenon, and significantly impacting the collective imagination, attracting visitors from around the world.
Alien Abduction in Musinè
Among the testimonies of alien encounters on Monte Musinè, the most disturbing one is related to an alleged alien abduction on Monte Musinè that took place on December 8, 1978.
Two hikers noticed a point from which an intense light was coming: one of them disappeared after approaching it.
With the help of other hikers present at the site of the disappearance, the companion began the search for his friend, who was eventually found in a state of shock with an evident burn on his leg.
After recovering from the trance state, he reported approaching an elongated-shaped vehicle from which several beings emerged and touched and lifted him. Both witnesses suffered from conjunctivitis for a certain period.
The Mysterious Inscription of Musinè
Curious is the inscription on the small pillar at the summit, which reads:
Here is the One Antenna of the Seven Electrodynamic Points, which from its living incandescent core breathes and emits life throughout the Earth. Here operate the Astral Entities that were: Hatshepsut, Echnaton, Jesus Christ, Abraham, Confucius, Muhammad, Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Francis of Assisi, and even You, if you want, for the constructive brotherhood among all Peoples. Think about it intensely for 3 minutes: Thought is Construction.
The Exile of Herod
There are legends that narrate that it was a temporary place of exile for the king of Judea, Herod the Great, as atonement for the Massacre of the Innocents described in the Gospel according to Matthew, before returning to Jericho, where he died.
In hoc signo vinces
According to others, it was precisely here that the flaming cross with the inscription In hoc signo vinces (in this sign you will conquer) appeared to Constantine the Great in 312 on the eve of the so-called Battle of Turin between the army of Constantine and that of Maxentius, during the civil war following the death of Constantius Chlorus.
The Hidden Treasure
One of the most well-known legends of Musinè speaks of a hidden treasure in a mountain cavity. It is said that a great fortune was concealed there, but no one has ever been able to find it. According to the legend, the treasure is protected by spells and guardian spirits that will only allow those with a pure heart to discover its location.
The Spirits of the Mountain
According to another legend, Musinè is inhabited by mysterious spirits that protect the mountain and its secrets.
These spirits, known as the Elders of Musinè, considered the guardians of the mountain’s nature and spiritual balances, only appear to those who show respect and devotion to the mountain, offering their protection.
Many hikers and visitors have reported sightings and encounters with these entities, further fueling the atmosphere of magic and mystery that surrounds the mountain.
The Mysterious Wind
Another legend surrounding Musinè involves a mysterious wind that blows through its peaks. It is said that this wind brings good omens and has the power to heal diseases and ward off evil spirits.
Many people visit Musinè in the hope of feeling the mysterious wind and benefiting from its alleged healing properties. This legend has helped create a reputation for Musinè as a sacred place with great energetic power.
The Forbidden Love
A sad and romantic legend about Musinè tells the story of a forbidden love between a young peasant girl and a nobleman.
It is said that the two would secretly meet in the valleys adjacent to Musinè, finding refuge among its forests and rocks, but their families disapproved of their relationship and tried to separate them.
According to the legend, the two lovers disappeared mysteriously, and their souls merged with the mountain, creating an aura of romance and sadness around Musinè.
The Secret Passage
One of the most fascinating myths about Musinè involves the existence of a secret passage that would connect the mountain to distant lands.
According to the legend, this hidden passage was used by kings and nobles in the past to escape in times of danger. However, the entrance to the passage remains a mystery, and only a few lucky ones would have had the privilege to discover it and cross it.
The Werewolf’s Cave
The last, but perhaps the most well-known legend of Musinè, widely told at local summer camps, speaks of a werewolf hiding in a cave on the mountain (perhaps in the tunnels of one of the ancient mines of Val della Torre) and coming down to the surrounding villages to kidnap victims and bring them to its lair on full moon nights.
Practical Tips and Recommendations
Before embarking on a cycling or trekking route on Musinè, it is important to take some precautions and follow practical advice.
Make sure you are adequately equipped with hiking or cycling shoes, clothing suitable for the weather conditions, and sufficient water and food.
Bring a trail map with you and use a satellite navigator to orient yourself along the paths.
Being particularly exposed to the sun and characterized by sparse vegetation, the most suitable period for climbing is from October to May.
It is important to visit this mountain with respect for nature and the rules of behavior, contributing to its protection for future generations. Carry your waste with you, avoiding damaging the local flora and fauna.
Beware of pine processionary caterpillars, which can be harmful to human and animal health.
Musinè is a natural wonder that combines history, beauty, and mystery. Its millennia-old history, its beauty, and the legends surrounding it create a unique atmosphere that fascinates and captures the imagination.
If you have the opportunity to visit this fascinating peak and explore the many trails that climb it, don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in its history and myths. We are certain that this journey will be an unforgettable experience for you, as it has been for us, leaving a lasting memory.
Credits: “Il Musinè si specchia nel lago di Avigliana” - photo by Elio Pallard