Located in a large grassy amphitheatre at the top of the Val Grande, the village of Palanfrè consists of a handful of stone huts connected to the municipal administrative centre by a paved provincial road. Abandoned in the seventies, the village was the centre of greatest importance in the Val Grande, the valley which, with its villages and roofs, counted more than 2000 inhabitants at the beginning of the 20th century. Precisely because of this importance, the village has been progressively redeveloped since the 1980s: the ruins of the old houses have been restored by the owners and some agricultural and tourist businesses have been set up which have allowed families to settle all year round in the village. Today in Palanfrè two families of livestock breeders reside permanently; their herds use almost all the grazing land available in the Reserve, divided between the Vallone degli Albergh and the wide valley of Pianard.
The village is the starting point for numerous hiking tours that go up the alpine ridge, among which the Via dei Tetti stands out, described in the specific sheet. The small settlement represents one of the most successful works of redevelopment and recovery of rural alpine architecture in the province. Housing, accommodation and production facilities have in fact been restored with great care to the construction characteristics of the Alpine area and the village is characterized by a constructive coherence that gives the visitor a sense of homogeneity and rarely noticeable authenticity.