Old town centre and sundials

The town is located 10km from Cuneo, on the Colle di Tenda main road, where the Gesso and Vermenagna Valleys meet.

Typology Building

Period Various

Accessibility Yes

Visitable Yes

There is certain news of an enclosed settlement referable to the current town of Roccavione from the second half of the twelfth century, but the origin of the city is often linked by historical tradition to the Castrum Auriatensium, a Roman settlement mentioned by sources of the II and III centuries, probably located at the confluence of the Vermenagna and Gesso streams.

The historical vicissitudes of Roccavione and the alleged settlements that preceded it generally follow the coordinates of southern Piedmont. In the Roman era, it was part of the regio Liguria et Aemilia (until the 4th century) and of the region of the Alpes Cottiae (until the 6th century), then following the invasions of the Burgundians and the Goths it passed first under Byzantine control and then to the Longobard and Frank kingdoms. In the 10th century it was part of the Bredulo committee and then submitted to the bishops of Asti; in the 13th century the municipality returned more permanently among the dominions affected by the expansion of the Marquis of Saluzzo; at the end of the century it passed like all southern Piedmont under the Angevin domination; from this to the counts of Savoy and through the troubles of the modern era to the Italian Republic.

The whole valley is marked by sundials, but here it is possible to find both ancient and new ones. The most ancient of the town is located in Via Giordanengo at number 42 and dates back to 1798 (then restored in 1993). On the façade of a porticoed house overlooking Piazza Biagioni, we can observe instead an ancient sundial with the words Sic nostra labitur (“So goes our life”); on the opposite building, on the corner with Via Roma, two clocks on a metal plate, show some historical events of the Municipality and still to be mentioned is the sundial of the bell tower. A sundial on Villa Marro, at the end of Via Barale is of a more recent period. Then there is the overdoor in Piazza Europa 22 and the sundial with the coats of arms of the ancient families that dominated the town, made by G. Reinaudi and G. Viara, on the façade of the Croce Bianca Hotel in Via Giordanengo.

Conditions of visit

The SP259 provincial road crosses the town.
Easy accessibility, both by rail and road, with parking spaces to leave the car in the area adjacent to the old town centre.
Freely usable.


Additional information


  • AA.VV., Le valli tra i parchi Marguareis e Alpi Marittime. Gesso, Vermenagna, Pesio, territorio della Bisalta , PiùEventi 2018, pp. 126-128.
  • Levico Andrea, Vermenagna e Roya Le valli delle meraviglie, Primalpe , Cuneo, 2007, pp. 84-95.