Located along the state highway which goes up the valley, Gaiola stands on a small alluvial shelf that develops on the orographic left of the River Stura, between the end of the Rittana and Valloriate valleys. The toponym would appear to derive from the term “galliola” (small Gallia), probably referring to an ancient Gallic settlement of which, however, no traces remain. Of small size, the village is divided into two areas: an older one located in the upper part, which had to develop around a fort during the Middle Ages, and a newer one closer to the state highway.
Arriving in Gaiola, go along the Olla Bridge; the bridge is mentioned in 1271, but between 17th and 18th century that the bridge assumes particular strategic importance to prevent the passage of enemy troops. In the 20th century the bridge underwent renovations: it was rebuilt in the years 1937 - 1938 due to a crack in the road surface which compromised its stability. On 13 July 1944 the partisans blew up an arch of the bridge in an attempt to isolate the Stura valley from the Nazi armies, interrupting the transit of cars and the tramway that connected Cuneo to Demonte.
The main points of interest are concentrated in the lower part: the 18th century Villa Peano, some antique houses with “losa” roofs and, above all, the Conti Falconis building that hosts the Multipurpose Centre “La Gramigna”, a building that offers an interesting cultural calendar to the valley territory. For art lovers, the ParishChurch named after the Virgin’s Assumption is worth a visit, a late-Baroque building built in 1717 using the remains of an earlier 14th century facility and the Saint Bernardo Chapel, a rural building enriched with an early 16th century fresco, located along the dirt road that goes up from the village towards Rittana. In the upper part of the village, hidden among the vegetation, are some ruins attributed to the ancient fort which dominated the entrance to the valley.
GAIOLA - Palazzo Municipale
Via XX Settembre, 2 – 12010 Gaiola
Tel.: 0171 72922