14. GTAM - Stage 14: Refuge Don Barbera - Realdo
The Colle delle Selle Vecchie
This was an important pass in past ages, probably on one of the salt routes, it was widely used by the shepherds from Briga in their transhumance towards the pastures at the foot of the Marguareis Massif.
The place name refers to the "selle", or "cellars" for the preservation of cheeses, once evidently present in the surrounding area. The cellars are generally stone buildings, with a barrel vault, covered and insulated with grass clods to ensure constant temperature and humidity inside.
[A. Parodi, R. Pockaj, A. Costa - Nel cuore delle Alpi Liguri, collana Sentieri e Rifugi, Andrea Parodi Editore, 2012, p.34]
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Rifugio Don Barbera
The current structure, in stone and wood, is the result of a complete renovation recently carried out. It is a comfortable refuge, suitable for hikers as well as for groups and schools.
The refuge is located a few meters from the Colle dei Signori, immersed in the austere and uncontaminated nature of the upper Pesio and Tanaro valley natural park.