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On the tracks of Islafran

The itinerary leads in a wide loop through places linked to the presence of the Garibaldian formations of Islafran or of the GL partisans of the Monte Bram band.
In the spring of 1944, in this area of the Langhe, formations characterized by the presence of Slavs and French had been organized: a band led by Eugenio Stipcevic away from the hamlet of Lovera, the nucleus organized by Samuel Simon in Belvedere and the band of Louis Chabas *Lulu”, in Somano. Most of these foreigners came from the prison of Fossano and had escaped on September 11, 1943. On May 17, 1944, groups from the Alta Langa all joined the 16th Garibaldi Brigade in which they formed the ISLAFRAN detachment (Italians, Slavs, French).
On July 5, the Garibaldini free the political prisoners still in the Fossano jails. About thirty Frenchmen reached Simon Samuels, the Slavs and other Frenchmen joined the Lovera formation. They were joined in the following days by some young men from Bonvicino.
In the fall, the number of Slavs increased again, thanks to the desertion of numerous Serbs enlisted in the German army stationed in Bene Vagienna.
After the September 6 attack on a German column, the Islafran moved to Monforte. In the meantime, from December 1944, as part of the “pianurizzazione” operation, nuclei of two GL divisions from the mountains began to flow into the Langhe. The GL Valle Grana “Paolo Braccini” brigade moves to the area the Monte Bram band, which in two successive groups, one under the command of Giannetto Asteggiano and the other of Nello Streri, reaches Garombo di Somano.
Access: from the center of the village of Somano (516m.) follow the direction to Bossolasco. At the top on the left you can already see the building of the Monumento Rifugio, Network Center of the “Memoria delle Alpi” of Garombo. Next to it there is a picnic area. Going up on foot from Somano, on the left, near the signpost, a narrow gravel road climbs into the woods and allows you to quickly reach the Monument-Hut (111m of difference in height)

a) Section: Garombo di Somano – Colle della Resistenza di Bossolasco
To the left of the Monument a dirt road climbs towards the hill: just beyond it the partisan launching ground is marked. Past the Galli village, take the lane on the right on the ridge. Turn left and you will soon reach Bossolasco, at Colle della Resistenza (764m. equipped area).

b) Section: Colle della Resistenza di Bossolasco – Bonvicino.
Turn right beyond the entrance to the monumental area of the hill and descend along the paved road. Back on the lane, past the aqueduct intake, go down to the church of Madonna della Neve. Go along the provincial road for a few meters towards Bossolasco and then take a steep descent on the right. Then go up towards “Borgata Chiaretta”. Go halfway up the valley, going to the opposite side, where (8.4 km from the pass) the steep climb called “Lairole” starts on the left. In correspondence of the cascina Ufficiale, turn left, where the stretch named after Carlo Altare, Carlo Milano and Ettore Uffiziale starts.

c) Section: Bonvicino – Lovera
On the main square a sign indicates the dedication of this stretch to Simon Samuel and the descent towards the path that will lead to the hamlet of Lovera above.

d) Section: Lovera – Somano
Take the road that leads into the woods and follow the short road that connects Dogliani to Bonvicino. A little further on you will reach the courtyard of a group of farmhouses in the hamlet of Sant’Antonio di Somano.
Leaving the small chapel on the left, follow the direction “Bossolasco”. At 6.6 km the road joins the principal road. At the second curve go down to the right towards Garombo.


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