Valsessera, on the north flank of the Panoramica Zegna road is rich in woods and pastures and offers an extraordinary panorama stretching as far as Monte Rosa.
In the uplands, which have no built-up areas, there are a number of alpine pasture settlements, like the pretty stone huts at Artignaga, used in summer by herdsmen who still take their cattle on the “transhumance” trails over the passes to the high pastures.
The main points of access to Valsessera are Bocchetto Sessera, Bocchetta di Luera (named after the ditches that used to be dug to trap wolves), Bocchetta di Margosio and Bocchetta di Stavello, the start of many paths, including the Fra Dolcini route.
On account of its naturalistic interest Upper Valsessera has been declared a Site of Community Importance (S.C.I.) by the European Union.
The territory of Oasi Zegna and Valsessera is also geologically interesting because of the fault that crosses the entire arc of the Alps an east-west axis (the Periadriatic Seam) and is the zone of contact between the old European continent and the old African continent.
These two platforms collided around 100 million years ago and gave rise to the Alpine chain.
A number of rock formations in the territory, including the Balma syenite in Valle del Cervo, are visible and have always been used locally for building, but even abroad and in such famous works as New York’s Statue of Liberty (its base).
Lastly, in Oasi Zegna, Valsesia and Valsessera and as far as Lago Maggiore it’s possible to see the fossil of a supervolcano unlike any other in the world.
Between 60 and 30 million years ago the processes that formed the Alps lifted and rotated part of the earth’s crust in which there was a volcano that exploded around 300 million years ago, thus revealing the remains of the old eruption down to a depth of around 30 km.
The area of this supervolcano has been part of the Sesia-Val Grande Geopark (recognized by UNESCO) since 2013.