Pathways Together: from 7th to 13th of July 2023

whatsapp: a whatsapp group Sentierinsieme2023 has been activated for communications from the organizing team (participants cannot send messages). If you would like to be included, please email your cell phone number listed on whatsapp.
phone: on Thursday, July 6th, the phone numbers of some volunteers of the hosting team, who can be contacted for urgent communications, will be posted on the whatsapp group Sentierinsieme2023 and emailed to all participants
Health recommendations:
In order to reduce the risk of contamination with SARS-COVID-19 please observe the following:
In both cases, we will see to refund you the fee you already paid.


We will be staying at 1180 m above sea level at the guest quarters of the “Santuario d’Oropa” (Sanctuary of Oropa), in the heart of the Alps of Biella, known for their wonderful views and cool summer climate. Oropa lies in the center of a mountain basin that constitutes a Special Reserve (protected area) of the Piedmont Region that borders the “Mont Mars“ Regional Park of the Aosta Valley. It is a place of art and history that, since 2003, has been part of the system of the “Sacri Monti” (sacred mountains) of Piedmont and Lombardy, UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It can be easily reached by bus from Biella station, which is about 80 km from Turin, 110 km from Milan Malpens airport. How to get to Oropa by public transport.


Program (main information)

You can choose to participate only in the weekend program (arrival on Friday and departure on Sunday evening or Monday morning).

To participate in the trekking, it is necessary to stay at least one day in the group of the same difficulty level for the first two days.

Participation is reserved to Servas members in good standing with their annual fee, and open to those who will not / cannot participate in excursions. For that specific information what to do and see in the area will be given.

Difficulty levels
For the hikers: what to bring?


Friday 7th July

     - Welcome starting from 4 o’clock in the afternoon at the reception of the Sanctuary of Oropa

     - Starter with local products from 6 o’clock in the evening

     - Evening meal (supper)

    - Evening with presentation of the program of the following days, of the organizing group members, of the location; information regarding the excursions planned on the week end; activities to know each other – games of cooperation.


Saturday 8th July

     - Excursions (see details)

     - Starter with local products from 6 o’clock in the evening

     - Evening meal (supper)

     - Sing together, animated activities

Sunday 9th July

     - Excursions (see details)

     - Late afternoon: meeting of excursionist groups in order to define details and to give information for the trekking of the following days.

     - Evening meal (supper)

     - Evening with music playing

Trekking from Monday 10th to Wednesday 1th July in the afternoon (see details)

Wednesday 12th July 2023 (evening)

     - Singing together – from 6 o’clock in the evening onwards

     - Evening meal (supper)

     - Evening for reviewing the trekking experience


Thursday 13th July

     Good bye and departure



Accommodation is provided in the guesthouse of the Sanctuary „Santuario di Oropa” and during the trekking in mountain huts (refuge or similar accommodation type).
Costs for participation are depending on the period of participation (only on the week-end / hole period), kind of accommodation (Single-/Double room) and so on. Here below the reservation cost details as well as supplementary costs of possible combinations to book:

  1. package 1: Week-end in double / triple room, Arrival on Friday afternoon/evening and Departure on Monday morning = € 206 (WITHOUT Lunch on Monday)
  2. package 2: Week-end in double / triple room, Arrival on Friday afternoon/evening and Departure on Sunday = € 151 (WITHOUT Overnight stay and WITHOUT Supper on Sunday)
  3. package 3: Week-end in Single room with Arrival on Friday afternoon/evening and Departure on Monday morning = € 275 (WITHOUT Lunch on Monday)
  4. package 4: Week-end in Single room with Arrival on Friday afternoon/evening and Departure Sunday = €197 (WITHOUT Overnight stay and WITHOUT Supper on Sunday)
  5. package 5: Entire period in double - / triple room and taking part in the 2-day Trekking = €364 (+ allowance for food and Overnight stay in the hut/refuge)
  6. package 6: Entire period in double / triple room and taking part in the 3-day Trekking = €331 (+ allowance for food and Overnight stays in the huts/refuges)
  7. package 7: Entire period in double / triple room WITHOUT taking part in the Trekking = € 397
  8. package 8: Entire period in Single room, WITHOUT taking part in the Trekking = € 525

Funds for participation must be wire transferred and received not later than April 13th 2023 and include: costs für overnight stay and allowances for food (supper, breakfast, lunch on place, or lunch-box, beverages are NOT included) at the guest house of the Sanctuary „Santuario di Oropa“, Aperitif and participation in the scheduled activities, professional mountain guides for the trekking (except the 2-days trekking which will be guided by volunteers). Fees DO NOT include cost for food and Overnight stay in the mountain huts/refuges.

Overnight stay in the mountain huts/refuges will have a cost of approximately 50,00 € per night and person – half board, beverages and bedding have an extra cost, except mountain hut „Locanda Bocchetto Sessera“ (Trekking medium plus) having a cost per night and person of 65,00 €. As option it is possible to order a lunch box at a cost of roughly 10,00 €. Cost for the huts need to be paid for directly by the participant on place (costs must be paid in cash).

In the form for pre-reservation you have the possibility to book alternatively to the above mentioned packages, other options regarding days of arrival and departure and stay at the guesthouse of the Sanctuary. (on place there are different restaurants and a food-store with opening hours from 8 AM to 6 PM, as well as a place for RVIs (camping cars) with a cost of 15,00 € per night):

The reservation fee for such options will be calculated based on the options selected for the pre-reservation and will be communicated via e-mail.


The pre-enrolment must be made on-line using the specific: pre-registration form (from 8 a.m.19/02/2023)
Only completed forms submitted from 08:00 a.m. Sunday 19th February 2023 until 05:00 p.m. Sunday 12th March will be considered. In the event we will receive more enrollment forms than available places, we will give priority to those who submitted the form earlier.
In the form you must confirm to agree the processing of personal data (see information) as well as authorize the use of pictures taken during the event (see text of authorization).

Registration will be retained completed and confirmed with payment of the fee by 13th April 2023. Failure to pay by this date will be considered as a waiver and the vacant place will be assigned to the first person available on the waiting list.

For any question, please write to:


Oropa, Biella, Piemonte (Italia)




The Oropa Sanctuary might be considered the most important Mary Devotion in the Alp region at all . The devotion to the “Madonna di Oropa” (virgin Mary of Oropa) is traditionally attributed to Sanit Eusebio, bishop of Vercelli, who is said to have brought the statue up to the mountains of Biella in the IV. century. Today it’s a big architectonic complex building consisting of the antique basilica, the new basilica, the treasury museum of Oropa, the royal apartment, which had been reserved for visits from Savoy, the “Sacro Monte Mariano” – sacred Mary hill, the meteo-seismic observatory (reservation needed for visiting), the library and the monumental cemetery.

The old basilica dates back to 1600 and had been built as vote of the city of Biella after an epidemic of plague. Inside is conserved the statue of the “Black Mary” (Madonna Nera), a wood sculpture made from an artist of the Aosta Valley in the XIII. century. Behind the new basilica there is a botanical garden run by the dal WWF, where you can discover the most important botanic aspects of the area.


Biella is a village surrounded by mountains and famous for its textile industry as well as for the Menabrea brew, one of the few beer breweries still belonging at 100 % in Italian hands,

The village is split in a lower side or plane (parte bassa - Piano) and an upper side (Piazzo). While the “plane” or lower side (Piano) is the oldest part of town with the pre-romanic Baptistery dedicated to Saint Giovanni Battista and the Cathedral of Saint Stefano, the upper side “Piazzo” is the medieval portion of the town. You can get up there using the funicular railway or going by foot passing a series of small and narrow streets, where you can see some of the palaces of the big families of Biella. Going back to the lower side it is possible to visit the Museum of the Territory (museo del territorio biellese), the Pistoletto Foundation (reservation needed for visiting) as well as the museum “MeBo – Menabrea Botalla”


A visit to the fortified area of Candelo (Ricetto di Candelo) is also worth to go for and not far away from Biella. It is a fortified medieval village where people looked for shelter when in danger. There are more or less two-hundred small houses (cells) surrounded by a big wall very well maintained.

Further information can be found at: