The most widespread interpretation would like Ostana (Ostan-a in Piedmontese, Oustano in Occitan) derived from Augustana, with reference to the month of "August" in the Occitan form oust. In this sense, a high-medieval origin of the name would emerge, probably linked to transhumance practices.
Ostana is the smallest municipality in the Po Valley. It covers an area of 16.98 km, distributed between 895 m and 2426 m above sea level. The typically mountain area is located on a long slope facing south, which ensures excellent exposure and several hours of light. There is no ideal season to visit the small village: in the spring it is a destination for students, botanists and passionate photographers for the richness of floralpina, while the animals drop in altitude to graze the first seasonal grass. In the summer, "the streets of Oustano", traced by the Reneis Association and cleaned annually by the volunteers, offer a dense and varied network to discover the territory, ranging between abandoned mire and avant-garde recoveries. In the capital, an adventure course and a climbing wall offer young and old a safe approach to the world of sport climbing. For more experienced climbers, the Rocciaré cliffs offer pitches of increasing difficulty and boulders for bouldering. Autumn is the ideal time to listen to the roar of the deer or for the last entry of the year to the "Enchanted Forest": an educational and naturalistic path for young and old which can be accessed from the Borgetti Marchetti. Inside we find permaculture gardens, a Zen garden, sensory paths to be walked barefoot and a theater in the woods.
The perfect exposure to the sun make Ostana a popular destination even in winter for snowshoe practitioners: try a climb up to 2300 m. Punta Ostanetta, or a quiet walk on the balcony path that leads to the Church of San Nicolao.
Ostana, like many mountain villages, since the first post-war period and with a strong acceleration in the second, was the victim of depopulation, which culminated in the eighties, when Ostana had only 6/7 permanent residents. A depopulation of 99.5%, a percentage that abundantly exceeds that of 80%, commonly cited to speak of the high Italian Occitan valleys (the European alpine territory most affected by the depopulation processes of the twentieth century). After this abandonment, only two paths opened for the country: to die or to try to be reborn. From the Turin diaspora, the old inhabitants, who all lived in the Porta Palazzo area and who continued to maintain strong community ties, decided that the country could not be left to die. It had to be reborn. Thus began a long process of regeneration that involved architecture, the rediscovery of Occitan culture and traditions. In particular, efforts were concentrated in creating the conditions that would allow a return to the mountain, not only as a tourist destination, but as a place of residence, architectural quality, identity and community, environmental sustainability, offering a relevant and respectful tourism. main characteristics and themes that chase each other in defining today the village of Ostana, which over the years has become a real "laboratory" for the construction of a new habitability of the mountain.
The revitalization of the real estate assets - public and private - has allowed a real resettlement, of families and also of young people, who have created new entrepreneurial activities, in particular in the field of agriculture and in the tourist-hospitality sector.
The project has been able to "revitalize the local community", focusing on interventions on a human scale and counteracting the cementation.
In 2011, the opening of the "La Galaberna" refuge was the first sign of the restart, with the creation of beds aimed at a new tourist audience. Subsequently, the renovation of the entire S.Antonio hamlet was carried out, with a multifunctional cultural center and adjoining guesthouse. After almost 30 years of absence, a shop-info point reopened, in the center of the capital-Villa, new farms and dairies were born and in spring 2019 a new bakery opened.
Village of Ostana
Municipality of Ostana
Province of Cuneo
Altitude center: 1250 m s.l.m.
The Municipality is part of:
I Borghi più belli d'Italia
Borghi Sostenibili del Piemonte
Protected natural areas:
Parco Fluviale del Po (tratto Cuneese)
Piazza Caduti Per La Libertà 49 - phone +39 0175-94915
ON THE TRAIN