The place we are at today is certainly precious to all of the people from Angrogna and Luserna who are following our walks, ’cause today we’re gonna talk about a river that has kept company with them for many, many years.
Today we are at the first step of a long way alongside Bealera Peyrota, the best-known millstream in the whole Pellice Valley.
Bealera Peyrota is also known as “St. John’s Gora”. The word “gora” is used to mean drains that bring water for various scopes, no matters if water comes from a river or from other streams.
In this case it takes water from the Angrogna creek and brings it to the field and mills of the hill of San Giovanni (a little hamlet of Luserna); along its course there are, as well, fountains and places to do the laundry. “Bealera” is the Piedmontese word for “gora”.
Bealera Peyrota is about seven kilometers long, and it was entirely built by people!
It starts at Ghiounira (near Angrogna) not much far from Pount Aout, where it takes water from the river.
It was not easy to start the construction of the “gora”, because the right place for it could be chosen only after considering exactly the hill’s natural slopes from its starting to its arrival point.
Since in spring and in autumn Angrogna creek is in flood and the water threats to destroy the “gora”, the point where it starts from is the weakest, and it needs continuous maintenance.
We know that the Bealera Peyrota was finished in 1427 and its way was very similar to the ones we can see today, even though it was a very hard work through the woods and long the slopes of the mountain… and, of course, using tools and equipments much different from today!!!
There is a document of 1503 that proves the establishment of an association of about 40 people, in order to regulate the use of the waters and the shifts of maintenance of the drain.
Nowadays water from Bealera Peyrota is no longer needed to activate mills that produced flour and walnut oil, but thanks to it fields and grazing lands of the hill between Angrogna and San Giovanni are still irrigated.
How to get here:
going from Pinerolo/Torino towards Pellice Valley, just before reaching the center of Torre Pellice, turn right in direction of Pradeltorno (Angrogna).
Bealera Peyrota starts in Ghiounira, a hamlet of Angrogna, and, walking along the paved road, you will find it on your left. It is very easy to see it, due to a roadsign that shows the way to it!
Do you want to read the tale in Italian ?