The Emilio Questa Hut (2388 m) stands on a rocky outcrop on the north shore of the “Portette” lake, in the centre of a wide dale surrounded by the peaks of Portette, Claus and Prefouns. It lies in the municipality of Valdieri, in the Province of Cuneo – Italy. The Refuge overlooks the Valasco valley, in the middle of which stands the former “hunting lodge” of the italian royal family (today a hut as well); towering on the western background, there are Monte Matto and the Cresta Savoia.
Located in the heart of Maritime Alps Natural Park, the “Questa” Hut is the ideal places for adventuring in nature and looking for wildlife: chamois, ibex, marmots and the elusive lammergeier are quite commons in the surroundings area. It is also well suited for climbers and hikers who want to reach the surrounding peaks. The Hut is an old military barrack, which has been took over by the Genoa section of the Club Alpino Italiano in 1925, whose management ended in 2018; the building has been developed and restored in 1937 and then again in 1952 and 1986.
The door opens onto the dining room, furnished in wood, where traditional Piedmontese meals are served; for a shorter rest, here’s the bar too. The sleeping accommodation consists of three shared dormitories on the first floor and on the ground floor, with 6, 14 and 10 beds, and some temporary installations in the surroundings (a “yurt” and some “open space” wooden huts).
The hut is a stage point of various local and international hiking trails, each with its own difficulties and characteristics; many other routes, although not directly passing the “Questa”, are not far away and easily reachable. Here all the informations.
Since June 2021 the hut is managed by Marco Bassino. Born in 2001, he’s a true “son” of Cuneo Alps, especially the surroundings of Valasco. Here his family owns a small hut and here his brother Matteo takes the flocks to the mountain pastures every summer. Nevertheless, his sister Marta, ace of Italian alpine skiing, has developed her talent onto the Cuneo Alps’ slopes. So, one year after his high school graduation, when the opportunity arose to take over the management of “Questa” hut, Marco accepted immediately: after overcoming the bureaucratic procedures of the case, with the help of the Maritime Alps Natural Park as well, he has therefore become one of the youngest hut manager in Italy. His goal is making the most of the added value that a hut like the “Questa”, a true flagship of the Maritime Alps, can offer to the visitors. So, he’ll work day by day to take care of hospitality, combining tradition and innovation.
“The Portette Lake area is one of the most stunning locations you could ever stay in. During my work taking care of the Maritime Alps Natural Park, I have often come here and thought it would be the perfect place to spend the night. Once the sun goes down it becomes pitch dark – we are miles and miles from the nearest town or source of light pollution. So the view of the night sky is breathtaking and very much worth the hike.”