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The Alevè is a forest that stretches over a good 825 hectares on the slopes of the Monviso, in the territory of the municipalities of Pontechianale, Casteldelfino and Sampeyre at an altitude between 1500 and 2500 m above sea level.

Its extraordinary importance lies in the fact that it is the largest stone pine forest of the Alps.

The stone pine is a special conifer, with a characteristic formation of the needles in bundles of 5; it blossoms between June and August; in the autumn the fruit, the cones or strobiles, ripen. Then they are either picked by men or become food for the squirrels, wild boars, jays and nutcrackers.

The nutcracker is the main reason for the diffusion of the stone pine thanks to its sowing of the pine kernels in cavities or on the ground in small hidden heaps.

This forest has been listed in the Register of the Seed Forests since 1949. Indeed, the pine kernels are collected and then sowed and cultivated in tree nurseries to obtain shoots to be planted in other forests not only in Italy.


The stone pine can reach a height of 20 m and its trunk, especially of old trees, is gnarled and contorted. It may become hundreds of years old: the oldest stone pine of the Alevè, on the slopes of the Cervet, is more than six hundred years old. Other specimens at Pian delle Gorge and the Vallone dei Duc, shortly above Lake Bagnour, count more than five hundred years. It seems that the Alevè is also the highest place in the world where the stone pine grows: there is a single specimen at an altitude of 2950 m on the north ridge of the Lobbie.

Furthermore the stone pine, called "elvo" in Occitany, is one of the most precious timbers for the production of handcrafted furniture and small sculptured objects, thanks to its remarkably easy workability.