Exilles – Forte Pramand – Galleria dei Saraceni
The military road 79, so called by italian army, is a wonderful dirt road crossing the left river side of Susa Valley to reach the east side of Bardonecchia lock.
Along the road you can find a lot of fortifications and military works built at the end of XIX century and then strengthened before II world war, belonging to defensive line Jafferau-Pramand when the dorsal Seguret-Jafferau became a strategic defensive point of the Valley.
Following the road you can find four forts: Fenils- Pramand-Foens and Jafferau.
The road arrives at JAFFERAU FORT, 2805m, with a development of 20km and 12 of branches.
The real jewel and the main characteristic of this road is PRAMAND TUNNEL called SARACEN TUNNEL 876m long and dug in corners under the spires of MOUNT SEGURET between the two world wars.
Unfortunately the tunnel is now closed to traffic for safety reasons so the itinerary is interrupted waiting for some works to re-establish safety conditions.
That’s the reason why this itinerary is divided in two sections.
You can start from EXILLES FORT, go ahead after the village to the main road SS DEL MONGINEVRO direction SALBERTRAND. When you have passed the village after three close hairpins you find a crossroad on the left signing ECLAUSE-PRAMAND-GRANGE DELLA VALLE and you turn right. If you arrive from the west side of the main road must turn left at the end of the climb, turning carefully.
From the crossroad after FENILS FORT go ahead to Frazione Moncellier after a crossroad to Ecaluse. Here the asphalt ends in front of Saint Ippolito Chapel with its pink front and go ahead until the dirt road.
From this point in a safely driving is recommended respecting bikers, hikers and joggers using the same road.
After a first bridge avoid the crossroad to Frenèe and pass a second and a third bridge and the roads begins considerably climbing in east-west direction. Near Grange Chaplet, km 8+300 stuck in the hairpin’s wall you can note the stone sign “DUX” technical masterpiece of local manpower specialized in stone working, unfortunately vandalized in spring 2016.
Going ahead you pass Chanteloube tunnel, 12 m long, and after some hairpins you arrive at COLLETTO PRAMAND 2087m where the road diverges. Going ahead you arrive in SARACEN TUNNEL, turning left you arrive at PRAMAND FORT.
This branch is rich of military history. Immediately you find the ruins of shacks near a big fountain and a small road to the fort. Then, after two hairpins, you can see the arch inside the rock which takes to the powder-keg. Instead following the main road you arrive to an hairpin where on its left you can see the Pramand battery court, which was armed with four cannons installed when necessary.
Parking your motorcycle you can walk through a path which takes to a trench which was the artillery observatory, built on a stone cliff dominating the Valley.
Coming back to Colletto del Pramand (we remind you that is strictly forbidden to run off the road!)
continuing for about 1,5 km on the main path, you can reach, after a short tunnel, the portal and the south-east entrance of the amazing SEGURET TUNNEL, now barred.
You must therefore go down from where you climb.