Monte Viso or Monviso (; oc, Vísol;
Piedmontese Piedmontese (autonym: or , in it, piemontese) is a language spoken by some 700,000 people mostly in Piedmont it, Piemontese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 ...
: ''Brich Monviso'' or ''Viso'') is the highest mountain of the
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. It is located in
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding it, whose territory largely coincides with the . Italy is located in the centre of th ...

close to the French border. Monte Viso is well known for its pyramid-like shape and, because it is higher than all its neighbouring peaks by about 500 m, it can be seen from a great distance, including from the Piedmontese plateau, the
Langhe Image:Serralunga d'Alba 0001.jpg, upright=1.2, Serralunga d’Alba and its vineyards. The Langhe (; ''Langa'' is from old dialect Mons Langa et Bassa Langa) is a hilly area to the south and east of the river Tanaro in the province of Cuneo and in ...

, the Theodulpass in the
Zermatt Zermatt () is a Municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the district of Visp (district), Visp in the German language, German-speaking section of the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It has a year-round population of about 5,800 and is class ...

ski area and the summits of the
Mont Blanc massif#REDIRECT Mont Blanc massif The Mont Blanc massif (french: Massif du Mont-Blanc; it, Massiccio del Monte Bianco) is a mountain range in the Alps, located mostly in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, Répu ...
. On a very clear day it can be seen from the spires of
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Milan Cathedral
. It has been suggested that Monte Viso could be one of the mountains which inspired the
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logo. In Italy it is also known as ''Il Re di Pietra'' ("The Stone King") because of its prominence within the western Italian Alps. It was declared a cross-border
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialised agency of th ...

biosphere reserve in 2013. It is also a mountain of the birth of the longest river of Italy,
River Po The Po ( , ; la, Padus or ; grc, Πάδος, Pádos, or , ; Ligurian language (ancient), Ancient Ligurian: or ) is the longest river in Italy. It is a river that flows eastward across northern Italy starting from the Cottian Alps. The Po flows ...


On the northern slopes of Monte Viso are the
headwaters The headwaters of a or is the farthest place in that river or stream from its or downstream with another river, as measured along the course of the river. It is also known as a river's source. Definition The (USGS) states that a river ...
of the Po, the longest Italian river, the so-called Pian del Re (2,020 m). The Monviso group is surrounded by the Valle Po, Valle Varaita and, on the French side, the Guil valley. The northern sector of the group, from the
Punta Gastaldi Punta is an Afro Indigenous dance and music originated by the Garifuna The Garifuna people ( or ; pl. Garínagu in Garifuna), are a mixed African and indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aborigina ...
to the Col de la Traversette, is located on the French border.

SOIUSA classification

According to the SOIUSA (''International Standardized Mountain Subdivision of the Alps'') the mountain can be classified in the following way: * main part = Western Alps * major sector = South Western Alps * section =
Cottian Alps; it, Alpi Cozie , photo=Monviso_Cottian_Alps.jpg , photo_caption=Monte Viso in the Cottian Alps, seen from the Rocciamelone , country_type= Countries , country= , subdivision1_type= Provinces , subdivision1= , parent= Alps , borders_on= ...
* subsection = southern Cottian Alps * supergroup = catena Aiguillette-Monviso-Granero * group = gruppo del Monviso isa * subgroup = nodo del Monviso * SOIUSA code, code = I/A-4.I-C.8.a


Monte Viso is the location of a neolithic jadeite quarry, at an elevation of 2000 to 2400 metres. Its productivity peaked around 5000 BC. The jadeite was used to make cult axes, which are found all over western Europe. One such ceremonial axe head was found as far away as a small hill called Tristia in Western Ireland and is on display in the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology, Dublin. In ancient times the mountain was known as Vesulus.Lewis C. T. and Short C., 1879, ''Latin Dictionary'', p 1982, citing Virgil ''Aen''. X 708 and Pliny 3. 16. 20 §117. Monte Viso was climbed for the first time on August 30, 1861 by William Mathews (mountaineer), William Mathews, Frederick Jacomb, Jean-Baptiste Croz and Michel Croz. The first woman to summit the mountain was Alessandra Boarelli (1838 – 1908) on 16 August 1864.

Monte Viso in literature

Monte Viso is mentioned by various authors, Italian and non-, including Dante, Petrarch, and Chaucer. Dante mentions the mountain in a long simile in Canto XVI of the Inferno (Dante), Inferno as the source of the Montone (river), Montone River:

Chaucer cites the mountain in the prologue to the Clerk's Tale in his Canterbury Tales, in a passage adapted from Petrarch's Latin version of his "Tale of Griselda":

(Geoffrey Chaucer, "The Clerk's Tale," from ''The Canterbury Tales'')

See also

* List of Alpine peaks by prominence * List of mountains of the Alps above 3000 m * Monte Viso tunnel




External links

Monte Viso on SummitPost
{{DEFAULTSORT:Viso Alpine three-thousanders Populated places established in the 5th millennium BC Mountains of Piedmont Mountains of the Alps Archaeological sites in Italy Province of Cuneo Neolithic Biosphere reserves of France Biosphere reserves of Italy