The Great Crossing of the Alps is a hiking trail in the region of Piedmont that consists of a dense network of paths and stopping places. The GTA was born in the late seventies on the initiative of a group of hikers with the aim of promoting a new way of mountaineering, inspired by the French experience of the Grande Traversee des Alpes: the experience of hiking, that would allow a more in-depth knowledge of the territory crossed, enhancing the areas less traveled by traditional tourism. By the promoting of this committee, the Great Crossing of the Alps association was born, based in Turin and with a referent in Cuneo for its trails. The route extends to all the Piedmont valleys, making it possible to cross the Tanaro Valley up to the Ossola. The realization of the GTA is the result of a coordinated work of municipalities, mountain communities, the Piedmont Region, the provinces of Turin and Cuneo and numerous volunteers. The total distance of the GTA as a route is of about 1,000 km, of which 500 km in the province of Cuneo, can all be reached from south to north or vice versa. On the basic trail, you can engage various circular paths that allow you to deepen your knowledge of a particular area. Each stage of the GTA involves from five to eight hours of driving on easy trails and mule tracks that allow you to switch from valley to valley, by crossing the more accessible steps. The paths are identified by red and white markings and metallic flags with the logo of the GTA. Following the dissolution of the GTA, route remains active and viable: the work of the maintenance of the trail and signage is carried out by various organizations and associations, operating in the mountains.
Designed with a north - south trend, also the Cuneo stretch of the GTA can be dealt with in this way or vice versa, in the first case it will be a journey from the Monviso towards the sea, in the second it will be a lift from the valleys of the Ligurian Alps towards the majestic Re di Pietra. All along the route there are numerous possibilities to stop for accommodation of all different categories, following the dissolution of the Great Crossing of the Alps, which had created a network of affiliated stops at the end of each fraction of the route, and the name decayed official stage points.