The name has probably Celtic origins (Uxellos = high). In ancient times this area was traversed by Julius Caesar, in fact in his “De Bello Gallico” he cites a village called Occellum.
Usseaux is a small borgo, in the Alta Val Chisone; it has always been an example of mountain agricultural and rural enity. The borgo is divided into five hamlets: Usseaux (the most important), Balboutet, Laux, Pourrieres and Fraisse. The stone and wood houses, the fountains, the washbasins, the bread ovens and the old mill are the symbols of the culture and the tradition of the borgo.
In Usseaux, the main hamlet, you can admire an old oven, a water mill, the parish Church of San Pietro and around forty mural paintings representing the rural life, the world of nature and animals, and fairy tale characters. This is the reason why the Borgo is also known as the Borgo of bread and murals.
Balboutet is a small agricultural centre, known for the cattle and for cheese production ; 20 sundials on the walls of the houses and in Piazza del Sole illustrate time measurement.
On the right bank of the Chisone river you can visit Laux, with its small natural lake. It is one of the most intact alpine village in the entire valley.
Next you’ll find Pourrières, it has an ancient church, the small cemetery and, upstream, the Cerogne Valley and the Assietta pass..
The last upstream village is Fraisse, ”the hamlet of wood”, rising alond the Chisone river and surrounded by forests and a thick vegetation.
Five small villages in a unique natural environment, rich in forests and lush meadows, with beautiful spring blooms and fascinating landscapes.
The village produces an excellent cheese named formaggio delle viole. The dishes are very modest and based on potato, onion, sausage and butter.