Infobox Mountain
Name = Rochemelon
Photo = Rocciamelone.jpg
Caption = view from Rocca Sella, Italy (1508 m)
Elevation = convert|3538|m|ft|0
Location = Italy
Range = Graian Alps
Prominence = convert|283|m|ft|0|abbr=on
Coordinates = coord|45|12|14|N|7|04|38|E|region:FR_type:mountain|display=inline,title

First ascent = 1358 by Bonifacius Rotarius
Easiest route = scramble, partly roped path

Rochemelon (or "Roche Melon"), Rocciamelone in Italian, is a convert|3538|m|ft|0 high mountain in Piedmont, near the border between Italy and France, 50 km (30 mi) west of Turin.

This mountain of the Alps has the earliest recorded first ascent date in the world.

Bonifacius Rotarius (of Asti) made the first ascent of Rochemelon in September 1, 1358, to bring a small metal image of the Holy Virgin as a gesture of gratitude for having survived captivity in the Holy Land during the crusades.

The summit of Rochemelon is the destination of a traditional pilgrimage, every year, on August 5. A three metre high statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was erected there in 1899.

As an oddity, the international border does not exactly follow the watershed in this sector. The summit of Rochemelon is fully Italian, as is the upper first kilometre of "glacier de Rochemelon"; this area of about 4 square kilometres constitutes the only Italian territory portion of the Rhône basin.

Because of its easy access (the start of the summit trail can be reached in a 90 minute drive from Turin), its considerable height and the renowned panorama, this mountain is one of the most frequented of the western part of the Alps.

External links

* [ Rocciamelone]
* [ Roche Melon at SummitPost]

Image gallery

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