Divine trekking among the lands of Saints… with art and taste

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First day. Starting point: crossroads of GALLARETO (near to the village of Cerreto d’Asti). Next stops-over: CERRETO – PASSERANO – MARMORITO – ALBUGNANO – VEZZOLANO. Length of route: around 15 km. Duration by walking: around 4 hours and half.

Second day. Starting point: ALBUGNANO. Next stops-over: CASTELNUOVO DON BOSCO – FRAZIONE MORIALDO. Length of route: around 9 km. Duration by walking: around 2 hours and half.

Possibility to make the transfer from Albugnano to Castelnuovo don Bosco by bus or by car.

First day. Arrival at the hills of Monferrato in early morning. Starting point of walk will be the crossroad in Gallareto Locality, near the village of Cerreto d’Asti, in the direction of Cerreto town. This small village takes name from the remarkable presence of woods full in turkey oaks, in Italian language called “cerro”; also the tree called “the stones breaker” is particular, because the strength of its roots. Woods alternate vineyards of Freisa, Malvasia, Barbera and Bonarda, composing with grazing lands and sweet corn fields a really suggestive landscape “puzzle”. You can visit the parish dedicated to Saint Michele, founded in the half of the Twelfth century and completely redesigned in the Eighteenth century. Along the street in the direction of Passerano, in Casaglio Locality, the small church of Saint Andrea waits for You; it is a local Romanesque masterpiece, which appears in official documents from 1108. The walk goes up to the town of Passerano, where time seems to be stopped, which will surprise You thanks to the quiet and beauty of its old town centre. The village is dominated by the medieval castle of Radicati Counts, one of the most well preserved fortresses in the province of Asti, built in the Fourteenth century; You will also see the small private Chapel, the medieval Tower and the antique Mint building, which nowadays houses the Civic Library. Tour goes on toward Marmorito which will make open Your look over a breath – taking panorama, among its well – finished rural buildings, passing Monferrato hills and reaching the Alps Mountains. Next to the church of Immaculate Conception, in a surreal silence, the ruins of Radicati’s fortress peep out, founded in the Tenth century. The castle was destroyed by Spanish soldiers in the Seventeenth century and red – bricks were reused, according to tradition, for building the parish of the near village called Aramengo. Last stop over in the morning will be the town of Albugnano, on the borderline of Asti’s province, toward the first hills of Turin area. It is placed at 550 metres of altitude and offer to visitors unique panoramic glimpses. Lunch and accommodation at “Alle Tre Colline” farm holiday, placed in the village of Albugnano. In the afternoon departure towards the beautiful Abbey of Saint Mary in Vezzolano, a national medieval architecture masterpiece, placed at 30 minutes by walking from the village of Albugnano. According to tradition it was founded by Charlemagne who loved hunting among woods of Monferrato and was and undisputed centre of religious, political and economical power until the Sixteenth century, housing princes and kings. Inside it preserves a curious sculpted pulpit and a precious fresco decoration in the cloister, dated to the Gothic period. Later You will come back to the farm house and transfer to the so-called “Antica Loggia del Gusto” (“The Ancient Room of Taste”), a place where tastes, tradition and territory mixed together perfectly. In the Seventeenth – century rooms, recently restored and reinstated to the original splendour, You will able to deal with an amazing Cooking Class, for discovering and preparing some of the most famous Piedmontese recipes… with a final dinner made of dishes just prepared!

Second day. After breakfast, departure in the direction of Castelnuovo don Bosco, the birthplace of Saint Giovanni Bosco, who was born in 1815. Stop at “Aceteria Merlino”, included in the Farmers Cooperative called “Il Ramo d’ Oro”, for visiting the farm and making a final taste. Itinerary starts again in the direction of Morialdo, along the so-called Strada del Papa (“Road of Pope”), because the Pope Giovanni Paolo the Second travelled along it up to the Sanctuary of Saint Giovanni Bosco in 1988. Stop for lunch at “Ristoro Mamma Margherita” restaurant, placed along this street, in Morialdo locality. Departure to return.

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Starting point: MONGIGLIETTO locality (CORTAZZONE). Next stops-over: BAGNASCO – CAPRIGLIO – COLLE DON BOSCO – CASTELNUOVO DON BOSCO. Length of route: around 19 km. Duration by walking: around 5 hours and half.

First day. Arrival at Monferrato Hills in early morning. The walk starts from the crossroad in Mongiglietto Locality, near to the village of Cortazzone d’Asti, and You will reach in a short time the famous Romanesque church of Saint Secondo, a medieval architecture masterpiece nationally, which was built in the Eleventh century. You will be surprised by the mysterious symbolic sculptures that decorate it; the same happened to pilgrims and wanderers who travelled during the Middle Age finding here treatments and refuge. From the church You will take the path that leads to the village of Bagnasco, passing through oaks and chestnut trees woods; the cemetery of village preserves in quiet of countryside the suggestive Romanesque church of Saint Giorgio, dated to the Eleventh century. From the village of Bagnasco, You will go on towards Capriglio, the birthplace of Margherita Occhiena, Saint Giovanni Bosco’s mother, who was known as “Mamma Margherita” (“Margherita Mum”). The community of Capriglio dedicated a small Museum to her and her environment, made of important traditions and worldly wisdom. The museum is formed of 4 sections: geological evolution of Monferrato, with fossil shells from Pliocene period; local raw materials as the gypsum which artisans were able to transform into beautiful decorated ceilings; domestic and rural world in Capriglio during the Nineteenth century, with characteristic “ex voto”, use of aromatic and medicinal herbs. Later You can cross the old town centre up to the ancient fountain and take a path which leads to Pilone Ortolano. The tour carries on among small woods and fields up to Serra Locality and later up to the crossroad pointing Cappelletta Locality; from this crossroad You will go straight on up to Barosca Locality; after have passed the farmhouse You will find the hard-surfaced road, which is called Strada del Papa (“Road of Pope”), because the Pope Giovanni Paolo the Second travelled along it up to the Sanctuary of Saint Giovanni Bosco in 1988. In this way in fact You will reach the Sanctuary. Stop for lunch at “Ristoro Mamma Margherita” restaurant, placed along this street, in Morialdo locality. In the afternoon You will be able to visit the places of Saint Giovanni Bosco, in Becchi Locality: the Sanctuary, the birth-house, the house of his brother Giuseppe with the Museum about rural tradition, the Chapel of Saint Mary and the Missionary Museum. Transfer to “Ciocca Hotel and Restaurant”, placed in Castelnuovo don Bosco for dinner and overnight.

Second day. After breakfast, visit to “Terre dei Santi” winery, located in the town of Castelnuovo don Bosco. Departure to return.

For info and booking: info@welcomepiemonte.it – +39 348 3938038 – +39 339 5315104

Welcome Piemonte - Valentina Mazzola, guida turistica e giornalista.

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