Highlights and tour details
The route, located in the UNESCO part of Monferrato Casalese, starts from via Rossi in Vignale Monferrato, an important food and wine tourism area, thanks to the presence of several wineries and accommodation facilities.
The first stretch of the route is a long, steep descent down a gravel path that requires particular attention due to the presence of furrows in the soil. At the end of this steep stretch, we reach the bottom of Grana Valley and continue a few kilometres along the flat, surrounded by the pleasant view of the Monferrato hills.
Following the path signs, we continue along a country road without meeting anyone and after nearly 10 km from our departure, we reach the second stage of our journey: Camagna Monferrato. This village is small and quaint, yet maintains a strong wine tradition that can immediately be noted by the presence of numerous vineyards and “infernot” (cellars hand dug in the sandstone) famous in this unique area and worthy of becoming the 50th Italian Unesco heritage. When visiting Camagna, we recommend a visit to the church of Saint Eusebio with its dome designed by Crescentino Caselli, a student of Antonelli, famous for having designed the Mole Antonelliana in Turin.
Continuing our journey, we leave the village and pass the church of the Madonna until we reach the top of a hill, from which you can enjoy the view of the entire Northwest Alps and surrounding hills.
From here, we follow the dirt path, continuing for about 1 km. After turning left on a short tarmacked stretch of about 150 meters, we will cross another downhill dirt road, after exactly 11, 82 km. In the central part of our route we need to be careful of the various turns left and right - at 12.60 km – we turn left again (when we reach a large tree) and go straight on until we meet the road that connects Conzano to Roncaglia (13,58 km). Turn right and go straight on for 600 meters (halfway we reach the main road to Casale Monferrato) until we reach a well, turn left towards Stevani and after almost another km of tarmacked road, we reach the villa La Macinata on our right (km 15,20). From here, we return to a dirt and flat stretch for about 3 km, continuing straight on until we come back to the main road that after turning left and at the end of a long climb, leads us to the third stage of the journey: Frassinello Monferrato. The village, like others we have already visited, has many “infernot” that remind us how Frassinello also has an important wine tradition. Alternatively, we can visit the town's medieval castle, a few km from the town centre. We are now almost at the end of our ride, and are about 5 km away from Vignale Monferrato, easily accessible along the road that separates it from Frassinello, following the indications. Along the climb up to Vignale, we can still admire the vineyards, which provide a beautiful backdrop to this route from start to finish. Once you reach your destination, you should visit the historic Palazzo Callori, home to the regional headquarters of the Enoteca of Monferrato, located in the upper part of the village from where you can admire the wonderful Monferrato. Ivan Reitano
Points of interest
Vignale Monferrato: Palazzo Callori (home of the regional wine cellar of Monferrato) and San Bartolomeo church – the website is here
Camagna Monferrato: Sant' Eusebio Church. info about the history of the church here
Frassinello Monferrato: Medieval Castle and Comune website here
Please note – the signs along the route are useful indications. There are numerous signs indicating names of villages and the names of some farmhouses. However, between the 15 and 20 km mark, the natural landmarks are not particularly visible and can be misleading. The surrounding countryside does not enable the necessary indications regarding the route to take.
Please note: wear your helmet at all times, even when not obligatory. Before setting off, make sure you inform someone of your intended route. If possible, take a GPS device, mobile phone and a bottle of water with you and if it is a long distance route, take snacks. Wear suitable clothing, preferably layers, and make sure you have a waterproof jacket. Always wear padded shorts. Comfort is essential if you are to enjoy the journey to the full.