Highlights and tour details
A 40-km circuit through the hills of Monferrato, Alessandria and the first slopes of the Apennines; up and down scenic roads amidst vineyards, forests, churches and castles along the back roads through continually changing landscapes. It starts from Ovada in the direction of the highway, at the roundabout in the vicinity of the toll booth, go up in the direction of Belforte. Go through the village and continue towards Tagliolo, which is seen in the distance to the left, you do not reach the village because you turn right at the junction towards San Pietro. Go through the hamlet and descend towards Gambina, re- meeting on the left the road from Tagliolo. Continue to descend to the junction where you turn right towards Lerma-Mornese. Immediately after the hamlet of Mascatagliata you arrive at the bridge over the Piota river. Continue for a few hundred meters and, immediately after a curve to the right, just before the road takes a sharp climb, turn right onto a road which has a slight downhill. A very particular part of the route starts here in the midst of oak and pine forests along a typical Apennine landscape, arriving at Casaleggio Boiro after a gentle climb of 4 km, passing under the famous castle.
Continue on the provincial road from Lerma, but just outside the village immediately after the cemetery, turn left towards Loc. Buffoni-Cascinotto. After about a kilometer the dirt road begins and after a short graveled climb the road proceeds along the ridge offering striking open landscapes. On the left is the dome of the Lerma Astronomy observatory, as well as the ruins of what is said to be an ancient abbey. Followed by the villages on the crests of the hills: Silvano d'Orba, Montaldeo and Parodi Ligure. Two kilometers of dirt road and you come out on the tarmac at a crossroads: in front of a hill towards Cascina Bellaria - Silvano to the left you go to Lerma. On the right descend towards Castelletto d'Orba among the vineyards of Dolcetto along the road of the Albarola river. Entering the town you encounter the source of San Rocco, of San Limbana, and finally that of the "Cannone" which surely merits a refreshment stop. Exit at the roundabout and proceed uphill to the church of Assunta where you turn left onto the road to Gallaretta in the direction of of Silvano d'Orba.
Arriving at the provincial road Ovada-Novi turn immediately to the left along the main road of Silvano. Immediately after the town hall, in the center, take the first right (strada Roccagrimalda) towards the Orba bridge. Once surpassed, after the highway flyover, exit on the provincial road 185 Predosa-Ovada. Turn left and after a few meters leave it in the direction of Roccagrimalda, which is reached after a continuous but non-committal slope of about three kilometers. Leave the village in direction of the cemetery and proceed along the road to Carpeneto. After about three kilometers, turn left onto a scenic road in the direction of the borough of Villa Botteri.
After going through the borough, follow a gentle uphill for a distance of about one kilometer until reaching an important crossroads. Turn left towards Cremolino, but at the next intersection (after 300 meters) descend to the left towards the Sanctuary of Nostra Signora della Guardia. Then onto Grillano and after a steep downhill arriving at Ovada at the Geirino sports center. Go over the Orba bridge keeping to the right and back towards the FS station. In total about 40 km. By Claudio Di Pasero and Daniela Pestarino