Highlights and tour details
Here is an itinerary that we suggest be programmed in at least two stages seeing that there are not only a lot of kilometers to cover but above all, there is so much to discover and one needs time to enjoy the Territory.
The route starts from Gavi, a village of medieval origin (and worth a stop!), where you can visit the ancient fort dating back to the year one thousand and then expanded and transformed during the 16th and 17th centuries; You can reach it by a narrow and steep climb (it takes good legs!) leading to one of the main entrances.
Exit Gavi in the direction of San Cristoforo following a flat road that runs alongside the Lemme torrent and winds through ancient villas of the 17th and 18th centuries and after a short curvey climb you reach the village, bordering the Castle once of the Spinola family , characterized by an irregularly shaped polygonal agile tower. On leaving the town head towards Castelletto d'Orba taking a beautiful downhill stretch through the vineyards (the lands of Gavi , also a well- known white wine that characterizes this region) leading to the small villages of Crebini and Cazzuli. Ariving at the source Feja continue along a flat stretch that leads to Castelletto d'Orba with its 13th-century castle. A nice road along the ridge leads to Montaldeo dominated by another elegant castle of the Doria family, famous for its ghosts, and from there to the village of Mornese surrounding the Doria Castle.
The route continues along winding roads curving through wooded hills up to see the tall, imposing and impressive Castle of Casaleggio Boiro; It is already on the slopes of the Apennines and continues to Lerma, whose stone castle of the Spinola family dominates the precipice of the Piota torrent : going downhill bending towards Tagliolo Monferrato, a small village with tufa houses closely surrounding the castle of the Marquis Pinelli Gentile.
Go down the valley in the direction of Ovada and at the entrance of the town turn in the direction of Alessandria: after crossing the Orba torrent, follow the road leading to Rocca Grimalda: the first part of the route is flat, but then the street goes up hill with wide bends until reaching this quaint village, grouped around the Castle of Malaspina and of the Grimaldis, with its circular tower, its ghosts and its Italian styled garden.
Along the ridge of the Ovada hills richly cultivated with Dolcetto, you reach another medieval village dominated by an ancient castle with a square tower and protective walls: Carpeneto. After a series of hills you arrive at Trisobbio, with its stone castle where you can climb the tower and enjoy the surrounding landscape.
Another couple of demanding hills lead to Cremolino, a stone hamlet clustered around a medieval castle. Continue down the valley in the direction of Ovada crossing the village of Molare, with its castle dated as a fortified forest of ancient times band which was restored at the end of the nineteenth century by architect Alfredo D'Andrade. Now you head once again to Ovada , go through the city center and just out of the city follow the provincial road towards Ovada: over flat lands crossing Silvano, Capriata and Basaluzzo arriving at Francavilla Bisio, where there is an uninhabited terracotta castle.
The road runs along the castle and rises gently following the direction of Tassarolo, which is reached by continuing along the golf course. Leave Tassarolo with its imposing castle of Spinola to reach the small hamlet of Rovereto, immersed in a frame of Gavi vineyards, go down the valley by taking a right and on reaching the plain follow the road to Gavi. One can admire the historic seventeenth-century mansions which are now important wineries and the Lemme torrent which has deep waters and gorges excavated into the tufa rock, going slightly uphill until reaching Gavi. (By Matteo Gandetto)