Highlights and tour details
When have you ever come across forest in a city? Actually between the city and its river?
The Pastrona Woods is a spectacular 50-acre green lung that connects the river to the city. Thanks to the Parco del Po, a guided or unguided woodland , open to all, starting right from Casale Monferrato. There is a route (Kintana) of about 12 km divided into three levels of difficulty (suitable for both sportsmen and families allowing for excursions in the woods, from play areas for children, picnic areas, a suggestive dam, shaded beaches and Bird watching all in a one-to-two-hour journey (stops excluded).
Located on the right bank of the River Po in the area between the crossing of the Lanza Canal and the Montecarlo swimming pool (Ronzone quarter) and is reached via a cycle-pedestrian area, Via XX Settembre until the end (from Piazza Castello in the direction Coniolo-Pontestura) and then turn right towards the Montecarlo swimming pool, from where you have to park cars. Bikes can go beyond the crossbar to the equipped area located about 100 meters away and take advantage of the routes in the woods.
The definition of urban woodland has been chosen to indicate a leisure area that does not have the characteristics of a city garden. The green area of the equipped area consists of herbs that grow spontaneously, as are shrubs and trees that were already there before. On an adjacent land of about 15 hectares, more than 10,000 seedlings, all of which are native to native trees and shrubs, were planted to replenish the typical woods of the river banks. The whole area is crossed by paths and cycle paths, with a different approach difficulties: from the simplest, for families, to the equivalent of the "black - ski track" for the more demanding athlete. An itinerary that leads us to discover, by bike, the Parco del Po and the Monferrine hills starting from Casale Monferrato.
From the ancient capital of Monferrato, the route of about 32 km ahead will cross the rice fields of the Po Valley and touches the first hills of Monferrato, on secondary roads and easy dirt roads, very simple and suitable for families. Boredom is banished here. Crossing the Eternot Park, travel along the bike path following the river PO and then go on to the downtown streets: It will be easy to be immediately seduced by the history of this city: the Synagogue, the Church of St. Catherine's Cathedral, the Civic Tower, the Theater and the Paleologists’ Castle, and the church of San Domenico. Everything is worth a visit.
Go through the center leaving the beautiful church of San Domenico behind and travel along the cycle-way VenTo on Viale San Martino and, after the first railway underpass on the left, begin to familiarize yourself with poplar plantations and vast corn, wheat and rice expanses on the Malpensata riverbanks.
After a brief taste of approximately 2 km along the embankment resume the old provincial road in the direction of Frassineto Po and after a few kilometers reach the lovely town of Parco del Po, the next leg of our route is home to the center of the Po’s landscape interpretation .
Once at Frassineto Po, near the beautiful church of Madonna degli Angeli, go all the way along via Po and following the directions back to where you left the embankment route, which also forms part of the cycle path Ven.to.
From this point, the stretch along the embankment will be about 11 km long before reaching the next town of Rivalba, completely immersed in the quiet natural environment of a typical river landscape of the Po, finding new poplar groves, rice paddies and numerous herons.
Rivalba, a country with the appearance of a Roman bastion awaits us at the end of the river-bank stretch, and once through the town, we will resume the Po river bank, to the left, just after the bridge over the Rotaldo torrent. The new section along the riverbank will take us to the village of Bozzole, the next leg of our ride, located about 2 km from Rivalba.
We are now almost at the end of our route, leaving Bozzole and Parco del Po behind us follow the directions to Pomaro (where you can admire the majestic medieval castle), situated on the initial hills of Monferrato. Crossing the village and at the top of a climb that leads us near the castle, take Strada San Zeno for at least 3 km before reaching Giarole, the final destination of our bike ride. A visit to the Sannazzaro Castle, will be a worthy conclusion to our Casale and the Parco del Po experience.
Points of interest
Dedicated signage: not present, at the intersections it is necessary to follow the directions to places indicated in the description of the route. In addition, it is advisable to use a guide who knows the area well and will be aware of any changes to the route that may have varied since Pimeontebike.eu carried out verification surveys and updates.
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.