Highlights and tour details
Starting from Alessandria station and cycling along several kilometres through the streets of the city, you reach San Salvatore Monferrato, the first and largest of the Monferrato comunes that will be crossed during this route, nestled in the hills of Alessandria.
Leaving the town behind us, the road that leads to San Salvatore passes through Clorio, along an almost entirely flat road with very little traffic and where we will soon begin the first climbs on this first leg. The presence of a high Palaeologan tower built in 1413 (visible from many kilometres away), reminds us of the many centuries it was under the rule of the Marquis of Monferrato.
Leaving the village, take the road that joins the next stage of the journey, Lu Monferrato. The few kilometres that separate the two villages are made up of trails along the ridge of the hills that divide the Alessandria plains (left) and a breath-taking panorama from the Maritime Alps to Monte Rosa.
According to some studies, Lu Monferrato has Roman origins but what is undoubtedly fascinating, is that this small village retains the traditions typical of Monferrato villages, such as wine production and more recently, hazelnuts. Once we ride through the village, we start another scenic route that connects Lu to Cuccaro, the third stop on our bike ride.
This stretch of road is fantastic from a naturalististic perspective, due to the vineyards and hazelnut trees on both sides of the hill, where you can enjoy breath-taking views from the north side.
The road to Cuccaro is downhill and as well as having the classic Monferrato features, this small village was (probably) the birthplace of the famous navigator Christopher Columbus. It is well worth a visit. In support of what is no longer a mere theory, are studies and documents that prove these important origins and if you book in advance you can visit the Museum of Colombian Studies (in the centre of the village) for a journey back in time to that of the first great modern explorations.
From here, we are halfway through our journey and after a short stretch of road out of the village, we continue along the only dirt road segment, for the most part, a gentle descent. The surrounding countryside is characterized by the presence of vineyards, hazelnuts and some sporadic farms, including Cascina Boemia (until recently owned by the legendary Baron Liedholm) and the Capra Regina farm, known throughout the area for its goats cheese. The road ends at the intersection with the main road that connects the villages of Fubine and Quargnento. Quargnento is our next stop. From this point on, the route is flat for the rest of our journey. As you approach this town, you will notice reproductions of Carlo Carra paintings, a well-known local Futurism painter. In this quaint little village, it is also definitely worth visiting the beautiful Basilica of San Dalmazio, located in the centre.
We reach the end of our journey along the last few kilometres that separate us from Alessandria where a visit to the Savoy Citadel (near the new Meyer bridge) is definitely recommended.
NB - To avoid the less pleasant last km of main road to San Michele (definitely the busiest section of the road and not really suitable for family or less experienced cyclists, take the alternative route through Alessandria: This could also be considered the start and finish of the route, along some back roads in the San Michele countryside. by Ivan Reitano
Points of interest
Alessandria: Santa Maria del Castello church (it is possible to visit underground if booked in advance; House of Savoy fortress
San Salvatore Monferrato: Torre Paleologa, 24 meters high
Lu Monferrato: Museum of sacred art inside the San Giacomo Church
Cuccaro Monferrato: Museum of centre of Columbian studies. To book a visit, contact the municipality of Cuccaro Monferrato between 9am and 1pm, including Saturdays at the following number: 0131 771928
Quargnento: Basilica of San Dalmazio