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titolo

The Peak and the Gullies

partenza 
Roccaverano
arrivo 
Roccaverano
Localita' sul percorso 
Roccaverano, S.Giovanni, Vengore, C.ne Colla, Mombaldone, Piantivello, Garbavoli, Case Bogliolo, S.Sebastiano, Serole, Castle of Serole, Bric Puschera, Olmo Gentile and Roccaverano
lunghezza 
approximately 35 km
tempo di percorrenza 
2 or 3 days
difficolta' del percorso 
average

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Leg 1: Roccaverano (750 m) – Mombaldone (222 m)
Length: 9,3 km

 

As you leave Roccaverano, first go on the scenic ridge through the historic hamlets of S.Giovanni, Gallesi and Vengore. The first hamlet stands out for its historical center and the church of S.Giovanni (thirteenth century) which is worth visiting, as it maintains one of the most important late Gothic fresco cycles available in the province of Asti. After leaving Gallesi and Vengore, walk on the downhill dirt road. The panorama extends over the valley of the stream Ovrano, with slopes characterized by terraces and forests. A narrow path sets off from near Cascina Molinera that runs along the slopes which are very steep at times, with a background of rather picturesque gullies and rocks, which are of great interest owing to the presence of peculiar species of plants such as thyme and smoke-tree, typical Mediterranean bushes, oak, ash, Scots pine, broom, several species of orchids including the rare and protected bryony orchid (Himantoglossum adriaticum). It is a particularly striking orchid because of its remarkable size and long labellum which gives it its name. Such a rich and particular environment hosts animal species that are equally varied and interesting. Among the insects, the green tiger beetle (Cicindela campestris) also known as “the six-legged tiger”, finds its ideal hunting field here. Once you get to the valley bottom along Ovrano stream, which we recommend you visit for the good condition of the nature, you will soon reach Mombaldone, considered among the “most beautiful villages of Italy”. It will give you a glimpse of the Middle Ages that reached our day, with its cobbled streets and stone houses with coats of arms on the doors.

 

Leg 2: Mombaldone (222 m) – Serole (600 m)
Length: 14,7km

 

As you leave the village of Mombaldone behind, you proceed on the minor asphalt road in a context of small croplands, farms, wooded strips and gullies. The trail continues on a path that climbs the slope with bushes/trees with a very panoramic view of the slopes full of gullies and featuring an interesting xeric flora: the presence of broom, thyme and isolated cistus bushes (Cistus salvifolius), all the way to the hamlet of Piantivello which houses interesting stone artifacts. From here, proceed to Garbavoli, Case Boglioli, S.Sebastiano, Brallo and finally Serole, with interleaving asphalt and dirt sections with very little traffic, crossing meadows, wooded strips, terraces and small croplands in a very evocative setting.

Leg 3: Serole (600 m) – Roccaverano (750 m)

Length: 11,1 km

 

In the center of Serole, you will find a recreational area equipped with tables and benches, the sixteenth century parish church of S.Lorenzo, the Oratory of San Bernardino and Madonna del Carmine, which is now desecrated and used for cultural activities. Then continue enroute the hamlet of Cuniola but, just before you reach it, leave the asphalt road to go uphill on a dirt road till the vicinity of Bric Puschera  on a background featuring typical
woodland and shrubs. The remains of the castle of Serole with its dry stone walls, typical terraces and the splendid panorama that unveils itself as you climb, and reaches its apotheosis on the Bric Puschera itself (the peak of the Langhe), stand witness to the historical- scenic importance of this place. When you arrive close to Cascine Battaglini, the hamlet of “Camomilla” does not go unnoticed. It is a fortified center of stone houses with a fence wall that hides different buildings. You proceed on an asphalt road with very little traffic from here and get to enjoy the impressive panorama, crossing wooded gorges, small pastures and croplands, till you arrive at the village of Olmo Gentile, whose tower and the majestic stone castle stand out in the smallest town of the Langhe with less than 100 inhabitants. After you leave the village heading east, you proceed to a votive chapel on the county road, from which you can continue to walk on the dirt road on a background of meadows and pastures and shrub patches and avoid the asphalt road. The whole surroundings are characterized by beautiful and evocative views: the Langhe hills with old villages on their tops and the Alpine Chain in the background. The cart track leads to the county road few hundred meters from the “capital” of the Langhe of Asti: Roccaverano. The heart of the village is embodied in the beautiful square where Bramante’s Church of Annunziata stands, featuring the tower with a circular base and the wall that remains of the castle of the Marquis del Carretto. It has three elegant mullioned windows with two lights and embrasures from which arms could be deployed to defend the fortress, in case of need. The historic center is worth visiting for its internal streets, stone houses, portals adorned with sculpted stone friezes.

Informazioni utili 
Hiking trail for walking and MTB (with some limitations)
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