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The Great Circuit of Andona and Grande Valleys

Asti- Valleandona
Localita' sul percorso 
Asti (hamlet of Valleandona), Settime, Camerano Casasco, Cinaglio
approximately 28 km
tempo di percorrenza 
2 days
difficolta' del percorso 
easy, long uphill stretches

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The entire circuit runs within the borders of the Special Nature Reserve of Andona, Botto and Grande Valleys. It gives you a taste of the major natural, historical and geological merits of this territory. Information boards and recreation areas along the path provide map instructions and offer further cues for observation. Since the path comprises the union of various visiting itineraries within the protected area, you can curtail the length of the circuit at any time by choosing connecting stretches available in the territory, whose locations are shown on the map boards and trail signs located along the path.

Outbound: hamlet of Valleandona

Outbound: hamlet of Valleandona (Asti) (170 m) - Bric Monache – Painastra - Valdigora (Settime) - Bric Credo – Valoeisa (Settime) - I Gorghi (Cinaglio) - S.Grato (Camerano Casasco) (260 m) - Camerano (center) (300 m amsl)
Length: 13,8 km

The first part of the circuit stretches across both slopes of Andona Stream Valley, whose upstream part is called Grande Stream. Valley bottom stretches alternate with extremely panoramic tracks on the valley ridge. The view spans from Monviso all the way to Monte Rosa to the north and hill embankments of Monferrato to the south. The prevalent setting is woods with residual strips of what once used to be vast vineyards. You can climb up the woody slope from the parking lot of Valleandona tourist reception center, located right next to the hamlet of Valleandona, and arrive at the panoramic cart track on the ridge, which runs through a succession of copses, chestnut woods and sparse pine woods, all the way to Bricco delle Monache, which is a part of the big farm that used to be property of Counts Ottolenghi. You can see a part of their manor house once you go down to the damp valley bottom, which you walk down until you reach the isolated Grande Stream Valley passing a succession of small lands. You start gaining altitude again from Valdigora area, immersed in the cool air beneath oak trees, walking on the steep itinerary engraved within fossiliferous walls, which stretches till little after the evocative Valoeisa area. A subsequent itinerary with hairpin turns descends to the damp Gorghi di Cinaglio area, where naturalistic highlights accompany historical importance. In fact, the area was used for hemp retting till the first half of the twentieth century, and tubs used in the process are still visible in the forest. The following long ridge through the forest leads you to S.Grato Church. The vast panorama covers beyond Basilica of Superga, all the way to Rocciamelone Mountain. As you finish the day’s stretch you walk on the asphalt road to the village of Camerano, where you can stay the night.

Inbound: S.Grato (Camerano Casasco) (260 m) - S.Bartolomeo - I Gorghi (Cinaglio) - Peschiera (Settime) - district of Valdigora - Cascina Luisa - Bricco Carlevaris (Asti Vallebaciglio) – Cascina Monfalcone - Cascina Fontana – hamlet of Valleandona (Asti) (170 m)
Length: 14,5 km

A long wavy itinerary takes you from S.Grato area to that of S.Bartolomeo. This is an unexpected and enchanted place immersed in the forest. A Romanesque church and the ruins of a farmhouse stand witness to the regression of the anthropic territory. In particular, the place was involved in tragic events concerning antifascist resistance, which reached their climax when the farmhouse was set on fire and the last inhabitants abandoned it definitely. The descent continues next to a fossiliferous surfacing and you finally reach the engraved valley bottom, which leads you to Gorghi di Cinaglio. From there, it unwinds again into Grande Valley and you arrive at Peschiera di Settime, which used to be a washhouse involved in the affairs of the castle of Settime and was later transformed into a vast sports fishing reservoir. The valley bottom stretch guides you to Valdigora area, from which it rises on the watershed with Rilate Valley. If you take a look from here, you can see the Southern embankments of Asti territory. The vast cart track reels off on the ridge all the way to the small hamlet of Bricco Carlevaris. In the end, as you walk through black locust copses, chestnut woods and vineyard remains, you arrive close to the former cooperative landfill of Valle Manina, which is in an advanced stage of environmental reclamation. Along this stretch, on the edges of forests, you can find evidence that vine used to be cultivated here till a few years ago, particularly on ridges with better exposure. Cabins, troughs used for verdigris and cisterns are what remains from it. The last stretch of the path takes you to the starting point briefly, thus closing the circuit. The Multi-purpose Center of Asti Park Authority situated in the hamlet of Valleandona provides popular and didactic information and cues for further studying naturalistic and paleontological aspects that you encounter along the path

Informazioni utili 
The circuit is easily divisible into two sections: outbound and inbound, which you can obviously walk starting from either ends: Valleandona d’Asti or Camerano Casasco. You can also overnight in these towns
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I tracciati GPS dei percorsi provengono da fonti varie e sono costituiti da più sezioni composte in un unico tracciato. Alcuni di essi possono avere un senso direzionale diverso da quello descritto sulla guida. Per una corretta percorrenza si raccomanda sempre la lettura del testo descrittivo e della mappa. Le informazioni contenute su tutti i media non impegnano la responsabilità di autori ed editori.