Our route goes up and down between the cliffs, ridges and dips which open out onto the river, in a relatively varied geography that already overlooks the Monregalese Alps (the ski slopes are clearly visible in winter), boasting towers and castles, as is common to all these borders.
We descend towards Belvedere Langhe (it. Langa of Dolcetto) and then turn towards the twin villages of Cigliè and Rocca Cigliè, facing each other. The Castle and Tower are remains of local lordships, as are the impressive frescoed Churches of the little-known Monregalese School that emerged in the 15th and 16th centuries with a series of remarkable painters. The two villages are truly charming, marked by a most welcome sustainable viticulture which offers along the traditional Dolcetto wine also Riesling, as well as sparkling grapes for the noble Alta Langa; furthermore, in Rocca Cigliè bread has always been baked in the public oven every three weeks: what a show!
These villages, probably because they are the most remote they are also the most authentic custodians of tradition. One of them is Paroldo, the “village of the Masche”, a local legacy of Celtic beliefs which still pervade the whole of Europe. The Church of San Sebastiano, with its recovered frescoes and the charming Church of San Bernardino at either end of the village may serve to exorcise the village from the ancestral presences of spirits and goblins, but there is nothing they can do when every year, during the Summer of San Martino, magic and spells are back and, in order to chase away the masche, you have to use the one and only universal antidote: garlic, which is poured into the collective ritual of the truest and most liberating Bagna Cauda!
The way back to Murazzano follows the sublime mountain ridge, almost flying from one bend to the next like a masca, or rather like a fairy. After all, if the Langa of Tanaro has its own special word, that word will certainly be "magic".