hero_murazzano

Alta Langa of the Tanaro

The right bank of the Tanaro river from Ceva to Castagnole Lanze is pure Langa. It is actually this river that marks the border on almost three sides of the Langhe hills along with the wall of the Ligurian Alps to the south-east and the small Tinella stream towards Monferrato.

 

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.

Read More

The reference centre, and our starting point, is Murazzano, a prosperous mediaeval centre as revealed by the village with its city gates, rich parish Church, stately mansions and the Carretto Tower right at the top of the old town, all the towers mentioned are part of the beautiful circuit "Turris, Piedmont from above". There is also the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Hal and, nearby, the only windmill in the Langhe which was converted from an old watchtower on the Rea. Murazzano is also another important Fenoglio village and the capital of the homonymous sheep cheese which is why we will find cheese-makers and sheeps everywhere on our tour.

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!

You go past the cylindrical tower of Castellino Tanaro to the fortified Marsaglia, which is slightly further back (with the frescoed Church of San Ponzio in the open countryside), and then on to Igliano  (the small Churches of San Luigi and San Sebastiano are also very pretty) to finally reach Torresina, another timeless village.  From here you can go as far as Roascio, retracing the sites of the Napoleonic battles from Pedaggera to the ruins of the Fort of Ceva. We are immersed in a painted landscape, where the “marin”, the salty air from nearby Liguria, carries Mediterranean aromas and delivers unique flavours

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!

If garlic has a peculiar scent, surely everyone loves the smell of lavender, whose neat fields will take us all the way to Sale delle Langhe in a burst of shades of purple alternating with the blonde colour of enkir, another local glory.  The Prandi Arboretum is worth a visit even if you are not keen on botany, as well as the ancient twin hamlet of Sale San Giovanni with the little Church on the four winds of Santa Anastasia, a mysterious  Oriental saint about whom there is only this evidence in the Langhe. From Sale you can also descend quickly to the Nature Reserve of the Belbo Springs (it. Alta Langa of the Bormida). 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".

 

Texts by Pietro Giovannini

 

Listen to the Podcast:

 

COVERED AREAS

Langhe

DOWNLOAD

GENERAL INFORMATION

Departure
Murazzano
SP32
Italy
Arrival
Murazzano
SP32
Italy
Type of trail
Loop
Distanz
102.4 km

ACCESSIBILITY

Along the way:

Point of interest along the way

Departure:
Murazzano
SP32
Cuneo
Italy
Arrival:
Murazzano
SP32
Cuneo
Italy

POI items of this experience

    Suggested Itineraries

    Altitude profile

    Loading altitude profile...

      Suggested Itineraries

      • aaa
        Trekking
        Langhe
        Loop
        Partenza: Treiso
        Arrivo: Treiso
        Easy
        6.4 km
        1:40 hours
      • Trekking - Langhe
        Trekking
        Langhe
        Loop
        Partenza: Treiso
        Arrivo: Treiso
        Easy
        45.1 km
        11:50 hours
      • Trekking - Langhe
        Trekking
        Langhe
        Loop
        Partenza: Castiglione Tinella
        Arrivo: Castiglione Tinella
        Easy
        10 km
        3:30 hours
      • GTL - Grande Traversata delle Langhe
        MTB Touring Routes
        Langhe
        Stage trail
        Partenza: Castino
        Arrivo: San Benedetto Belbo
        Demanding
        234.5 km
        23:48 hours
      • Trekking - GTL
        Trekking
        Langhe
        Linear
        Partenza: Albaretto della Torre
        Arrivo: Benevello
        Intermediate
        10 km
        2:15 hours
      • MTB - Monferrato - Calliano
        MTB Touring Routes
        Monferrato
        Linear
        Partenza: Calliano
        Arrivo: Castell'Alfero
        Intermediate
        9.6 km
        2:20 hours