GTL on a MTB - Leg 11
A hillcrest section that takes you to Pavaglione. This section features some stunning views and from Albaretto you can also head down in the opposite direction in a wide circle to switch valleys and reach the other crest of the GTL.
As you leave Albaretto della Torre in the direction of Tre Cunei, this route passes right in front of “Botega ‘d Cesare”, right across from the church of San Bernardo, before you climb up to the left to Strada Fontanassino. This narrow street, which is closed to traffic and adorned with the Stages of the Cross, winds past the fountain, for which it is named, to the hillcrest highway. Watch for cars and follow the highway to the left. At the midpoint of the next straight, head down again to the left on a narrow, paved road (signage for Cascina Corylicola). Continue along a flat, gravel road through the hazelnut trees and pass a spring with a lovely cut of rock, before you reach a farmhouse. The road turns to dirt and continues slightly downward through the grass before rising up through a couple of switchbacks to the hamlet of Burdia. Here, a plaque indicates the birthplace of the famous violin maker, Giovanni Pressenda, who left this stone farmhouse to go to Turin, where he would make sublime, now unobtainable violins.
A lovely but steep gravel road will take you back to the hillcrest highway near the crossroads for Benevello, where the Serravalle-Cerretto-ArguelloLequio Berria detour also joins up with the main itinerary. Cross the highway and follow the signs for Benevello. Leave the paved road at the first crossroads and head up to the left along a gravel road. Follow along the panoramic hillcrest past an aqueduct depot and then down to a saddle in the hill. From here, you will leave the crest and descend gradually along the dirt road to the left through the hazelnut groves to the paved road near the farmhouse Pian dei Gatti.
Continue to the left and follow along the main highway for about 600 metres (less than half a mile) to an intersection in the flat. From here, turn right and head back up a somewhat faint dirt road along the crest of the hill. The road will become more evident and continue along or near the crest. This panoramic section will take you back to the main highway near the village of Belmondo and the church of Madonna di Langa. You will need to follow the highway again for a couple of kilometres (a bit more than a mile) to the first homes in Benevello. A fork to the right will take you up a final climb to the village’s square and castle.
In Benevello, the austere castle with its two circular towers (now a privately owned building) protects the lovely Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, which is surrounded by a cool, steep garden with a view. The handful of narrow streets in the village are well worth a leisurely stroll.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way