GTL on a MTB - Leg 6
A lengthy route through the Sorgenti del Belbo Nature Reserve within the Marguareis Park, a humid area and site of the source of the Belbo river, which divides the Langhe from these highlands.
From Saliceto, take highway SP295 in the direction of Camerana and follow the signs to the trail that continues along the highway to Campolungo. Shortly after Campolungo, head to the left before you cross Rio Gambarana and continue in the direction of Rocchezza until San Giovanni Belbo. From here, head up to Rifugio La Pavoncella.
This is the most pristine part of the Alta Langa and is the perfect spot for outdoor activities all year round. Rifugio La Pavoncella is at the edge of the Sorgenti del Belbo Nature Reserve in a humid basin between Montezemolo, Camerana and Saliceto. The Belbo Valley that cuts deeply through the Langhe region not far from here is, at this point, just a depression between rolling hills. Conversely, your destination, the Mombarcaro hill, rises high (reaching an altitude of nearly 900 metres / 2950 ft) not far past La Pavoncella.
From the lodge, continue on to Cascina Cassolo, where you will find a dirt road in the woods. Continue along the crest of the hill until you reach the cultivated fields around Bric Giacotto, then head down the gravel road to Cascina Flambè. Continue along the crest through a number of sections of woodlands to a saddle in the hill. Head down here along a steep, gravel road to the paved highway that runs between the Belbo and Tanaro Valleys. Continue to the left along this highway in the direction of Mombarcaro until you reach the road to Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie. Here, follow an old trail that leads to the Church of San Pietro and then to an aqueduct. From here, follow the highway again until you get to the centre of Mombarcaro through its medieval archway.
Mombarcaro is almost Ligurian in the steepness of its hill, which forces the town into terraces of parallel streets connected by steep stone roads and a labyrinth of stairs, which are kept cool and damp by the sea breeze coming in over the Ligurian countryside. One of the village’s gates (the other has been broken into two stumps) evokes the idea of a walled village protected by towers, a moat and a castle destroyed by time or by war, while the historical museum features a Roman stela.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
Via Vittorio Emanuele II