GTL on a MTB - Leg 8
Discover local cheeses on the ways between Murazzano and Bossolasco, along the hillcrest route through the Bossola Pass for one of the most picturesque sections of road in the entire Langhe region.
For many reasons, Murazzano is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting villages of the Alta Langa. The first of those reasons is the historical centre, which reflects the wealth and power that was concentrated here for centuries. Its strategic position on the crest of the hill between the Tanaro and Belbo rivers, where it can oversee numerous minor valleys as well and at the fork in the road to Alba and Dogliani (and the Cuneo Valley) made Murazzano one of the most powerful fiefdoms of all the Langhe region, which gave the village its nickname as the “shield and key to Piedmont”. The shape of this hilltop village, like a three-point star converging on the beautiful, 33-metre-tall stone tower also points to Murazzano’s glorious past. Murazzano is also the name of an excellent local goat cheese, a typical product of the Langhe with its unmistakable squat, round shape.
Wandering through the streets of the village, you will be fascinated by palaces like the Tovegni and the more modest stone houses, all of which were tastefully, and solidly, built. The Church of San Lorenzo, from its extraordinary vantage point, is worth a lengthy visit, for the fresco from the Macrino d’Alba school that was moved here. Not to be missed, outside the walls of the village, the remarkable Sanctuary of the Madonna di Hal.
From the centre of the village, take the state highway to the right and then immediately take the road to the left to the Safari Park. Once over the hump, you will find the grassy and rocky trail along the crest of the Bossola Pass.
This marvelous trail with its high-altitude view runs flat and then steeply downhill to the pass, where you join the state highway again for the intersection, then head immediately to the left to continue along the crest through the woods (attention: at the three-pronged fork in the road, keep straight to remain along the crest of the hill) until the Basic2 industrial site, which you will pass on the left. Cross the paved courtyard and continue on to the Church of San Rocco. Head back up to the watershed and then descend into Bossolasco (at the end of the road, turn left and take the main road through the village at the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli).
Bossolasco is the village of painters (the Sei di Torino, literally the “Six from Turin”) and of their historic signs. Fenoglio, and most of the inhabitants of Alba, came here on vacation in the summer, and in winter this was the site of the only ski lifts in the entire Langhe region!
The town’s ricetto remains essentially intact, but in place of the castle there is now the 17th century Palazzo Balestrino, a remarkable example of late-Renaissance architecture that points to the power and influence the Del Carretto Family exercised for so long here. In the 1960s, many of Italy’s most influential painters, including Menzio, Fontana, Casorati and Paulucci, met here around the legendary Demetrio Veglio’s Albergo Bellavista. Other points of interest include the Town Hall, which is housed in the former confraternity, and the offices of Unione Montana, which bear all the coat of arms of the villages of the Alta Langa.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
Corso della Valle