GTL on a MTB - Variant 2A
The leg, a variant of the GTL, is a paved, low-traffic route through one of the Alta Langa’s most characteristic villages and on to a panoramic, religious sanctuary that has long been a much-loved site among locals.
The village of Pezzolo Valle Uzzone sits on the left bank of the Uzzone river, on a spur of land that protects it from flooding. We highly recommend taking a stroll through this village to immerse yourself in this last secret valley of the Langhe region with its fairytale woods, villages, lost castles, and other romantic ruins.
Here in Pezzolo, the main street is a near perfect archetype of a fortified village, with its homes overlooking the street, its sandstone portals, windows full of flowers and plaques honoring local celebrities. This miraculous village in the Uzzone Valley is a feast for the eyes and for the nose. If you’re an enthusiast of hermitages, in the nearby countryside there is San Rocco in Carpaneta, the only church overlooking the river beneath the cliffs, rather than welcoming the faithful as they arrive by road.
From Pezzolo, head up in the direction of Torre Uzzone, first alongside Rio Torre Uzzone and then Rio Grosso. Torre Uzzone was its own municipality until the late 1920s when, due to depopulation, it was united with Gorrino to become Pezzolo Valle Uzzone (the village in the valley was already divided in half between the two municipalities). This depopulation is even more evident in Torre today, as it has been reduced to just a few scattered farmhouses around the remains of the abbey, which has recently been tastefully restored by a Swiss family.
So what remains of this ancient village, which is mentioned as early as circa 1000 AD in the inheritance of Bonifacio del Vasto? There is one of the most charming cemeteries in all the Langhe, with its few gravestones still in its border walls telling tales from ages past. Or the remains of the ancient castle and the tower for which the village is named, which lie on the opposite ledge, immersed for centuries in the woods. No one knows what happened here or why the place was abandoned, but whatever it was happened in the Middle Ages, because all trace of it had already been lost entirely by the 1400s.
From Torre Uzzone, continue up along the trail to Todocco Sanctuary, a site of historical interest in a particularly panoramic location and where you can still find a restaurant and bar heroically serving all visitors to this place. The sanctuary is situated on the crest between the Italian regions of Piedmont and Liguria, overlooking villages far off into the distance in the direction of the fortified village of Gorrino, situated at the head of the route to and from the sea in a strategic position that the lords of Cortemilia enjoyed for centuries.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way