GTL on a MTB - Variant 3A
One of the many GTL variants, this brief route starts in Bergolo and runs through the nearby villages to discover the entire territory as you head down, steeply at times, to Pezzolo Valle Uzzone, a typical village of the Alta Langa.
In Bergolo, the route starts across from the Town Hall and heads out along Via Pezzolo. After an initial section overlooking the Uzzone Valley, you will enter the woods along a steep road that runs along the steeper side of the hill, which falls away nearly straight down to the Uzzone river.
The Uzzone Valley is the last, and most hidden, of the Langhe valleys and runs parallel to the Bormida Valley along the border with the Italian region of Liguria (and so also the Cairo-Spigno Valley). The Uzzone Valley starts at the wall of Bric Baraccone at 765 metres / 2509 ft (beyond this, the hamlet of Carretto is already Cairo) and the source of the valley’s waterway, which flows for just 20 km before joining the Bormida in Cortemilia. Despite its short length, the Uzzone is highly impetuous and has been responsible for a great many disastrous floods all along its length. Locals proudly call the Uzzone Valley the “Valley of Science” because of the great many scientists who have been born here. It is a green valley, quiet and fragrant, and is practically intact, although it underwent great depopulation in the 20th century and went from having four municipalities to just two, as Scaletta became a part of Castelletto, while Torre and Gorrino merged with Pezzolo. That said, there are few places that give the sense of freedom you feel atop the spectacular Gorrino-Todocco-Santa Giulia crest.
As you continue on through this untamed landscape, you will arrive at a crossroads, where you will turn to the right for the final, steepest section, which takes you quickly down to the main highway at the base of the valley and the village of Pezzolo. In the uphill direction, of course, this road is markedly slower and more arduous.
In Pezzolo Valle Uzzone, 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, plaques honoring local celebrities, and an excellent restaurant. This miraculous village in the Uzzone Valley is a feast for the eyes and for the nose. And 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.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way