GTL on a MTB - Variant 3B
Another GTL variation starting in the “village of stone”, this connecting section takes you to Torre Bormida, where you can connect with Cravanzana and the central sections of the GTL.
From the square of Bergolo, head down alongside the tourist office, then cross the main highway. Continue down the very steep, narrow road that turns quickly to stone. Cross the main highway again, then turn left to cut through the next curve and follow the narrow, paved road to the hamlet of Bergamaschi. At the next curve, leave the paved road and head down to the right through the woods. When you reach a lovely hazelnut grove, turn to the right and descend along the edge of the woods. When you have passed the town’s water reservoir, return to the paved road near the lovely Villa Bergolo. Take the road across from the house and continue along the garden toward a white house until you reach the gate.
Continue to the right along a trail that isn’t very evident. Stay along the edge of the cultivated field and pass a second water reservoir. Enter the woods here and continue along the stony trail until you reach the first homes of the hamlet of Bergamaschi. When you have passed the courtyards of two homes, stay along the crest of the hill through a steep section of very rough road, then return to the paved road in the centre of town. Cross the Bormida river and head up to the left to the main highway. Follow the highway for a few dozen metres to the hamlet of Gorretta, then head up a steep paved road that will take you directly to the main square in Torre Bormida. The village is situated on the hillside overlooking the river. A single street runs through town to the church square, with the homes arranged in a circle below it. Beyond the original part of the village and nearby cemetery, in the woods to the east, there are the remains of the castle, which shows how old this place is both in its defensive position and for the crossing of trading routes that were controlled here over the centuries.
But what makes this village particularly interesting is its rural architecture, which you can discover by wandering here and there, along the dry-stone walls that have terraced the southern slope over the centuries in order to carve out a bit of cultivated land in this impossibly steep valley. Alongside the dry-stone walls there are the farmhouses, situated in such a way as to take advantage of the sun and the wind, built out wood and stone with very few brick inlays. You will also find wells, drying structures (such as the amazing circular one at the crossroads down in the valley), stalls, storage sheds, tuff cellars and wood balconies in an infinite interplay of technique and need, wisdom and innovation, which has made this valley an open-air museum of Langa stone and of the age-old dignity in poverty of its inhabitants.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
Via Umberto Maddalena