GTL on a MTB - Variant 4B
Together with the previous section, this variant of the GTL connects the Prunetto hillcrest with that of Mombarcaro and Bossolasco to create potential circuits between the various branches of the GTL itinerary.
The charming village of Monesiglio is laid out as a sort of wedge between the river and the escarpment with the Caldera Castle right on the edge, like a spearhead. The rural churches are of great interest, from the solitary Romanesque Church of San Martino (now privately owned) along the steep road to Prunetto/Gottasecca to the extraordinary Church of Madonna dell’Acqua Dolce, also Romanesque and featuring a nave and two aisles as well as a number of 12th century Byzantine frescos that are some of the oldest of the entire valley.
To head back up the valley to Mombarcaro, you will need to cross the village of Monesiglio to the roundabout near the bridge over the Bormida river. Follow the highway to Mombarcaro until the crossroads for the hamlet of Bertole. Cross the stream and continue to the first houses of the hamlet. Head up towards the hill and, at the end of the asphalt, bend towards the woods to the right. This gravel road heads gradually upward as it runs along the fence of a farm and then up the hillside through a couple of switchbacks. At an evident fork in the road, keep to the left. After a flat section, the gravel road begins to climb more steeply up to the paved secondary road to the hamlet of Ronchetti. A bit further ahead on your right, you will find the highway. Follow this road to Mombarcaro at the summit of the hillcrest.
At an altitude of nearly 900 metres (2,950 ft), Mombarcaro is the highest of the Langhe municipalities and is known as the “Vetta delle Langhe” (Langhe Summit). The town’s coat of arms features a boat (barca in Italian, which can also be seen in the name of the town) in reference to an old legend whereby it is said that, on a clear winter day, you can see the sea from here.
One thing is certain: there are few places more intimately magical than Mombarcaro and few photos capture the spirit of the Langhe like the famous one of Fenoglio gazing out into the distance over the valleys below from this, the last possible hilltop.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
2 Via alla Chiesa