GTL on a MTB - Variant 9D
Another section of GTL variation, this route provides connections to both Albaretto, forming a circuit, and Benevello, continuing along one of the main hillcrests.
Lequio Berria is not far from Benevello as the crow flies, as the two are essentially at the two ends of the long hill that eventually connects with the backbone of the Langhe region, i.e. the hillcrest road that runs between the Tanaro and Belbo Valleys. However, Lequio overlooks the Belbo Valley and (especially from the Madonna della Neve Sanctuary) Borgomale below, looking quite small from such a height (Langhe geography can play tricks on you), the even smaller Church of Santa Caterina marking the border and welcoming travellers.
Here, too, you will find a rare collection of over a hundred Italo-Russian pastels, which was started by Pierre Tchakhotine and the local painter Luigi Carbone in a partnership with the Jaroslav Museum in Russia. Also of note is the San Rocco Oratory, where you can still see fragments of late-Gothic frescos, including a “Judgment of Pilate and Herod”, in the ancient Romanesque chapel with its beautifully restored façade. You might also enjoy a leisurely stroll from the barrow at the point where once a castle stood (likely just a donjon surrounded by a wall) to see the various shrines along the way to the Madonna della Neve Sanctuary, where you will find a spectacular view of the Belbo Valley.
From the main square, head up to the left and cross essentially the entire village along Via Langa. After passing a memorial monument and the intersection with the secondary highway, cross the main highway. Right after a lovely villa, take the narrow, paved road that heads uphill to the right. After a very panoramic section, the road heads down gradually to the right, taking you to another intersection with the main highway. To get to Benevello, you will need to continue on to the right for a few kilometres.
The location of Benevello was of strategic importance historically, in the direction of Alba, as well as being favorably positioned geographically speaking. At an altitude of 670 metres (2,198 ft) and enjoying an interplay of winds from the Belbo Valley and the Berria river, it is undoubtedly one of the coolest spots anywhere in the Langhe region. In winter, the wind in Benevello creates a sort of crystallization effect on the Bassa Langa region, appearing as a white-on-black nativity scene from the faraway plains against the white backdrop of the Alps on the horizon. At night, the plain comes to life with lights that are much brighter than those of the hilltop villages, so we can easily distinguish Fossano, Savigliano, Saluzzo, Asti and, above all, Turin, which lights up the Roero region and the Moncalieri-Superga hill like a enormous magic lamp.
In Benevello, the austere castle with its two circular towers (now a privately owned building) protects the lovely Church of San Pietro in Vincoli, which is surrounded by a cool, steep garden with a view. The handful of narrow streets in the village are well worth a leisurely stroll.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way