The Walks of the High Shady Hills and Clear Hills – Leg 6
When you are in Sanico go down Via San Pietro for about 90 metres, then take the first dirt road on the left. After 250 metres turn right and pass through the farmlands for about 600 metres. At the intersection keep the left until you reach the paved road, then turn left after 80 metres. Go straight ahead on the dirt road for about 1,5 km. Go along the company “Fassa Bortolo” building in Località Gessi, then go straight ahead until you reach an intersection. Keep going down on Strada Provinciale 13.
After less than a kilometre you come to an intersection again. Turn right into Strada Provinciale 57d. The route continues on Strada Provinciale that also goes through farmlands, then Via Roma in Moncalvo, where the appeal of the medieval city meets a unique landscape of hills. Moncalvo, which is the smallest city of Italy, has been the capital of the Marquisate of Monferrato for a long time and it is now one of the main municipalities of this area. Situated to the northeast of Asti, right on the border of the Province of Alessandria, it stands on a hill of 305 m above sea level.
Its castle had one the strongest fortification in the area: large towers and massive walls can be seen in the big Carlo Alberto square. Moncalvo has been home to a flourishing Jewish community until 1939. Today only small traces of the synagogue and the ghetto, which was on Via General Montanari and Via IV Marzo, are visible. The cemetery, on the way to Alessandria, has ancient tombs, mostly from the 18th century.
The main artistic heritage of the city is represented by the so-called “Il Moncalvo” Guglielmo Caccia and his daughter Orsola Maddalena. In fact, their masterpieces enrich the church of St Francesco, with its museum, and the church of Sant’Antonio Abate. It is also important to mention the church of Madonna delle Grazie, built in the 16th century and designed by Magnocavallo; and the ruins of the castle with tunnels that hosted guards ready to prevent looting and enemy attacks for years.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way