Alta Langa Verde
As green as the woods and hazel groves in which you ride, this 56 km route takes you on a discovery of the Alta Langa. We are in the homeland of the hazelnut, the Tonda Gentile di Langa (Round Hazelnut of the Langhe), the queen of every menu here. Hazelnut groves run alongside, low-traffic roads that take you to small villages, architectural gems where ancient and modern styles merge together, sea air that comes from the neighbouring Liguria. In Levice you can join the Alta Langa Bianco trail, in Bosia you can take a detour towards Cossano Belbo, the entry point into the Pavese hills, in Cravanzana you can descend towards the Barolo Viola trail.
The French painter Henri Rousseau, known for his fairy-tale, dreamlike paintings and his eternal childlike gaze on the wonders of creation, is also often remembered for a remark he made: <When I go to the countryside and see the sun and the greenery and the blossoming of everything, I say to myself "Yes, all this belongs to me!"> The sense of being at one with the magnificence of nature and especially with the greenery that surrounds you is exactly what you experience if you choose to walk this trail.
The trail starts in Cortemilia and, soon, you are surrounded by lush nature marked by the constant presence of hazelnut groves, so many and so dense that it is safe to assume that if the fanciful imagination of Disney's artists had landed on these hills, many of the adventures of the intrepid squirrels Chip and Dale would probably have taken place here. Certainly, you won't see them, nor the unlucky Scrat from the movie Ice Age, but if you're lucky and watch out you might come across a little squirrel keen on plundering some forgotten nuts. A real Nut-Land, where you can let your imagination run free and feel part of the landscape.
You pass through stone villages of unquestionable charm, small hamlets inhabited by a few people that open up to the world thanks to their history or with contemporary artistic suggestions, as in the case of Bergolo, where its 59 inhabitants have decided to display on the characteristic façades of their houses the works of art of authors from all over the world.
Take a break at the belvedere and you are ready to reach Levice which, with its narrow streets, overlooks the Bormida Valley and where, if you wish, you can also leave the track and join the Alta Langa Bianco trail. Just a little effort and you get to Feisoglio which, from its 700 metres above sea level, overlooks an endless expanse of woods and tidy hazelnut groves. As you ride through regenerating landscapes you get to Cravanzana, another village famous for the cultivation and processing of the Piedmont hazelnut ICP. From here you can take a detour towards the classic Langa, on the way to the Barolo Viola trail.
The next stretch, on the other hand, sees you pass through the houses, again made of Langa stone, of the small village of Bosia where the people who live there are 180, all ready to share with you the beauty of the landscape that can be enjoyed through a network of nature trails. If you still have some energy, head north, still surrounded by infinite shades of green, and stretch as far as Cossano Belbo, the entry point of those Langhe that became famous thanks to the literary works of Cesare Pavese. Then return along the same road and, at the junction, take the road that joins up with Cortemilia.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way