From the Belbo stream to the landscapes of the UNESCO hills
A mountain bike trail within the Asti Paleontological District between the villages of Castelnuovo Don Bosco, Bruno and Mombaruzzo. A ride amidst the greenery of nature, Romanesque churches not to be missed and outcrops that are a reminder of far-off history.
The itinerary starts from the sports facility of Castelnuovo Belbo - just beyond the Romanesque Church of San Biagio - and runs along the road of the left bank of the Belbo stream closed to vehicular traffic, partly paved and partly dirt and gravel and surrounded by cultivated fields and riparian vegetation. At the end, turn right into the provincial road. In the village, not to miss a visit to the Francesco Cirio Museum, in the beautiful Palazzo Comunale.
Then continue towards Bruno crossing the SP Nizza Monferrato - Alessandria. Once in Bruno - Borgo Aie, and continuing to the right on the flat road, take Strada Rio to the end, where you will find the indication "Geosito". This is a site of geo paleontological interest located in the protected area ZnS of the "Bosco delle Sorti - la Communa".
At the end of Strada Rio you go up to Bruno Alto via a narrow and steep pedestrian only street or via a safer variant for cyclists which then continues on the SP4. Upon entering Bruno and crossing the historic village, it is advisable to go up to the lookout point of the Annunziata Church from which you can enjoy a wide view of the Castle of the Marquis Faa di Bruno and the surrounding landscape.
Then continue up to the SP4 towards Mombaruzzo. After the cemetery there is a crossroads with a rest area and a marked variant that enters the protected area ZnS of the "Bosco delle Sorti - la Communa", first meeting the Church of the Misericordia, with a large green area, and then a rest area with post for horses and equipped house.
Returning to the crossroads, continue up to Mombaruzzo. Once arrived here, go up to the right up to Piazza Pietro Romano where the seventeenth-century Palazzo Marchesa Pallavicini faces. Here the path is doubled.
On the right, continue towards Mombaruzzo Stazione along a short stretch of the provincial ridge for Nizza Monferrato and then take the San Pietro Road on the left, partially asphalted and graveled. Among vineyards, cultivated fields and hilly landscapes, you reach the provincial road at the bottom of the valley for Nizza Monferrato and turn left for Mombaruzzo Stazione, where you arrive in the square of the RFI Station. The presence of the RFI station, Acqui Terme-Nizza Monferrato-Asti line offers the possibility of exchanging train-bike and from here to start and / or finish the route.
In Mombaruzzo, from the crossroads of Piazza P. Romano, a variant is indicated. On the left, go down towards the center along Via Roma, flanked by historic buildings and the monumental Church of Sant’Antonio. From the main square - a visit to Borgo Castello recommended first - continue towards the Church of the Presepio, along the SP4 for Acqui Terme, up to the junction on the left that leads to the Church, located in the heart of the protected area "Bosco delle Sorti - la Communa" ZnS .
After a short stretch you will come across the equipped rest area, with toilet for the disabled and its access path, and shortly afterwards you will reach the Church of the Nativity, a pleasant place rich in traditions. The eighteenth-century church on a pre-existing Romanesque, is surrounded by a green area with a rest area. The church has returned to be enriched with wooden statues of the characters of the nativity scene, at human height, placed inside, and occasionally also outside. The Church of the Presepio is inserted in a CAI ring route, which develops in the wooded area with a stretch of ridge and a valley floor that winds through the Pliocene sands.
The described route could also be a good link path between the Asti area and Acqui Terme area, with a larger variety of experience to live with your bike.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way