The Walks of the High Shady Hills and Clear Hills – Leg 8
The point of departure is located in the historic centre of the village of Grana Monferrato, in the proximity of the church of Annunziata, placed near the parish that often hosts important art exhibitions. The origins of the church date back to 1620, but apparently existed even before that year. In the past it was the headquarters of the “Confraternity of Disciplined”, and the “Company of the Blessed Virgin Mary”. Nowadays, you can admire beautiful paintings, such as “The Annunciation of Mary” by Guglielmo Caccia, the so-called “Il Moncalvo”.
After about 250 metres, turn left into Via Professor Innocenzo Garrone and stand on the right side. You get to the valley of Pratodonero river, then go up the slope in north direction until reaching the valley of Grana river. This part of the route is about 3 km long. When you come to the intersection with Strada Provinciale 29 you will see the church of San Antonio, who is the saint of Padova. At the beginning of the last century, it was as ruined as the bishop would not allow the celebration of masses. The community decided to rebuilt it. Two testimonies are important to understand its antiquity. First, MCCCLXXXV (1385) engraved on a brick; second, the fragment of a fresco re-emerged during cleaning in 1979.
Go past the church, turn right into a dirt road that connects with Strada Provinciale 38. Keep going down the road for about 1 km and a half, then turn right into a typical agricultural landscape of cultivated fields (with rows for defining the area) and splendid sunflowers. You will realize that the route is full of panoramic spots, with views of the Alps and the Monferrato hills.
On this path you will encounter the famous Bialbero of Casorzo (the double tree of Casorzo). It is a mulberry tree on which a cherry tree grows. The cherry tree rises well above the mulberry tree on which it stands. It is rare to see two fully grown trees in such an unusual configuration; however, it is possible that a bird left a seed on the top of the mulberry tree in which the roots grew up. Trees like this reach a small size and have a short lifespan, unlike the Bialbero of Casorzo.
Go past the double tree and the Strada Provinciale, keep going towards Località Cascina Nuova, where you will find great views of Casorzo Monferrato, placed on the hill. The last part of the route is 3 km long and allow to get towards the historic centre of the village passing through typical vineyards. This grape variety is used to make Malvasia of Casorzo wine. You get to the inhabited area in which there are the parish complex of San Vincenzo and the Romanic church of Our Lady of Grace surrounded by nature.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
73 Corso Garibaldi