The Walks of the High Shady Hills and Clear Hills – Variant 6A
From the municipality of 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. Keep going until you reach the paved road, in Molino towards Penango.
The route passes by a farmhouse, then continues into Via Stazione going through Regione Verginetto for about 1,20 km. In the small village of Penango there is the small church of San Grato, which was rebuilt and designed by Francesco Ottavio Magnocavallo in the 18th century. This Baroque-Piedmontese sacred building houses the canvases painted by Guglielmo Caccia, and cabinet work made by the local craftsman Giovanni Andrea Allemano. Magnocavallo also worked on the reconstruction of the church of San Vittore over an earlier romanic church, in the municipality of Cioccaro.
After 1,20 km, Via Stazione intersects with Via Garibaldi. Turn right into Via Garibaldi and go down this road for about 500 m, until you reach the intersection with Strada Provinciale 457. Go past the intersection and keep going on the dirt road that passes through the farmlands at first and then goes along the woods where it ends in Via Cantoglio. Continue here for 200 metres, then turn right into a large dirt road that passes through the farmlands again. After 350 metres, you come to an intersection. Go past it.
Pass between two farmhouses, and after 150 metres, go down the road keeping the right for only 20 metres. Then, take the first dirt road that passes through the farmlands on the left.
After less than 300 metres you get to the church of San Vittore. Shortly after, the road intersects with Strada della Collina. Go past it. Go along the local Relais Chateaux, then go down Via Biletta and keep the left at the intersection.
Go down this road for about 3 km, and pass through the farmlands that are impressive for their dimension. After 3 km, you come to an intersection with Via San Sebastiano that leads to the centre of Grana Monferrato. Grana Monferrato is located on a hill on the right side of Grana creek, from which it takes its name. The large churchyard of the parish is also a great viewpoint that allows to turn the look a bit more to see the Monferrato area of Asti and the Alps.
The village extends over a typical spiral structure and goes up a slope until reaching the top that used to be the setting of the castle, and where stands the parish church nowadays. Grana Monferrato is very recognizable even from afar thanks to the white late-baroque church dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption.
Into the parsonage there are some reliquaries and the Museum of Sacred Art. Among the most important works of the 17th and 18th centuries, there are some paintings by Crosio and by Guglielmo Caccia, the so-called “Il Moncalvo”. The museum also includes some vestments, sacred furnishings, and finely crafted altars of gold and silver.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way