Via del Mare Astigiano Trail – Leg 2
Starting from the historic centre of Azzano d’Asti (204 m asl), we continue for one km towards the centre of Rocca d’Arazzo dominated by Palazzo Cacherano, today Town Hall, and in the past seat of the family of Lords Cacherano della Rocca. Next to it is a park from which we can see a magnificent view of the Tanaro valley and the city of Asti that has earned the village the name of “Balcony on the Tanaro”.
Of considerable importance are also the parish Churches of Santo Stefano e Genesio and the Church of Santo Stefano and Santa Rita, originating in the year 1000, and from where there is a panorama which embraces all the Alps. Continuing on, for approximately 4 km, the road divides the wooded area from that of the valley bottom, along the Tanaro plain, and arrives at the intermediate point of the second stage, the Rocchetta Tanaro Natural Park. The Natural Park is of great naturalistic importance for the territory, it stretches for 123 hectares over an altitude between 110 and 123 m above sea level.
Morphologically, the territory was part of the hilly complex formed by yellow sands of Villafranchiano and therefore subject to intense erosive activity. The surface of the park is primarily wooded characterised by mixed oak forests in which the Durmast oak and English oak prevail. Of great naturalistic importance for the history of the Asti basin has been the study of the vegetation distributed in the park. Inside the park, the “Grande Faggio” (Large Beech) represents the arboreal element of important historical-naturalistic value, an ultra-centennial specimen taller than 25 m and a crown with a diameter of more than 20 m, which is living witness of the historic beech woods that were once widespread during the last glacial period.
The second leg concludes continuing along the trail that connects the Rocchetta Tanaro Park to the municipality of Belveglio.
Continuing on the route from the park in a southerly direction, we climb slightly in altitude arriving after just 8.5 km to Belveglio. The route has largely the same landscape characteristics of the preceding stage. The territory of Belveglio is surrounded by hills of vineyards and by wooded areas famous for the production of white truffles, typical of Monferrato.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way