GTL - Variant 9C
A further continuation of the previous section, this variation of the GTL will take you to Lequio Berria.
Like Lequio, Arguello has lost its castle to one of the many wars that bloodied the Piedmont region in 16th and 17th centuries. Only the mound of earth, on which the castle rested, remains, dominating the village nestled within the square and a couple of rings of houses sloping down to the town gates below, marked to this day by its original, medieval stone paving and the ancient Church of San Frontiniano (circa 17th century). Like Sinio, Arguello, too, had ties to the powerful San Cassiano (and Frontiniano) Monastery in Alba and this church is the most evident sign of that bond. In this church a Roman stela was found and this artifact, a testament to the age of this settlement, can now be seen in the Town Hall.
Just outside of town, the tiny Chapel of San Michele, along the road to Tre Cunei (a hamlet on the same ridge as Albaretto and Lequio), just below the edge of the road on a natural terrace overlooking stone villages, lavender bushes and the woods below, is a great spot for an unforgettable Sunday picnic. From the square at the entrance to town, take the uphill dirt road to the right, then go around Bric Trapolin and past a hazelnut grove. At the first crossroads, continue slightly uphill and then descend into the woods until you find an evident dirt road on the right. Follow this road alongside a hazelnut grove, then keep to the right at the next two forks in the road, following along the edge of the cultivated fields. Enter the woods and continue downward along the most evident dirt road. Turn left at a switchback and cross a small stream. At another intersection, head left along the flat, leaving the road in favor of a less evident trail.
Continue along the false flat until the edge of a gorge beneath a vertical cliff face. Head down to the right alongside this steep ravine (a brief section of which is fairly exposed) until the Avre river, which can be crossed without much difficulty (but be careful), then head back up through the vegetation on the other side.
After a series of steep switchbacks through the woods, you will reach some cultivated fields. Head up the steepest road alongside a depression created by a small stream to Cascina Boschetto. Go around this farmhouse to the right and follow the flat dirt road in the direction of Cascina Pozzetto. The road, now paved, heads up to the right toward a house. From the house, a steep section of road will take you to the panoramic hillcrest. Turn left and continue along roughly a kilometre of false flat to the centre of Lequio Berria.
The village of Lequio lies essentially right across from Arguello, on another ridge of the same long hill that joins up with the central ridge of the Langhe region, where the road runs along this main crest between the Tanaro and Belbo Valleys. In actual fact, this ridge is a system of hills, which splits off from the highest ridge line that runs from Diano, Montelupo and Rodello towards Serravalle, Bossolasco, Murazzano and Montezemolo. Lequio is the birthplace of a famous violin maker, Giovanni Pressenda, one of a long line of Italian luthiers, beginning with Antonio Stradivari, who were always able to find the ideal wood to make such a beautiful instrument. There is a bust of Giovanni Pressenda at one end of the square.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way