Rocca del Serro Trail
The Rocca del Serro trail is a loop itinerary that goes through woods and ancient chestnut groves, reaches the valley floor of Rocca del Serro and climbs up towards the ancient village of Montaldo Roero.
The trail begins in the small square of the old town (piazza Viglione) and follows the provincial road in the direction indicated by the signposts, then it crosses the small bridge of the Rocca della Fontana (because of the ancient presence of a municipal spring that has been lost over time), overlooking the castle of Monticello. On your left is the relief of the Madonna delle Grazie, a small church built in the 17th century on a former ancient observation and defence site. A little further on, on your right, you will find a water point.
Next, you cross the suggestive bridge suspended over the rock which stretches along the gorge dividing the two slopes until you reach the Baldissero d'Alba - Monteu Roero junction and continue along this last direction. The provincial road, winding through age-old chestnut groves, passing by a picnic area (water point) arrives (at 1250 m from the start) at the crossroads marked "Cristo delle Rocche e Rocca del Serro". The path, which once connected Montaldo Roero to Monteu Roero, winds its way through wild pines, chestnut trees, white and trembling poplars, locust trees and wild hazels, until it reaches a wilder and shadier area where the first ferns appear.
After a short climb the path leads to a small, enchanting plateau embellished by an artistic wrought-iron votive altar, the Cristo delle Rocche. A beautiful panoramic viewpoint unfolds amidst chestnut trees, downy oaks, wild pines and junipers, offering a stunning view of the rock and the village.
We are now at an altitude of 375 metres and this is where the most demanding part of the trail begins. We continue to the left along the "Primo dell'Orto" path, a steep descent (with some steps in the initial part) towards the bottom of the rock, winding along a narrow strip of land straddling between two gorges. You go through ten minutes of breathtaking descent that gradually decreases until you reach the bottom of the rock, surrounded by ferns, elder trees, willows, alders (verne) and ivy, the typical wetland essences.
The trail continues, clearly signposted, until it reaches the Rocca del Serro triple junction, the confluence of the range of rocks (and streams) between the upper bridge and the border with Monteu Roero. "Serro" comes from the word "cerrum", because of the former presence (known since 1200) of a majestic, isolated turkey oak, a particular type of oak.
The trail continues along a ridge of considerable geological and truffle-growing interest, set between high vertical rock walls softened at the top by isolated wild pines, actual bastions of marl with grey and yellow layers.
You gradually climb up through hackberry bushes (favarun), wild cherry trees and locust trees until you reach the open space overlooking the hamlets of Monteu Roero, the "bricchi" and "sorì" until you get to the provincial road and, after enjoying the ancient watchtower and passing the Romanesque apse of S.Giovanni, you arrive at the departure square.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
Piazza Aldo Viglione
Piazza Aldo Viglione