The trail of Malvasia
There is a grape variety that comes from far away, from Greece to be more specific, but it is on these hills that it gives its best. You can easily recognize its final product thanks to its fruity and floral elements; it tastes of rose, peach, apricot, currant, raspberry and is as sweet as the Monferrato slopes where it found its home in the 13th century. This is the Malvasia di Casorzo and what we are offering is a CAI loop trail covering about 8.5 km.
The trail starts from the Cantina Sociale in the small village of Casorzo and winds its way through vineyards, fields, groves and a few natural wonders for you to enjoy.
Casorzo overlooks a magnificent landscape and the part of the itinerary that proceeds along the ridge offers an overall view of these hills: to the left we see Vignale standing out on the top, below there is Altavilla, a little further on we see the medieval tower of Viarigi, Grana with its baroque church and the unmistakable crenellated outline of Montemagno castle.
From the Cantina Sociale you follow the asphalted road until you reach Cascina Gara where you will come across an imposing solitary oak tree. Turn right onto the second road and descend through vineyards and fields to the valley floor. Keep to the left and along a grassy road you will reach the lowest point of the silent valley. A small bridge over a stream, a further climb and you will reach Bric Moretta, just beyond the provincial road 38 (Casorzo-Grana).
Once you are here you right onto an asphalted road and you will find yourself, after about 200 metres, near an extraordinary botanical peculiarity: the so-called "Bialbero di Casorzo" (the double tree of Casorzo) also known as the "tree of happiness". A cherry tree grows lushly above and inside a centuries-old mulberry tree, and no one knows how these two plants got into symbiosis without damaging each other.
Just picture a little bird that, about 25 years ago, was eating cherries and decided to plant a seed right between the branches of the sturdy mulberry tree. Day after day, that seed becomes a twig and then a tree, growing bigger and bigger. A must-see attraction in spring when both plants blossom to produce juicy mulberries and delicious cherries. Here in Casorzo it is a genuine institution and the extravagant, but at the same time shy and isolated double tree is given a lot of attention and care. A romantic note: it is not uncommon to meet loving couples who, at sunset, under this beautiful tree, promise each other love and mutual support.
After this somewhat romantic interval, the route continues to Cascina Nuova and back onto the ridge between rows of locust trees, a few uphill bends and then a descent again through dogwoods, hawthorns, privet trees, small elms and maples. Some tall poplars run alongside a stream in the valley floor and, after a climb, you will find yourself at the votive shrine of San Vincenzo.
You continue straight ahead and reach the main road that leads to the old town of Casorzo, where a visit is a must. There is an interesting baroque parish church dedicated to San Vincenzo (1730) where, in the churchyard, you can also see a majestic bicentenary horse chestnut, which is included in the list of monumental trees in Piedmont. At the eastern end of the concentric old town stands the Madonna delle Grazie church, which dates back to 1180; today, all that remains of the Romanesque origin of this church is the part that was incorporated during the works in the 19th century. After visiting the village, you can return to the starting point along the provincial road 30 (Via Mazzini).
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way