The Trail of Sant'Evasio
A man of faith, coming from the South, two cities with millenary histories. In the middle, the soft hills of Monferrato, with their countless nuances, poetic panoramas and many villages to discover: all this and much more for those who wish to tackle the Trail of Sant'Evasio, a route marked out by the CAI of Asti and Casale, an itinerary that takes an estimated two-day walk.
This is a very suggestive itinerary in the footsteps of Sant'Evasio, the patron saint of Casale Monferrato, who was also the first bishop of Asti. He was born in the Benevento area, around 230 AD, and in 260 Pope Dionysius consecrated him a bishop with missionary duties in Asti, where he lived for 28 years, but had to leave to escape pagan persecution. It was on his way to Sedula (today's Casale) that one of his first miracles occurred. Tradition has it that his stick, lost during his escape, was transformed into a flowering tree under whose branches a spring of water appeared.
It is well known that these are legends, but you will certainly find many trees in bloom along this CAI route in spring and the landscape, dotted with small villages, castles, churches, streams and ancient wells, will take you into a faraway yet romantic dimension.
The only thing you have to do now is to start walking. You park near the Asti railway station and proceed along Via Cavour, where the Saint used to live during his time in Asti, namely near the church of San Paolo, which you will see to your left. Pass through the lovely old town and proceed as far as the Monumental Complex of San Pietro in Consavia, then continue along the tree-lined Viale Pilone and leave the town through the wide streets of the unattractive industrial area, which you will soon leave behind you when you reach the hamlet of Pontesuero and Via Valleversa, where the trail plunges into nature, amid fields, woods and scattered farmhouses.
You continue until you reach the hamlet of Castiglione (you are on the route of the Sant'Evasio loop trail) and follow the signs towards Valdipietra-Quarto and then Serra Crivelli. Some dirt roads, a few climbs and a dense wood will take you to Miravalle, where a flight of steps leads to the tiny church of Sant'Evasio, built by the locals in honour of the fleeing saint. You have already covered 11.5 km and, retracing your steps, you descend onto a dirt road that takes you to the remains of the Sant'Evasio well, which is surrounded by vegetation.
Amidst vineyards and scenic stretches, you will reach the outskirts of Castagnole Monferrato, then continue along the road into the valley where you will come across the Vallino country church and reach Montemagno: you have already covered 22 km and here you can plan your rest stop and resume your journey the following day..
Get back on the road and reach the valley floor through fields, crops, hazelnut groves, vineyards, woods and streams: you will travel on the border between the provinces of Asti and Alessandria and enjoy panoramic views of Casorzo, Vignale and Frassinello. At km 27.5 you can visit the church of San Martino (Borg. Molignano). A wooded area will take you to the small town of Olivola and the hillock where the parish church of San Pietro stands. As you enter Olivola, you can enjoy the wooden door of the first house on the right, on which the " peacock wheel " is carved, a symbolic sign of the ancient Saracen occupation.
Extensive views of the surrounding villages such as Rosignano Monferrato and Cella Monte can also be enjoyed once you reach Uviglie and its castle, as well as the Veglio Tower and the village of San Giorgio. Shortly afterwards you will be in the Casale area, specifically in reg. Mandoletta, where you will pass along the walls of the homonymous castle and then, after a series of twists and turns and crossing the busy state road, you will find yourself in strada Pozzo Sant'Evasio, nearby the small church built by a devotee in 1670 on what was believed to be the well of the miracle. After another stretch in the countryside, the outline of Casale Monferrato will start to emerge. Once in the town centre, you can visit the cathedral dedicated to the Saint who inspired this itinerary and who died here in 292, at the age of 62, during the persecutions of the Emperor Diocletian.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
Piazza Guglielmo Marconi
16 Via Duomo