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RBT - Leg 4 - from Pocapaglia to Monticello d'Alba

MTB cycling

RBT - Leg 4 - from Pocapaglia to Monticello d'Alba

Pocapaglia - Monticello d'Alba

Leg 4 of the Roero Bike Tour connects the area of the Rocche rock formations to the central series of Roero villages, winding along paved, low-traffic country roads for about the first half of the route.

This section starts in Pocapaglia, set in one of wildest, least accessible parts of this area. Landslides and mudslides over the years, caused by snowfall and bad weather, have transformed this area into a series of impassable gorges, giving the landscape a harshness that inspired the many legends of the masche (singular: masca), mythical witches who would lie in wait to cast their spells and curses on the unfortunate passers-by. The most famous masca is Micilina, who legend has it was burned at the stake right outside the castle here.

The route starts in Piazza Principessa Maria Pia, outside the Church of SS. Giorgio and Donato. Head down in the direction of the Pocapaglia Castle past the Ecomuseo Rocche e Masche and the S. Agostino Confraternity. The castle, the first mentions of which date back to 1197 as the fortress of the “domini de Paucapalea”, is located on Via Cavour. Head down from Via Cavour to highway SP 134, then turn left in the direction of Sommariva Perno. After about 400 metres, turn right onto Strada Sant’Ignazio, a paved country road that sees very little vehicle traffic and which winds gradually downhill through vineyards, hazelnut and other groves in the direction of Macellai. To your right, you can enjoy the view of Orti di Bra and the Pollenzo plain (Pollentia to the ancient Romans), where once were held the markets of the terracotta vases and amphoras produced in the nearby area of Anforiano, the name of which hearkens back to that glorious past.

Pass through Valentino and continue in the direction of Santa Vittoria d’Alba until you reach highway SP 153. After about 200 metres, at a tight switchback, turn right onto Via Cagna, which winds past the homes of the centre of the village to the top of the hill, where you will find the impressive bell tower. From here, take “Sentiero del Roero Centrale” (trail S4), which will take you to Vezza d’Alba. Pass the castle (which is now a hotel), with its impressive ramparts and characteristic square tower (12th to 15th century), and head back down into the valley along the panoramic Via Castello overlooking the city of Alba, the valley of the winding Tanaro river and the Langhe hills in the distance. Along the way, we recommend a visit to the San Francesco Confraternity, particularly for its series of frescoes, which are the oldest and best preserved of the entire Roero region dating back to around the mid-16th century, which depict scenes from the Passion of Christ.

When you reach Piazza Bertero, continue along highway SP 171 in the direction of Monticello d’Alba. After about 500 metres, turn left onto a gravel road that heads up towards Ciabot Nogaris. At the top of the hill, go around the hotel and turn to the west along the hill-crest road through sunny vineyards and woodlands and past a few fruit trees. Head down to Case Nuove, then turn right in the direction of Pautassi and continue on to the intersection with highway SP 261. Follow the highway for about 100 metres, then turn right in the direction of Gramaglia-Pautassi to descend gradually past farmhouses, vineyards and farmland. At the crossroads with Strada San Grato, turn to the right again in the direction of Sant’Antonio di Monticello and enter the shade of the Lunero woods. Continue along the paved road through the inhabited part of the village. When you reach a wide roundabout, turn onto highway SP 241 and follow this road for about 500 metres, then turn right and head back up the other side of the valley past the houses of Valdozza and the chapel of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice. Dense woodlands run along both sides of the road here, and through the trees you can catch glimpses of the towers of the medieval Monticello castle or the surrounding rolling hills.

This leg ends in the hamlet of Villa of Monticello d’Alba, near the Church of San Bernardino, but we definitely recommend a brief detour to visit the castle and its park. It is one of the area’s best-preserved castles and, despite various works done to it over the centuries, maintains the impressive shape it was given circa 1376, the year in which it passed to the Roero Family, who run it to this day for tours and events.

Download the cycling route in .kmz

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Lunghezza percorso [IT]: 16 km


    Livello di difficoltà 2 (EN)

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