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The Road of the Stone Houses


The Road of the Stone Houses
Santo Stefano Belbo (CN)

This route takes the visitor up into the Alta Langa area, with its typical stone-built farmhouses constructed using the dry-stone technique out of local 'pietra di Langa' or Langa stone.

The route begins in the little village of Santo Stefano Belbo and the first part winds its way through the vineyards of Moscato, the prevalent local grape. On the way up to the Località Campetto hamlet in the territory of the village of Bosia, vineyards make way for extensive hazelnut groves.

This, in fact, is the land where the famous Langa hazelnut is cultivated, the "Tonda e Gentile di Langa", (Sweet and Round Langa Hazelnut), as it is technically known. The extensive, well-ordered groves can be found all through the territories of the villages of Cravanzana, Torre Bormida, Gorzegno and Camerana, where the route will take you to the left and down to Gottasecca, where it descends to the valley floor of the Uzzone stream. On the floor of the valley, you will turn left once again and pass through the village of Scaletta Uzzone to arrive in Pezzolo Valle Uzzone. Here, you turn right near the sports grounds in the direction of Località Todocco along a steeply rising road until you reach the Todocco Sanctuary where there is a marvellous view over the local valleys to be admired - well worth all the effort!

After a refreshing break, the last part of the route can be enjoyed to the full, as it is all downhill, passing through the territories of the villages of Gorrino and Cortemilia, where there are many examples of dry-stone constructions to admire, especially the drystone terracing walls once used to create areas of flat ground on the hillsides that could be more easily cultivated. These terraces are splendid examples of rural engineering and architecture from times past.

The last part of the route is also downhill towards Castino, with its interesting historical centre which contains many tastefully restored buildings. From here, you are not far from the Belbo valley where the presence of vineyards tells you that you are once again nearing the territory of Santo Stefano Belbo.

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