Enjoy the magical landscapes of the Alta Langa in Piedmont, cycling on the ridges of beautiful hills rich in hazelnut woods and then descending into the valley floor where you can find vineyards famous all over the world.
From Cortemilia to Castino, from Cossano Belbo to Mango – silent villages immersed in the scent of the vines that can be explored travelling along a winding road full of uphill and downhill stretches that require well-trained legs.
The ring route leaves from and returns to Cortemilia (Cuneo) for a total length of 74 km.
Take State Road Statale 29 up to the village of Castino then turn right and continue in the direction of Cossano Belbo along one of the most spectacular roads of the Langhe (SP 31), surrounded by hazelnut woods, vineyards, and unique landscapes. Continue on SP 592 towards Santo Stefano Belbo, turning left just before entering the town in the direction of Camo. Here the uphill stretch turns steeper, with hairpin bends with a gradient of between 8-10%; yet, the effort is repaid by superb views that open on the ridge road (SP 190) to Mango.
Then cycle in the direction of Alba, passing Neive and going up to the borough of Tre Stelle, and take a detour to the small village of Barbaresco. From Tre Stelle turn towards Treiso (SP 230) and then go up towards Benevello before
returning to the SS 29 road to descend again towards Borgomale and return to Castino, continuing downhill towards Cortemilia.
Due to the difference in height (1,490 m) a good training is required. The effort is however repaid by the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
One of the most important towns of the Langhe, divided by the River Bormida into two districts that take their name from the churches of San Michele and San Pantaleo, the core of the town of Cortemilia consists of medieval houses, decorated with arcades and porches. Particularly important from an historic point of view are the imposing ruins of the Castello degli Aleramici, a castle that includes a 13th-century cylindrical tower that overlooks the town from a height of 30 metres. The former Franciscan convent, which seems to have been wanted by St. Francis himself when he was passing through the area, is also artistically significant. As for food, Cortemilia is famous for its round hazelnut, with an event dedicated to it that is held the last week of August.
This Romanesque village dominated by an old castle is famous because, during the Resistance, it was an important Partisan garrison, and the place where Beppe Fenoglio set his writings, in particular the famous book Johnny the Partisan. The town is dominated by the imposing bulk of the Castle of the Marquesses of Busca, built in the 1200s: a fortress designed by the inhabitants of Asti in their feud against Alba, inside which there are still secret walkways once used to escape sieges. Today the castle is home to the Colline del Moscato Regional Wine Cellar, a DOC wine whose vineyards abound in the surrounding hills.
Famous in the world as the place of origin and production of the wine by the same name one of the most prestigious in the world the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with some of the most characteristic towns like Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato. Symbol of the village is the imposing tower, which stands on one of the strongholds along the bights of the River Tanaro. Historically important are also the Church of San Giovanni Battista and the deconsecrated church of San Donato, where the regional wine cellar was built.
City of departure: Cortemilia
City of arrival: Cortemilia
Length (Km): 74
Discipline: Racing bicycle
Type of Itinerary: Full day
Difference in height (m): 1490
Difference in downhill (m): 1490
Highest point (m): 649
Lowest point (m): 196
Duration (h.): 6