The Hinterland of Liguria: Sassello - Giovo Pass

Cycling between sky and sea, in the evocative nature of the Beigua Park

The Liguria hinterland, its silent landscapes suspended between sea and hills, the quiet atmosphere of small villages immersed in nature.
An easy cycle trail which leads to the discovery of Sassello, its area and its ancient culinary traditions. A ride in the relaxed environment of the Beigua Park where man and nature are perfectly integrated, and where the view can range from the sea to the Alps.

Itinerary description:
The ring route is 31 km long, with departure and return point in Sassello.

From the village, take the SP 334 road in the direction of Acqui Terme, going through the hill towards the borough of Montesoro and descending towards Maddalena. After passing the Erro stream, take the SP 216 road which, in 2 km, reaches Miogliola, winding among woods, clearings, and hills characterized by calanques.

Once in Mioglia, head towards Pontinvrea, which you can access after passing the hamlet of Pian Bottello through a series of uphill and downhill stretches. After passing the town, at the next junction in Giovo Ligure, take the SP334 road on the left that, downhill, returns to Sassello, closing the ring.

Technical advice:
The route runs on easy-to-travel and little-trafficked asphalt roads, so it does not require special training.

Points of interest

SASSELLO
SASSELLO

One of the favourite hilly destinations of the inhabitants of Savona and Genoa, the historic centre of Sassello dates back to the 17th century and houses frescoed buildings, baroque churches, and characteristic arcades which were rebuilt in 1672 after fire set by the Saracen troops. Worth a visit is the Church of Santissima Trinità (preceded by a colonnade, home to beautiful 18th-century frescoes) and the Church of San Giovanni Battista, the first building dedicated to prayer of Sassello, built in the 11th century and then repeatedly remodelled at later times. Another point of interest are the old fortifications built by the Doria family between the 14th and 15th centuries; visitors can still admire the ruins of the Lower Bastia and, near the inhabited area, those of the Bastia Soprana. The area of Sassello has been popular for centuries for its tradition of ironwork, developed in particular under the rule of the Doria family; indeed, the golden age of the local industry went from 1570 to 1670 then, after various vicissitudes, it was stopped by Cavour in 1858. Symbol of Sassello is also the famous soft amaretto, whose recipe is jealously guarded by the various bakeries of the town.

BEIGUA REGIONAL NATURE PARK
BEIGUA REGIONAL NATURE PARK

The park is the largest protected natural area in Liguria, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the prestigious list of Geoparks in the world. It extends between the metropolitan area of Genoa and the province of Savona, in the western Ligurian Apennines, and takes its name from Mount Beigua (1,287 m). A stone’s throw from the Ligurian Riviera, the territory included in the Park is important in terms of its geological and environmental value as it is a spectacular ‘balcony’ formed by mountains overlooking the sea which enclose prairies, high-altitude wetlands, dense forests of beech, oak, and chestnut trees, but also pinewoods and strips of Mediterranean maquis. Moreover, it is one of the areas with the richest biodiversity in Liguria and it is characterized by its historical and cultural heritage: indeed, it has been populated since prehistoric times and it features traces of long-lost populations. The Park features also a number of hiking trails.

COLLE DEL GIOVO
COLLE DEL GIOVO

At 510 m above sea level, the hill connects the Sansobbia Valley to the Erro Valley on the Po side. East of the Pass is the Beigua Regional Nature Park. This area is historically important as it was a strategic point for the House of Savoy in the defence of Piedmont from invasions from the sea: indeed, in the second half of the 19th century an imposing system of fortifications - 6 different strongholds - was built here to defend the pass. Dominant on the hill was Fort Tagliata - named after the fact that its function was to ‘cut off’ the road - surrounded by a moat. However, during the 20th century the fort was damaged and it lost its original purpose. The pass is very popular with cyclists. On the top is a small stone pyramid to commemorate those that died in the war.

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Technical data

City of departure: Sassello

Departure: Sassello

City of arrival: Sassello

Arrival: Sassello

Length (Km): 31

Difficulty: Easy

Discipline: Racing bicycle

Type of Itinerary: Half Day

Difference in height (m): 250

Difference in downhill (m): 250

Highest point (m): 310

Lowest point (m): 300

Duration (h.): 2