Highlights and tour details
We leave Santhià, taking Corso Nuova Italia, turning onto Via Alice, on a delighful paved road which takes quickly to the suburbs. Here we meet the large "Restitution" basin, where the waters of different incoming canals meet to replenish the capacity of the Naviglio of Ivrea.
There are many interesting sights to see along the way. Close to Alice Castello the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy. Then we enter the heart of Alice Castello, passing close to the Parish Church and the Castle. In Via. S. Grato the homonymous Church. Between Alice Castello and Roppolo, having passed a landscape of fields and crops, we meet the route of the BC3 and enter a dense wood, On the other side, there is the entrance to the Gunpowder magazine, now abandoned.
Continuing towards Roppolo, along the narrow road that descends towards Morzano, is the more panoramic part of the route, with generous views over the Lake of Viverone, on the morenic hills and on the Alps of Canavese and Biella. Having climbed again and gone past the state road for Ivrea, we reach Roppolo with its 18th century Church of the Virgin of the Rosary beside the mighty belltower. From here to Santhia we follow directions of the Via Francigena (with sporadic references to BC4). We climb towards the Castle, to a scenic position, then turn towards the small cemetry to turn right continuing among fields and woods to Cavaglià.
Here, we pass in front of the imposing Parish church of S. Michele (inside fine Rococo choir, pulpit in walnut and Serassi organ) and the hostel for pilgrims. Leaving the built-up area, on the left, close to the cemetry, we see the elliptical dome of Santa Maria del Babilone of 1620. Inside it preserves the Adoration of the Magi, a remarkable group of wooden statues dating to the 14th century. The route turns to the right of the state road, along a narrow lane that descends gently towards the lowland and then crosses the state road, continuing with new ups and downs, dotted by several country homes and farms, The first rice fields also appear and are soon replaced by fields and cereal crops, always following the route of the Via Francigena to Santhià.
The route belongs to the network of the Itineraries of the Good Walk www.slowlandpiemonte.it - seven routes which develop in the area between Viverone, Roppolo, Santhià, Moncrivello and Alice Castello, each of which is characterised by multiple points of scenic, historical and cultural interest.
Points of interest
Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy, Parish church and Castle, Church of S. Grato - Alice Castello
Lake Viverone - www.lagodiviverone.org
Morenic hill of the Serra
Church of the Virgin of the Rosary, Castle - Roppolo
Parish Church of S. Michele, Santa Maria del Babilone - Cavaglià
For tourist information see the portals of the Local Tourist Board ATL Biella www.atl.biella.it and ATL Valsesia
Departure, arrival and municipalities crossed
13048 Santhi (VC)