Highlights and tour details
The first “arch” of the Grand Tour starts from the Avigliana railway station, on the Turin-Bardonecchia line, 28 minutes from Torino Porta Nuova. Take the Via Francigena and pass through the Precettoria di Sant'Antonio di Ranverso. Then, passing through the unpaved roads of the morainic hill, you will reach the Castello di Rivoli. From here, descend into the valley of the Dora Riparia, crossing it just before Pianezza, and pass through Druento as you travel towards the Parco della Mandria and the Reggia di Venaria Reale, from which you can reach Turin with a 16 km route through the Stura and the Dora Parks. The route continues inside the Park, where you will enter the gate of the Ponte Verde (the Green Bridge), passing by the Borgo Castello, the Villa dei Laghi - a dirt track of about 5 km with the possibility of a detour along the lakes - and exit at the Oslera farmhouse, where you will find a bar service, a restaurant and accommodation.
After crossing the road to the Valli di Lanzo, you will pass through the village of Robassomero, then cross the Stura and take a country road that travels near the chapel of Robaranzino. You will then reach the town of Ciriè through the area of the former Remmert factory. After crossing the countryside on the edge of the Vauda Reserve, passing through the stronghold and church of Liramo, you will climb to the hamlet of San Firmino, and through the valley of the Rio Fandaglia you will reach the village of Barbania with its medieval tower. After descending into the valley of the Malone stream you will reach the village of Rivara, climb to the park up and to the entrance of the Castle. From Rivara, the tour continues towards Valperga, or you can take a deviation and pass through the countryside of Oglianico towards Rivarolo, where you can decide whether to use the railway connection to Turin (53 minutes to Turin Porta Susa) or travel through the countryside between Salassa and Pertusio, with views of the Sacro Monte di Belmonte, and reach Valperga. The route continues to Cuorgnè: after the Orco stream, follow for a stretch the state road that you can take just beyond at the town of Spineto and travel along the stream, where you will see the Caluso Canal and its sluices. Continue along the almost entirely unpaved towpaths for about 8 km, passing through the Olivetti factory where the legendary “lettera 22” typewriter was produced. Once in Agliè, you will pass by the church of Santa Marta and, following the arcades of the historic centre, you will reach the Ducal Castle. Leaving the park, continue by passing through Villa il Meleto, the village of Vialfré, San Martino Canavese, Pranzalito, Parella, Colleretto Giacosa, Loranzè Alto, Fiorano Canavese.
The route reaches Ivrea Industrial City of the XXI century (railway connection to Aosta, Turin and Milan) then continuing along the Via Francigena (via Sant'Ulderico) it reaches Lake Sirio and, touching the shores of the Pistono and Nero lakes it will take you to Montalto Dora where you will be able to resume the Via Francigena along the fields (dirt tracks) up to Borgofranco (253 m asl): here begins a continuous climb of 10 km, sometimes steep (17.6% maximum), along the slopes of the Serra Morenica, to reach the village of Nomaglio and then that of Andrate (836 m asl) 20 km from Ivrea. The tour continues, to reach the Zegna Panoramic Road, which runs up to the Sanctuary of Oropa. Oropa is connected to the road that, through the Rosazza Gallery and the Sanctuary of San Giovanni d'Andorno, leads directly to Campiglia in the Cervo valley (13 km, 300 m of altitude difference uphill and 600 m downhill). The main itinerary of the first arch of the Grand Tour includes the descent towards Biella UNESCO Creative City, passing through the route of the old Biella - Oropa tramway (dirt track), the village of Favaro and the Burcina Park, where you will enter from the gate of the Galinit road and travel to the lower gate near the village of Pollone. The route continues to the city of Biella passing through Vandorno strada della Nera and reaching Piazza Cisterna, in the medieval village of Biella Piazzo, to then descend towards Biella Piano.
Points of interest
Abbaye et Prefectoire de S.Antonio di Ranverso
Castello di Rivara
San Martino Canavese
Zegna Panoramic Road
Trappa of Sordevolo
Castello di Rivoli
Reggia di Venaria
Castello Ducale di Agliè
Mount Sacred of Belmonte
Ivrea, industrial city of XX century
Mount Sacred of Oropa
Biella creative city Craft & Folk arts
Departure, arrival and municipalities crossed
- UNESCO Grand Tour by Bicycle (660,90 km)
- UNESCO Grand Tour by Bicycle (arch 1) - From Avigliana to Biella: between the Dora Riparia valley and the hills of Canavese and Biellese (197,60 km)
- UNESCO Grand Tour by Bicycle (arch 2) - From Biella to Casale Monferrato: between the Sacred Mounts of Oropa and Varallo, the hills of the Upper Piemonte and the plains between the Sesia and Po rivers (186,00 km)
- UNESCO Grand Tour by Bicycle (arch 3) - From Casale Monferrato to Racconigi: between the Cities and the lands of Wine, on the hills along the Tanaro river (144,00 km)
- UNESCO Grand Tour by Bicycle (arch 4) - From Racconigi to Avigliana: at the foot of mount Monviso, between the Po Valley and the Susa Valley (133,90 km)