What to do in Winter

From the Po to Monferrato: Stage 2 Piazzo - Casalborgone

da Lauriano a Casalborgone (28,30 km)
Highlights and tour details

Leaving the square behind you, immediately turn left to descend from a steep descent to the Madonnina crossroads where the little church of the Immaculate Conception stands. Going around the church and crossing the road you reach the entrance of the old municipal dirt road that descends crosswise to a wide plateau. After a series of meadows alternating with small woody areas you reach the provincial road. Turn left to go 50 metres down the provincial road then turn right into a secondary road that leads to an isolated house on the right where the beginning of the stretch of path called "del Postino" is. Go along this beautiful woody stretch until you reach the provincial road again in correspondence with a large building. Turn right and follow the provincial road for 200 metres until you reach the fork for Monteu, in front of which you take a small road on the left that runs parallel to the provincial road for about a hundred metres. You reach a small arch, the last remains of an old farmhouse and turn left into via Bodana until you reach the end of via Matteotti, the main street of Lauriano that starts from the church and reaches the palace of the Counts Morra. Leave the ancient palace with its decadent charm behind you and walk along the street as far as the main square (Piazza Risorgimento). Turn left and you will reach a small bridge over the Rio Grande. The road begins to climb. The last houses of Lauriano are on the left and the foot of the hill of the Hermitage “Romitorio di Lauriano” is on the right. After a few hundred metres you reach the end of the climb and take a path on the right that goes up towards the Hermitage. After a sudden right turn and some hairpin bends you reach a crossroads. Both roads actually lead to the Hermitage and join again a little further on but the one on the left is the most suitable in rainy periods when the road is very muddy. In the last stretch before reaching the Hermitage you can see a dry-stone wall on the right, probably built with the stones of the "castlas" the now destroyed castle that once stood on top of the hill and of which the last remains can be found in the nearby woodlands. Coming from the Hermitage of Lauriano, you arrive in the hamlet of Moriondo (via Breuss) in the Municipality of San Sebastiano da Po. You cross the town, continue along via Breuss and follow a path (path 155) in the middle of the woods to reach the Oasi degli Animali, a wildlife park, open to the public. When the path ends, at the fork near a hump, turn right and take via Nobiei downhill. After about 2 km you arrive on the SS 458 and turning right towards Chivasso, after about 10 m you turn left into via Rigonda (the signs indicate Fraz. Villa di San Sebastiano da Po). After a few steps on the asphalt road, looking upwards, you can see the bell tower of the hamlet. Go straight on along the asphalt road walking uphill and after a series of hairpin bends you can see "il Pusas" at the top of the climb. Keeping left you arrive in Piazza Vecchio Municipio where you can see the seat of the Old Town Hall and the Church on the right, reshaped like the Castle in the mid 1700's by Bernardo Vittone. Continuing along the road, you pass in front of the "Beuby", a trough that was once used to water and wash horses. Going straight on in the direction of the Confraternity ("Ave Mariae" is inscripted on the white façade) you go down via Valpiana, keeping left at the first crossroads. At the second crossroads you go uphill turning right (towards Castagneto Po), going the full length of via Natta. At the end of via Natta turn right (direction Castagneto Po) and follow the dirt road that joins the upper part of San Sebastiano da Po to Castagneto Po. Continue straight on along the dirt road passing through a wood that has memorable views. Along the way the road becomes asphalt again but remains narrow with little traffic and you follow it until the end, coming out in via Coste in Castagneto Po. Passing in front of Cascina Barone continue on Strada Coste to Nespolina. If you wish, you can make a diversion shortly after Cascina Barone to visit the Church of San Genesio via the variant (signpost provided on site). Turn left and after about 80 metres turn right into via Chiovino. Take the first right, via Asti, and follow it entirely, until you come to via Cuneo. Going straight on, you take the road of the Bosco del Vaj Nature Reserve. After a few ascents and descents, you pass next to cascina Rivera; carrying on along the undulating path, after about one kilometre you reach the entrance to the Bosco del Vaj Nature Reserve. The slightly uphill road enters the woods; remarkable examples of tall trees (beech, oak and chestnut) characterise this side of the Reserve. Among the vegetation you can see the village of Castagneto Po on the opposite ridge to the north. Ignoring several forks on the left (the second of which is worth a detour as, shortly after a wooden bench, you reach the impressive landslide known as "roca 'd caval”), follow the main road and you reach the locality of "l Roc" (crossroads 107 - drinking water fountain), where you turn west, leaving the road to Cascina Grassone and Chiappini Alti (Casalborgone) on the left and the path to Bric del Vaj on the right. The road, initially on the flat, climbs up again among meadows and vineyards (downstream) and the wood (upstream), and then descends to the hamlet of Soliti; after the houses, turning right, with a few hundred metres uphill, you come to the road that arrives from the locality of "tre termu" (border point between the municipalities of Castagneto, Rivalba and San Raffaele); at the fork at the top of the climb there is the small church dedicated to Sant'Antonio Abate. Turning left, you will find the entrance to the Bosc Grand after about 300 metres, in the locality of Tre Termini. The next section continues to wind at a high altitude, often along the crest, mainly through woods and represents the “trait d'union” between most of the trails that overlook the northern Turin plain and the Asti area. Challenging but fascinating, it connects Castagneto and the paths in the north of Asti, intersecting in different points the paths coming from Rivalba and, of course, from Casalborgone. From loc. Tre Termini, leaving behind the territory of Castagneto, and entering the Bosc Grand (path 126) and along a track on a north-facing slope, you go up gradually in the middle of the wood, coming across panoramic points that offer a view towards the Bosco del Vaj and, further on, the panorama of the Vercelli plain. When you reach the intersection of Buchet du Ciap, keep to the path on the left, which winds its way up between chestnut and oak trees for about 1000 m, always on a north-facing slope (possibility of mud); after crossing two stream watersheds, you reach the path that descends to cascina Cravero (former Ro Verda holiday farm) and then reaches Casalborgone in just over an hour (path 127). At the fork you must keep to the right and, going up the track you reach after a little more than one hundred metres the famous Rul Verda (Quercus Crenata or Spanish oak), a hybrid of Cerro Sughera or Cork oak with an imposing posture, visible from the dirt track at about twenty metres on the left because of the evergreen vegetation even in winter. Only three specimens exist over the whole hill of Turin. Continuing uphill among oak trees, the track forks to the left, following a flat path on the hillside, or alternatively it climbs to the top of Pian del Peis (timber was weighed here in ancient times) where it is possible to take an upper variant on the ridge that overlooks Cascina Scarassa (Rivalba) also in a south-easterly direction. If you use the first solution, you will cross a forest partly degraded by former motor tracks (path 126) that reaches the ruins of Cascina Fornarella (less visible upstream of the path) after about 500 m from the deviation. Continue on a seemingly flat stretch towards the intersection with the ridge path until you intersect it after a further 500 m in Sieis (46 m asl) at an outcrop of sandstone, at times with rounded rock blocks. From this point the two paths join to go along the crest, or almost, towards Bric del Cerro, which can be reached in about 300 m after having skirted a red oak grove on the right. You continue among steep greenish orange sandstone crags, after which the track levels out between the oaks, reaching a point of possible deviation towards a something interesting: the small path marked by a pole, enters to the right with a short uphill part and leads to Crutin del Cerro (former sheep shelter and an earlier refuge for brigands and partisans dug into the sandstone, which is not advisable to enter due to the risk of falling blocks). Returning to the main track, continue on a slightly flat stretch on the ridge that has breathtaking views to the south with Superga and the hill of Turin or to the north towards Casalborgone and San Sebastiano da Po, until you reach the Smat Aqueduct. At the intersection on the left there is path 124 to Cascina Palazzo (dirt road 15 min) and then Casalborgone (asphalt, 40 min) returning to the departure point.

Other information

Source: Comune di Casalborgone
Itinerary code: PMF
Recommended period: All year round
Access by public transport: Yes
Classification: Medium and low mountain provincial
Provinces crossed: Langhe Monferrato e Roero, Torino

Departure, arrival and municipalities crossed
Piazza Comune Antico
10020 Lauriano (TO)
see on map
Piazza Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour, 7
10020 Casalborgone (TO)
see on map
Please note that the routes may include some sections where there is traffic.
The information contained in the pathways is not binding on the authors and verifiers of the pathways.