The Val Sarmassa area embodies a summary of the paleontological and naturalistic merits of Asti, further enhanced by interesting aspects, such as the landscape and its historical - literary merits highlighted by thematic routes, which alone would make the visit worthwhile. The circuit that we propose allows you have a taste of all of these aspects, combining self-guided trails with various themes. Information boards and recreation areas along the path offer further cues for observation and provide map instructions. These sites are closely tied to the vicissitudes of the “Ulysses” partisan, Davide Lajolo, journalist and writer who was born in Vinchio. Near Ulysses’ cabin, in Monte del Mare, information panels provide an opportunity to explore some historical - literary aspects. The circuit starts from the parking lot, along the ridge that divides Tiglione Valley from Marzano Valley, near “Ru”: “Ru” is the oak that Davide Lajolo made magic, retrieving an ancient legend of the time of the plague of 1630. It is the legend of Clelia and Ariosto, two young lovers, who try to escape from the epidemic by climbing a big oak tree. Today Ru is a natural monument of the entire Reserve. If you stay on the ridge, you will see the “Garden of Herbs” just a little ahead, which allows you to learn about wild medicinal species of this area, which unfortunately keep getting harder to find. The trail continues on sheep-track that meets the damp valley bottom after a long descent. Here, it meets an initial fossiliferous section after short and charming uphill stretch of a vallecula, which is a prologue to the next large outcrop equipped for visiting. The shells of mollusk fossils dating back to the Pliocene era confirm that there used to be a warm and shallow sea in Asti. Then you abandon the short stretch of asphalt road that you joined, and enter a cart track which goes up the mountainside among coppices and reaches the scenic summit ridge again, which you walk on till you arrive at Bricco dei Tre Vescovi. Here you can still see the boundary stone that used to mark the intersection between the jurisdiction of the Bishoprics of Asti, Alessandria and Acqui till a century ago. The wide panorama sweeps the overlooking hills in the foreground, to the foothills of the Alps and the Apennines. The trail on the crest winds through the historic vineyards. At some point, it gives way to a steep downhill, which reveals an unexpected corner behind a tight turn: the sports and leisure center of the lake Valtiverno. It is the center of an artificial basin between high sand walls. The ascent to Bricco dei Tre Vescovi exploits cart tracks that cross coppices of black locust, chestnut trees, and tall oak trees of a particular forestry importance in the “Crosa” area. An athletic course accompanies the stretch until the provincial road on the crest, which takes you back to the starting point shortly.
I tracciati GPS dei percorsi provengono da fonti varie e sono costituiti da più sezioni composte in un unico tracciato. Alcuni di essi possono avere un senso direzionale diverso da quello descritto sulla guida. Per una corretta percorrenza si raccomanda sempre la lettura del testo descrittivo e della mappa. Le informazioni contenute su tutti i media non impegnano la responsabilità di autori ed editori.