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River and Rocks

Localita' sul percorso 
Vesime, Cessole, Bricco della Croce, Bosco della Luja, Loazzolo, S.Sebastiano, Bricco delle Forche, Bubbio, Bric del   Moro, Monastero B.da, Grassi, Bric dei Galli, Vesime
approximately 45 km
tempo di percorrenza 
2 or 3 days
difficolta' del percorso 

Leg 1: Vesime (220 m) - Cessole (215 m) - Bricco della Croce (519 m) – Criviolo (380 m) - Loazzolo (420 m)

Length: 15,3 km


The village of Vesime is on the left bank of the river Bormida. The neo-Gothic parish church of S.Martino stands in the main square. At the other end of the square you can see the Oratory of Confraternita dei Disciplinati [the Confraternity of the Disciplined] in which precious frescoes dating back to the late sixteenth-century have reappeared after the renovation works. The town hall, housing a museum of history of the territory, is clearly of medieval origin. It retains a porch with massive stone ogival arches, supported by equally strong sandstone pillars, topped by Romanesque capitals in geometric

shapes and plant volutes. As you leave Vesime behind, you reach the ruins of the castle with the same name dating from the twelfth century. Here you can find a recreational area equipped with toilets and parking

lots, where you can enjoy the remains of the fortress in all their beauty. This leg of the trail winds on minor roads on the way to Cessole, crossing small croplands and vineyards, with hills that rise slightly above the plain in the background. The village of Cessole is on the hill. What catches the eye is the Baroque parish church named after Nostra Signora Assunta. Its original construction consists of two buildings, one above the other, to compensate for the unevenness of the ground. As you move on and leave the town of Cessole heading northwest, you start going uphill enroute to Bricco della Croce.

Here you will find scenic spots which overlook a stretch of Bormida Valley and the high hills spotted with villages of Langhe appear far in the south. The

trail continues on a path in the chestnut woods and then it resumes on minor asphalt roads in Regione Creviolo. The road follows a rather difficult hillside contour from here all the way to the village of Loazzolo. Deep,

narrow valleys, carved by watersheds explain the rapid change in the slopes, vertical cliffs here and there, which can be covered by spectacular ice stalactites in the winter time.


Leg 2: Loazzolo (420 m) – San Sebastiano (500 m) - Bricco delle Forche (530 m) - Bubbio (228 m) – Bric del Moro (400 m) - Monastero B.da (174m) 

Length: 15,9 km


The historic center of Loazzolo is the beginning point as you arrive from the north. The Parish church of S.Antonio Abate (fifteenth century) stands out for its two-color façade with alternating strips. The fully stone-made eighteenthcentury Church of S.Francesco is in the same square. On your way out of the village, heading back north, you start going uphill and soon you will come to case S.Sebastiano, which is characterized by dry stone buildings and walls.

As you reach the junction with the municipal road, which turns left and leads you to the protected area “Bosco della Luja - Luja Forest”, take the county road to the right and walk for a short distance. You will then reach a path which first passes through a vineyard and then enters wooded strips alternating with bushy clearings. The hillsides are not equally exposed, which accounts for the great variety of plants and animal species that you may encounter in this area. Near Bric delle Forche, you can find places of great interest that offer you magnificent views on both Belbo and Bormida valleys.

The trail now continues towards Bubbio: asphalt sections alternate with dirt roads that come down from coppice, hazel groves and croplands until you reach the church of S.Grato (late nineteenth century) which has an octagonal layout and porticos with round arches. There is a recreational area equipped with water fountains and toilets close to this church. Following a steep descent, it takes you little time to arrive at Bubbio, whose old town is worth visiting thanks to the eighteenth-century parish church of Assunta, a Baroque jewel of Southern Piedmont. After you cross Via Maestra, you arrive at the castle of the Marquis del Vasto and del Carretto, whose original structure dates back to the thirteenth century, but it underwent extensive changes during the seventeenth century, so that only the original square tower on the west side is what remains of the original building. Now the trail moves southbound and crosses the bridge across the river Bormida. As you walk along the right bank of the river enroute to Monastero B.da, you may encounter water birdlife, particularly ducks such as wild ducks, ardeidae and egret, but also Rallidae, like coot and moorhen. After you leave the plain of Bormida behind, the path begins to go up the hillside towards a place called Bric del Moro, which offers interesting viewpoints. If you want to go to Monastero B.da, continue downhill on a winding path that crosses the forest, until it reaches Tatorba stream abeam a junction. As you continue walking down the path, you see the stream and you will shortly reach the county road near the church of S.Rocco. Now simply follow the slightly downhill county road and you will soon arrive at Monastero B.da. You will enter the

town across a beautiful medieval “packhorse” bridge built by the Benedettini monks in the twelfth century. Around the medieval castle you will notice a rather well-preserved historic center, which you can visit, and the town hall. The rooms of the castle have mosaic floors and vaulted and cross vaulted ceilings with frescoed walls, featuring geometric, floral and mythological motives. On the other hand, if you want to “close the loop”, you can take off from this crossroad and take the unpaved cartway on the right which runs along the Tatorba Stream and move up to the old cartway to reach Roccaverano.


Leg 3: Monastero B.da (174 m) – old road to Roccaverano - Madonna del Deserto (300 m) - Madonna del Rosario (480 m)

Length: 13,7 km

Along this leg through the valley bottom, you can enjoy small terraced vineyards and typical stone buildings of the Langhe. The splendid stacks of layers that can be read on the eroded vertical walls along the Tatorba stream are of geological interest. The valley environment here and there conserves the flora and fauna components that are peculiar of wetlands and perifluvial areas: willow and alder trees, amphibians, as well as various species of frogs, newts and salamanders, whose presence often goes unnoticed. The old cartway leading to Roccaverano ends at the Church of Madonna del Deserto, from which you take an uphill paved road and arrive at the Church of Madonna del Rosario, which is a recreational and panoramic point. A minor paved road will lead to the village of Vesime, across meadows and croplands, pointing towards the Bormida valley.

Informazioni utili 
Hiking and MTB-trail
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