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Woods and Farms

Localita' sul percorso 
Cassinasco, Gibelli, Bosetto, Albareto, Sessame, Monastero B.da, Bric Moro, Bubbio, Bricco Forche, Santuario dei Caffi, Cassinasco
approximately 37 km
tempo di percorrenza 
2 o 3 days
difficolta' del percorso 

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Leg 1: Cassinasco (410 m) - Gibelli (450 m) - Bosetto (330 m) - Albareto (440 m) - Sessame (317 m)

Length: 14,4 km


The route sets off from the upper square of Cassinasco, next to the tenth-century tower, which is the emblem of the village. There are traces of buildings clamped to the structure on the two sides of the tower: it is what remains of the castle. The seventeenth-century Baroque parish church of S. Ilario di Poitiers, the patron saint of the village, stands in the same square. As you walk out of the square heading southeast you will first walk on the hill ridge, which offers a beautiful view of Cassinasco and its surroundings. Then the path turns left, and descends to the asphalt road that leads you to the hamlet of Gibelli. From here you can take a dirt road that goes around the houses and leads you across vineyards and wooded stretches to the valley bottom along a gully. It is common to encounter traces left by a greater wildlife in this stretch, especially by wild boars attracted to chestnut trees and big trunks that they rub against and puddles in which they take a “mud bath”, and deer attracted to the buds of young plants and the thick forest that offers them an ideal refuge. Around a farm you get back on the asphalt road. Follow this road uphill until you reach the hamlet of Bosetto. On this side of the rural road you reach Cascina Tardito and proceed along the asphalt road up to Albareto residential homes in a charming view with small farms. From this point, take a dirt road that stretches through a patchwork of small fields, vineyards, uncultivated strips and forests and leads to the village of Sessame.


Leg 2: Sessame (317 m) – Monastero B.da (174 m) - Bric del Moro (400 m), Bubbio (228 m)

Length: 14,6 km


The village of Sessame is renowned for being the birthplace of Brachetto d’Acqui (a fine aromatic wine) and preserves the remains of the ancient residence of the Marquis Del Carretto, the lords of Ponti and Sessame, who used to rule this area up until about the mid-fifteenth century. Another point of historical-architectural interest is the central square dominated by the parish church of S. Giorgio and  the Oratory of S.S. Annunziata. The oratory is now deconsecrated and it is used for cultural events, theatrical performances and art and craft exhibitions. After you leave the center and head towards east, you walk on an asphalt road towards Regione S. Rocco. The view spans over the vineyards and your attention will be drawn to a curious building on top of a hill, called “il Turot” by the locals, a historic lookout cabin. From the church of S. Rocco (characteristic for its pronaos ahead of the façade, featuring three frontal arches and two lateral ones), you keep walking downhill among vineyards, croplands and uncultivated land, until you cross the SP 25 (Bistagno- Cortemilia) where you can turn right and temporarily leave the track to visit the “Garzaia della Val Bormida” WWF Oasis. The path runs towards south until it reaches the new Galloni bridge across the river Bormida. Keep walking on the dirt road and you will get to the ranch of Regione Gringavoli. After you pass a few farmhouses, you get on the Monastero-Ponti county road. Cross this road and go up to Regione S. Desiderio. In a rural setting, you will find cornfields, meadows, hedges and trees along the road. The parish church of S. Desiderio is a small jewel of eighteenth century Baroque architecture. It has a front porch with a cloister vault and central oval. Now, you start going downhill. Soon you will get back on the SP 56 road, which will lead you to Monastero Bormida. Follow the river Bormida on its right bank and if you wade in the Tatorba stream near its mouth, you can go towards Bubbio. As you regain altitude and go on a slightly tortuous path in the woods full of natural cues, you will get close to Bric del Moro. From here, you descend on the northern side and leave some farms behind. Once you get to the valley bottom, you cannot but walk along the river which leads you to the town of Bubbio.



Leg 3: Bubbio (228 m) - Bric Forche (530 m) - Santuario dei Caffi (465 m) Cassinasco (410 m)

Length: 7,6 km


This leg offers a lot of varieties: you start from the Bormida Valley in Bubbio and climb to the Santuario dei Caffi (Caffi Sanctuary) in Cassinasco.
Along the way, you will go on a track which will enter the forest after you cross some croplands and vineyards. This is a mixed forest, rich in both Mediterranean and continental essences. The northern slope is dominated by chestnut and British oak trees. The southern slope is dominated by oak, Scots pine and flowering ash, accompanied by viburnum bushes, scented and other types of brooms. Once you reach the ridge near Bric delle Forche, the view sweeps over Bormida and Belbo valleys, the hills of Langhe and the Alpine Chain. On a clear day you get a pretty extensive and impressive view. After walking on a short stretch of the county road, we reach the Santuario dei Caffi, which was built in the twentieth century on the spot where the Virgin Mary appeared, according to the legend. Since then, many pilgrims come to the sanctuary in early September from neighbouring villages, after walking for hours. As you leave the asphalt road again, you practically walk on the flatland, following the curves of the hillside. After crossing the first stretch with bushes, you will come across a beautiful vineyard which almost looks like an amphitheatre. Later, you will go back to a wooded stretch and then you will cross fields interspersed with uncultivated areas here and there. The path ends in a large recreational area equipped with toilets, camper and caravan court. You have the village of Cassinasco in sight, which you can reach in just a few minutes.


Informazioni utili 
Hiking and MTB
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