Hills around Novi Ligure have a typical hilly landscape among Gavi’s vineyards in which are located many farmhouses and historical villas. The cultural, landscape and enogastronomical patrimony are the main protagonists in this area of Alessandria.
Our itinerary always starts and finishes in Novi Ligure. Not far from here, in Castellania, was born one of the greatest champions of our cycling, Fausto Coppi. For the most passionate we definitely recommend Castellania as a stop.
Today we will focus on the surrounding hills, discovering the wonders in which the towns of Pasturana, Francavilla Bisio, Tassarolo and Gavi are immersed. Here are born some of the best enogastronomic products of our territory; we are talking not only about wine, but also cheese, amaretti, truffles up to chocolate where Novi Ligure itself is very strong.
Let’s start from the sports center of Piazza A. Moro in Novi Ligure, where you can easily find a parking space, and we head towards Tassarolo. Today’s route will be a mixture of asphalt and dirt and will be almost exclusively immersed in the green. Few cars will keep us company in our tour to discover the hills of Novara.
Along the way you will find many farmhouses that today are used as bed & breakfasts and offer moments of pure relaxation to their guests.
Those we have glimpsed we would like to mention and give them the right space, since they are all a strong point of our craftsmanship that distinguishes us all over the world.
Along the road you will find the Cascina degli Ulivi in the first part downhill after a few kilometers.
Nature and territory here as you can see will play a key role throughout our itinerary.
Continuing between one row and another on the left you will also find the vacation home Cascina Ometto, but here we will leave you with a little curiosity since from outside you can not see much of the structure.
A few more kilometers downhill and then we will turn left towards the park of Gavi, where we will also find an important golf course.
We would like the images of the place to speak for us and let you imagine what you might find here.
Immersed in the park, on sunny days you can also make a stop in Tassarolo to visit the castle.
The attribution of the construction of the castle dates back to Opizzino Spinola who had it built in the fourteenth century. The place became an imperial fief with all the rights and privileges attached and was transformed into a real fortress with a quadrilateral plan with two square towers at the south and south-east corners and a round one on the east corner. In the following years, the fortress became the base and refuge for bandits who attacked and plundered groups of merchants or lonely travelers who were passing through the area, greatly damaging the trade between Genoa, Piedmont and Lombardy, so much so that the Genoese municipality sent a large number of soldiers to try to flush out the bandits, but without success. In the second half of the sixteenth century, the castle was transformed into a summer residence of the feudal lords.
Currently it is under the supervision of the FAI (https://www.fondoambiente.it/luoghi/castello-di-tassarolo-tassarolo) that tries to preserve its history intact.
Here we are in the lower part of the route and there will be several climbs, even challenging for the less experienced, but nothing impossible, you will always have the opportunity to refresh because they are always short climbs.
From here on, the last climbs will accompany us to close the loop and return to the start.
Type of route: asphalt and dirt road
Water: you need to be self-sufficient or you can stop at accommodations on the route