Borghetto di Borbera is one of those pleasant discoveries that you make on a day when you are looking for new places and almost blindly decide that your next destination will be there, around the corner, after that indication. So it happened to us one day, in an attempt to get to Liguria by breaking the journey.
Exiting the highway at Serravalle Scrivia, more famous for the queues than for the places to visit, we immediately changed our minds. We parked in Variano, just outside the town and we headed inland, following the Borbera river until we reached and passed Borghetto di Borbera.
The villages of these areas have one thing in common, they are very small and between them there are endless expanses of meadows and cultivated fields, almost as if you can still breathe the air of a few centuries ago, as if the modern era had never arrived here.
Continuing on the same road the surface changes from beaten white road to asphalt but the fil rouge is always the same, a great place to run, walk or take someone for a walk without too many risks.
If you’re lucky like us, on the side to our right towards the reserve, look what you can encounter!!! The advantage of little civilization is also that sometimes.
Once in Castel de Ratti, the first village on the road, we continue on, our goal is near! The objective is to reach the church of Santa Lucia.
Along the road we will pass Liveto and Cerreto Ratti again, before reaching the final part where we will climb up to Santa Lucia.
From here it’s all uphill with an interesting slope, where the less trained can struggle. Once again the silence of the surrounding reserve is the master.
When we arrive in Monteggio, after about 300 m of positive height difference, the church is waiting for us in its silence between two valleys. Monteggio appears deserted to us, perhaps a village of hunters or a place where some locals come during the warmer months.
Among some houses a bit abandoned we also notice some well cared for, a sign that someone lives there and that it is an abandoned village.
This place is the watershed to continue and descend to the valley from Grondona, covering a large part of the reserve. We decide to go back for today and leave Lemmi and Grondona for the next stage.
Type of route: asphalt and dirt road
Water: we need to be self-sufficient