The Eco-museum of the Rocche del Roero, which is headquartered in Monta d'Alba, brings together in one open-air museum all of the eight summit municipalities that arose after the year one thousand on the fault of the Fortresses, geological phenomenon of erosion that characterizes the central portion of the Roero. From Cisterna d'Asti to Pocapaglia you come across a unique area: villages perched on top of ravines that plunge hundreds of meters, a unique flora which consists of dry microclimates that coexist alongside other extremely humid, evidence of peasant life that still resist despite the stimuli of modernity. The Eco-museum of the Rocche del Roero has created a series of infrastructure essential to best enhance the beauty of the area.
Eco-museum of the Rocche del Roero
Nature trails around geological phenomena
Travel time: 1h 15’
Length: 3,9 km
Location of the departure: P.za Vittorio Veneto, Monta Beekeeping is, as far as it goes for Roero, and especially in the "countries of the rocks", a historical presence, thanks to the morphology, the nature of the soil, the climate and the rich flora (950 species are surveyed). The existing flora species and the particular configuration of the territory of the Fortresses have created a suitable habitat for breeding bees that are able to derive from the presence of acacia and chestnut, the raw material for the production of a high-quality honey. But above all, it is the presence of two wooden huts with apiaries in Monta, with masonry unique in Europe and directly attributable to the dawn of modern beekeeping, to make this particular path.
Travel time: 3h
Length: 11 km
Location of the departure: P.za Vittorio Veneto, Monta The Chestnut path enhances the importance of a large portion of the municipality of Monta, known for hosting more than half of the entire historical specimens of chestnut of the Roero. Widespread throughout the Roero at least since Roman times, the chestnut is present significantly only in the "municipalities of the Fortresses". Plants, often centuries old, whose majestic beauty strongly connotes the landscape.
Travel time: 2h 40'
Length: 10,8 km
Location of the departure: P.za Vittorio Veneto, Monta The Path of the Wolf is named that way because of the name of the isolated township that it crosses, Caialupo, along the road that winds through the austere woods already known in Roman times as silva popularis. This name confirms the historical presence of this animal in the woods of the Roero: although finally extinguished, the wolf remains stubbornly anchored to the collective imagination of the community, in a impalpable and rooted form at the same time.
Travel time: 1h 30'
Length: 5,7 km
Location of the departure: P.za Vittorio Veneto, Monta The Religious Path retraces the ancient route of the pilgrims that goes from the center of Monta d'Alba to the Sacro Monte of the pylons and back to the village through the unique natural landscape of the Valley of the Rio Diana and of the Rio Canneto. An itinerary that repeats the experience that has seen along the wire of the centuries men and women of the Roero direct their steps to the shrine. The Santuario de Piloni, which enjoys a 360 ° panorama of the hills of the Roero, is the smallest sacred mountain in Piemonte, surrounded by vineyards and pines. Through a bilingual signage, it provides information about the composite universe of beliefs, traditions, celebrations and behaviors of the local religiosity of the population.
Travel time: 1h 20'
Length: 5,4 km
Location of the departure: P.za Vittorio Veneto, Monta The Truffle path winds, for a total length of 5.4 km, along the shady slopes of the trifolao, the so called seekers of the white truffle of the Fortresses, going along vineyards clinging to sandy soils and dotted by wooden huts of all forms in a loop shaped nature trail. The truffle of the Fortresses is considered one of the best around: more fragrant than the one that can be found in the field, it can assume rounded and smooth shapes thanks to the marl nature of the soils, a feature particularly appreciated in the kitchen because it makes it easier to clean the truffle.
Travel time: 1h 40'
Length: 5,2 km
Location of the departure: P.za S. Maria del Popolo, S. Stefano Roero The Path of the game begins from the untouched center of the village of Santo Stefano Roero, pedestrian oasis suitable for traditional games of children and sport square: the central Piazza Santa Maria del Podio is a real image of the ancient era that refers to the past when the village life took place outdoors. The route is particularly scenic, along the steep wooded amphitheatres of fortresses and joins the ancient site of worship of the Sacro Monte dei Piloni. A nice zig zag in the valley of the Valdiana dates back to the ridge on the opening possession on the precious vineyards of Frazione Sant’Antonio. The information panels along the course offer the visitor a chance to realize ancient games still left in the memory of the older generation, which can be achieved from natural materials found in the environment
Travel time: 2h 30'
Length: 8,8 km
Location of the departure: S.Grato di Monte Roero The Water Path is so called because of the lake Valunga, artificial water reservoir that you meet along the way, and because of the many ponds in the area of the Monte Roero. Obtained in order to have a reserve of water in the summer, the fish ponds represented a major source of food and income for the fish that used to be bred there (tench). This area of the Roero, historically known as the "higher purpose", was also an important forest reserve because of the presence of silva popularis, an extension already known in Roman times. Mostly flat area, its grounds are known as "red earth" because of their reddish clay composition: there were obtained, by firing, bricks, roof tiles and tiles of various sizes and use
Travel time: 2h
Length: 7,5 km
Location of the departure: P.za Roma, Monteu Roero The Path of the Granda Chestnut is a smooth path which, after a short stretch of woods, reach the clearing of the granda chestnut, a specimen of monumental chestnut tree over 400 years old and which circumference exceeds 10 meters. A real natural giant, the chestnut is located in a flat lawn that is home to numerous other chestnut trees: to stand under their hair is an experience to do!
Travel time: 1h
Length: 3,5 km
Location of the departure: P.za Roma, Monteu Roero The Path of the Pit of Boars is a short route that surrounds the concentric Monte Roero. From the village to the top you proceed through a steep and fraught descent into the valley of the Fortresses. In this wetland water pools create swampy puddles in which seems that the wild boars go to drink at night. The encounter with these animals is rather unlikely: instead it is easier to see outcrops of fossil shells in the sandy soils of the valley floor.
Travel time: 1h 40'
Length: 6,1 km
Location of the departure: P.za Roma, Monteu Roero The Path of the Fossils owes its name to the findings that emerge from the sandy walls of the fortresses: shells or their fragments, phyllites (leaves or fossilized tree trunks), and more rarely fish. The route past near the Caudana resort, known for its rich deposits of fossils in the area: its findings have enriched the collections of the Museum of Natural History of the area. The Path of the Fossils is a very varied route: through the shady forest around the village of Monte Roero, it descends into the valley in the direction of the town Tre Rivi, along low-lying areas of orchards and greenhouses and goes back towards the village on the top among the vineyards with panoramic views.
Travel time: 1h 30'
Length: 6,5 km
Location of the departure: Frazione Borbore di Vezza d'Alba. The Path of the madernassa pear winds through valleys planted with fruit trees and soft plains between the villages Socco and Madernassa di Vezza and wants to enhance fruit production of the most valuable kind of the Roero: the madernassa pear and scented varieties of local peaches. It is in fact in the hamlet of Madernassa that, in 1784, was founded the successful coupling that gives rise to crisp pear varieties native of the Roero, and is always in these plots that, at the end of the nineteenth century, the lawyer-agronomist Ferrio experienced some varieties of American peaches with amazing results, destined to change the face of local agricultural identity.
Travel time: 3h 30'
Length: 11,3 km
Location of the departure: P.za S. Martino, Vezza d'Alba. The Path of the Badger takes its name from the location of which it spans: Val Tassera (formerly Vallis taxeria), known for the many dens rate that hosts in its most hidden part. The badger is a mammal widespread in the Roero: it is the perfect environment that suits its needs for private life and mostly underground in the "corners", which are less frequented then the deep forests, and sees a growing popularity in the Fortresses. The Path of the Badger is characterized by a wide range of scenery along the top of the scenic village of Vezza with its many vineyards, comes to the thick vegetation that hides the silent sanctuary of Our Lady of the Woods, and closes the loop through the Val Tassera where it is possible to find the places frequented by the animal following the many footprints on the ground near the burrows
Travel time: 1h 45'
Length: 5,6 km
Location of the departure: P.za S. Martino, Vezza d'Alba. The Path of Trifolao is a scenic route that retraces the places favored by seekers of truffles: from the top of the trail descends to the valley, in fact, to hazelnut trees and woodlands, rich truffle plants whose roots allow the growth of the precious underground fungus . Areas are walked, especially at night, by trifolao that roam the area with their dogs and equipped with hoe to dig out truffles: those that grow in the sands of the Fortresses are among the most fragrant and fine, and assume a rounded shape particularly popular by chefs who clean them more easily. A short detour takes us to visit the Experimental Tartufaia of Valtesio, a small town forest where there were planted and cared for various species of truffle plants. It takes back to the country along a slope of historic vineyards: the inclination of the wine country is in fact attested from around the year 1473.
Travel time: 1h 50'
Length: 7 km
Location of the departure: Frazione Borbore di Vezza d'Alba. The Path of Torion winds along the cultivated plain of the river and leads to Borbore’s inaccessible slopes of a forest planted with coppice: between chestnut and oak, you can admire the castles and churches of the Roero region bordering the Tanaro. The vineyards clinging to the ridges give way to pine forest of Torion, the curious hexagonal building bombed during the 2nd World War, which towers above the hill "Castellero" and that gives the name to the Path.
Travel time: 1h 50'
Length: 5,5 km
Location of the departure: locations Montata delle Pietre, Sommariva Perno. The Path of the Asfodeli is one of the "historical" paths of the Roero, already known by the name of S2. It’s a ring which passes through the ancient forest of the "higher purpose". Much of the territory north-west of the Rocche is in fact occupied by the "silva popularis" (from populus, poplar), a leading woodland conservation area already known in Roman times. Although today is in decline, still occupies a large area, crossed in part by the Path of Asfodeli. In addition to imposing oaks, poplars and pines along the trail in the spring one can meet beautiful flowers as daffodils and periwinkles.
Travel time: 1h 45'
Length: 4,8 km
Location of the departure: Frazione Saliceto, Pocapaglia The Botanical Trail of Verna is particularly suitable for the observation of the vegetation and flora typical of the Roero within a few kilometers across three rooms, actually completely different from each other and where species of trees and plants with special needs grow. From wetlands and water-rich paradise for black alders, horsetail and ferns, crossing the milder conditions of the "mesophilic" environment, getting to the most arid hills of dry environment in which the pines grow higher, the glacial relicts.
Travel time: 1h 15'
Length: 4 km
Location of the departure: P.za Principessa Maria Pia, Pocapaglia. The Path of the Rocca Creusa’s Fortresses goes along the amphitheater of the most scenic area, where the vegetation hides the cave in which lived the legendary character of the hermit. The route winds through a forest that slopes into the valley’s little town of Moreis and takes back to the bigger town of Pocapaglia crossing votive pillars and country churches.
The paths unfold in the area, subjected to the protection of the Eco-museum of the Rocche del Roero, whose offices should be consulted for knowing the receptivity of the area.