Suggested bicycle: mountain bike
Depart: San Sebastiano Curone
End: San Sebastiano Curone
Total distance: 35 km
Soil type: asphalt 90%, dirt road 10%
Suggested period: from March to October
A ring of 35 km amongst the Curone, Borbera and Grue valleys and around Mount Giarolo.
The tour starts in San Sebastiano Curone (m 330 asl), a Ligurian feud located where the Curone and Museglia streams flow together, taking the road that leads to Montacuto.
An avenue of lime trees opens up the climb and the peaceful mount Giarolo appears in front of you (m.1473). Passed the locality of Giara, after 5 kilometers from the start, you'll arrive at a crossroads. Turn right and continue to climb entering the village of Madonna dei Campi and then Montacuto (km.5, 5 - m.540 asl).
From here on, the climb becomes challenging, but the effort is worth it, because of the breathtaking landscape, characterized by bright green vegetation and the deep blue sky, which helps to distract the mind from the fatigue. Then you'll get to the locality Giarolo. At the crossroads (km.8, 5 - m.800 asl), on the ridge between Val Borbera and Val Curone, follow the right and you'll get to Borgo Adorno (Km.11 - m .700 asl). This village is characterized by an ancient castle that, during the Second World War, was used as a prison for the fascists. The site was one of the most important centres for the partisan organization of the valley. Now you'll continue towards the Borbera stream, passing from Pessinate and Campana. When you're almost in Pertuso, turn right onto a bridge (16 km, 5 - m.400 asl): here you'll leave the Borbera valley towards Dernice. You'll climb gradually, accompanied by a wide panorama that sweeps from Mount Giarolo to the Strette di Pertuso, about 18 kilometres from the start, you get to Zebedia (m.470 altitude) and then Vigoponzo (M.580 asl), where time seems to stand still in a court where the bowls seem to be waiting for the players of the past. Turn right and you'll be immersed in a fresh chestnut wood that dominate the valleys Grue, Curone and Borbera and then you'll get to Dernice (Km.22, 5 - m.600 asl).
After visiting the panoramic viewpoint on the tower on the ninth century, you can choose to ride back to San Sebastiano Curone (approx. 6 km, through the locality Fontanelle), or continue the tour. In this case if you have the mountain-bike you can continue riding, otherwise you can walk down the 3-kilometre dirt road through the woods on the ridge. In the second case, you have to descend from Dernice towards Garbagna. After 500 metres of descent, turn right onto the dirt road, passing from the church of San Rocco (Km.22, 7).
Here begins the "adventurous" part: you should remain at the top between the Curone and the Grue valleys, at the crossroads that you encounter: here the GPS is recommended, in order not to get lost.
Leaving the rough dirt road, about three kilometres long, you'll ride downhill for about 50 meters, crossing the asphalt road close to some houses (km.26 - m.480 asl). Turn left, continuing for about three kilometres of panoramic road that leads to a crossroads (km.29 - m.420 asl): if you continue left you'll get to the astronomical observatory in Casasco. On the right you descend rapidly through the vineyards towards Brignano Frascata (km.31 - m.290 slm ). The village was already inhabited during the Neolithic era, colonized by the Romans and then the feud of the Bishop Earl of Tortona, dominated by the castle perched on a rocky outcrop. You'll get out from the town onto the county road and in about four kilometres you'll get back to San Sebastian Curone (Km.35 - m.330 asl)
Agriturismo La Fornace
Fraz. Montecapraro, 14 cap 15050 – Fabbrica Curone (Alessandria)
Tel. 0131 78905
B&B da Marco ed Elisa
Via Fumatori, 2 cap 15056 – Dernice (Alessandria)
Tel. 0131 786271
La Genzianella Albergo Ristorante
Fraz. Selavapiana, 7 cap 15050 – Fabbrica Curone (Alessandria)
Tel. 0131 780135
Ufficio Turistico Valli Borbera e Spinti
Via Martiri della Benedicta
15060 Vignole Borbera (AL)
Iat di Tortona
Corso Alessandria n. 62
presso il Palazzo Municipale
Settore Sviluppo Economico
Ufficio Tursimo e Manifestazioni
Tel. +39 0131 864297
Fax +39 0131 864276