Exploring the world on a bicycle is a unique experience.
This is why many tourists prefer the two wheels to take a break and discover a new way to enjoy natural beauties, traditions, culture, food and wine.
The proposals of Piemonte Ciclabile touch the heart of Piedmont with three of its enchanting provinces, whose territory is tremendously rich in history and waiting to be discovered.
Alessandria has a natural vocation for cycling, thanks also to Novi Ligure, the town of the champions Fausto Coppi and Costante Girardengo, whose careers are celebrated in the largest European museum on history and myths of the bicycle.
The country roads, going up and down, lead up to breathtaking views; the same roads where the two Great Champions used to train before races.
Pedalling along these roads you can encounter crystal-clear streams, wild woods, golf courses and sports centres. In the blink of an eye you can slide from fairy castles, medieval fortresses, ancient roman ruins to modern shopping centres, such as Serravalle Scrivia's Outlet. The surrounding valleys are perfect for extreme sports lovers, who can challenge the “Strette d Pertuso”, a veritable canyon, or simply go trekking, rock climbing or skydiving.
But the province of Alessandria is also well-known for its hospitality. Many hotels, restaurants and agriturismo are at the disposal of visitors who would like to discover the genuineness of these lands: the valleys around Acqui and Ovada, climbing up the Apennines to the boundary with Ligury, the artistic heritage of Alessandria's territory, the vineyards of Monferrato, the Sweet Lands of Novi and the hills of Tortona, rich in cultural and culinary traditions, such as chocolate, wine, focaccia, amaretti biscuits and the Lady's Kisses biscuits .
The province of Asti is equally charming: the Tanaro river flows through the hilly landscape , where the ancient Roman roads are still the main communication routes.
The town of Asti has numerous towers, stately homes, the gothic cathedral, the collegiate church of San Secondo, the crypt of Sant'Anastasio, while in the surroundings you can admire castles, fortresses, fortified villages, Romanesque churches and the abbey of Vezzolano. Many artistic exhibitions give tourists opportunities to visit the Paleontological, Archaeological and Civic Museum in Asti, to understand the evolution of the area; the exhibition in the Abbey of Vezzolano to get in touch with the Romanesque art. Other museums are dedicated to the recent past: the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Cisterna d'Asti, where you can find reproductions of ancient workshops, the museums dedicated to wine and old tools keep Monferrato's peasant culture alive.
Vineyards cover most of Monferrato Astigiano's hills. Here you can find almost every kind of wine: white, red, sweet, dry and sparkling. Not only wines, but also traditional Piedmontese specialities: the “bagna cauda” can be tasted with the square peppers of Motta di Costigliole, the Nizza Monferrato “hunchback” cardoon, the vegetables of the Tanaro Valley. The “agnolotti”, famous stuffed pasta, change their ingredients according to the area. And finally sweets: Moscato wine zabaglione, the Bunet pudding, stuffed peaches, the Polentine, the Palio cakes, the Astigiani and the hand made nougat.
Finally Cuneo, a very “provençal” province, where flavours meet traditions, enriched by the influence of neighbouring France, Ligury and the Aosta mountains.
One of the main attractions of the “Granda” province, so called because of its extent (about 7000 square metres), is the possibility of getting in touch with nature and various landscapes: from the high mountains to the hills of Langhe and Roero, from the plains to villages and towns. Located on the south-western side of Piedmont, it looks like a sort of amphitheatre with plains in the middle, with Turin on the northern side, surrounded by the Alps and the Langhe hills.
There are many opportunities to practice sports in every season. The territory itself represents actually one of the province's main resources, as, in a few kilometres, you can find countryside, hills and mountains, each maintaining its charm and peculiarities. According to the season, the landscapes evoke different emotions, depending on the colours, sounds and flavours.
Here traditions and ancient crafts are handed down from the mists of time. It's another matter in the case of local products, such as wines, the veritable ambassadors of these lands in the world, and truffles: just a few slices of this elixir are enough to make most of traditional local dishes even more special. Wine and history, hills and colours, flavours and art, are the main ingredients of a unique territory that is yet to be discovered.