Highlights and tour details
An itinerary to discover the River Po Park and the Monferrato hills by bike. From Casale Monferrato. The circuit is a 65-km loop that crosses the rice fields of the Po plain and touches the first highlands of Monferrato, on secondary and easy dirt roads. No boredom here. Depart from the railway station of Casale Monferrato and take the avenue opposite to continue along the streets of the centre and be won over by the history of this town: the Synagogue, the Cathedral, the Civic Tower, the Theatre and the Castle. Everything is worth visiting.
Casale Monferrato is the heart of the territory with the UNESCO hills that feature the characteristic Infernot in “Pietra da Cantone” stone, underground rooms used to store wine, typical of the homes in white tuff of Valle Ghenza and the Vignale area. This route, designed for families, crosses only plains, but the landscapes are magical and charming. There are also unforgettable recreational stop-off points for children and parents.
Continuing along the road that goes along the River Po, follow the signs for the railway station and passed the second railway underpass follow the provincial road in the direction of Frassineto Po, where you start to familiarise yourself with the poplar groves and the vast expanses of corn, wheat and rice. Having passed Frassineto Po, continue in the direction of Ticineto and Valmacca and having gone beyond the Rotaldo Torrent twice in a row, you reach Valmacca, where you can admire the medieval building in the main square, now the town hall.
Leaving Valmacca behind, continue for Rivalba, a village with the appearance of a Roman mansio. Having passed the Rotaldo Torrent for the last time and passing alongside the village of Bozzole, you come to a crossroads where you can admire the medieval castle of Pomaro.
After a short visit of the village and castle, follow the directions for Monte Valenza, where you arrive after tackling a short but steep climb. Here you can drink at the fountain and admire the panorama in the direction of the Monferrato hills and the Po Plain below. Descending in the direction of Valenza and having passed the railway overpass turn right. Close to the Spa facility of Monte Valenza, kids and adults alike can admire the animals of the small zoo.
After tackling the up and down sections that separate the Spa facilities from Valenza, you reach the jewellery town where you can stroll along the streets of the old town, look at the jewellery shop windows and admire the view from the balcony at the bottom of Viale Padova. On clear days, the view reaches almost as far as Pavia. At this point, you can return to Casale Monferrato by train or on another bicycle route.
After leaving Valenza and taking the provincial road for San Salvatore, shortly after having skirted the Valparolo hamlet, turn right into a country road that will take to Fosseto, where you can visit the gardens of Villa Genoa. Having finished the visit and transited through the hamlet of Villabella of Valenza, head for Giarole to continue to Occimiano: the rice fields and the herons dominate this section of road. Beyond the motorway flyover, take a dirt road to the left that leads to the consortium road of the Lanza canal. Going along the canal, this road takes back to Casale Monferrato on a dirt track of 10 km.
Going straight on at the roundabout of the sports centre, you can visit the Military Citadel of Casale to continue towards the roundabout of Corso Indipendenza. Take the first exit, passing under the railway overpass and return to the train station to end the tour. Approx. 65 km in total.
By Claudio Pasero and Daniela Pestarino (itinerary also geomapped by Claudio Trombin)
Points of interest
All the news on Casale Monferrato is on the Municipal website HERE
Casale Monferrato is a town that cycles on the VENTO cycle path trajectory. The project promotes a cycle-tourism ridge that connects Turin with Venice.
It is 630 kilometres long and follows the route of the River Po, creating continuity between the breathtaking landscapes and the towns that overlook the river, proposing a new type of highly appreciated tourism in Europe that is also beginning to become popular in Italy. For more information about the project click HERE
Those without a bike can rent one at SOMS of Rivalba di Valmacca. For less than €5/day, you can find bikes with or without a child seat, for all sizes, helmet and a puncture repair kit (opening times 9.30 – 19.30 – tel 0142 578004).