Pleasant itinerary among the vineyards of Moscato and Barbera in an amphitheatre of vines
The itinerary centres on the area of Acqui Terme, one of the most prestigious regions in the Province of Alessandria due to its enogastronomic importance and its magnificent landscape. The striking historical centre of Acqui Terme, the Aquae Statiellae founded by the Romans, was an active location of commercial trade even a very long time ago, due to the natural gift of its thermal waters. The heart of Acqui indeed is the hot spring of sulphurous water with 75°C called “la Bollente” (the boiling one), which still today feeds several thermal plants.
At a short distance from the town, ascending the street S.S. 456 we find an exceptional area for its beautiful scenery: a territory where the monoculture of the vine has profoundly marked the territory and created a display of geometrics of rows of vines without interruption, stretching out as far as the eye can see and following the soft lines of the hills, thus creating suggestive colour schemes. It is the land of the Moscato, the Brachetto, the Dolcetto, the Barbera and the Passito, a Slow Food presidia product; sublime wines, known all over the world, which accompany the typical cuisine of the Monferrato. The trek starts in the area of Alice Bel Colle, in the Piazza Guacchione, where we recommend the short climb up to the “Belvedere”, from where a breathtaking, incomparable view can be enjoyed: our eye wanders 360° from the Monviso to the Monte Rosa mountains, with the alps creating a framework for the textures of the vines on the sweet hills of the Monferrato.
From Piazza Guacchione we follow the indications for the trail 02 (Castel Rocchero) during the first stretch of the road to Ricaldone (birthplace of the songwriter Luigi Tenco); immediately outside the village we meet the first crossroads on the right, taking us a short way through the vineyards. At the junction with the asphalt street we turn right and, after only a few meters, left to regain the dirt road by a few houses. Our descent to the valley floor and Alice Bel Colle Stazione is surrounded by vineyards of Moscato and Brachetto. We turn left on the tarmacked road and immediately to the right again, following the indications for Reg. Gaviglio and passing under a bridge. The trail goes slightly uphill towards Castel Rocchero, between vineyards dotted with mulberry, cherry and peach trees as well as willows.
The street turns into a dirt road and after the Cascina Scrimaglia on the right, where we follow the indications for the trail 01 (Castel Rocchero concentrico), is again tarmacked. Once we arrive in Castel Rocchero, the ancient military garrison for guarding and defending the communication routes, we go up for a stroll through the characteristic village, to then begin the return journey near the arrival point along the route 02 (Alice Bel Colle concentrico). After a short stretch the asphalt road turns into a dirt road; a steep descent and a short climb lead us back to the Cascina Scrimaglia; we leave it behind on our right, to continue in the sweet valley of the Rio Medrio. Following the indications for Alice Bel Colle Stazione we arrive at the junction with the main road, which we follow for about 800 metres until we arrive at the fork where we passed before on the way down from Alice Bel Colle. The last stretch of our return itinerary follows the same road as we used previously.