The Gran Tour delle Lanze is a panoramic circular route around the municipality of Castagnole delle Lanze in the province of Asti, which winds along the ridges of the hills planted with vines, real heritage of the territory of Castagnole.
Walking or cycling in the midst of nature, enjoying the view of the magnificent landscape framed by the background of the western Alps, brings back as if by magic to a more serene and relaxed perception of life: frees the mind and predisposes to the encounter with the beautiful and to the appreciation of the wonders that surround us.
In this context, and with this spirit, it is possible to make small but interesting discoveries related to the symbols of the traditional rural world that we find scattered all along the way: old farmhouses, a water mill, a monastery of nuns, several wayside shrines, as well as churches and chapels that are located in many of the hamlets of the village. However, it is also possible to see very modern farms and, above all, to observe with how much care nowadays the grapes are still grown in the rows of vines. And those who know at least a little about it, will be probably able to recognize the grape varieties that distinguish the excellence of the local wine production: especially the Barbera d’Asti, the Dolcetto d’Alba and the Moscato d’Asti.
In almost every point of the route you can also see the upper village of Castagnole, where it is possible to recognize the panoramic tower built by Count Paolo Ballada di Saint Robert, which in addition to being the starting and finishing point of the Grand Tour, becomes in this way also the ideal axis around which rotates the entire route.
In this regard, I recommend to anyone who undertakes the Grand Tour delle Lanze, to go up, before and after, the tower of Saint Robert, in order to admire the wonderful landscape and try to identify the places from which they have passed and the route that was made during this small enterprise of about 27 kilometers.
In the evening we return to the base tired but satisfied, perhaps sitting around a table to tell the moments of the beautiful day just passed, toasting to the success of the Grand Tour with a good glass of wine produced in the territory of the Lanze.
Technical characteristics of the itinerary
Length: 27,3 Km
Total ascent: 736 m
Surface: mixed, mainly asphalted
Level of difficulty: challenging (because of the length of the route)
Practicability: it’s better to avoid the heat of the summer months, otherwise all year round
Starting point: entrance to the Parco della Rimembranza, where the panoramic tower of the upper village is located (via Artuffo, 53 – 14054 Castagnole delle Lanze / gps coordinates: N 44.75651°, E 008.14961°)
For those who want to save a few kilometers of road (thus reducing the total of km to 22.6), it is also possible to start from the circumference of the route, not far from the point where, at the end of the section from the centre of the village, the route divides. In this case we go directly to the locality of “Croce” at the confluence of Via Santa Maria and Strada Valle, which becomes in this way the starting and finishing point of the Gran Tour (see the little flag on the map: Via Santa Maria, 49 – 14054 Castagnole delle Lanze / gps coordinates: N 44.77259°, E 008.15653°)
Recommended footwear: light trekking shoes
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