Rocca di Verrua is a geographic hub, a buoy that separates east and west Piedmont. After passing the "buoy", the Po continues its journey along the Piedmont meridian. Its duty is to separate the hills from the plains. It is a clean separation, without compromises. To the south, the peaks of Monferrato rise unexpectedly, almost to confirm a difference, a separation that is not just morphological from the plain. At times, high slopes stem directly from the river banks, alternated with stretches of thick woods. To the north, on the opposite bank, is the vast rice plain. It is a uniform, monotonous landscape, but it is also attractive and fascinating. The route unwinds between these two different but complementary environments. It leads cyclists-traveller to meet the Savoy terrain, with its different and complimentary faces, up close. The hill and the plain, wine and rice, clay soil and "water lands". And in the middle is the Po, now a river, with its corners of reconstructed and rediscovered nature. An itinerary with two faces, which encourage the cyclist-traveller to continue pedalling in two different manners, two ways of being, two "cycle philosophies". Between "Monferrato and paddy fields" cyclists-travellers are called to show its ability to adapt, both physically and mentally. On the outward journey Monferrato demands a toll, and pedallers must become climbing specialists. But when the road stretches out along the ridge, the only problem is keeping your eyes at bay because the many horizons, both near and far, capture your attention. On the return instead, the ride extends over flat land, opposite the flow of the river, and the only climbs are imposed by the overpasses and the summit of the banks. You cycle guided by the bell tower profiles, that follow each other in procession, while along the ridge there are profiles from the Middle Ages. Little egrets, herons and solitary English oaks are good occasions for taking your eyes off the west. (Antonio Farina - Piemonte Parchi)
The Bikeway can be divided into 4 stages: Crescentino-Morano Po: 28 km on the left bank, across Fontanetto Po, Palazzolo Vercellese, Trino, with passage and visit to the Pobietto grange. Morano Po-Frassineto Po: 16.5 km on the left bank until Casale Monferrato, then the right bank. Frassineto Po-Bassignana: 36.5 km on the right bank across Valmacca, Bozzole, Valenza Po. Bassignana-Isola Sant'Antonio: 22.5 km on the right bank crossing Alluvioni Cambiò.
The Po Bikeway unwinds over a territory that is full of history and permeated by the events of those who have populated it for thousands of years; from Rocca di Verrua Savoia, until the boundary of Lomellina the route follows the winding banks of the Po. The opposite banks of Monferrato and the large rice plain are sprinkled with thousand-year old villages, cities full of art and areas with a large nature value, in which the Park Institute carried out important restoration and reforestation work. Down from Casale Monferrato you discover the more natural and wild face of the Po. Here the river, supplied by the water from Sesia, Tanaro and Scrivia, models large gravel banks, islets and ox bow lakes that favour the presence of many different species of bird, mainly herons, ducks and cormorants, but even the more elusive stone curlew and small wading birds. The itinerary coincides with Eurovelo 8 that starts from Spain and finishes in Greece. The Po Bikeway has mostly unpaved roads. Some stretches are on roads with heavy traffic. The main route unwinds over flat ground, first on the left side of the Po, reaching Crescentino from the stretch of mountain that crosses Turin. At Casale Monferrato the bikeway leads to the right bank of the river, until the boundary with Lombardy. There are many secondary itineraries that can be followed to reach areas of great historical and nature interest, both on the plain and in the hills, indicated by panels that give information on the landscape scattered around the route. Thanks to an agreement with AIPO, the banks can be walked and cycled along, respecting legal indications and those of the authorised people.
Visitor Centre - Cascina Belvedere Frascarolo (PV) tel. +39 0384 84676 fax 0384 84754 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org www.parcodelpo-vcal.it
Po and Orba river park - www.parcodelpo-vcal.it