From the Basilica of Superga to the Abbey of Vezzolano

Along the Superga-Crea route, amidst woods, vineyards, and castles, passing through Bardassano, Sciolze, and Cinzano, until reaching one of the most important medieval monuments in Piedmont, the Abbey of Vezzolano.

Technical Notes

Departure: Basilica di Superga (669 m)
Arrival: Abbazia di Vezzolano (426 m)
Length: 26,2 km
Elevation gain: 618 m
Difficulty: hiking, undulating path
Refreshment: after leaving Superga, there are no refreshment options until Sciolze and then Albugnano
Water: fountains at Superga and before Bric Paluc, at Baldissero T.se (3 fountains on the alternative pedestrian route between Superga and Centro Paluc), then at Sciolze (Casetta H2O under the linden trees and a fountain near Piazza San Rocco) and at Cinzano (Piazza Sant’Antonio)

Description

The trail starts to the right of the Basilica of Superga (information board), where a path descends into the woods until it meets SP4 Superga-Baldissero next to the trattoria of the Mutual Aid Society. Turn left, cross the village of Tetti Gioanin, ignore the panoramic road of the Colli that ascends to the right, and continue for about 700 meters. At the end of a curve, take the path on the right that enters the woods, ascending with a wide left turn until meeting a small path on the right, which shortly leads to Bric del Duca. Descend to the rest area with the fountain and continue on the left path of the scenic road, gradually ascending to Bric San Giacomo. From there, descend on the Palucco asphalt road and follow it for 700 meters, reaching the provincial road to Baldissero at the Paluc Center.

(Alternative route in bad weather: from Superga to Paluc Center, take the pedestrian path -1.9 km in length, with rest areas including 3 fountains- next to the provincial road).

Turn right and follow the provincial road for about 400 meters, then turn left onto the road to Rivodora, continue for 300 meters, and finally turn right onto Strada della Croce entering the woods. Pass the last house and continue for 300 meters to a junction. Follow the right track, then turn right again at the next junction until reaching the fork below Bric della Croce (D, about 4.5 km from the Basilica of Superga). Ascend left (descending right towards Baldissero on Trail No. 51 follows Stage 2 of the middle Cammino), cross the ridge, then descend right on a track reaching SP117. Turn left and proceed on the asphalt for about 350 meters until the intersection leading to Tetti Varetto. Turn right onto the path that steeply descends into the woods, then continue halfway until reaching SP224 and turn left. (Alternative route: in case of landslides on this section, use the asphalt road for Tetti Varetto, pass the hamlet and the Church of San Defendente, meet SP224, turn left, then rejoin the main route). Continue until reaching a left turn after about 500 meters where the road begins to descend. Here, turn right to ascend along Strada Val Villata towards Bardassano and its castle, reached after over 5 km from point D. After passing the village (lacking fountains and shops), descend to the Chieri-Castiglione provincial road, cross it, and take SP118 towards Sciolze, about 3.9 km from Bardassano. The road, initially flat, then ascends rapidly, continuing on the hill’s ridge, passing next to the Chapel of Santa Lucia, and descends to Sciolze. Once in the village, continue towards Cinzano along the castle walls, then after a short descent, gradually ascend among meadows and vineyards. The Freisa, Bonarda, Malvasia, and Barbera grape varieties find their ideal terroir on these gentle and sunny slopes, producing high-quality wines. Upon reaching the quadrivium “Le Pere,” walk for about 750 meters, bypassing the first 2 deviations leading to farms, before descending on the right on a track among the vineyards describing a wide arc, leading to point V1 (start of connection V1-V2 with Stage 2 of the middle Cammino. Alternatively, to reach Cinzano, continue on the asphalt road -quite winding with numerous narrow curves- watching for traffic, for about 1.9 km until meeting the Cammino path at the second right fork).. From here, gradually ascend alongside Bric Castagneto on a comfortable dirt track (then asphalt), passing Cascina Comollo, the Chapel of San Grato, Borgata Aprà, and the agriturismo I conti della serva on the right along the way. About 300 meters after the Chapel, near Cascina Pastura, turn right onto a path passing by a kennel and heading towards Cinzano near a grove of maples and oaks. Gradually ascend on the track leading to Piazza Sant’Antonio, near the castle. Exiting the village towards Moncucco, walk via Roma and the provincial road to Cappelletta di San Rocco, then turn left towards Villa La Serra, home to Agriturismo Cascina La Serra. Descend on the track adjacent to the villa wall, then on the path to a large grassy plateau, at the end of which turn left to cross the hamlet of Torrazza. Continue on the asphalt, descending on a lane bordering the rear of a farmhouse, then ascend to a beautiful vineyard. After a right turn, descend until reaching SP Berzano-Moncucco at point E (also the beginning of connection E-N with Stage 2 of the middle Cammino: turning right on the provincial road continues to Moncucco T.se and Cascina Moglia). Cross the SP and pass the bridge over Rio della Morra, ascend towards Vezzolano on a comfortable asphalt road with wide bends, passing Agriturismo La Perla, leading near Cascina Betlemme. Here, leave the asphalt, pass behind the farmhouse, then ascend to Colle della Crocetta, passing a pond offering captivating panoramic views. From Crocetta, turn left on a dirt track among the vineyards to quickly reach the Abbey of Vezzolano in the territory of Albugnano, after about 2.5 km from junction E.

In the Footsteps of Don Bosco

Casa Comollo (Regione Aprà, Cinzano)

During his studies in Chieri, Giovanni Bosco formed a strong friendship with Luigi Comollo, the nephew of the Cinzano parish priest. Luigi was often mistreated by his peers but accepted these hardships with a smile or a forgiving word. One day, the two friends found themselves on a hill near Cinzano. At Giovanni’s wish for good wine the following year, Luigi responded, “You will drink it.” “And you? Will you continue drinking your usual water?” “No. I hope to drink a much better wine.” Pressed further, Luigi admitted that he deeply hoped to go to Heaven after his death. On April 2, 1837, Luigi Comollo passed away at the young age of 22. According to a firsthand account from Giovanni Bosco and his roommates, on the night following Luigi’s burial, the friend appeared to them as a light, repeating three times, «Bosco! Bosco! Bosco! Io sono salvo!»

The cobbler’s elm tree in Albugnano and the sulfur spring in Bardella

On the so-called Belvedere of Albugnano (Tower Square), there still stands a hollow elm tree whose branches provided shelter for Don Bosco and his boys during breaks on their walks; it’s known as the “cobbler’s elm” because inside it accommodated the small shop of a craftsman. The sulfur spring in Bardella in Castelnuovo Don Bosco is now forgotten, but throughout the 19th century, it was much visited for the therapeutic properties of its waters. Vezzolano and Bardella were destinations on one of Don Bosco’s walks in October 1857.

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