You can find this route on the BikeSquare app with code A06
A track designed to touch one of the most famous points of Monferrato: the “Torre dei Contini”, a panoramic point of extreme charm.
Treat yourself to a visit to this beautiful site and climb to the top of the tower to enjoy a 360 degree view of the surrounding landscapes.
Nizza is the most important agricultural and commercial center located in the heart of Monferrato area, one of the most famous Italian places of wine production in the world, especially as regards red wines. UNESCO World Heritage Site for its landscape assets and for the Barbera and Nizza DOCG wines, it is the most important center of the province and of the Belbo Valley.
In Nizza it is worth taking a stroll through the streets of the center and stopping to admire the Campanon tower, in the town square, the oldest civic tower in the city, incorporated into the Town Hall.
The historic center is beautiful, full of typical bars and restaurants where you can taste the specialties of Nicese and Piedmontese cuisine based on Cardo Gobbo, a renowned local product.
There will certainly be the possibility of some amazing tasting of red wine at the Regional Winery of Nizza, located near the splendid Palazzo Crova, an admirable example of an 18th century noble town residence.
At the end of the tour, the more "daring" will be able to reach the Church of Madonna della Neve, one of the highest points in the town.
It can be reached via a very steep climb but the view over the city and the surrounding municipalities is certainly worth the effort.
The track starts from the e-bike collection point in Nizza Monferrato and winds through a maze of secondary streets until it reaches the splendid hamlet of Sant’Antonio di Canelli.
Canelli and Torre dei Contini:
The track will continue after turning near the Church of Sant’Antonio Abate and will make you proceed in the direction of the tower, along a secondary road. During the ride you will always see, in one of the highest points around you, the top of the tower, which will be your reference throughout this part of the route.
Near a purple building you can take the dirt road which, on foot, will take you to this particular monument.
The Tower, dating back to 1617, delimited the boundaries of the municipality and served as a military lookout.
From here, it is possible to have a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape, glimpsing the perfect meeting between the hills of Monferrato and those of the Langhe
Continuing the planned route you will arrive in the center of Canelli.
The town of Canelli is a small town of about ten thousand inhabitants that rises near the southernmost border of the Monferrato, a few steps from the province of Cuneo.
Canelli is historically divided into two parts: “Il Borgo” and “Villanuova”. The first, further down the valley, is the one that has continued to expand with the passing of time while the second, the oldest Canelli, lies on the slopes of the hill and is still dominated by its castle, today Castello Gancia. The Borgo and Villanuova are connected by one of the historical elements of Canelli: La Sternia.
In the lower part of the city, down in the Borgo, from Piazza Amedeo D’Aosta you can take Via Giovanni Battista Giuliani. Continuing on this road and then turning onto Via Gioacchino Rossini, you will find yourself in Piazza San Tommaso. Here you will meet the Church of San Tommaso on the left, from which the square takes its name, and further to the right the Church of the Annunziata. Between the two religious buildings begins the Sternia, a paved pedestrian street whose current name is via Villanuova.
The Sternia climbs up the hill, crosses the medieval part of the town, reaches Piazza San Leonardo, home to the church of the same name and that of San Rocco (recognizable because it is completely brick). From here the road continues uphill until it reaches the top, at the foot of what is now Castello Gancia.
The Castle of Canelli was the protagonist of a rather troubled history. Presumably born at the beginning of the eleventh century, the Canelli Castle originally had the purpose of defending the roads that led from Asti to Savona, essential for merchant traffic.
Subsequently the fortress has witnessed many struggles and battles that have caused repeated destruction and reconstruction, until 1929 when the Castle was purchased by the Gancia family and transformed into a large noble residence. Even today, the castle dominates the town from above and shows the Canellese and visitors its beautiful appearance of an eighteenth-century villa.
Unfortunately, as the private home of the Gancia family, the castle cannot be visited, however, at least one passage is required to admire it from the outside.
Asti Spumante is the symbol of Canelli and with it are also the places where the wine takes shape. The Underground Cathedrals are located in the Borgo and represent, in a certain sense, the buried counterpart of the town. These were recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2014.
We are talking about ancient and incredibly large cellars, where the fine wines of the area are brought to rest and where they develop their peculiarities. The Underground Cathedrals of Canelli belong to four great historic wineries: Bosca, Contratto, Gancia and Coppo. Although in different ways, all 4 companies make their treasures open to the public.
Always starting from Piazza Amedeo D’Aosta, take Via Giovanni Battista Giuliani: here you will meet the Contract and Bosca companies. Continuing in the direction of Corso Libertà you reach the door of the Gancia winery. The Coppo winery, on the other hand, can be found in another area of the Borgo, in via Alba.
After crossing the industrial area of the city, famous for its large companies of wine making machinery and bottling, secondary streets will take you back to the starting point of the tour in Nizza Monferrato.