From the “red devil” Giovanni Gerbi to Costante Girardengo and Fausto Coppi, from the Museo dei Campionissimi in Novi Ligure to the AcdB Bicycle Museum in Alessandria, cycling is in Piedmont’s DNA.

Map in hand, for a trip, a weekend getaway or a multi-day route in stages, Piedmont reveals a great network of touring cycle routes for all passions: ranging from mtb and gravel trails, to high altitude routes, enjoying the Alpine and Apennine skylines with horizons to the Ligurian Sea even on an e-bike. An environmentally friendly experience, “flavored” with stories of villages, people and cultures in an architecture of natural environments of extraordinary biodiversity, also ideal for those who enjoy nature photography and wildlife watching.

Piedmont Val Formazza_Credits Visit Piedmont, ph I.Com
Val Formazza Credits Visit Piedmont, ph I.Com

Professional guides and an extensive system of hotels, rental services and bike shuttles, chairlifts and gondolas equipped to transport bicycles at high altitudes, are a guarantee of a tourism product that is attentive to quality and hospitality, and to accessibility in a sustainable way.

Where to go in Piedmont: the mountains

If you like to sweep your gaze over ancient settlements, mountain pastures and peaks, forts and mountain huts, the Historic Mountain Routes take you back to the time of wayfarers and pilgrims, merchants and smugglers in the free nature.

Piedmont Assietta_Gran Serin_Credits ph Marco Cicchelli
Assietta Gran Serin Credits ph Marco Cicchelli

To date there are 69 routes distributed in 5 provinces (Turin, Biella, Verbano Cusio Ossola, Alessandria and Cuneo). Places where the sounds of nature reign and where to take time. Ways to Rediscovering the signs of communities, cultures and events, such as traces of the Cadorna Line defense system in Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, rock carvings and rock shelters in the Biella region, Walser villages in Valsesia, the Battle of Assietta between Alta Val Susa and Alta Val Chisone, or salt and anchovy routes in the Occitan valleys of Cuneo.

For those who like a challenge there is the Biella – Oropa climb, Pantani Mountain of the Giro d’Italia, 12 km to reach the 1,1.50 meters of the Oropa Sanctuary on the UNESCO World Heritage Sacred Mountain, and the magnificent Zegna Overview, with Oasi Zegna, designed by an extensive and well-equipped network of mtb and e-bike trails.

Zegna Overview_Credits Oasi Zegna
Overview Zegna Credits Oasi Zegna

Family cycling

Family-friendly ideas? TheUNESCO Grand Tour by bicycle, the loop of more than 600 kilometers to be traveled leisurely in stages among architectural treasures (from Royal Palaces to Sacred Mountains to Creative Cities) and the greenery of forests and parks in landscapes of unusual beauty.

Ideal especially in spring and fall, then, the 27-kilometer Risaie Ciclabili route enters the Vercelli area of rice fields, past abbeys, rural hamlets and ancient farmsteads, watched over by the watchful gaze of herons and Knights of Italy.

Piedmont Hills Alexandria_Credits ALEXALA Archives, ph Gianluca Grassano
Alexandria Hills Credits ALEXALA Archives, ph Gianluca Grassano

Also enjoyable and for everyone is the Tour of Lake Orta in Novara: 35.50 km from Gozzano, touching the cliff of Madonna del Sasso, the Omegna lakefront, Villa Crespi in Orta San Giulio.

From Lake Maggiore to Lake Mergozzo and Orta to the Ossola Valleys, “slow biking” is the key word for exploring this beautiful area along 40 routes of varying difficulty.

In the Biella region, trails for mtb, e-bike and road bikes wind through green spaces and forests in simply enchanting environments. From the flat trails of the Baraggia and Bessa nature reserves, to the imposing hill ridge of the Serra morenica overlooking Lake Viverone, from Oropa Valley to the fantastic Enduro Bike Parks of the Rive Rosse.

The hills of Piedmont

If you prefer the undulating horizon of the hills of Alessandria, from Castellania, the birthplace of Fausto Coppi, you set out on a tour that tells the story of cycling and Italian cycling. First stop is the Museo dei Campionissimi in Novi Ligure, then on to Alessandria, the pioneer city of the velocipede, which houses the historic collection of theAcdB Museo della Bicicletta at Palazzo Monferrato.

For those who enjoy the gravel experience, the Petalo dei Colli Tortonesi is perfect from March to October, on dirt and white roads for 143 km from Alessandria to the Colli Tortonesi, where fine DOC labels are born.

Piedmont Bocchetto Luvera, Valdilana_CreditsATL Terre Alto Piemonte
Bocchetto Luvera, Valdilana CreditsATL Terre Alto Piemonte

Suitable for everyone, from experts to families, the trail in the Scrivia Nature Park is a journey through the Curone Grue Ossona Apennine valleys, a corner of nature where you can admire tree essences and protected animal species (in fact, the Scrivia valley is one of the favorite routes for migratory routes of birds from Africa to the North), with stops in places rich in craft stories and food and wine specialties.

The Dalle Dolci terre alle Langhe route will engage you on the pedals from Acqui Terme to Canelli. And, having arrived in the Langhe, at the pace of the pedal we ride through the undulating UNESCO landscape of Langhe Roero and Monferrato Astigiano and Alessandrino on routes that will thrill wine tourism enthusiasts, such as Bar to Bar, 7-stage loop trail for mtb or e-bike between castles and farmsteads, forests and dirt roads, vineyards and low-traffic roads that connects Barolo to Barbaresco.

Also very enjoyable are the 4 Wine Cru tours of Roero, among vineyards and wineries with fabulous local DOCG and DOC wines.

The Cuneo

In the Cuneo area, a crossroads of great trade and commerce between the mountains, the sea and the Po Valley, a network of routes with time partially disused represents today a great heritage all to be explored. Think of thelegendary Limone-Monesi Salt Road, the most beautiful white road in Europe. 39 km of dirt road from the Alps to the sea, from Limone Piemonte and Upper Brig, on the old military road, between 1,800 and 2,100 meters.

Piedmont High Salt Road, Province of Cuneo_ Credits Visit Piedmont - I.Com Multimedia
Alta Via del Sale, Province of Cuneo Credits Visit Piedmont – I.Com Multimedia

On the border between Piedmont and Liguria here is the network of roads of the Roa Marenca (from Mondovì to Ormea), historically useful for transporting “salt,” once so precious that it was sometimes traded at the same value as gold.

For the more daring, there is the challenging Marguareis Route, which runs along the spectacular cross-border alpine route called “the Duke’s Cycle Route“, with 70 km of development and about 2,000 m of positive elevation gain; the advice, in this case in particular, is to be accompanied by the cycling tour leaders, in order to have appropriate assistance during the day.

The Torinese

In the Turin area, those who like to enjoy the variety of its nooks and crannies and landscapes can take theGreen Ring, the hiking trail of about 35 kilometers that takes in ancient paths, gardens, wooded patches and UNESCO hillside mansions such as Villa della Regina or sacred architecture such as the Basilica of Superga complex.

For a tour of the backdrop of hills, parks and rivers that surrounds the Royal Residences of Savoy, there is the Crown of Delights by Bicycle, the ring of more than 90 kilometers of cycle paths and rural roads for city-bikes, mountain bikes or on foot. A beautiful track, part of the Green Crown, the metropolitan area’s green infrastructure system.

In the vast web of routes and paths, for the more trained, the Colle delle Finestre is the classic 17-kilometer challenge on the Giro d’Italia climb, with 1700 meters of elevation gain and 33 hairpin bends between Val di Susa and Val Chisone, in spectacular scenery.

The Novarese

Piedmont Castle of Novara credits Davide Morello
Novara Castle credits Davide Morello

You pedal at a slow pace to discover the mosaic of the squared sea of rice fields, among farmhouses, villages and abbeys between Vercelli and Novara. In particular, in the Novara area, the network of bicycle routes. Cycling at the water’s edge, goes into the biodiversity of the UNESCO Ticino Val Grande Verbano Biosphere Reserve. There are also magnificent historical relics here such as the Visconti-Sforza castle of Galliate and shrines such as San Pietro in Vulpiate, called “the Varallino,” because of its similarity to the UNESCO Sacro Monte di Varallo.

Outside the capital city, BicinVigna with Antonelli is the cycle-tour itinerary through 9 municipalities linked to the architect’s biography. Between Romagnano Sesia and the beautiful setting of the Colline Novaresi, generous with renowned DOCG and DOC wines, the Monte Fenera Park and the Baraggia, sacred architecture intersects in Fontaneto d’Agogna, in Boca, at the shrine on which Antonelli worked all his life, and in Maggiora, where the architect is buried. On the way, splendid medieval views in Ghemme, Wine and Honey City well preserved within the walls of the castle-ricetto.

For more information: www.visitpiemonte.com