SECTION 1 ISOLA VILLA - MONGOVONE
The departure point of this itinerary is Isola Villa, also known as ‘Villa di Isola’. From Piazza Giuseppe Gallo – a picturesque viewpoint – you can admire a vast area of the Tanaro river; characteristic is also the statue dedicated to John Paul II for his pastoral visit.
From there you head south, through forests and cultivated fields, down the hill to the valley, where you can stop at the Centro Congressi di Isola, an old, disused wine cellar that has been restored in recent years and is the venue for events and festivals held in the area.
Then, by slowly climbing up the hill and skirting the Rio Bragna, which has characterised and still influences the valley, you will reach the town of Mongovone, the birthplace of Giuseppe Govone, an Italian general who went through the salient stages of the unification of Italy and whose exploits can be discovered in the museum of the same name. Along the way you will find the Mongovone geosite, which emerged as a result of small landslides that affected the hillside and is characterised by a very rich variety of fossils coming directly from the ground.
SECTION 2 ISOLA VILLA - VIGLIANO D’ASTI
From Isola Villa, following the VIA DEL MARE, you will continue towards Mongardino (275 meters above sea level), through the hamlet of San Sebastiano, where the road leads to the town of Roman origin; in the hamlet of San Sebastiano, the chapel at the crossroads is a rest area and meeting point for the inhabitants.The hamlet of Madonna, characterised by a small 19th-century church with a brick bell tower next to the rectory, is also interesting.
After passing the built-up area – after about 1 km – you will continue through the hillscharacterized by the hills typical of this area, which cover almost all the undulating low hills between Mongardino and Vigliano.
Continuing along the trail, you will reach the town of Vigliano, 220m above sea level, where is the hamlet of Valmontasca, a major geological site characterised by numerous fossiliferous outcrops, the most popular of which is the one discovered in 1959, which brought to light the whole and well-preserved fossil skeleton of a Pliocene baleen whale about 8m long. The fossil is currently kept at the Istituto di Geologia e Paleontologia of the University of Turin.