Appennino Ligure - 19 Marzo 2023 - Special Stages

Ligurian Apennines - 19 March 2023

It's March and it's finally time to kick off the Special Stages Tours!
As has already happened on other occasions for this start of the season we decided to start by planning an itinerary between Piedmont and Liguria, along the roads that pass through the Ligurian Apennines precisely.

We have already been to these areas many times, near the Turchino, but on this occasion we wanted to move a little further east, to discover new and interesting panoramas.


The meeting is, as always, at 9.30. We are in Carrosio, in the province of Alessandria, just south of the municipality of Gavi.

We take advantage of the dirt parking near the sports field to park the more than 50 cars that took part in this event and, as usual, it all starts with a good breakfast!
For this, and to proceed with the registration of all the participants, we have entrusted the Albergo Il Portico. We could not have made a better choice as the breakfast was truly exceptional!
A huge variety of products, all homemade, sweet and savoury, and with great abundance that satisfied all the participants. It was the first time that we have leaned on this structure, but it will definitely flag us on the map to return to us for future events!

It's time to leave. After the usual talk about what to do, particularly in built-up areas, but also about facilitating overtaking by those who are faster (a part of the talk that unfortunately some of the participants did not understand), we start the engines and off we go!

We leave the town in a southerly direction on the SP160.
The first section, up to Voltaggio, sees a wide and well paved road that runs along the valley. Shortly after the town of Voltaggio, the road narrows, while maintaining a good quality asphalt surface.
Slowly you climb up, on a road that is never too steep, up to Passo della Bocchetta, right on the border between Piedmont and Liguria.
It is not possible to make a stop given the very little space to park cars, but we do not stop also because we have traveled just a few kilometers from the start, so we continue descending towards the valley to arrive in Campomorone.
Here too we find a somewhat narrow road but in good condition, but the pace is a little slower given the passage through some inhabited centres.
Once in the valley we go up north on the SP4. The first part of this stretch is characterized by good asphalt but with a narrow roadway in particular passing through various inhabited centers that we find, but then the roadway widens and once the villages are over, you can finally let off steam. The road is beautiful, very scenic and quite wide.
Traffic is almost non-existent on this stretch.
As we approach Colle di Praglia only a few fine drops settle on the windscreen.

Once at the Colle we stop for the first stop of this Tour. Luckily the weather holds, and so we can have a chat waiting to regroup all the participants, and as always allow the photographers to reach the next point.

So it starts again. The road continues wide up to the border with Piedmont, where it becomes SP167. From this point the road narrows a lot in some points and unfortunately, the most sore point, the road surface is characterized by not really pleasant holes at times.
However, the panorama is incredible, it has nothing to do with what one might expect to find in the Apennines between Piedmont and Liguria.

The road continues in the same conditions also on the SP165, always continuing north, up to the pass of the Eremiti. Here the roadway widens a bit and the asphalt improves as you go down towards the valley.
Unfortunately the bottom is a bit dirty, a fairly typical situation after the winter, above all due to the absence of rain for some time.

The descent ends by entering the SP170, which we follow westwards in the direction of Ovada up to the municipality of Lerma.
We stop for an hour, taking advantage of the presence of the bar for those who want to drink something or have a small snack before continuing for the second half of the route.

From this point on, no more narrow roads and we return to those we know very well, as they have already been traveled on in some past Tours.
In fact, we reach Ovada and follow the signs for Passo del Turchino along the SP456. This stretch is quite fast and again with very little traffic.
Before arriving at Turchino, near Rossiglione, we turn right to take the SP64 in the direction of Tiglieto.
This road is wonderful, one curve after another, a very tortuous route that climbs the Apennines with asphalt in excellent condition and with excellent grip.

Unfortunately, the infinite succession of curves means that if you find someone slow ahead it is practically impossible to overtake if you are not helped, which unfortunately even some of the participants do not do, despite having pointed out this.
After the first inhabited centres, continuing on the SP1, unfortunately the road surface gets worse. Dirt and poorly patched potholes in the shady spots make you lift your foot slightly off the accelerator.

We always continue east on the SP49 up to the intersection with the SP7 which we take to stop after very few bends at Passo Bric Berton, the last intermediate stop on this Tour.
Here too we await the arrival of all the participants, we wait for the photographers who precede us to position ourselves and after a few chats we set off again.

From Passo Bric Berton we descend northwards, in Piedmont, towards Acqui Terme on the SP210. The road here is in very good condition. Beautiful asphalt and a roadway of the right width allow you to enjoy this stretch of road to the fullest.
With the exception of some inhabited centers where the pace obviously slows down, driving pleasure over these last 30km is guaranteed!
We then come to Acqui Terme. One last transfer to Montalto Bormida to reach the Albachiara Restaurant. Beautiful location with a fantastic view of the Monferrato hills where we have already been on several occasions.
We park all the cars around the farmhouse and take a seat to kick off the aperitif which closes the event with an abundance of courses, as always, of excellent quality!

Thus ends the first event of the 2023 season. Many new participants, many already met, but all satisfied with this event with which we started this year off to a great start.
Next stop? April 16th for Tour of the Lombard Valleys!

Click HERE to see all the photos from the event!

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