The discovery of the Oltrepò Pavese by E-bike. From Stradella to Salice Terme, nature and food and wine.
The Oltrepò Pavese is famous not only for its excellent food and wine, but also for its landscapes, castles and abbeys and …
it is perfect to explore on two wheels!
Not far from Milan, it comprises 78 towns in the province of Pavia, all of which lie south of the Po river. This hilly area is famous throughout the world as one of Italy’s best wine-growing areas.
The use of an E-bike is definitely the perfect solution to enjoy a relaxing ride. With this tour we want to combine the beauty of this area to be discovered by cycling with the food and wine specialities to be tasted at the table!
Day 1: Individual arrival Stradella
The village of Stradella is located in the province of Pavia, on the route of the Via Postumia, the ancient Roman road. In an isolated position at the top of the hill is the Rocca di Montalino, currently used as a private residence. Among the vineyards of a gentle hilly landscape, we find the Basilica of San Marcello in Montalino. Built in Lombard Romanesque style in the 12th century in brick and sandstone, the church has been a National Monument since 1893 and is one of the oldest sacred buildings still standing in the Oltrepò Pavese area. Towards the end of the 1200s the Borgo was the scene of clashes between Piancentini and Pavesi, and for this reason Bishop Guido di Langosco had large brick walls built to defend it and the Visconti family erected the lower Rocca, which was later demolished to open up the market square, now Piazza Vittorio Veneto. From that moment on, trade in agricultural products began, including wine and fabrics spun and dyed in the village itself. On the square, the majestic symbol of Stradella, the Civic Tower, is still preserved, the only direct evidence of the ancient strong town. The museums in Stradella are interesting to visit: the Accordion Museum, named after Mariano Dallapè, who in 1876 set up his first accordion-making workshop in Stradella, and the Natural History Museum with its sections on botany, ecology, the environment, but above all, geology and palaeontology with finds from the area.
Day 2: Circular tour from Stradella – Km 60 – up 750 m
From Stradella you will set off on a discovery tour of the Oltrepò in the direction of Montù Beccaria. Montù Beccaria, stands on a rise of about 300 metres and extends along the bank of the Versa river. The territory of Montù Beccaria is covered with rows of vines and is characterised by the presence of a castle, the village’s most important historical and artistic testimony. The spring complex on the hill still known as Castellazzo is large in size, but retains almost nothing of its fortification function. In fact, most of the remaining structures belong to the college built by the Barnabites in the 17th century. Viticulture is the main activity in the territory and allows the production of renowned D.O.C. wines such as: Bonarda-Croatina, Barbera, Riesling, Pinot and Moscato. The historic cellars in the village of Montù Beccaria are open to the public for guided tours through ancient traditions. Wandering in the old cellars evokes the suggestion of the vine-dresser’s work in past times, capacious wooden barrels decorate the spaces with order, while the tasting of a glass of mellow must will make the visit more pleasant and tasty.
Relaxing dinner at the hotel.
Day 3: Stradella – Molato Dam/Lake Trebecco – Zavattarello Km 45 – difference in altitude 1003 up – 553 down
We leave Stradella to reach the Molato Dam and Zavattarello with its castle. The route winds through the magnificent vineyards of the Oltrepò Pavese to arrive at the Dam. Lake Trebecco is the artificial basin formed by the construction of the Molato Dam. It extends for 2.5 kilometres, also touching on the province of Pavia; its name derives from the historic locality situated on an arenaceous spur immediately to the south-east, in a border area between the territories of Piacenza and Pavia, where in the early Middle Ages possessions and churches subject to the monastery of Bobbio were concentrated and at the same time the spheres of influence of Piacenza and Bobbio intersected. We then reach Zavattarello (Borghi più Belli d’Italia).
Day 4: Zavattarello – Fortunago – Varzi km 40 – 980 up – 1110 down
Starting from Zavattarello you will arrive in Varzi, famous for its specialties (Salame di Varzi and more) and for the ancient village – Borghi più Belli D’Italia, passing Fortunago and the Castle of Oramala The castle of Oramala is located on a rocky promontory overlooking the Staffora Valley in the municipality of Val di Nizza and is one of the most beautiful places of the high Oltrepo. It was built by the Malaspina family in the 10th century and then passed to the Este family, to the bishop of Tortona and finally returned to its original owners in the 12th century, a period in which it experienced its greatest splendour as a centre of cultural diffusion. The fortress was fortified in 1474 for defensive purposes; the enormous stone tower dates back to this period and has a very particular plan: a semi-circular figure resting on a rectangle.
Day 5: Varzi – Val Curone – Salice Terme – km 42 in alternative Greenway Voghera – Varzi km 22
From Varzi you will reach Salice Terme through the Val Curone, but if you prefer a more relaxing ride you can continue on the Greenway that will take you gently towards Salice Terme.
The history of the Curone Valley is closely linked to its geographical position: an area bordering the Po Valley on one side and the Ligurian Apennines on the other. Because of this location, the valley has been an important communication route to the sea since ancient times. This area has seen the development of numerous human settlements and centres with agricultural and commercial connotations, facilitated above all by the presence of the Curone stream which, rising above the village of Bruggi, flows through the entire valley.
Day 6: Salice Terme Circular Tour with Guide in the Riesling Land – km 42 – 500 up – 500 down
Today you will meet your guide who will take you to discover the enchanting landscapes of the Oltrepò and will tell you the history of this magnificent territory by exploring the Lands of Riesling.
Day 7: Departure