path to the GREEN trail winds around toward the valley of the
CUSINA river, passing on the hills that surround it and going down to
the bed of the watercourse, with a succession of touching natural
spectacles really exciting: from the overall view of the majestic Alps
mountains, to the freshest and mysterious gorges of the river and
We start at the APPOINTMENT STONE (PIETRA DELL’APPUNTAMENTO) (at
km 2.3 of the SP352 CN, in the municipality of Torresina (44 ° 26 '22.60'' N - 8 ° 01' 14.97'' E),
just follow the signs in GREEN that show the message "Deserta Langarum
- SENTIERI ", without any danger of getting lost, on a stretch almost
flat along a beautiful chestnut wood. This is the old road that until
the '60s has connected Igliano and Torresina. The road descends for a
hundred meters until you reach the church of San Sebastiano (XVI) [690
Take the SP 352 through the hamlet of LANGA. The sight on the crown of
the Alps is breathtaking; in the clear mornings the gaze sweeps from
the foothills of the Apennines to the Monte Rosa!
We take the SP 115 Igliano - T. Castellino the height of the shrine
[650 m m.s.l.] and follow for 400 meters. In view of a small pine
forest, leave the asphalt and wander on the right: in front of us, at
the top of the hill, you see the “Ginepreto Hill”, surmounted by an
We go down instead, to go into a copse that skirts around the hill (we
are exactly at the 8th parallel East!) and after a few hundred meters
we came out the other side, looking in the southerly direction the
church of “Madonna della Neve”.
Turning at right onto the municipal road, we descend leaving on the
left fork to “Coste Soprane”. In this part of the path we look, on the
right hill, the village of MARSAGLIA, with its sixteenth-century castle.
Once in the vicinity of the COSTE SOTTANE [570 m m.s.l.] forget the
asphalt and take the road that leads to the right after a few meters to
the “Fountain of thirteen hills”, where you can quench your thirst at
We take the path on the right that crosses a field uphill and soon
enters in a dense forest. We're going down abruptly, the trail turns
left and then right (always follow the green arrows!). At some point we
begin to feel bubbling the CUSINA RIVER: at km 5,330 – 440 m
m.s.l. we finally arrive to ford and easily cross it, bringing us
on the right bank.
Just waded in the "river", turn right and go up the dirt track that
runs along the valley floor of the bed of the watercourse. Let us pause
from time to time to take a look and take some pictures impressive:
there are corners of quiet hidden among the vegetation where the
crystal clear water gently flowing between the notes "LANGA STONES".
For millennia, this river was the place that supplied the building
material for the construction of the buildings across the valley. On
our left there are the marl formations typical of the Alta Langa and
some impressive gullies.
At 8th km of our journey, we recommend that you take a little detour
from the route, crossing a bridge rebuilt after the terrible flood of
1994; a path to the right leads to the ruins of the old mill of
Igliano. Here, until the 50’s of the last century, the inhabitants of a
wide surrounding area led to grind grain, since there are no other
mills in the valley. It’s hidden by dense vegetation, but if you can
find it, you can still see the old millstones partially submerged by
the collapsed walls.
Back on our path laid out, we approach the village of the CUSINA hamlet
and after passing it, we come to a crossroads. 50 meters to the right
is the old bridge which legend says was built in Roman times; give him
a look, but do not proceed in that direction.
Now we can choose to walk the long path to or short path.
In the first case (short path), go up again throughout the course of
the river on a slight slope, up to rejoin the path along, then proceed
straight along the paved road in the valley, to the cemetery of
Igliano. We cross the SP 115 and proceed to the farm CASTELLO. On the
left is the "SCAU," the last chestnut-drying house of the valley that
survived in the years, and recently has been restored and used as a
small accommodation, to spend a holiday in complete tranquility.
We continue to walk along the river to the village of the GIULIANI
hamlet (on some cards erroneously reported as "Giuttoni") and finish to
trample on the asphalt.
Beyond the village, follow the path through fields and meadows, leading
to two farms abandoned from years, TANE (right on the bank of the
river) and GARASSINI just ahead on the left.
We're abandoning the protagonist of our walk, the CUSINA river. In
fact, a little further on, the road bends to the left and begins to
climb up to 610 m m.s.l., where we find the "long path”.
If, instead of short path, we have chosen the long path, after after
the built-up area of the Cusina hamlet at the junction turn left,
climbing up along the route of the old road Igliano-Murazzano. After
crossing the SP 115 continue to admire the sun-drenched terraces,
watching the old arches in stone “a secco”, stunning vestiges of
a old time when the cultivation of the vine in this hill was his best
accomplishment. Arrived at the shrine [550 m m.s.l.] turn left along
the flat trail.
On our left, right at the edge of the path, stands a majestic tree
impressive erect, a specimen of Quercus crenata (or pseudosughera), in
Italian “cerrosughera”. It is a plant that has only thirty specimens in
the Piedmont and many experts say it is an anomaly botany, being a
cross between the oak and cork. Its characteristic is to preserve, only
hardwood in this area, the green foliage during the winter; if you
happen to pass on the trail during this season, you will recognize at
first glance. For this particular characteristic, it is called the
"magic tree of the Alta Langa" and many legends are told about it.
Continuing on the path to get to the SAN LUIGI hamlet [580 m m.s.l.].
When we meet the asphalt road we turn right, but we recommend you take
a look at the beautiful church of SAN LUDOVICO OF FRENCH (XVI Century),
which is located 50 meters to the left.
After crossing the SP 115, we continue uphill on 150 meters of asphalt,
then the road becomes "CREUSA", i.e. that goes in the trenches going up
the ridge of the hill, until you get to the top of the hill near the
village named CORNATI; look back to admire the spectacle of Alps [705 m
Turn right and walk a short section of the SP 115 that we leave early
to take a dirt road on the left that goes through the old houses of the
We go down in the woods until you cross the small RIO BOSCAZZI (which
gives rise to the Cusina creek) and rejoin, shortly after, with the
short path [610 m m.s.l.].
We turn left and continue to climbing up inside a wild wood which takes
its name COSTALUNGA. The climb is tough, but the shadow of the chestnut
grove there repays the effort!
As you ascend the slope of the path decreases and we finally reach the
summit, called CIMA DI COSTALUNGA [790 m m.s.l.]. The sight of the Alps
back to excite; MONVISO mountain seems so close, that you can touch it!
We are one step from PEDAGGERA, where the brutality of the Civil War
[1943-1945] has manifested themselves in all its violence. At about 50
meters from the path, through the woods, there is the cross that
commemorates the place where the 1944.03.03. was slain the partisan
TENENTE BIONDO (Lieutenant Blonde) Giorgio Ghibaudo, character widely
quoted by Beppe Fenoglio in the book “Il Partigiano Johnny”.
We go down now to reach the SP 32, along a grove of pine trees. We take
the SP 352 walking on top of the hill to the CROSS which commemorates
the battle of April 16, 1796 between the Piedmontese troops and those
We turn to the right towards the path down and after a while we come to
SETTE VIE [710 m m.s.l.]. Passed a shrine, we are coming upon arrival,
but the GREEN path invites us to climb right on top of the hill called
MONTEROTONDO [745 m m.s.l.] for a last glance at our beautiful
mountains, before descending to the APPOINTMENT STONE.
update: Wednesday 17th April