Claudio Baldi, Nordic Walking instructor and Andrate Nordic Walking School founder, since 2012, with his sport association, connected all the Piedmont paths 'touched' by Don Bosco.
The result is a 140 km long loop path that combines faith, nature and history.
Baldi, where did you get the idea to retrace the places of the Piedmont Saint?
I decided to do it after I had done the road to Santiago de Compostela. We decided to develop a religious itinerary in our territory, but offering more flexibility. The routes in fact are variable according to the needs and time availability.
This experience started in 2012, how is it going?
The most important thing is to create a network between trekking activities and tourist accommodations in this area. Our tours, when promoted by the Province of Turin, have 200 participants.
What do these walkers look for?
It is a faith path, so many people want to 'relive' Don Bosco’s footsteps. This aspect is as important as the naturalistic one: the paths go through the most beautiful areas of the Piedmont hills.
You are immersed in the vineyards of Moncucco; in a still intact ecosystem in Villanova d'Asti; you can admire many castles; Vezzolano’s Abbey. All this while the landscape changes, from river to hilly.
Let ‘s talk about local products. What can one taste here?
First of all wines, such as Malvasia and sparkling wines of the area. Then there are the excellent cuts of meat in the traditional Piedmont fried combo plate, and of course the truffle coming from the hills. And last but not least, the sweet flat bread of Chieri.
The best period to travel the loop route?
I would say always. Obviously, the best days are in spring and summer, from April to June, but the route has its charm even in winter with snow, maybe it's more suitable for hikers with experience.