The first stage of the Alps2Riviera Randonnée takes place along the Biella area, between Bielmonte and Sandigliano.
Bielmonte (Oasi Zegna) – Sandigliano (BI)
Height difference: +1250 m – 2410 m
We start! From Bielmonte in Oasi Zegna, Alps2Riviera starts from the main square, with a magnificent view of the plains and the hills of Monferrato in the background, hills that we will then cross in the next stages. The first part is downhill (14 km) towards Valle Cervo and the village of Rosazza, the most mysterious village in Biella, full of architectural symbols, linked to fascinating mysteries.
The road from here climbs up the opposite side of the valley passing through the first of the various sanctuary that we will meet, the Sanctuary of San Giovanni. Hard climb (7.8 km – D + 655 m average gradient 7.8%), but it is repaid, after passing through a small tunnel, by the top view of the Sanctuary of Oropa, the largest Marian Sanctuary on the Alps.
After a stop for a coffee or a hot chocolate, we continue on the road called “Il Tracciolino”, with a constant, grandiose view of the plain at your feet. In a mountain and wild environment, we will then arrive in La Bossola and continue straight until a fork on the left that will take us downhill to Netro, reaching another magnificent scenic road that, passing through pretty villages, will take us to Graglia, Muzzano and then downhill towards Biella.
But before arriving in the city, we will leave the state road to go up, on the left, towards Sordevolo, where, every 5 years, a famous representation of the Passion of Christ takes place, and then Pollone. Crossing this pretty village, we will reach the entrance to the Burcina Natural Park. Crossing the hills of Biella we will arrive in Biella, passing through the medieval streets and the historic buildings of the Piazzo, the oldest part of the city. The stage will end in Sandigliano for a well-deserved rest at a hotel in the area.