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The Nature Sanctuaries: Lanca di S. Michele and Bosco del Gerbasso

Hiking itinerary

On foot         Great Interest: Flora Great Interest: Wildlife Great Interest: Bird Watching Great Interest: Geology Great Interest: Photography 
  • Departure: Carmagnola
  • Duration: 1.5 hours by bike, 3 hours on foot
  • Length: 10 km

The short ring-route crosses one of the best preserved and more important naturalistic areas of the whole stretch of Po Torinese. It is not difficult here to carry out interesting observation activities of the birds populating the wetlands and the woodland.

From Cascina Vigna, housing the Natural History Museum of Carmagnola, go slightly eastwards and take on the left Via Gregoria, following it until you reach a junction. Keep right in Via San Lorenzo until you reach Via Palazzotto, on the left. Go ahead along this street, always keeping left (road signs to Bosco del Gerbasso and Cave Monviso) and afterwards right, to shortly reach Lanca di San Michele, Special Nature Reserve (leave on the right the road leading to the quarry). Here, in an ancient and abandoned riverbed, there is a wonderful wetland where it is possible to admire the characteristic flora and fauna of the river environment. For a short stretch, the road runs on the left along the oxbow, with beautiful views and observation points (also with some panels) until you reach the river Po and follow it for a short stretch. In this area, the river is particularly broad with respect to its upstream and downstream stretches, and is characterized by wonderful shores and meanders.
At the end of one of these meanders, the road ends with a car park near Bosco del Gerbasso. The management of this land was entrusted in the mid-1980s to the Municipality of Carmagnola which, with the scientific advice of the Natural History Museum, has recreated here a stretch of the original wood of the Po plain. Over the years, the work of the woodsmen has been completed by degree theses of naturalists, agronomists, and foresters, as well as research activities on insects, birds, and mammals, and bird-ringing projects. After a short walk in the wood, take on the right the small road running along the fence. Where the road becomes bumpy, keep right and slightly go uphill, to suddenly turn left and reach the regional road Carignano-Carmagnola. Follow it for a short stretch on the right towards Carmagnola, then turn right again on the asphalt road. Follow it for a short stretch, then keep left and shortly go back to Carmagnola.
(Text by Stefano Camanni)


The itinerary develops on asphalt and dirt roads, rather demanding in some stretches. Anyway, it is possible to carry out the return journey avoiding the worst stretch.

Tour in Ritano Nature Reserve in Saluggia
Tour in Ritano Nature Reserve in Saluggia
Bosco del Gerbasso - Cava Germaire
Bosco del Gerbasso - Cava Germaire
Along the banks of river Po in Lanca di San Michele Nature Reserve - Bosco del Gerbasso
Along the banks of river Po in Lanca di San Michele Nature Reserve - Bosco del Gerbasso


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