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Discovering Sale San Giovanni

Along the lavender paths

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Where is


12070 Sale San Giovanni CN, Italia (0m s.l.m.)


In the heart of the Langhe

In the province of Cuneo lies a town so small that it seems impossible to hide so much history among its few buildings and wonderful cultivated fields. Yet it is precisely its adventurous events that have led it to be what it is today, a small town completely independent of neighboring municipalities.

A walk through its streets allows one to appreciate the traces left behind by its troubled history, starting from the chapel of St. Anne, in which an ancient fresco dated 1493 is preserved, to the chapel of St. Sebastian dating back to the 15th century, passing by the Castle of the Marquises of Incisa Camerana and the parish church of St. John. Despite its rich history, however, Sale San Giovanni was suffering the same fate as other small perched villages: depopulation and oblivion.

San Giovanni and "Little Provence."

But this municipality did not resign itself to its fate, and was able to reinvent itself starting from its own countryside. Thus it is that lavender and other medicinal herbs grow around the village today, so much so that this small corner of Piedmont has earned the nickname "Little Provence." Many visitors venture to the Langhe to visit this little gem, especially during the flowering season, and at the end of June, when an important event dedicated to medicinal herbs and local products takes place, "Not Only Herbs."

lavandeto sale san giovanniSunset over the lavandeti of Sale San Giovanni

Discovering the village

But Sale San Giovanni has not stopped there, and has come up with a proposal much loved by us hardened walkers: a beautiful trekking route that is spread among woods, lavender fields and officinal herbs, but that does not leave out the village either, since right here the path begins and ends. Indeed, it would be better to say that this is where the pre-courses begin and end, which are actually three, marked by different colors, divided by length, difficulty and duration. And because in Sale San Giovanni they have thought of everything, at the start you will find all the maps and explanations of the various routes and herbs you will see in addition to lavender.

Just a small note before you start: you need to arrive prepared and already equipped with water and whatever you may need because there are no bars or stores in Sale San Giovanni where you can stock up. There are only a tavern and a kiosk but they are not always open, especially outside the central harvest period... After all, this is part of the beauty of the place, a small town that lives by its own rhythms. And now, have a good walk!

A green path, within everyone's reach

Let's start with the first walk, the Green walk, that is, the short path, suitable even for small children and the elderly. The wonderful thing about this simple walk is that although it is the easiest, it is not trivial, and gives an overview of the agricultural territory of the municipality. In about 2 hours of walking it completes its 7.5 kilometers in length, all on paved municipal road, and although there are uphill sections it does not present any difficulties. Nothing better to stretch your legs a bit without commitment and pamper your eyes!

In blue, between roads and trails

On the other hand, those who want to test themselves a little more, but without overdoing it, can follow the slightly longer Azure route, with its 9.8 kilometers or so. In addition to its longer length, it is slightly more challenging than the Green one because it takes place not only on asphalt roads, but also on paths and dirt stretches.

cammino sul sentieroSale San Giovanni trails

Experienced walkers choose the Orange

Finally, the Orange: the most challenging route. There are no sections with special difficulties but it has enough elevation gain to deal with, about 340 meters in all; to venture on this route you need to have suitable shoes and be used to walking. The route is about 9 kilometers long and, apart from a few stretches on asphalt road, it is practically all on dirt roads and paths that go through fields and woods, leading to a total immersion in the nature that surrounds Sale San Giovanni. It has a running time listed at 3 1/2 hours, we kept a fairly brisk but not exhausting pace and took three. In short, it all depends on your level of training and how many photo stages you want to do.

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Emanuela Polidori ErbeProfumieSapori

Although the lavender harvest was over when we went on this trek, we enjoyed the views of the Langhe and the care of the trails.


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