Monte Carza is the last member of the mountain chain that surrounds the Cannobina Valley. The two small islands that host the castles of Cannero are its last breath before sinking into the Maggiore lake, and prove the importance of this mountain during the past centuries.
Cannero Riviera - Cheglio - Monte Carza - Pra Rotondo - Solivi - Carmine Superiore - Cannero Riviera
This tour begins in Cannero-Riviera, following the scenic road that climbs to Trarego-Viggiona. The climb is steep but constant, always around 9%. After 6 kilometers you will reach Cheglio (796 m), where you'll have to turn right, following the signs to Piancavallo. The road enters the woods and becomes narrow and twisty, with the slope still beeing around 10%.
After getting out of the woods, there is a short level section, where you'll meet a bifurcation. Follow the gravel road on the right, and when you'll get to the next bifurcation head left. After a somehow softer climb you should get to the pass (1100 m), where you'll meet the single-track that heads down to Cannobio.
Before starting the descent it's worth visiting the summit of Monte Carza. You can quickly reach it by following the trail on the right, which is almost completely rideable. On the summit there is a nice view over the center and southern part of the Maggiore Lake, and over Luino and the Travaglia Valley that lie on the other side of the lake.
The descent is on the northern side of the mountain. After getting back to the pass, you'll have to take the single-track following the sign to Pra Rotondo. The path is rough, but almost completely rideable, and leads to the pastures of Pra Rotondo (900 m), then it gets into a thicker wood of beech.
Fast and smooth trails alternate with very steep and rough sections, and will lead you to another pasture (650 m), where you will meet a gravel road that you'll have to follow downwards. When you'll reach an hairpin turn close to Solivi (390 m), you'll have to follow another small road that heads right. Many ups and downs will take you to Molineggi and to the small village of Carmine Superiore.
The trail will then head down toward the lake, but you can leave it and take the single-track to Cannero, which will present a short climb and then a nice descent that ends close to the village.