Famed for its truffles, and with towns like Barolo and Barbaresco, it’s easy to understand why Piedmont is a gourmand’s paradise.

In fact, many argue that the region produces the best food in all of Italy. The Langa and Roero regions of Piedmont are in one of the most important wine production areas of Italy, which received UNESCO World Heritage status in 2014. Our Best of Piedmont Bike Tour will take you to the heart of these regions, over rolling hills covered with endless vineyards and past ancient castles and hidden hilltop hamlets. You’ll see how connected the local people are to the land, and how they take pride in everything they produce.

Vineyards cover most of the hills here and wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera and Nebbiolo are perfectly paired with dishes that will make each meal a gastronomic event. Towns like Canale, Pollenzo, Monforte and Alba are perfect stops for a taste of what the region has to offer, where strolling through the cobbled streets and sitting in geranium-decked piazzas is a great way to end a day on the bike. In the fall, the tour may coincide with the International Truffle Fair in Alba (book far in advance if you are a truffle lover), which attracts countless gourmands and high-caliber chefs. Accommodations during your journey include stunning castles and villas and a boutique hotel in the center of Alba. In September and October it’s harvest time and the colors make the hills and vineyards look like they are painted!

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[fa icon="plus"] Highlights
  • Two important wine regions, Langa and Roero
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site (Barolo Vineyards)
  • Villages of Barolo and Barbaresco, the namesakes of two world-famous red wines
  • Stunning cycling along rolling hills covered with vineyards and quaint medieval villages
  • Views that stretch as far as the Alps
  • Castle-topped villages, which lend a historic and romantic feel to the area
  • Some of the best regional food in Italy, including truffles, cheese and hazelnut Gianduja chocolates
[fa icon="plus"] Tourissimo Experience
  • Meet winemakers, and immerse yourself in the authentic wine and farming culture of Piedmont
  • Learn about the history of Barolo wine right at its birthplace
  • Discover the Ligurian and French influences in the local cuisine
  • Go truffle hunting with a real trifulau
  • Hands-on cooking class with mamma Giovanna at the Marrone Winery estate
  • Learn about the microclimate around the Tanaro River Valley that gives Barolo and Barbaresco two distinctive characters
  • Get acquainted with the enology of the region with the most DOC and DOCG wines in Italy (over 60)
  • Learn about Slow Food and its Piedmontese roots
  • Stay at one of the estates of the Royal Family of Italy in Pollenzo
[fa icon="plus"] Day by Day

Apple_Touch_IconDay 1

Where: Canale d'Alba
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
12 mi or 19 km
Meals: L, D

One of your guides will meet you at Turin Airport for a late morning shuttle to your hotel in Canale where everyone will gather for an introduction over a glass of wine. In the afternoon we'll go for a short warm-up ride in the rolling hills of the surrounding area, giving you a taste of what’s to come. A welcome cocktail is scheduled for the late afternoon during which you will get an overview of the week ahead along with some practical information to make your vacation as comfortable and safe as possible. Our first dinner is at the hotel and will showcase the best cuisine of Roero.

Hotel Suggestion: Villa Tiboldi or Castello di Santa Vittoria

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 2

Where: Canale d'Alba
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
21 mi or 35 km
Meals: B, L, D

We’ll start the day by leaving Canale, heading towards San Damiano d’Asti and pedaling on secondary roads. We’ll pass through San Martino Alfieri, Castello di Govone, Priocca and Castellinaldo, all on the high plateau of the Roero region. Here you are in true wine country where grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Barbera and Arneis, no doubt a part of your evening celebrations! Lunch is planned with Marina and Emilio Marsaglia, wine producers in Castellinaldo. We will get to taste their wines and to enjoy their home cooking in a true cozy setting of a Piedmontese family winery. Each village you pass through today is topped with a castle. Most are now privately owned and very seldom open for visits, but they add to the uniqueness of the landscape as you enjoy exploring this region.

Hotel Suggestion: Villa Tiboldi or Castello di Santa Vittoria

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 3

Where: Pollenzo
Terrain: Rolling
Ride: 
18 mi or 30 km 
Meals: B, L, D

Today’s ride is a roller coaster journey along beautiful ridges and gentle hills through yet more stunning countryside. On this easy day, you’ll mostly be riding on secondary roads before arriving to one of the hidden gems of Piedmont: the Corte Albertina in Pollenzo. You’ll have time to visit this interesting village, which is steeped in history. This site received the official recognition of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 as part of the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy. It now houses the University of Gastronomical Sciences, founded by the internationally recognized Slow Food Association. Slow Food began as a sophisticated parody of McDonalds’ arrival in Italy (Slow Food vs. Fast Food) and has grown into an international crusade for the preservation of culinary traditions, biodiversity and “the right to good taste.” We’ll meet a local Slow Food representative to learn a bit more about the movement, then we will visit the Banca del vino (Wine bank), a unique wine cellar housed in the Corte Albertina. We will stay at Albergo dell’Agenzia, which is in the main building of Corte Albertina, and which includes an immense park that was a hunting reserve of the King of Italy.

Hotel Suggestion: Albergo dell’Agenzia or Corte Albertina or Castello di Verduno

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 4

Where: Monforte d'Alba
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
21 mi or 40 km 
Meals: B, L, D

Today we’ll say farewell to the Roero and ride from Pollenzo to Monforte d’Alba past more vineyards, where no doubt you will see local workers pruning, picking or plowing the land. Abundant apricot and peach orchards provide the setting for this lovely ride as you gradually cycle your way onward and upward. Tractors and trucks laden with grapes might hoot as you cycle along the sweet scented vineyards. On the way to Monforte, we recommend taking a short detour to the 13th century Grinzane Cavour castle, once home to the famous strategist Cavour. You’ll then climb to the quaint village of Monforte and the beautiful Villa Beccaris, where we will spend two nights. Tonight, once the dark settles, we will go truffle hunting with a real trifulau and his trusted dog. This is an experience you won’t forget! The white truffle of Alba is a delicacy that has made these hills famous among chefs worldwide.

Villa Beccaris or Villa Corte Gondina

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 5

Where: Monforte d'Alba
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
25 mi or 40 km 
Meals: B, L, D

Today starts out with a descent to Barolo, an unpretentious village named after the King of Wines. We’ll visit the wine museum in Barolo castle that recently opened after renovation by architect Francois Confino. We’ll also visit the Enoteca Regionale di Barolo (regional cellar of Barolo), where you will have an instructive explanation of the Barolo wine production area. Between Barolo and La Morra, you’ll ride past rows of nebbiolo vines cultivated by such legendary producers as Renato Ratti, Bartolo Mascarello and Roberto Voerzio. La Morra is considered the balcony of the Langhe region because of its wonderful views of the entire area. Take your time here and have your cameras ready! Continuing cycling, you will reach our cooking class and lunch spot at the Marrone Family Winery. Time to enjoy life and to taste some Barolo on the terrace! Dinner is at a trattoria in the center of Monforte and it will be the perfect time to share stories about your day in the Barolo and truffle kingdom.

Hotel Suggestion: Villa Beccaris or Villa Corte Gondina

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 6

Where: Alba
Terrain: Rolling
Ride: 
25 mi or 40 km 
Meals: B, L, D

 

This morning we’ll start the day by pedaling on a ridge to Serralunga d’Alba, which borders the Alta Langa, the highest and wildest portion of this territory. A majestic view of the Alps will accompany you for the majority of today’s ride. The vegetation changes as hazelnut-topped woodland covers the northern side of the round and gentle hills. These hazelnuts are harvested by the ton and transported to the Ferrero factory in Alba to make the famous Nutella chocolate, as well as Italian Gianduja chocolates, which you should of course try! We arrive in Alba, the capital of the white truffle area, also nicknamed the town of a hundred towers. Only a few of these fine red-brick towers have survived, but they still give the town its distinctive appearance. Of Celtic and Ligurian origin, called Alba Pompeia by the Romans, the town has kept a spiral-shaped medieval plan. You will have time to explore the elegant town center and to taste the local ice cream, before heading to charming Hotel Finati. This evening the guides will introduce you to an Italian tradition: l’aperitivo. Just mimic the locals and enjoy la bella vita!

Hotel Suggestion: Palazzo Finati or Hotel Savona

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 7

Where: Alba
Terrain: Rolling
Ride: 
28 mi or 45 km 
Meals: B, L, D

The area southwest of Alba is part of the Barbaresco wine production zone. The original, small elegant village of Barbaresco, situated between Alba and Neive, will be part of our last ride in Piedmont. As you approach the village, its imposing 12th century tower stands out in the landscape. Almost square shaped, its height originally reached 36 meters, making it a strategic position overlooking the Tanaro Valley below. The tower is what is left of an imposing fortification once crowning the hilltop where Barbaresco rises. Down a winding descent we’ll head toward another of the beautiful villages of the Barbaresco wine appellation: Neive. How better to learn about these lands than by tasting some jewels and lunching with a small local Barbaresco grower? After lunch head back to Alba for some pre-departure shopping and a celebration cocktail in the square. A sumptuous farewell Italian dinner is the perfect way to say goodbye to Piedmont.

Hotel Suggestion: Palazzo Finati or Hotel Savona

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 8

Where: Alba
Terrain: Departure
Ride: 
None
Meals: B

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Turin airport for your scheduled flight. Guides can help you with your travel plans to make sure you will have a safe trip home.

[fa icon="plus"] Other Info

Apple_Touch_IconHow to Get There

Airport/s - Milan Malpensa (MPX), or Turin Caselle (TRN)

Other transportation -  Private transfer by Tourissimo from the airport to the first Hotel. Upon request, guests can be picked-up elsewhere (additional cost).

 

Apple_Touch_IconHow to Depart

Airport/s - Milan Malpensa (MPX), or Turin Caselle (TRN)

Milan Malpensa (MPX), or Turin Caselle (TRN) -  Private transfer by Tourissimo from last hotel to the airport.

 

Apple_Touch_IconTour Level

Recreational/Active/Athletic - Active: 20 to 45 mi a day along rolling and hilly terrain.

 

Apple_Touch_IconClimate Data and Best Time to Go

April: temperature average 8C (46F) low / 18C (65F) max - precipitation probability 16%

May: temperature average 13C (55F) low / 23C (73F) max - precipitation probability 13%

June: temperature average 20C (68F) low / 26C (79F) max - precipitation probability 6%

August: temperature average 17C (62F) low / 27 (80F) max - precipitation probability 8%

September: temperature average 13C (55F) low / 22C (72F) max - precipitation probability 10%

October: temperature average 7C (45F) low / 16C (61F) max - precipitation probability 12%

 

This program usually runs from Saturday to Saturday

 

Info about food and wine, and Slow Food products

The Langa region is a true paradise for gourmands. In Angelo Gaja’s words, (Gaja is a central figure in Piedmont’s wine identity) “People truly come here to explore their passion for food and wine.” The territory offers first class ingredients, that together with traditions handed down from generation to generation, allow you to enjoy the authentic Langa dishes. The egg pasta used to prepare the tajarin, or plin, ravioli is homemade and the precious veal meat from the Province of Granda (name of the province of Cuneo in local dialect) is the basis for the preparation of ancient recipes like hand chopped raw meat, cold veal with tuna sauce and red wine braised meat. The simplest dishes are usually the most delicious and they look like they have been specially created to espouse the most precious autumnal ingredient, the Alba White Truffle, which will enhance their perfumes and tastes. In fact, the Slow Food movement was born in Bra (near Alba). The regional wine production boasts the most DOCG appellations of any other region in Italy, and during the week we will learn about Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Arneis and many other indigenous grapes. Most family-run wineries in Barolo are small and don’t do winery tours, as you would expect if you were in France or Napa. Luckily, Tourissimo will get the doors open for you.

[fa icon="plus"] Hotel Highlights
corte_albertina_pollenzoAlbergo  dell'Agenzia Pollenzo (Piedmont)

 

100.PalazzoFinati1Palazzo Finati Alba (Piedmont)