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August 31st - September 7th, 2017

October 1st - October 8th, 2017

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

Tour designer: Beppe Salerno and Denise Marrone                                               

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 in Italy, and received UNESCO World Heritage status in 2014. The Piedmont Magnifica Cycling Tour will take us 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. The Alba truffle fair gets in full swing in October, beginning with the "Palio degli Asini,“ the donkey race. Throughout the year the nine quarters of the city prepare for the race that awards victory for the parade and for the best quarter. The medieval parade, with over a thousand participants in typical costume, winds through the city streets, ending in the arena of the Palio, just before the donkey race. A truly memorable experience for tourists. 

Accommodations during your journey include castles, a five-star luxury resort, and a boutique hotel in the center of Alba. In early October, it might still be harvest time for the nebbiolo grapes and the colors make the hills and vineyards look like they are painted!

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Find Out More
[fa icon="plus"] Highlights
  • Two important wine regions, Langa and Roero
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site (Barolo Vineyards)
  • The donkey race and medieval parade in Alba
  • 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
  • Dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant
[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
  • Learn, smell, and taste truffles, the food of gods 
[fa icon="plus"] Day by Day

Apple_Touch_IconDay 1

Where: Santa Vittoria d'Alba
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
12 mi or 19 km (longer option available)
Meals: L, D

One of your guides will meet you at Milan Airport for a late morning shuttle to your hotel in the outskirts of Alba 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 our Magnifica tour as comfortable and safe as possible. Our first dinner is at the hotel and will showcase the best cuisine of Roero and it will be prepared under the supervision of chef Paolo Decio (once a close collaborator of the iconic Guido Restaurant).

Hotel: Castello di Santa Vittoria

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 2

Where: Santa Vittoria d'Alba
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
21 mi or 35 km (longer option available)
Meals: B, L, D

We’ll start the day 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! 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. Dinner is at an agriturismo where most products served are locally sourced. 

October only - In the afternoon we will transfer to Alba for the medieval parade and donkey race. This entertaining tradition dates back to 1275 when Alba and Asti were at war. Dinner is in Alba. 

Hotel: Castello di Santa Vittoria

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 3

Where: Pollenzo
Terrain: Rolling
Ride: 
18 mi or 30 km (longer option available)
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 King Carlo Alberto.

Hotel: Albergo dell'Agenzia

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 4

Where: Serralunga d'Alba
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
21 mi or 40 km (shorter and longer options available)
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 ploughing 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 Serralunga and the stunning Boscareto five star luxury spa resort, 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.

Hotel: Il Boscareto

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 5

Where: Serralunga d'Alba
Terrain: Hilly
Ride: 
25 mi or 40 km (shorter and longer options available)
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 one Michelin star restaurant at il Boscareto, and it will be the perfect time to share stories about your day in the Barolo and truffle kingdom.

Hotel: Il Boscareto

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 6

Where: Alba
Terrain: Rolling
Ride: 
25 mi or 40 km (shorter and longer options available)
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 Beppe and Federica will properly introduce you to an Italian tradition: l’aperitivo. Just mimic the locals and enjoy la bella vita!

Hotel: Palazzo Finati (alternative Hotel Calissano)

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 7

Where: Alba
Terrain: Rolling
Ride: 
28 mi or 45 km (shorter and longer options available)
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. After lunch at a wine producer, head back to Alba where you can enjoy some free time. A sumptuous Italian dinner is the perfect way to end another Magnifica Tour day.

Hotel: Palazzo Finati (alternative Hotel Calissano)

 

Apple_Touch_IconDay 8

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

After breakfast you will have some free time in Alba and you will then be transferred to the airport by private shuttle. 

[fa icon="plus"] Other Info and Cost

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 or to the Asti train station where you can continue on to your next destination. 

 

Apple_Touch_IconTour Level

Recreational/Active/Athletic - Active: 20 to 45 mi a day along rolling and hilly terrain. Additional miles available on some days.

  

Apple_Touch_IconClimate Data 

In early September, temperature average is 15C (59F) low / 21C (70F) max - precipitation probability 17%.

In October, temperature average is 7C (45F) low / 16C (61F) max - precipitation probability 12%.

 

Apple_Touch_IconTour Program Cost (All-inclusive)

Tour price per person in double room is USD 4,695

Private room surcharge is USD 800

Truffles: not included (market price)

Please contact our office if:

- The tour you are interested in is scheduled to start within 90 days

- You would like to make this tour private 

- You would like to choose your own dates

 

Apple_Touch_IconAll-inclusive Program 

• Bikes equipped with Garmin GPS (choice Bianchi road carbon or hybrid; Ebike for an extra charge)

• Two professional tour guides throughout the program

• All accommodations 

• All breakfasts, all lunches and all dinners

• Wine and beer with meals, coffee, cappuccino, and gelato stops

• Support vehicle during the tour and luggage transfer

• Shuttle at the beginning and at the end of the tour

• All activities mentioned in the day-by-day description

 

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)

 IL_BOSC_REI_TERRAZ_MRZ3128 Il Boscareto Serralunga (Piedmont)

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