A bike ride through the lands of Nebbiolo, in the Langhe, in Piedmont
The hills of Nebbiolo production become the starting point for a bicycle tour in the Langhe. An excursion is recommended on a racing bike, but if the training is good it can also be tackled with the mountain bike. But not only. This is a very suitable route also for those who love motorized two wheels, indeed it is a good route to do by motorbike. In this way, the times are shortened and you have the opportunity to visit the villages touched along the way.
We set the departure from Alba, the capital of the Langhe. Town of Roman foundation (Alba Pompeia) rich in medieval towers and churches. A city that deserves a thorough visit. We will do this in a future article.
Alba is the starting point and the path leads us immediately to the Altavilla hill, where the landscape is filled with the rows of Nebbiolo da Barbaresco, a wine that is produced only in a few municipalities in the area, then we descend towards Pertinace, this locality, which it gave birth to the Roman emperor Publio Elvio. His was a short reign, he was assassinated on March 28, 193, having ruled for only 87 days.
Following in the footsteps of the fleeting Roman emperor, we go up to Treiso, the village where the writer Beppe Fenoglio set the novel “ A private matter “ . From the breathtaking landscape of the vineyards and part of the Langhe, the former hamlet of Barbaresco has a square, a church and many hills, fabulous cuisine and if you go to the Canta hamlet here is a ravine overlooking both sides of the road, or the Rocca of the Seven Brothers. Legend has it that it would open to swallow seven blasphemous brothers. The only survivor of the family, a woman, would have been saved because she remained on the thin strip of land that divides the ravine
From Treiso our journey continues towards Tre Stelle. The valley towards the Tanaro once hosted the imperial Villa Martis, while what can be seen today is one of the most evocative natural amphitheaters of the Langhe. Not far away we arrive in Barbaresco which we admire from afar also for the shape of its famous tower. Here the stop is a must. There is the Barbaresco Regional Enoteca, but also the Castle, the Tower, and the naturalistic oasis of the Tanaro Park.
We ride to Neive, defined as the town of the “ lords ”. This is evident from the wealth of a prestigious building in the historic center closed by two doors and where the clock tower dominates. In spring and summer, you can enjoy a pleasant stroll along the cobbled streets of the center. They are well cared for and enriched with flowers that color their appearance. From time to time a glimpse of the countryside appears. These lands were colonized by Benedictine friars in the Middle Ages Right here in Neive the friars founded the Convent of Santa Maria del Piano. Unfortunately, the building no longer exists. As evidence remains the Romanesque bell tower.
The road continues towards Trezzo then climbs towards Cappelletto, dominated by cultivated hills and vines and hazelnuts, and reaches the hairpin bends of Mompiano, the monument to the Woman of the Langa, or rather to the one who is the founding base of peasant society. Then the Cascina della Langa, the Boscasso where the panorama is 360 degrees, and at the crossroads of San Bovo we arrive in Manera, where the Stone Towers peep out which were part of a defensive and communication system and which were a reference point for the Del Carretto family who dominate from Asti to Finale Ligure, joining the plain to the sea.
Once in Benevello, they are perhaps on the most panoramic balcony in the area. On clear days the view reaches Cuneo, Turin, Asti, and half of Piedmont.
Before returning to Alba, our starting point, we pass Montelupo and Diano and arrive at the Castle of Grinzane Cavour. Count Camillo Benso was Mayor here for 17 years. But this is also the place where Cavour tried to create red wine, graded and full-bodied as the French already did at the time. He, together with the Marchesa di Barolo (Giulia Falletti Colbert) and Carlo Alberto Savoia-Carignano, gave life to Barolo, also known as the wine of the Kings, or the King of Wines ”. Today the Castle houses the Piedmontese Regional Enoteca, a restaurant, and the Conte Museum.
The end of the path
Our tour ends at the Alba . The 61.8 kilometers are covered in about 5 hours without stopping. But the advice is to follow this route in stages, even stopping just for the weekend to enjoy all the beauties of the Langhe and calmly taste the wine that is produced in this area of Italy.
How do I get to Alba
Alba can be reached from the A21 Torino Piacenza motorway, Asti est exit, then follow the A33 towards Cuneo / Alba. By train, once you reach Turin Porta Nuova station, continue by bus. The departure station is in Corso Vittorio Emanuele II at the corner with Corso Massimo D’Azeglio.