The Langhe - Barolo and Barbaresco
April 7-13, 14-20, 21-27 August 18-24, September 7-13
From $2,900 custom dates available
Recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Langhe’s rolling hills are a cyclist’s dream. There are thousands of kilometers of seldom trafficked roads from the Tanaro River near Alba up through vineyards and hazelnut groves to the wheat fields and pasture land of the Alta Langhe. Bicycling is etched in the heart of the locals here. They have created a spectacular route that we follow throughout our weeks – The sei salite de campioni — links six short climbs that lace over the ridge between two river valleys. Over it’s 140 km it gains 2040 meters in elevation. In the middle of the week we cycle 60 miles to the Mediterranean sea. It is a spectacular ride that takes us over the Apennine ridge at the col de Melogno with a spellbinding descent through the Ligurian olive groves to the seaside. A rewarding afternoon swim in the sea and a seaside trattoria dinner follows.
The region is home to the wine appellations of Barolo and Barbaresco. It is here that Slow Food began thirty years ago. The chefs, restaurant owners and food purveyors take the concept to heart. They produce delicious food that embodies the movements edicts of quality, sustainability and reverence for the rich and historic cooking traditions of native cuisine. Great fish, meats, dairy and produce combine with rice from the nearby PO River Valley, and locally produced dried and fresh pasta. The native ravioli known as plin, carne cruda, and vitello tonato are just some of the delicious dishes that make up the pantheon of cucina tipica piemontese.
We organize and plan cycling itineraries to match the desires and capabilities of the group. We can arrange a dedicated guide for individuals who would like a more comprehensive and strenuous cycling experience. We now offer electric bikes, allowing individuals to cycle the same itinerary as their traditional road bike companions at considerable less effort. We are impressed by the seamless integration of these bikes into our dedicated cycling tours
Spouses and friends can ride, experience, converse and participate in the day’s itinerary while determining the level of ease or physical effort they’d like to exert with the switch of a lever. We provide van support throughout the day for water, snacks and a change of clothing. During our day we stop for an espresso and gelato to refuel for the miles ahead as we pass through the Langhe’s iconic hill towns
The Langhe abounds with off-the-bike activities as well. Castles, museums, open-air markets offering local artisanal cheese, pottery, crafts and cloth. The alpine capital city of Turin is less than an hour’s drive. Turin boasts an impressive array of museums from the second most prominent Egyptian museum outside of Cairo to the National Museum of the Automobile, appropriately located here as this is FIAT’s home town. The Agnelli families personal art collection resides on top of the old Lingotto car factory in a spectacular space ship like edifice artfully designed by native architect Renzo Piano. The main walking street, via Roma, is ideal for acquisitive pursuits. Turin is an urbane and sophisticated city — rejuvenated by it’s recent hosting of the Winter Olympics.
We include winery visits and arrange tastings of Barolo and Barbaresco producers. Guests may purchase wines to accompany meals while with us. We also arrange shipments home for wines purchased here. Our Lodging is in small, family owned hotels reminiscent of a by-gone era. Luxurious and peaceful, these oasis are a welcome retreat at the end of a day on a bike. We dine in the wonderful local trattorias. Multi course dinners of local game such as rabbit and wild boar, fresh vegetables and local cheeses are sure to satisfy. The wine offerings are extensive with vintages of Barolo and Barbaresco going back decades. And it wouldn’t be Italy without a stunning selection of dolce to end the meal. Our trips begin at $2,900 for six nights / seven days depending on level of lodging and ground transportation options double. Single occupancy supplements from $400. We provide a carbon fiber road bike or electric bike, breakfast and dinners • lodging • airport transfers • guiding • city tours • wine tastings. Comprehensive trip cancellation / interruption / medical insurance is available through Travelex.
Itinerary - click on the route names for an interactive map - routes can be extended easily for longer rides
Day 1 Introduction We introduce you to your guide and help you check into your lodging for the week at either of three old-world, small hotels in Monforte d’Alba and La Morra, the beautiful hill villages above Barolo. All feature swimming pools, lovely and peaceful private grounds. Each are a short walk into the village centers. We’ll set up your bikes and do final fit adjustments, let you get settled and meet you later for a 25 km ride to get you acquainted with your home for the week. Dinner that evening will be at the classic and delicious Osteria dei Catari in the village of Monforte.
Day 2 Castles of the Langhe. Our castle circuit takes us through the rolling Barolo vineyards and the hill towns of Castiglione Falletto, Grinzane Cavour, Diano d’Alba, and Serralunga d’Alba. We’ll stop for a light lunch at a local spot in Trei Cunei serving fresh porcini and wild boar ragu. Later that afternoon we have scheduled a wine tasting at FontanaFredda, an old Savoia dynasty estate. Now home to two wineries, it includes a tasting room featuring some prominent Barolo producers. We’ll take you back to your lodging for a rest before walking into the village for an aperitivo, followed by dinner at More e Macina, specializing in local cuisine with a contemporary spin.
Day 3 The Alta Langhe. Our ride today will head south atop the ridge that transitions from the wine growing region to the upper, or Alta, Langhe that is renowned for the region’s hazelnut cultivation. Nearby Alba is home to Nutella, where hazelnuts have played an important roll in the regions economy, culture and cuisine for centuries. There are several producers of delicious artisanal cream di nocciola that we’ll try. Our trip today will pass through Serravalle, Bossolasco and finally Murrazano, renowned for Tuna di Murrazano, a delicious semi-soft cow’s milk cheese, eaten alone or often a key ingredient in several local dishes. We’ll return home for an afternoon tour of some pasticerria - local bakeries that make the regions delicious torte di nociolla, grissini, and baci di dama. Later that evening we’ll enjoy a casual trattoria dinner on the terrace at Osteria di Binelli.
Day 4 Barbaresco. Today’s ride will follow the crest of the ridge above the Tanaro River Valley with sweeping views down to the castle towns you cycled through when you arrived. Distant views to the arc of the Alps are breathtaking. From this ride we can see Mon Viso, Mont Blanc, The Matterhorn and Monte Rosa – the commanding peaks of the Alps. We’ll arrive in Barbaresco for a late lunch at restaurant Antica Torre, followed by a visit to Barbaresco’s tower and museum and a Barbaresco wine tasting. We’ll transport you back to your lodging for an unscheduled evening so you may explore the village’s cafes and restaurants on your own.
Day 4 (option) Langhe to the Mediterranean.
Day 5 Valley Belbo and the history of the Langhe’s famous writers. The region’s native sons and literary stars Beppe Fenoglio and Cesare Pavese hail from here. Today’s ride will take us into the remote and beautiful agrarian valley to the East. More rural and tranquil than the Langhe, this region seems suspended in time. We cycle through quiet villages, stopping for an espresso, a panino and an afternoon gelato, spending time to enjoy the solitude and the local’s games of baci - a slower pace of life. We’ll return for an afternoon wine tasting at the cantina communal in Castiglione Falletto where they always have several excellent Barolo’s of interesting vintages open to try.
Day 6 Market Day. We’ll descend into Alba for market day and stroll along via Vittorio Emmanuelle II, named after the last king of the Savoie dynasty, precursor to modern day Italy. Today it is referred to as via Maestre by the locals, and vendors of literally everything set out their tables of crafts, clothes, food, preserves, cookware and hardware. You’re sure to go home with something memorable!. After an early lunch, we’ll take a last ride through the surrounding hills and valleys of the Langhe. That night, we celebrate the week with a festive trattoria dinner at Bercau, a family dining institution in nearby Verduno.
Day 7 After breakfast, we’ll meet you for final transportation arrangements to your next destination, or airport and rail station connections for your return trip home.