Piedmont : Barolo Wine and Gourmet Land

8 days self-guided walking holiday

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Piedmont: Barolo Wine and Gourmet Land

8 days self-guided walking holiday

Piedmont is Italy’s heaven for genuine gastronomes of mouth-watering food, truffles and impressive wines. The Langhe region is set between the Alps and the Apennines mountains and is blessed with the fertile lands that produce the Tuber Magnatum – a prized white truffle – and some of Italy’s most prestigious red wines: the Barolo and Barbera. Discover a spectacular array of local specialties including gourmet cheeses, pastries and chocolates that are appreciated the world over. This walking trip takes you amidst a magnificent landscape of rolling hills dotted with small picturesque villages, elegant castles and feudal towers, walking through vineyards and hazelnut forests and staying in small rural villages where the accommodation is charming and welcoming.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Alba
Arrive in Alba, the heart of Piedmont wine country, a captivating medieval  city  of  a  “hundred  towers”  and  a  treasure  chest  of flavours and aromas. After checking in, go out for a walk to explore the town and why not stop in one of its many divine pastry shops to tempt your palette. Treat yourself to the sweet tastes of Italy.

Day 2:    From Roddi to Barolo (13-15 km)
Today’s itinerary starts with a transfer to Roddi. Crossing several hills, you reach the rustic hilltop village of La Morra from where you continue to the hamlet of Vergne. On route you have several wine tasting options. On clear days you can see the Alps and Mt. Monviso that stay snow-capped till the beginning of summer. In La Morra you can visit the Ratti Museum to learn history, tradition and the art of the good wine. Stop at Cantina Comunale (closed on Tuesdays) that has a wide selection of wines to taste and buy, and a lot of videos on local wines and gastronomy. The walk can be shortened by about 4 km when starting in Verduno instead of Roddi. Depending on where you have been booked, you may end your walk in Vergne or Barolo. Please see the organization section for further details. Challenge: 13 – 15 km, 446 m ascent and 409m descent OR 509m ascent and 383m descent
Day 3:    From Barollo to Monforte d´Alba (8 – 12 km)
Passing by the old village of Novello, with its Middle Aged tower you reach the wine capital of Barolo, where the famous wine is produced. Spend some time exploring the recently opened WiMu Wine Museum located in the Castello dei Marchesi Faletti snf lunch at one of the great local trattorias. From here on the walk passes through vineyards and forests and takes you to Monforte d’Alba, a nice hill top village. Challenge: 8 – 12 km, 440m ascent and 200m descent OR 447m ascent and 390m descent
Day 4:    From Monforte d´Alba to Cissone (17 – 19 km)
The landscape is far more varied than on the previous days as you leave  the  vineyards  behind  and  climb  through  tidy  hazelnut forests and wild woods surrounding the ancient hamlet of Serralunga d’Alba. From here a steep climb brings you to Roddino from where a long descent takes you to the final climb up to Cissone. Challenge: 17 – 19 km, 680m ascent, 565m descent
Day 5:    Cissone round walk (8.5 km)
A glass of local wine from a traditional cantina in the centre of the village is a lovely way to celebrate this day of relaxing and taking it easy. After a short circular walk in the surroundings of Cissone, unwind and admire the splendid views from the farm. The scenery is a unique spectacle, embroidered with vineyards and dotted with towers and castles. Challenge: 8.5 km, 307m ascent/descent
Day 6:    From Cissone to Cravanzana (13 – 20 km)
The landscape of the high Langhe area around Cissone is characterised by hazelnut forests and those slopes that are too steep to be cultivated are covered by oaks. This is also the area where  you  find  the  most  precious  of  the  local  treasure:  the ‘Tuber Magnatum’, also known as ‘the white truffle of Alba’ and, if you don’t find it underground, you are sure to find it at the local restaurant. Challenge: 13 – 20 km, 370m ascent and 550m descent OR 600m ascent and 665m descent
Day 7:    From Cravanzana to Cortemilia (13 km)
Today the landscape is as varied as the walk itself. You visit the villages of Torre Bormida and Bergolo that you reach crossing hazelnut plantations and dense chestnut woods using broad forest paths, small grassy trails and narrow cobbled streets until you reach the town of Cortemilia. On clear days the view on the hills and the Alps is breath-taking. Challenge: 13 km, 450m ascent, 790m descent
Day 8:    Arrivederci Cortemilia!
Our services end after breakfast unless you have booked another service with us. You need to reach Alba or Asti where you could take the train to Turin or Milan for you r ongoing journey
Hightlights and Technical Information
Highlights
  • An infinite selection of incredible wines, cheese, sweets and chocolates to taste along the way
  • White truffles aplenty
  • Vineyard walks and carefully groomed hazelnut forests
  • Small, comfortable, family run accommodation some with prize winning restaurants on site or near by
  • Spectacular views of the snow capped alps on clear days
  • Friendly people
  • Quiet foot paths
Technical information:

The walks are along vineyards, uneven footpaths, mule tracks and small gravel roads (strade bianche). The trails through the vineyards can get slippery, muddy and heavy-going when wet or after it has rained. The Bar to Bar route is well marked, while alternative trails do not always have markings.

Trip grading: Introductory to Moderate – grade 2 :This is a self-guided walk with average daily stages of 3 to 5 hours. The paths are clearly visible and well-marked; there are some sections of the trail which

Luggage transfer: Luggage transfer is included and is provided by the accommodation itself or a local taxi company.

A note on our self guided adventures and Fitness preparation:

Self guided walking or cycling requires individuals to use problem solving skills, be adaptable and have a keen eye. It is recommended that you are comfortable map reading, referring to route notes and that you have a good sense of direction (or are willing to work on improving this!) Sometimes route finding, losing your way, finding it again and asking the locals for help is all part of the adventure. If you’ve never been on a self guided trip, after the first couple of days you will get the hang of if as the vast majority of our first time travellers attest. Please be assured that our written material issued to you for route finding is updated regularly and we provide a 7 day service hotline in the event of any problems. There is a certain level of the unknown that comes with self guided trips; however with a methodical approach potential problems will be averted. The freedom of a self guided trip is something that, once experienced, is sought time and time again.
Fitness preparation: The concept behind most of our trips is active holidays and the fitter you are the more easily you will adjust and enjoy yourself. We expect participants to take responsibility for their fitness and preparations on a consistent basis prior to departure, and INCREASE the regular weekly training schedule in the two months leading up to departure. That way, when you start walking, you will feel relaxed and comfortable and strong, having done more than sufficient preparation for the trip. You will also have more energy to enjoy the views, take photos and explore the sights in your spare time, rather than just make it to the next hotel. During the day is when the most interesting features of interest will be found, and being fit allows you to optimize every situation you encounter. As a minimum, we recommend 40 minutes of aerobic type exercise; running, swimming, biking, hill walking, or gym work two to three times a week for two to six months leading up to your walk. Note the best training is the activity that you are actually going to be doing; walking up and down hill, and cross-country. Practice this as much as possible. Training should be stepped up as you get closer to departure, to an amount you feel appropriate (you don’t want to cause yourself an injury!). Using your gear before departure (boots, day pack, clothing, etc.) gives familiarity and comfort whilst on the walk. It makes sense to know that all your gear ‘works for you’ BEFORE departure, rather than discovering how things work or fit (or don’t!) on the trip you have invested so much in. Use the philosophy of ‘getting fit to go walking’, rather than ‘going on a walk to get fit’, to avoid problems.

Dates, Inclusions, Cost , Supplements

Departure dates: Every day from 01 April  to 15 November 2020  (ref IT30)

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Price per person (min 2 people twin share): A$1100

What is included:
  • 7 Nights in selected B&Bs, hotels and agriturismo
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • People transfer from Alba to Roddi (+luggage to Vergnè/Barolo) on DAY 2
  • Luggage transfer DAY 3 to DAY 7
  • Detailed information pack, route notes and maps with tracks on
  • 24/7 telephone support
Not included:
  • Flights
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Meals and drinks
  • Hotel tourist taxes
  • Insurance and everything not listed as “Included”
Additional Supplements:

Cost per person

  • single room supplement A$330
  • solo traveler supplement A$550
  • arrival and departure transfers on request ( private and shared)
  • extra nights with breakfast on request
Accommodation and Meals

Accommodation and Meals:
This tour offers accommodation in pretty B&B and 3* hotels. All rooms are en-suited.

Hotel Savona (Alba)
Hotel Savona is centrally located in Alba, Langhe’s capital. Rooms are comfortable and cozy with a dated furniture. Staff are welcoming and helpful. Breakfast is good. In common areas there is free Wi-Fi.

Agriturismo Ca´ San Ponzio (Barolo)
Agritourism Ca’ San Ponzio is a restored farmhouse, surrounded by serenity, peace and nature. Rustic rooms are very comfortable, spacious and well-finished. Every room has a balcony with view on a beautiful landscape on Langhe’s hills. Owners are courteous and helpful. Breakfast is very good with home-made products.

Hotel Grappolo d’Oro (Monforte D’Alba)
Il Grappolo D’Oro is in Piazza Umberto I, the main square in Monforte D’Alba. Rooms and apartments have a traditional design with tiled floors and wooden furniture. Services are free Wi-Fi, TV and private bathroom. Breakfast is good. It’s suggested the restaurant.

Agriturismo Balcone sulle Langhe (Cissone)
Agritourism Balcone sulle Langhe is in a quiet location. Rustic rooms are comfortable, spacious and well-furnished. It’s suggested the restaurant that offers traditional dishes with local products. Rooms have a balcony, fridge, kitchenette, air conditioned/heating, TV, telephone.

Hotel Da Maurizio (Cravanzana)
Albergo Da Maurizio is set in its spacious garden surrounded by the Langhe Hills and offers rooms decorated in a classic style with balcony. Some of these are fitted with tiled floors and some have parquet floors. The hotel restaurant is very good and very appreciated.

Hotel Villa San Carlo (Cortemilia)
A nice hotel restaurant located in Cortemilia. Family run hotel with welcoming staff and comfortable rooms. It also offers an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant with some of the local delicacies.

Price from: A$1100

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