Mention Piemonte to an Italian and they will tell of mouth-watering food, white truffles, chocolates, cheeses and delectable wines. There is no better way to explore a region so famous for its gourmet traditions than on foot, allowing a complete immersion in the land which produced the food and building a healthy appetite for the meals to come. The Langhe region is set between the Appenines in the south and the Alps to the north, and is blessed with the fertile lands which produce the Tuber Magnatum - a prized white truffle - and some of Italy's most prestigious wines: Barolo and Barbaresco. This walking trip takes you amidst this magnificent landscape of rolling hills dotted with small picturesque villages, elegant castles and feudal towers. Walk through vineyards and hazelnut forests and stay in small rural villages where accommodation is both charming and welcoming.
There are few more enticing destinations for gourmet travelers than Alba, a picturesque town in the heart of Piedmont renowned worldwide for its succulent white truffles, velvety red Barolo and Barbaresco wines and wonderful fruit. Let your nose carry you through town to the traditional and simple wonderful restaurants, shops and bars that are dotted along the cobblestone streets. Overnight in Alba.
Climbing up to Barbaresco from Alba, through vineyards and orchards, you'll be enchanted by the vivid colours and panoramic views. Follow the banks of the Tanaro river, through the world famous Barbaresco crus. Explore Neive, considered one of the loveliest villages in Italy, and enjoy a wine tasting in a local enoteca. In the afternoon, return to Alba by public bus for dinner and overnight.
(11.5km/7.1mi, +475m/1558ft, -364m/1194ft)
In the morning, there's a short transfer to the outskirts of La Morra, where you'll discover the surprising Cappella del Barolo. A gentle path uphill leads you to the village of La Morra, 'the 'balcony of the Langhe'. Continue through vineyards and hazelnut groves to Roddi and enjoy a tasting of one of the gems of the area, the truffle. Follow the Tanaro river back to Alba.
(19.4km/12mi, +375m/1230ft, -511m/1676ft)
In the morning, there's a short transfer to lovely Castiglione d'Alba. Descending gently to Talloria Valley, follow the path towards the castle of Barolo, where the famous wine is produced. Visit panoramic Novello before continuing through fields which offer views into the two neighbouring valleys. Dinner and overnight stay in Monforte d'Alba.
From Monforte a well-marked path will take you past frescoed chapels and verdant countryside towards Serralunga d'Alba. Here you can discover its impressive castle, dating from the 1300s and considered one of the best preserved examples in Piedmont. You'll also enjoy a cellar tour and tasting of regional wines. In the afternoon, walk back to Monforte.
(13.6km/8.5mi, +560m/1837ft, -430m/1411ft)
In the morning there's a short transfer to Cerreto Langhe, the starting point of today's walk. Visit the church before walking across the area of the High Langa, where the landscape is dominated by hazelnut forests, and the valley of Belbo to Cravanzana. A nice downhill walk will bring you to the tower Torre Bormida, where you cross the river of the same name. A steep climb brings you to Bergolo, one of the smallest characteristic municipalities of the area. Crossing the woods you reach Cortemilia, a lovely town with Roman origins. Enjoy some free time to explore, and in the afternoon a transfer will take you to Asti, where you'll stay overnight. Known for its sparkling wine, Asti is an important city of art in Piedmont and the old town is picturesque and charming.
Your trip concludes after breakfast.
We really enjoyed this self guided walk as it allowed us to go at our own pace, exploring some incredibly lovely, out of the way places which we would never have found otherwise. The accommodation was amazing. It's hard to believe how little it cost for all we received.
C. Chudley., Echuca, VIC. Australia.
We loved the hotels and B and B's that were selected for us.
V. Fulmer, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, 15 Nov 2016
The vineyards were ablaze in autumn colours as we wandered from village to village savouring the history and wines of this glorious region. A wonderful way to celebrate wine and walking. We were impressed with all the hotels and the walk directions.
R. Brown, London, UK, 15 Nov 2016
Per Person, Twin Share