Monterotondo/Novi Ligure- Arrive to Monterotondo/Novi Ligure- relax at the hotel and enjoy dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. Next morning, start riding from Monterotondo to Gavi with its fortress style surroundings and its award winning white wines. Then it is on to Libarna to see remains of a Roman settlement and then cruise through the Val Borbera Valley. This valley is rich with abbeys, monasteries, towers, castles, and medieval villages. For the luxe trip, finish the day with a wine tasting at the ancient cellars of Villa Sparina, surrounded by over 100 hectares of vineyards. Dine at Il Gallina where chef Massimo Mentasi combines due respect for tradition with contemporary vision. Next day is a tribute to Italy’s history of cycling and it’s legends. Ride in the birthplace of Fausto Coppi and Costante Girardengo, and visit the Museum of Cycling in Novi Ligure, the largest dedicated museum of its kind in Europe. Stopping in Castellania, enjoy a savory lunch and taste the famous cheese ‘Montebore’, which has been recently rediscovered and proclaimed the ambassador of Italian cheese by Slow Food International. After lunch ride past Villavernia and observe traditional farmhouses built from raw earth, typical of the Alexandrian plane. Ride through Sant’ Agata Fossil, known for abundance of fossils and ride the rolling hills of Sandigliano which providing stunning views across the valley.
Distance D2: 20 km, elevation gain 436 m or 26 km, gain 418 m or 45 km, gain 849 m.*
Distance D3: 18 km, elevation gain 240 m or 26 km, gain 516 m or 59 km, gain 1009 m.*
Acqui Terme: Another day of beautiful rolling hills, valleys and spectacular views. Start the day riding towards Mornese and Castello di Tagliolo, which has an impressive history dating back to the end of the first millennium. Afterwards explore the region of ‘Capanne di Marcarolo’ Natural Park. We recommend lunch will be in the town of Ovada, a Roman city located at the confluence of the Orba and Stura rivers. In the final stretch you can day dream about Acqui Terme, a spa town built over natural hot springs by the Romans.
Distance: 62 km, elevation gain 1018 m or 92 km, gain 2086 m.*
Neive: After a restful stay in Acqui Terme, embark on a ride dominant in two things; endless panoramic views and endless wine tasting. Pass through the villages of Montabone and Rocchetta Palafea with a stop in the Brachetto and Moscato’s lands – an area known in Italia, and the world, for its sweet wine and medieval castles. In Canelli, visit the magnificent Underground Cathedral cellar, currently a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Since the pace of day usually slows down upon arriving in Canelli, we suggest a stop here for lunch, perhaps at the wonderful Enoteca Contratto restaurant where you can sample more wines from the region and taste the unique local flavors. After lunch, ride on to Santo Stefano Belbo, then to your ultimate destination near Alba, Neive. Neive is in the stunning Langhe area and identified in the grouping of villages titled ‘The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy’. This rich fertile area is where Barbaresco wine earns its reputation. Finish the day with an unforgettable dinner at ‘La luna nel pozzo’ restaurant, located in Neive’s old town. Experience organic and traditionally raised meats, as well as breads and pasta made with stone ground grains, regional cheeses and gelato, and of course the mouth watering local truffles.
Distance: 43 km, elevation gain 867 m.*
La Morra: After a much deserved sleep in, and overnight ‘fast’, bid farewell to Nieve and make your way towards La Morra. Stops along the way include Barbaresco, a name synonymous with reds of the region, and its two distinct medieval villages. Visit the ‘Enoteca regionale del Barbaresco, created to promote local wine production, displaying 112 different wineries, with 130 labels, representing over 90% of the area’s production. Taste, savor, linger and learn about everything this region has to offer. A good option for lunch is in Alba, and afterwards continue to La Morra, situated atop an imposing ridge, La Morra overlooks, in one direction, the Po Valley with the Alps and the peak of Monviso as backdrop and, in the other, vine-clad hills which create a stunning amphitheatre. We recommend dinner in a medieval castle, the ‘Belevedere’ restaurant, over looking one of the ‘natural balconies’, some say the most beautiful in Langhe. Next day, you’ll ride along quiet winding roads between charming villages in the Barolo appellation, amid the immaculate hillside vineyards, where one of worlds most famous has been produced for two centuries. Explore medieval villages all set with a backdrop of the spectacular mountain peaks of the Alps. For keen followers of the ‘king of wines’, stop at the Falletti Castle in Barolo. The WiMu-Wine museum, provides an interactive display of culture and wine traditions designed by famed architect; François Confino. You’ll also learn about the French Marquise Juliette Colbert, the lady who created Barolo wine. Our ride continues along the tiny roads between Monforte d’ Alba and Serralunga d’ Alba, settlements dating back to the Neolithic period with discoveries of Roman times. Finish the week with a visit to La Morra’s Cantina Comunale, the town’s wine cooperative and if you feel energetic, a walk along the Sentiero del Barolo before a festive dinner out.
Distance D6: 37 km, elevation gain 886 m or 43 km, gain 964 m.*
Distance D7: 38 km, elevation gain 822 m or 52 km, gain 1079 m or 55 km, gain 1245 m.*
After breakfast, transfer to Bra or Asti’s train station. It is a 45 minute train trip back to Turin.
*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.