Piemonte is making it easy for tourists to connect to the Milan Expo 2015 with the Barolo Express and, just in, the Gran Tour Monferrato.
First came the Barolo Express, a “classy transfer service” inspired by the vintage vibe of the famed Orient Express that promises voyagers an elegant ride to discover the wineries and culinary delights of the Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato. Now, just in, the Gran Tour Monferrato is the next shuttle service that will focus on just one part of the UNESCO triumvirate. Step on up.
This new initiative, a shuttle connecting Casale Monferrato to the Milan Expo, will be available from May 2 until October 31. Mayor of Casale Titti Palazzetti stated that it is just the “starting point in promoting the territory in a synergy that will also include Alessandria, Asti, and Vercelli.” Details on whether or not the shuttle will make stops at these cities are still forthcoming. The initiative’s name, however – Gran Tour Monferrato – certainly suggests it will.
The aim of the shuttle is to provide its citizens and tourists staying in the area with an easy way to visit the Expo, and vice versa – to bring the international Expo tourists to Monferrato. Better yet, it will (probably) connect to food and wine events held throughout the Monferrato in the spring and summer. If nothing else, the events held in Casale Monferrato will be just a shuttle ride away.
The tour departs three times a day every weekend until October, with departure and reentry in Casale Monferrato in front of the tourism information desk in Piazza Castello. The trip, which will last three hours, will pass through 16 towns of the Monferrato: San Giorgio, Ozzano, Madonnina di Crea, Cereseto, Ponzano, Santuario di Crea, Moncalvo, Grazzano Badoglio, Casorzo, Vignale, Frassinello, Olivola, Ottiglio, Sala, Cella Monte, and Rosignano. Travelers may want to learn more about the towns they pass through with the audioguide, which will be available in six languages besides Italian (English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese).
The Gran Tour Monferrato bus ticket allows travelers to get on and get off in the towns along the route that have a brief stopover planned (Ozzano, Crea, Moncalvo, Vignale, Cella Monte, and Rosignano), and then catch the next bus for Casale.
What can travelers look forward to during the tour? Some of the highlights include the Sanctuary of Crea and UNESCO Sacred Mount (Sacro Monte); numerous and ancient churches, castles, and convents; the Ecomuseum of the Stone of Cantons; the traditional infernot, or underground, carved-out spaces for aging wine; and beautiful panoramic views during the whole voyage.
But that’s not all. Expo 2015-goers have these food and wine events to look forward to in the Monferrato area, as well.
And, as always, stay tuned on our Events page! You’ll find all the upcoming wine tastings and food events in Piemonte.
Festival of Ruché Wines – Castagnole Monferrato | Food and Ruché wine tastings, with walks in the vineyards
Rice and Roses (Riso e Rose) – various towns | Springtime celebration with food and wine tastings, guided castle visits, and connected events
Monfervinum – Mombello Monferrato | Walking and hiking through the vineyards and villages of the Monferrato, meeting winemakers and tasting Barbera and Grignolino
Nizza is Barbera – Nizza Monferrato | Over 50 producers present over 150 labels, with the focus (in 2014) on Nizza DOCG
Di Sagra in Sagra – various towns | One big event that connects many different towns; on selected dates, each town hosts special dinners with a theme, paired with local wines
Festival of Monferrato Cuisine – Moncalvo | The central piazza is a banquet of Monferrato food specialties (all paired with local wines, of course – in Italy, wine always comes with food!)
Ruché Under the Stars – Castagnole Monferrato | Ruché tasting with dinner and a show (a musical!)
A Walk through Our Wines (Quattro Passi tra i nostri vini) – San Giorgio Monferrato | Wine and food walk with tastings along the way; Barbera and Grignolino
Stupùjtime – Casale Monferrato | An entire day dedicated to Monferrato wines, with open shops late into the night, great food, and wine for an “open air enoteca”
- Nizza-Canelli "Coast to Coast," a trip through the Monferrato with Barbera and Moscato
- Visit these Three Lakeside Towns in Piemonte
- Labor of Love: Monferrato Wine Families
- Two hearts and one Cathedral: St. Valentine’s Day at Coppo Winery
- Turin and the Langhe-Roero & Monferrato hills named among top places to visit in 2016 by The New York Times.