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Take a leisurely tour of Barbaresco and its vineyards by a drive through its hills before arriving in the town center. Leave Alba at your back and begin your uphill journey towards San Rocco Seno d’Elvio around hairpin turns of the Road 3. You will literally be immersed in the vineyards and arrive in Barbaresco in no time. An enchanting place and home to a unique wine baptized with its own name, Barbaresco dominates the surrounding hillsides looking out from the hilltops that hang over Tanaro River.

If lunchtime rolls around and getting a plate of hot food is priority, the narrow roads leading towards Barbaresco will leave you satisfied. Don’t let Osteria Arsivòli escape your eye, an elegant place with traditional Piedmontese dishes accompanied by wines from the local producers. A few steps further and you’ll find yourself in Piazza Municipio. Here, the complex sundial will catch your attention, an all-in-one seasonal calendar, local watch, and universal clock. The mural painting that surrounds it celebrates the grape harvest with twelve illustrations taken from an old agricultural essay.

In the same piazza, what was once the 19th century fraternity of St. Donato is today the seat of the Regional Enoteca of Barbaresco, a true “cathedral of wine.” Taste over 120 labels of the best producers in the zone, or stop by for useful information, advice, and recommendations to help you discover the immense oenological heritage of this territory.

A few yards away is the municipal building with the Tourist Office inside, full of helpful information. Don’t miss the Vineria dell’Enoteca directly in front, which offers traditional fare at competitive prices: try the carne cruda all’albese (meat tartare) or the vitello tonnato (veal with a creamy tuna sauce). Close by is the restaurant Antinè, which has wonderful reinterpretations of the region’s most well-known traditional dishes.

Parallel to Via Torino is an impressive castle that dates back to the 18th century, erected by the Galleani counts. Originally graced with beautiful gardens, large rooms, porticoes, and a valuable wine cellar, over the centuries the building has been repurposed for many different uses. At one point it was the Social Cantina of Barbaresco, founded by Professor Domizio Cavazza and considered the father of Barbaresco wine. Today, bought and restored by the winery Gaja, it has been returned to its original splendor.

Continue along Via Torino and come upon two opportunities to satisfy your oenological curiosity and quench your thirst for good wine: at number 17 is the Boffa cantina, a family-run business with great tastings in a simple and informal atmosphere; and at number 44 the wine house De Forville.

At the end of the road is the 17th century church of St. John the Baptist and, right next to it, the celebrated tower and symbol of Barbaresco. The latter dates back to the end of the 11th century, and is the only architectural part that remains of what once was a heavily fortified area along the Tanaro River. From its 36 m (118 ft) of height, you can admire Alba and all the other surrounding villages and countryside, and trace the course of the Tanaro River from Cherasco on one side all the way to Asti on the other, framed by the Alps in the far distance.

Near the tower, those who haven’t yet satiated their thirst or satisfied their hunger need not worry. To the right of the open space opposite the church is the Cantina of Producers of Barbaresco; on the other side, the winery Bianco Gigi. Right next to the tower, take a seat at the Trattoria Antica Torre, or keep tasting great Barbaresco at the Bonifacio winery. Turning towards the tower, don’t forget to view the peacefully flowing Tanaro River. The famous Barbaresco Rocks begin here, a natural paradise and beautiful walk.

    Last modified onTuesday, 26 February 2013 12:08
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