The Honey Trail
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Celebrate one of the most traditional products of the Roero along this trail dedicated to the buzzing of bees. This easy, unique course winds through beekeepers' farmhouses and their apiaries, in vineyards and around the cliffs of this zone. Not a sweeter trail exists!
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Over 50,000 "inhabitants" make up each one of the busy communities of over 9,000 hives. The bees are the true rulers of the Roero. One-fourth of the hives in the Cuneo province is situated in these valleys, where the honey acquires its characteristic taste from the acacia and chestnut trees.
To learn about the history of this region's bees and their delicious product, the so-called Trail of Honey, inaugurated in 2005 by the Ecomuseum of the Rocks of Roero, is just the hike to take.
The complete course starts in Bra and ends in Cisterna d'Asti, passing 11 communities in 38 kilometers. However, this is just a short piece that winds through the zone of Montà d'Alba, and can be completed in a bit over an hour. If your curiosity extends beyond the proposed itinerary, ask for a guide in the Ecomuseum who can follow you through the journey, giving helpful bits of advice along the way. The course of Montà is called the Trail of Apiculture, and is dedicated to the historical apiaries and ciabòt, or farmhouses.
Once in Montà d'Alba, park in Piazza Vittorio Veneto. Exit the lot going along the main road and take Via Cavour on the left towards Alba and Canale. Walk until you reach the narrow Via Placido, which takes a right a little bit before Piazza San Michele. From here, the trail is well-marked. Continue over Via Circonvallazione on the dirt road, and follow it into the middle of a healthy poplar grove.
Here you’ll find the ciabòt Calorio, a pearl of rural architecture in the Roero. Inside is an apiary wall, important testimony to Piedmontese apicultural history. Continue south and enjoy a glimpse of the Roero hills cultivated with Nebbiolo and Arneis. At the fork, take a right and then an immediate left before continuing to walk until ciabòt Vagiana, constructed out of fossilized stone.
Not far after the ciabòt is an asphalt road. Take a left here and walk until hitting a paved road, where you’ll take another left. After a few hundred meters, leave the asphalt road towards the right, taking a dirt path that follows vineyards. The signs for "Sentiero dell'Apicoltura" indicate the road.
Next to the structure is an apiary wall dating back to the 18th century that, at one time, hosted 64 hives. From here, begin to climb a hill again towards the urban center of Montà along an ancient Roman road that runs along the side of the Castle. Follow the indications until you reach Via Roma in the historical center of the city. Here, turn left and walk until you reach Via Cavour where the hiking loop closes, taking you right back to Piazza Vittorio Veneto.