24 Hours in the Langhe
- Written by Anna Savino
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The Langhe is a magical paradise of undulating hills, elegant red wines and treasured truffles. The Bassa Langa (at a lower elevation) is known for its acclaimed Barolo and Barbaresco vineyard sites and the charming town of Alba. Although it merits much more than a day trip, it is possible to get a quick “taste” in just 24 hours. Here it goes!
After checking into your hotel, get right into the swing of things Langa-style with an aperitivo. Start with a bubbly Alta Langa D.O.C. or ask for something special like a sparkling Arneis at some of the area's cool wine bars like La Vite Turchese in Barolo or Voglia di Vino in Alba. They always have an outstanding selection of wines available by the glass. The expert staff will be ready to get you oriented. Warning: Don't fall into temptation by making it an apericena (dinner substitute) with all the delicious finger foods that are offered with it—you’ll want to be plenty hungry for the next part of the evening!
La Vite Turchese | www.laviteturchese.com Via Alba, 5 - 12060 Barolo (CN) - Tel. +39 366 45 56 744
Voglia di Vino | www.vogliadivino.eu Via Elvio Pertinace, 7A - Alba (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 593090
Now that you have saved some room for a nice meal, try having a real trattoria dinner to learn about the area's local cuisine. Sure bets will be dishes like carne cruda, vitello tonnato and roasted red pepper antipasti, fresh egg pastas like tajarin and filled agnolotti del plin, and braised meats. Try Trattoria del Bercau (35€ tasting menu) in Verduno or Da Gemma (27€ tasting menu) in Roddino for true home cooking, lots of food and trattoria style prices.
Trattoria del Bercau | www.bercau.it Via Valfrè Beato, 13 - 12060 Verduno (CN) - Tel. +39 0172 470243
Da Gemma | www.leradicieleali.it Via Marconi, 6 - 12050 Roddino (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 794252
Photo by Anna Savino
Take a “passeggiata,” an evening walk, in a local town nearby like La Morra or Monforte to help you digest all that food and stop into a bar for a grappa or barolo chinato digestivo. Grappa is a big part of Piemontese culture and you can find all sorts ranging from fresh white Moscato types to cask-aged Barolo grappas. Marolo is a family run distillery that is even making some limited single cru Barolo grappas like Bussia. If grappa is not your thing, you can try barolo chinato, a digestive/medicinal after dinner drink made with fortified Barolo and aromatized with quinine and secret spices.
Marolo | www.marolo.com Corso Canale, 12051 Alba (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 33144
Leave your car slightly outside the historical center of Alba and squeeze your way through the crowded and buzzing streets of the outdoor market. As you walk down Via Maestra be sure to keep the pace as you glance at clothes, linens, and household good stalls. If you are interested in buying or just admiring fruits, vegetables and other local delicacies, you can make your way to Piazza Pertinace or Piazza Marconi. On your way back out, take a relaxing moment to get a cappuccino and house-made croissant at Golosi di Salute in Piazza Savona. Then head back to your car to start your sightseeing in the countryside!
Golosi di Salute | www.golosidisalute.it Piazza Savona - 12051 Alba (CN) - Tel. + 39 0173 44 29 83
Take the scenic drive up to the village of Barbaresco where you can walk up to the medieval tower for a spectacular view of the Langhe, Roero and Monferrato areas. This 12th century tower was recently opened to the public and going up to the top is a MUST on a nice day, that is, if you are not afraid of heights! Upon exiting, pop into the Produttori del Barbaresco tasting room for a glass of Nebbiolo and Barbaresco or to the Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco to study the area's maps and taste a variety of different winemakers in this old church. And as you drive down from town, not ten minutes away and across the Tanaro River is another great spot for finding a wine souvenir: you have over 700 wines to choose from at Noi Enoteca.
Produttori del Barbaresco | www.produttoridelbarbaresco.com Via Torino, 54 -12050 Barbaresco (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 635139
Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco | www.enotecadelbarbaresco.it Piazza del Municipio, 7 - 12050 Barbaresco (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 635251
Noi Enoteca | www.vienidanoi.it Via Alba 15 - 12050 Castagnito (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 210350
Drive along the winding roads to one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, Neive, also in the Barbaresco production area. It is nice to meander around the charming cobblestone roads and then stop for a light lunch in one of the many local wine bars/cafes like Degusto, I love BA or L'Aromatario.
Degusto | Via Cocito, 7 - 12052 Neive (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 67380
I Love BA | Via Borgese, 10 - 12052 Neive (CN) - Tel. +39 377 491 1705
L'Aromatario | www.aromatario.com Piazza Negro, 4 -12052 Neive (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 677206
Cross over Alba and into the Barolo zone. Head straight for La Morra to get a lay of the land and see one of the most spectacular views of the 11 Barolo village areas. From here it is amazing to think about the fact that millions of years ago, the seaside actually used to cover these hills, giving it its unique soils that make the world famous wine today. Don't forget to pop into the Cantina Comunale which often holds fun winemaker tastings and events on the weekends. They always have some different wines available for tastings and the friendly staff will be happy to teach you about the village's producers.
Cantina Comunale | www.cantinalamorra.com Via Carlo Alberto, 2 - 12064 La Morra (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 509204
As you leave La Morra by car, take a left turn down the gravelly road called Strada Fontanazza and drive through some of the most prestigious vineyard crus like Cerequio, La Serra and Brunate. Be sure to stop and have a look at one of Langhe's most iconic symbols, the colorful La Cappella di Brunate on your way down.
Enjoy stunning vineyard views throughout the Langhe. Photo by Anna Savino
Walk around the small town of Barolo and taste some fresh breadsticks being made at the panetteria, or bakery, Dal Forno dei Fratelli Cravero. They are always very generous with tourists and make some of the best hand-stretched crunchy breadsticks, called grissini, in town! Walk down to the castle where you can visit the quirky and modern wine museum WIMU which leads into the Enoteca Regionale di Barolo where they offer 32 Barolos by the glass every day. If you are short on time, you can stop into the Corkscrew Museum which in addition to displaying rare corkscrews, also sells fun souvenirs and some of the region's most coveted wine labels.
Dal Forno dei Fratelli Cravero | www.grissinicravero.com Via Roma, 63 - 12060 Barolo (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 56134
WiMu | www.wimubarolo.it Falletti Castle of Barolo, Piazza Falletti - 12060 Barolo (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 386697
Enoteca Regionale di Barolo | www.enotecadelbarolo.it Piazza Falletti, 1 - 12060 Barolo (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 56277
Corkscrew Museum | www.museodeicavatappi.it Piazza Castello, 4 - 12060 Barolo (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 560539
Go on a proper winery tour in Serralunga d'Alba on the eastern edge of the Barolo district. Serralunga is thought to have a very ancient and stratified soil which produces some of the most intriguing and age-worthy Barolos that exist. You can do a tour and tasting at some wineries by appointment only at cellars like Massolino, Pira, Ettore Germano or Rivetto.
Massolino | www.massolino.it 8 Piazza Cappellano - 12050 Serralunga d'Alba (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 613138
Pira | www.piraluigi.it Via XX Settembre, 9 - 12050 Serralunga d'Alba (CN) - Tel. +39 0173613106
Ettore Germano | www.germanoettore.com Loc. Cerretta, 1 - 12050 Serralunga d'Alba (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 613528
Rivetto | www.rivetto.it Loc. Lirano 2 - 12050 Sinio (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 613380
Follow the road to Monforte d'Alba where you can enjoy an aperitivo at one of the many local wine bars like Le Case della Saracca which is artfully carved into the rocks and mixed with a clean metallic decor. If you want to skip the steep little walk up there (though we recommend it for the fantastic view and amphitheater), you can just hang out at one of the many wine bars in the main piazza like Barolo Bar.
Le Case della Saracca | www.saracca.com Via Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour, 5 - 12065 Monforte di Alba (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 789222
Barolo Bar | Via Giuseppe Garibaldi, 11 - 12065 Monforte d'Alba (CN)
What better way to end your 24 hour jaunt than capping it off with a special dinner out at one of our many Michelin Star restaurants? You can dine at the world renowned Piazza Duomo, inside a castle at Al Castello di Grinzane Cavour, or in the old Savoy residence, Guido Ristorante in Serralunga d'Alba. As you wind down during your dinner, hopefully you will positively reflect on the events of your full day in the Langhe and plan a return visit when you have more time.
Piazza Duomo | www.piazzaduomoalba.it Piazza Risorgimento 4, on angle of Vicolo dell'arco - 12051 Alba (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 366167
Al Castello | www.castellogrinzane.com/en/ristorante Via Castello, 5 - 12060 Grinzane Cavour (CN) - Tel. +39 0173 262159
Guido Ristorante | www.guidoristorante.it Via Alba, 15 - 12050 Serralunga d'Alba CN - Tel. +39 0173 626162
Photo by Anna Savino
Transplanted from Napa, California to Piemonte Italy 12 years ago, Anna Savino blogs for a passion about food, wine, and Italian culture. Discovering Piemonte is an endless journey and she does it one step (sip) at a time.Thanks to her love for this area, she was able to make her dreams come true by starting her own custom wine & food tour company Italianna where she provides tourists with an authentic experience in Langhe. Check out her blog for an insider's look at Piemonte! You can also find her on Twitter @winesavi and Instagram @winesavi.