Langhe Big benches: a fashion born of a brilliant idea!
Would you like to admire a beautiful view while sitting on a big bench in the Langhe? Actually, we should talk about Piedmont’s Big Benches, but it is especially in the Langhe Monferrato and Roero area that beautiful giant benches, the Big Bench, have been popping up for a few years now.
So much so that it could be a lot of fun to plan a tour of the big benches of the Langhe by car, Vespa or Ebike… obviously stopping along the way for a picnic in the vineyards or a tasting in a winery.
The Big Benches were created in 2010 by American designer Chris Bangle who, together with a group of friends, created the first giant bench in Clavesana. The idea behind the project was as simple as it was fabulous: go back to childhood and look at the immense panorama of the Langhe with children’s eyes.
From this simple and brilliant idea a real project was born: The Big Bench Community Project, a non-profit association designed to promote the territory.
With this in mind, Bangle’s Big Benches seem to have been built specifically to sit on and finally admire all the beauty of this land. These large, brightly coloured benches are located in evocative places in the Langhe landscape, off the beaten track, making them a fun way to organise an unusual tour of the Langhe, a treasure hunt that really does bring us back to childhood.
To make the hunt for the bench even more fun, the BBC has created an authentic passport with a photo and personalised stamp for each installation. It is a booklet on which you can stamp each bench you visit, a sort of collector’s album.
If you’re wondering whether there are any big benches in La Morra, that beautiful village now among the most visited in the Langhe, the answer is NI!
The La Morra Giant Bench is outside the Big Benches circuit, but it is still one of the colourful benches of the Langhe. A beautiful red bench in the Langhe, it overlooks a spectacular valley of vines! You always find young and old climbing up to have their photo taken. I’m telling you about it because I often walk past it.
Where to find Big Benches?
Here is a list of the Big Bench in the Langhe (if you want you can also visit the official website)
- Monforte d’Alba: you will find two, a purple one in the heart of the village and a pink one in Cascina Castelletto.
- Dogliani: blue and red, located near the Castle of Dogliani.
- Farigliano: big lilac bench, located among the vineyards outside the town centre.
- Clavesana: here there are three benches: the red one, which is the “official” one and started the Big Bench project, the blue one, in Frazione Lo Sbaranzo and the yellow one, in Borgata Palazzetto.
- Carrù: the large gold Big Bench and the smaller benches are located in the main square of the village.
- Piozzo: orange, located next to the Albarosa chapel.
- Monchiero: white, located in the upper part of the village.
- Vezza d’Alba: grey, hidden among the vineyards.
- Alba: turquoise, located in Scaparone.
- Canale: pink, it is located at Collina Giaconi of Madonna dei Cavalli in Canale.
- Neive: green, to reach it you have to pass the Borgata Gavello, in the direction of Tre Stelle.
- Coazzolo: lavender, near the cemetery.
- Santo Stefano Belbo: yellow, to find it follow the signs for Agriturismo ai Piacentini.
- Arguello: acid green, a few steps from the village.
- Niella Belbo: blue, it is located on the Spianata dell’Amore.
- Paroldo: orange, located in the Pedaggera locality.
- Cigliè: red and silver, along the road up to the village.
- Ceva: yellow and black, located near the Campanone.
If you are wondering whether there are also big benches La Morra, that beautiful village now among the most visited in the Langhe, the answer is NI!
The La Morra Big Bench is outside the Big Benches circuit, but it is still one of the Langhe’s colourful benches. A beautiful red bench in the Langhe, it overlooks a spectacular valley of vines! You always find young and old climbing up to have their photo taken. I’m telling you about it because I often walk past it.
How many big benches are there in Piedmont? It would be useless to give you a number, because the number of big benches in Piedmont is constantly changing and it would certainly be a wrong number straight away! But it doesn’t matter how many big benches there are, what matters is that if you visit them you can be sure that you will arrive in a place worthy of note with views that will remain in your heart!
We recommend that you visit the beautiful and entertaining big benches during the week, or at off-peak times of the day, so that you can enjoy them “properly”, climb on top (or in some cases climb the steps available) and enjoy a moment of peace.
Don’t forget to drop by a local shop, restaurant or bar… big benches are there to promote the area, not to ‘invade’ it!
Big benches and how to find them…simple with our bench tours with a personalised map!
Which of Monferrato’s marvellous big benches have you already visited? Which one did you like the most?
Write it in the comments!
In any case, this article doesn’t end here… visit us from time to time to discover our new tours of the big benches of Piedmont!
With this electric bike tour, you can discover the most beautiful villages of the Langhe, ride through the vineyards and discover 5 giant benches!
ALBA BIG BENCHES?
Would you also like to know if there are big benches in Alba, the capital of the Langhe? It may seem strange to you, but the answer is no! Perhaps because the creator of the circuit of big benches in the Langhe aimed to enhance the value of small, hidden villages, perhaps because the real magic lies in getting lost in the hills in search of them… so come on, discover your favourite big bench!
I have put together a little tour for you, through which you will be able to get to know some of the villages in the Langhe, and also see with your own eyes the splendid big benches of the Langhe! Come on, read on and get on board my virtual car! On the hunt for big benches?
THE BIG BENCHES OF THE LANGHE: MONFORTE. A beautiful little village in the Langhe, it is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy (let’s not forget that!) and has recently been included among the orange flags. There are two benches in Monforte, one exactly in the centre of the village, in a beautiful burgundy colour reminiscent of the colour of a good glass of Barolo. It reminds us that Monforte is one of the 12 municipalities that produce the highly prized Barolo wine. To find the second big bench in the village we have to go to a small hamlet, Perno di Monforte. Climb onto the magenta-red bench (or fuchsia, as you like!) and slow down for 5 minutes….and then why not take a break in a nice Langa osteria. Nearby you will find La Repubblica di Perno, we recommend it without any doubt!
THE LANGHE BIG BENCHES: DIANO AND MONTELUPO. From the Barolo zone we move on to the Dolcetto zone. We find two benches within a short distance of each other: one in Diano d’Alba and the other in Montelupo albese, the first red and the second yellow. Both enjoy an extraordinary view in all seasons, and we recommend them especially around sunset time. The red one is located near a small winery, famous for the production of Dolcetto, while the yellow one is close to an excellent farmhouse that offers typical menus with an excellent quality/price ratio. The small villages of Diano and Montelupo are worth a visit: in Diano don’t miss the Belvedere and in Montelupo choose to stroll through the old town with its murals
THE CANALE BIG BENCH. It has one of the most recently inaugurated benches! We are on the Giaconi Hill at Madonna dei Cavalli in Canale, where a natural terrace of vineyards is admiringly viewed by all present. The bench is pink, very feminine, very delicate, just like the Canale writer Andreina Tarasco, who promoted the construction of this structure.
BIG BENCH IN VEZZA D’ALBA. Have you ever driven past the so-called “Torion”? It is located in the hamlet of Borbore and there are plenty of signs to reach it, don’t worry! The path is pleasant to walk along, the first part is asphalted, then the real dirt road begins. When you reach the top, at its foot, you can read a notice board, which tells its curious story: the “Torion” is in fact a hexagonal building, it was built in 1932 to serve as a country ciabòt. Unfortunately, it was bombed during the Second World War, and the large open holes are still evidence of the terrible episode. Next to it, an elegant white bench has been installed from which to admire the landscape. A plaque with a nice Piedmontese proverb has been affixed to the bench, which says:
Go for benches in the Langa!
“Si t’avèissi da manca
‘d pull ‘n’ ér fià,
you’ll be on your way and…
you’ll feel like a man again”.
Do you need a translation??
BIG BENCH OF DOGLIANI. Famous for its excellent wine, Dogliani DOCG, the village is also known for its giant two-coloured bench that stands near the Castle. Reaching the bench is easy: you can take a walk through the centre of the village and then take the road that leads to the Castle. As you go up, you can observe the village and see it more and more from above, until you reach the top of the road from which you can admire the roofs of the characteristic village. The bench has its official colours: brick red and copper blue, echoing some of the village’s most famous works. The brick red refers to the works of the architect Giovanni Battista Schellino (1818-1905) (for example, the gothic entrance to the cemetery of Dogliani), while the copper blue is typical of the dome of the church of Santi Quirico e Paolo, designed by Schellino himself.
I would like to give you some more useful information on the big benches of the Langhe. First of all, it is indispensable to have your own means of transport. We offer tours by Ebike or Vespa, which are a really nice way to discover the most beautiful giant benches. Your own car might be a good idea too, but what about the sense of freedom that the wind in your hair can give you?
Apart from this, in our opinion, the Langhe colourful benches are an excellent excuse to visit the most beautiful landscapes of the Langhe… they are all in beautiful locations and between one bench and another we certainly recommend that you stop off in the small villages you will come across, such as Neive, La Morra, Mango and then those of the upper Langa such as Niella Belbo or Paroldo. In fact, you could plan an entire weekend in the Langhe in search of big benches…it would be a great way to get the kids involved, don’t you think?
Another opportunity to visit the big benches of the Langhe? Bachelorette and stag parties, of course!
To give a touch of originality to the celebrations, organise a nice tour of the benches on a Vespa or Ebike! It will be super fun!
An electric bike to discover this wonderful corner of Monferrato in search of benches and other curiosities!
In this article we talked about the Langhe Big Benches, but there are also Big Benches in other areas of Piedmont!
So let’s add some useful information on the Monferrato big benches.
Monferrato is a very large area bordering the Langhe and reaching as far as the provinces of Asti and Alessandria.
Here too there are many big benches, perhaps even more than in the Langhe, but as I said before… we’ve lost count!!!
Let’s talk about the ones we know and that we liked very much! Let’s put a photo for each one and we assure you that it’s worth it!