Monferrato what to see
taking into account your vacation days
I wanted to break this little guide down into days that made sense. Let’s say that it will be a Monferrato to discover in the time you want and you can spend in this magnificent area.
The Monferrato is part of that wonderful area of Langhe, Monferrato and Roero, which has become Unesco Heritage in 2014.
Monferrato has the largest area of the three.
It has entered the UNESCO sites under three different names: Nizza Monferrato and Barbera; Canelli and Asti Spumante and finally Infernot.
And so we make an itinerary in three days that allows you to visit the three mentioned sites. Let’s go!
Monferrato to discover in a day: Nizza Monferrato and the Barbera
From Asti 25 km – From Alba 42 km
We are in the area of Alto Monferrato, in the valley of the Belbo torrent.
The first settlements date back to 1200. It was born from people who fled and found in this valley the fertile soil and water of the Belbo and Rio Nizza. They called it Nizza delle Paglie, because the roofs of the first houses were made of straw. Today its name is Nizza Monferrato. From 1264 the Marquises Monferrato took charge of protecting it.
First stop is the old town. The arcade of Via Maestra and its shops are a nice stop. You can see the beautiful Crova Palace, home to the Palace of taste, where you can retrace the history of food and wine in this area. You will surely be struck by the Palazzo Comunale, with its bell tower (the Nicesi people call it Campanon). You can visit the churches of San Giovanni Lanero, San Siro and Sant’Ippolito. Every third Sunday of the month, in Piazza Garibaldi, there is the Antiques Market.
Nizza is the capital of Barbera. It is also home to an important Barbera wine shop. In addition to good wine, you should definitely try the bele cauda (a kind of “piadina” made of chickpea flour), as well as the cardoons “gobbi” of Nice with bagna cauda.
In my family, my grandfather and great-grandparents were from Nizza Monferrato. At our house, at Easter, it was a must to prepare the green cake. Excellent savory cake made with rice, herbs, eggs and breadcrumbs. Obviously with a good glass of Barbera!
Day trip to Monferrato: Canelli and Asti Spumante
Canelli is a town between the Langa and Monferrato. In fact I had already talked about it in an article Langa Astigiana Canelli
In Canelli there is a very particular climatic combination. Two important and widespread vines live here: Moscato di Canelli and Barbera.
We are right between the Langhe and Monferrato. The Moscato that is cultivated here was already known during the Roman Empire. Today is loved and appreciated all over the world. More and more often it is also the result of successful experiments that will make you taste it in sweet, demi sec and dry variants. Extraordinary for its perfume, you must absolutely taste it.
This land, besides being generous in the oenological field, is also the land of white Tarufi, of excellent meats, hazelnuts and pastry products.
Canelli and its hills are a spectacle in every season. Its lanes, the historical cellars dug and deep.
A day dedicated to Canelli and Moscato d’Asti will be a sure pleasure. Ah, I forgot, I converted to Moscato, the good one, recently. Here I leave you the considerations on my discovery: The Muscat a pleasant discovery
Monferrato to discover: The Infernot
What are Infernots? They are small rooms, cellars, in most cases in private houses, which are created to create the ideal environment for storing wine. They are almost secret places. For some years now some people have almost created a movement that wants to make these magical places known. They have been included in the UNESCO sites precisely because of their uniqueness.
There are visits scheduled on some Sundays of the year. In about fifteen municipalities you could visit Infernot which at other times of the year are inaccessible. The tourist impulse, also thanks to small Tour Operators who want to get out of the channels of mass visits, is slowly creating interest and openness in many of these sites.
Some municipalities where you can find these magical places are: Rosignano Monferrato, Cella Monte, Vignale Monferrato, Terruggia, Grazzano Badoglio, Treville, Olivola and some others.
It is not easy but certainly not impossible to visit them. And it’s really worth it
Monferrato to discover and visit, but how to?
One of the sore points in this area is the lack of public transport. It is therefore advisable to use your own car. But… SlowDays is famous for its bike tours. And now there are many tourists, even in large groups, who rely on us to organize an e-bike tour. And then you might think to dedicate one or more days, by e-bike, to get to know these beautiful hills. Between a Barbera and a Moscato you could forget about many more famous wines. Do you accept the advice?