Things to see in the Langhe in 3 days
There are dozens of articles telling you about the Langhe and listing the places you absolutely must visit. Consequently, I would like to change the way I tell the story: we will take a trip together as if we were following a route of things to see in the Langhe, and we will do so taking into account the days available!
Obviously, the three days I propose can be enjoyed all together or … one by one!
What to see in the Langhe Day 1
We leave in the morning from Alba and head towards Verduno. We do not stop in Grinzane Cavour because we have planned this for another day.
First stop of your day in the Langhe: Verduno
Here you will find a neat little village with a beautiful Belvedere: Few people know that in Verduno there is this wonderful and evocative panoramic terrace. Unlike other, more crowded viewpoints, here it is easier to find quiet moments to enjoy the spectacle. The balcony has signs that will allow you to identify the villages that can be ‘spotted’. Just a few steps from the Belvedere, a visit to the Pelaverga wine shop will introduce you to this excellent wine from an indigenous variety.
There is also an impressive medieval castle, whose donjon towers are reminiscent of the nearby castle of Serralunga d’Alba.
To visit these areas and not dedicate a few hours to the castles of the Langhe is practically impossible!
Second stage La Morra
We head towards La Morra amidst scenic hills with geometric vines outlining them. A diversion of a few kilometres will take you to the Giant Red Bench.
It is called the ‘bench of serenity’: take a short break and sit on the structure, which is not part of Chris Bangle’s giant bench circuit.
After the customary photos, you can continue on to La Morra.
When you arrive in the village, do not enter the town centre but follow the signs for the car park, which is convenient and large.
Once you have left your car, head up towards the centre of La Morra (2700 inhabitants) to the large belvedere that opens out onto the hills of the Langa del Barolo.
Here you will also find a nice idea of walks in search of Belvedere delle Langhe
Admiring this site at sunset time in autumn or late spring offers a unique experience: you will be enraptured by a riot of colours and warm hues that sweep over expanses of vineyards as far as the eye can see, alternating with wooded areas that diffuse floral and fruity essences into the air. You are in a privileged position on the Langa del Barolo. A spectacle of vineyards and green hills. In the distance, the castle of Barolo. If you can find the bell tower open, don’t miss the climb and the spectacular view!
On the way to the Belvedere, several wine shops and an excellent ice-cream parlour!
La Morra is also synonymous with two wonderful symbols of the Barolo Langhe: the Cedar of Lebanon inside the Cordero di Montezemelo estate and winery, and the extraordinary, colourful Barolo Chapel. A short walk to the cedar and a slightly longer one to the chapel. An excellent way to prepare for lunch in one of La Morra’s many wine cellars/trattorie. Always best to book!
Third stage the suspended grape
After La Morra you head back towards Alba. A recommended diversions will allow you to round off your day. A passage to the Ceretto cellars, to discover the Acino of the Monsordo Estate. This particular, original and innovative building is home to the Ceretto headquarters. From the old building, dating back to 1850, the Ceretto family has bravely blended the ancient and the modern and breathed new life into tradition. You will be surprised to see the suspended glass bubble that allows you to look out over the Langa landscape. You will feel like an astronaut floating over the hilly earth. Beautiful in any season!
On your return in the evening, you can take a walk in Alba, the capital of the Langhe, and discover dozens of interesting and relaxing corners in its streets. A detour to a small church, the Church of the Maddalena, 18th century. Piedmontese Baroque. An imposing doorway leads you into its rich and imposing heart. Look up to admire the dome with lantern.
For dinner you can choose from one of the many restaurants and trattorias, perhaps stopping first at one of the wine bars that offer both excellent wines and new cocktails made with vermouth and derivatives.
Sleeping in Alba and the Langhe is not as easy as it might seem. In reality, the number of rooms and beds is not commensurate with the number of people arriving, especially at weekends. Not to mention the periods of the Truffle Fair or during Vinum. I advise you, if you want to stay overnight, to book in advance!
What to see in the Langhe Day 2
We leave again from Alba. And so you can perhaps sleep two nights in the same place and take advantage of Alba in the evening.
We put the locality Treiso on the navigator. Leaving Alba we head towards the locality of Altavilla. You will immediately begin to see Alba and its towers from a higher vantage point.
Descending from Altavilla you will find yourself in Frazione Pertinace, a place-name that recalls the emperor Publius Elvius Pertinace, the son of freedmen from Alba Pompeia, who reigned for only three months and died in a praetorian conspiracy in 193 BC.
This area can also be explored on foot with a beautiful trek around Alba: Trekking Alba and surroundings.
First stage of your day in the Langhe of Barbaresco
From the hamlet of Pertinace you go towards Loc. Tre Stelle, and then you arrive in the village of Barbaresco. This municipality gives its name to the famous wine and is a very pleasant village for a walk, a coffee, an aperitif or a nice lunch stop. Don’t miss the climb to the Tower to enjoy a beautiful view of the surroundings. And maybe you can have your aperitif right at the foot of the Tower!
Second stage Neive
It is time to set off again, and we continue towards Neive, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. It is a small medieval village with fine terracotta buildings and characteristic stone streets, surrounded by vineyards of Barbera, Dolcetto d’Alba, Barbaresco and Moscato d’Asti. You can admire the beautiful Palazzo del Municipio (Town Hall) and the nearby Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower), as well as visit the Museum of the ‘Grappa della donna Selvatica’, a distillate known all over the world, and delight in the wonderful view of the Langhe from the many vantage points.
If you have not had lunch in Barbaresco, you could certainly be tempted by one of the beautiful Osterie in Neive. Enjoyable and very welcoming!
Third stage Treiso
We set off again for our end of the day and reach Treiso. Here there are several wine cellars and wine shops and a famous and renowned restaurant. This is the Ciau del Tornavento, which could be your destination for dinner! Reservations are compulsory and the starting time is agreed at the time of booking. Here you will certainly enjoy excellent dishes. If, on the other hand, you prefer a rich board, you can sit in the various wine cellars and wine shops (again, it is best to book!) where you can taste Barbaresco but also Nebbiolo d’Alba, Barbera, Moscato d’Asti and other excellent wines.
A stone’s throw from Treiso’s main street, you can admire a spectacular erosion phenomenon, particularly suggestive in autumn and spring: this is the ‘Rocca dei Sette Fratelli’, a chasm generated by water erosion that over the centuries has literally hollowed out the hillside, creating very steep walls (orridi) with overhangs stretching towards the centre of the cliff almost devoid of vegetation.
A local legend has it that this rock was born because of the disbelief of seven local brothers, farmers, who badly tolerated the misery in which they found themselves, imputing it to God. One day they saw a procession led by the parish priest pass by and, blaspheming and angry, instead of kneeling and praying as their sister had done, they defied God and asked him to plunge them into an abyss to prove his existence. Thus it was that this abyss was formed, which swallowed the young men, but left the sister unharmed.
This concludes the second day dedicated to the Barbaresco area.
Things to see in the Langhe Day 3
Also on this day I assume a departure from Alba, for the reasons I told you above.
First stop Diano d’Alba
We head towards Diano d’Alba, passing through Corso Langhe and Corso Enotria, passing the Umberto I Agrario Enologico agricultural institute. We then take Strada Santa Rosalia, which leads out of the centre and arrive in the village of Diano d’Alba. On the left, before entering the historic centre, a shrine or small temple dedicated to the goddess Diana, after whom the village is named, opens in the side of the rock. It reminds us that these hills, before Roman penetration, were covered with forests protected by pagan divinities, such as Diana and Mars.
Climbing to the top of the village, on whose rock a green area has been created, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the Langhe hills.
In Diano you will find the Giant Bench no. 65. It was inaugurated in 2019, and is called Panchina del Dolcetto. The colour of the bench is just as ruby red as the Dolcetto!
If you want some information on the Langhe Giant Benches, follow the link!
Second stop Grinzane Cavour
Leaving Diano we head towards Grinzane Cavour. The hill is dominated by the imposing castle, whose terracotta towers combine elegance and pride in architectural lines that are skilfully harmonised with the landscape.
Statesman Camillo Benso Count of Cavour was mayor of the town, which bears his name, from 1832 to 1848, and cultivated and administered vineyards and plots of land on these precious lands. Cavour availed himself of the expert collaboration of General Staglieno, a famous 19th century oenologist and head of the castle cellars, and Louis Oudart, considered the father of modern Nebbiolo.
Cavour in Grinzane did not only dedicate himself to politics and wine-making, but also introduced innovations in the agricultural sector, such as the experimental cultivation of sugar beet.
A visit to the castle, a walk around its surroundings and a stop in the in-house wine shop can be a good excuse to … slow down!
The castle houses:
- the Piedmontese Regional Wine Cellar
- the Ethnographic Museum
- the Cavour relics
- the Hall of Masks
- the Castle Restaurant
- the World Alba White Truffle Auction
Third and final stage Barolo
After the stop, we head towards Barolo. Barolo town and Barolo wine come together and are identified around the beautiful Castle of .
Here some insights into Barolo town and Barolo wine
A look at the Volta castle will take you back to a sumptuous time and to the roots of an extraordinary wine, known all over the world.
It is said that in the castle, there were those who often organised parties and profligate banquets, in agreement with the devil. One night, however, the floor crumbled and overwhelmed all the guests. It is said that to this day the old walls still resound with their wails on dark and stormy nights. Between the Renaissance period and the 18th century, the structure underwent various alterations and, after the fall of the Falletti dynasty, was abandoned.
Since 2009, Barolo has been the venue for the well-known ‘Collisioni’ Literature and Music Festival, which every summer sees internationally renowned artists perform in the picturesque setting of the small village, under the castle, in its streets and on its squares.
The rooms of the castle house the Wi-Mu, Italy’s most innovative wine museum, which, through an interactive exhibition, will lead you to discover the wonderful world of Barolo. Outstanding historical figures passed through here, from Cavour to Silvio Pellico to Massimo d’Azeglio, all of whom were proponents of the glorious Risorgimento period. They were guests of Carlo Tancredi Falletti di Barolo and his wife, the Marquise Giulia Colbert, to whom we owe several charitable works, including the Opera Pia Barolo in Turin, an orphanage and the reform of Turin’s women’s prisons. The building houses a large library of rare books and valuable manuscripts.
We suggest you take some time to visit the castle and the curious Corkscrew Museum, the only one of its kind in Italy.
The day can be considered complete if you have booked one or more tastings in the cellars of these areas. Several restaurants also make Barolo pleasant and very much in line with our Slow philosophy!
Langhe tourism what to see and how?
From Barolo you head back towards Alba. You take a beautiful road, also known as the Langhe Highway, dotted with wine cellars and vineyards; you pass through the Gallo industrial zone, and then return to Alba via a road immersed in the green hills, which joins the Strada Santa Rosalia and leads back to the city.
Everything I have described so far you can do with either a car or a bike. An e-bike would certainly be better. Or, why not, a blazing Vespa!
As you may have guessed, the tourism I propose has nothing to do with hit-and-run trips. We love slow tourism, Slow, as our name suggests. The kind that allows you to browse, talk, stop, buy a few souvenirs and immerse yourself in so much beauty!
What to see in the Langhe … and what to eat and taste?
I have told you about one of the many possible holidays in the Langhe. Each day you can adapt it to your liking and combine it with one or more tastings of our excellent wines or with one or more samples of our extraordinary gastronomic specialities.