It was supposed to be a two day tour, which was shortened to one day due to various vicissitudes, but still it was a unique tour that I’d like to do again!
The Langhe is not very well known, but when you start climbing the first hill you will immediately realise how spectacular they are. The Langhe is a mixture of hills and vineyards that alternate with castles and historic villages connected by roads that rise and fall embracing a unique landscape. The Langhe for who doesn’t know, are located in the Province of Cuneo, in southern Piedmont surrounded to the north by the wine-growing areas of Roero and Monferrato.
Our tour started from Bra, where we arrived by train leaving from Lingotto station, which I do not recommend because it does not have elevators (the same train also stops in Porta Susa). The day was typical of autumn, fog and humidity in the valley. Cycling towards Dogliani, we were surrounded by this cold white blanket, but it didn’t take us long to get out of it, in fact following the Via Valdibà we were already climbing our first hill and leaving the fog behind us. A small road that begins with hairpin bends surrounded by vineyards, from here the autumn colours would never had leaved us until the end of the day.
From Roddino towards Serralunga D’Alba the views that follow were simply indescribable, from a distance we could see the profiles of the villages perched on the peaks, the colors from brown to ocher yellow paint the vineyards that in my imagination were always being green! Coming down from Serralunga before climbing towards Castiglione Falletto where the two hills meet, it was inevitable to stop for a photo of the grape statue, I don’t know if that is its the name, but seeing it immediately seemed perfect for our photo-souvenir of the day. Meanwhile, already from Serralunga our road had joined with the Bar to Bar route, a ring cycling route in 7 stages between Barbaresco and Barolo that crosses a good portion of the Langhe Roero territory.
Going up towards Castiglione Falletto the sun was hot, the profiles of the village stood out against the blue of the sky. From Castiglione Falletto the climbs are comfortable, soft as the cycle travellers like, we arrived towards Monforte D’Alba, from the vineyards of the Langa del Barolo, one of the most beautiful historic centres in this area, which since July 2018 has become part of the “Borghi più belli d’Italia“. From Monforte through the SP 163 we headed to Barolo. A perfect tour in the wine culture of Piedmont, too bad that in a single day trip with 100km ahead our travel program couldn’t include any wine-tasting at the many wineries crossed along the way. From Barolo we continued to Muscatel, Croera, reaching La Morra, another ancient town. Some say that the name La Morra comes from “murra”, a benedictine name meaning a “closed place”, surrounded by stone walls, where animals (sheep and goats) was gathered, but according to some others it comes from “mora”, blackberry, which is a very sweet name! From La Morra, traveling almost on the crest, we arrived at Gallo D’Alba and then Grinzane Cavour where the castle, well preserved and included in the Unesco heritage that with its grandeur it still seems to be guarding the valleys. From Grinzane Cavour we descended following the SP 157 to tackle the last climb of the day towards Diano D’Alba. Soon, through the SP32 we were above Alba and we could admire the expansion of the true heart of the Langhe, where every year in this period you can also taste the famous white truffles during the month dedicated to the festival “Fiera del Tartufo d’Alba“.
After a quick stop in Alba it was time to cycle back to Bra and catch one of the last train back to Turin. Leaving Alba, we were able to take a two-way cycle path that ran along the main road to Roddi where we moved to a minor road and there as a last memory of the day we could admire the colours of the Langhe at sunset, through a series of hairpin bends that looked like built on purpose to be coloured by the sun.
But now I want to tell you about “the Wolf”, Fabio who in 2011 discovered that he was suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, is one who does not give up. He continued to cultivate his passions, meanwhile he discovered that cycling and traveling make him feel better as well as enriching him. Since 2016 he has been telling his adventures on a blog “160cm.it“, where he tells how even with a chronic illness, you can face adventures and you can continue to dream. Fabio is a special person who made my day in the Langhe unique.