Highlights and tour details
Departure is from the historic centre of Alba towards the Langa of Barbaresco, ready to enjoy the beauty of a unique landscape, climb dirt access roads and conquer the top of towers and ancient villages. All immersed in the wonder that nature has given to this corner of the world: the river ecosystem along the Tanaro, fertile land for the White Truffle of Alba, hills as far as the eye can see, rock formations and stratifications. To fill your eyes at every bend.
Exit from Alba along viale Cherasca and, beyond the bridge over the torrent and the subsequent level crossing, turn left for via Barbaresco which, after 300 m, interrupts itself to leave room for an unpaved lane uphill which runs along a fenced property (beware of the dogs) and leads to a steep wooden staircase. At the top, turn left on asphalt in the direction of La Meridiana agritourism, from which another unpaved road runs along the property and, venturing on the hill of Altavilla, keeps to the left among fields and hazelnut groves up to a last climb to the right which takes us to the top of the road, first asphalt and then gravel, which runs along the ridge between the rock formations of the River Tanaro and the Pertinace Valley. From this hill, on 10 October 1944, the partisans of the Langhe descended to occupy the city of Alba, albeit for just 23 days, in which however the Republic was declared, as Fenoglio writes in his most famous novel. In front of us, the first hills of the Barbaresco all covered in vineyards and dotted with farmhouses with celebrated names: Rombone, Roncaglie, Pajoré, Marcarini…
Close to the last house, the road takes an unpaved fork on the right, which turns around the property and takes us among the vineyards beyond the hill, to start the very steep descent which, through the wood, descends to the Seno d’Elvio torrent, almost where it flows into the Tanaro. A small bridge allows to cross to continue our route on flat ground between the river and the rock formations in an oasis of silence, perfumes and biodiversities. In these rock formations are gathered some of the most prized truffles of the Langhe, precisely thanks to their being isolated and therefore intact. The road runs along two signposts dedicated to Fenoglio before turning, after a few kilometres, to the right at the second signpost and reaching Cascina Pagliuzzi, which we will leave to our right to take a small bridge over the Rio Sordo and return shortly after to paved ground close to Cascine Pora.
We continue beyond the small station of Barbaresco (it is now the winery of an Australian!) and go left along via della Stazione which climbs in the natural amphitheatre of Martinenga: memories of the ancient Romans (the emperor Pertinace was born in these areas) and the subsequent barbaric invasions echo in the place names and archaeological finds, while today the five crus of the hill (Pora, Fasèt, Asili, Martinenga, Rabajà) are among the most famous of the denomination.
You reach the ridge close to the small Chapel of San Teobaldo where the trail, to the left of the road, runs parallel to the same to reach the ancient village of Barbaresco, dominated by the exceptional medieval tower (the current one is of the 14th century, built by the Visconti, today renovated and open to visitors) and literally immersed in Nebbiolo vineyards, the prince of the vines of Langhe. A stroll around the village is a must, a tasting absolutely unmissable! We exit from the village from via Cavazza (next to the Regional Wine Shop in the small Confraternity of San Donato, today a lay temple of wine, a must-see site) to cross the provincial road and descend to the cosy hamlet of Montestefano (another celebrated cru, like the nearby Montefico, Cole and Ronchi): a sort of viewpoint towards the ancient village of Neive upper. Right at the height of the first house, turn left: steep descent on hairpin bends, on paved and then unpaved road, to the bottom of the valley, where you turn right among the poplars of the enchanting valley and, after a hundred metres, to the left to go along the railway and go beyond it on the concrete flyover. A few metres on is Cascina Principe from where the paved road resumes. Turn left as far as the crossroads with the provincial road.
We continue beyond the provincial road and take the climb towards Cascina Montà that we leave to the left: proceed always uphill toward the top of San Cristoforo among vineyards and dirt access roads, keeping to the left. Pass among the tanks of the aqueduct on paved ground to resume the unpaved path immediately after the last farmhouse and reach one of the most beautiful panoramic points of the area (there is also a big bench by the designer Chris Bangle!). From here, descend gently almost as far as the provincial road, turning however immediately left into a lane which then turns ninety degrees to the right to descend steeply to the valley on the provincial road. Here, turn left and then at the first junction (that of the Trezzo Tinella) right and passed the bridge take the lane to the right uphill. Keep on the left towards Cascina Castellizano, which stands on the top of the hill: you reach it by turning right almost at the top, at the last dirt access road. The paved ground resumes from Castellizzano and continues straight towards the Chapel of San Stefanetto (another pleasant and panoramic place), from where you turn left to reach the ancient settlement of the Bongiovanni (example of a small fortified town with houses arranged against the wall on both sides and at one time the gates barred the road at night) which is one of the two historic hamlets of Treiso (the other is the Cravè, beyond the square of the church). Treiso is often mentioned by Fenoglio (here there was the first recruitment of partisans who escaped from Alba not to answer to the call of Salò) and it was also an inspirational place for Piero Masera, the first modern photographer of the Langhe (his famous “Mattino sulla Langa” was the poster of a Venice Biennial). Besides the well-known Barbaresco, the hill which from Treiso makes an arch as far as Madonna di Como is renowned among gourmets for the production of one of the most fragrant and persuasive Dolcetto wines of the Langhe.
Points of interest
In Alba: the Church of the Maddalena, the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, the Church of San Domenico, the Church of San Giuseppe, the Civic Museum of Archaeology and Natural Sciences “F. Eusebio”, the Sanctuary of Madonna della Moretta. Treiso is home to the “Rocche dei Sette Fratelli”, a depression caused by the erosion of the waters that forms an immense natural amphitheatre: an unexpected and picturesque sight that has inspired stories and legends. The Rocche are one of the eleven stages of the Romantic Road of Langhe and Roero, a route of more than one hundred kilometres of roads and trails set in a landscape that has an irresistible charm.
Itinerary code: BTB
Recommended period: Apr - Nov
Access by public transport: Yes
Classification: Medium and low mountain provincial
Provinces crossed: Langhe Monferrato e Roero
Departure, arrival and municipalities crossed
- BTB - Bar To Bar (137,23 km)
- BTB - Bar To Bar - Stage 1: Alba - Treiso (16,00 km)
- BTB - Bar to Bar - Stage 1A: Cascina Ambrogio - Neive (1,39 km)
- BTB - Bar To Bar - Stage 2A: Cascina Basso - San Rocco Seno d'Elvio (3,00 km)
- BTB - Bar To Bar - Stage 2: Treiso - San Bovo (12,50 km)
- BTB - Bar To Bar - Stage 3: San Bovo - Niella Belbo (29,00 km)
- BTB - Bar To Bar - Stage 4: Niella Belbo - Roddino (25,00 km)
- BTB - Bar To Bar - Stage 5A: Serralunga d'Alba - Monforte d'Alba (40,50 km)
- BTB - Bar To Bar - Stage 5: Roddino - Monforte d'Alba (15,50 km)
- BTB - Bar To Bar - Stage 6A: Case Nuova - Novello (1,50 km)
- BTB - Bar To Bar - Stage 6: Monforte d'Alba - Verduno (13,50 km)
- BTB - Bar To Bar - Stage 7: Verduno - Alba (15,50 km)