Highlights and tour details
Variant of stage 5, which from Serranlunga reaches Monforte passing by Castiglione Falletto, offering a different viewpoint of the surrounding landscape.
Having arrived at Serralunga from Cerrati turn left towards the village, but, just before the narrow passage, descend to the right at the junction of Garombo, always on asphalt. Having reached the bottom of the village the road becomes an unpaved road that descends decisively towards the valley bottom, among the vineyards of Margheria and Le Turne along a few gentle bends. Having reached the bottom, keep on the left and then, after the bridge, turn right again on asphalt and travel a section of the valley bottom under Perno, to arrive in view of the “panettone” of Castiglione Falletto. Shortly before a bend on the right, which gives onto another bridge, we leave the asphalt to go left along the dirt access road of the Scarrone, the vineyard which decorates the castle of Falletti like an embroidered skirt. The road, though with many bends, climbs decisively between the vineyards and, undulating, takes us right under the medieval concentric. Since the road is a ring that encloses the entire village up to the square it is indifferent from which side we travel it. We suggest going right to be able to better understand the ancient geometry of terraces and ditches. The imposing castle, with the beautiful and rare cylindrical tower in the middle of the courtyard, more than dominating the village defines it in its entirety, leaving the church and the few noble and ancient houses confined to just a few streets. In Castiglione there is also a Municipal Winery which often organises tasting sessions and tours. We exit the town on asphalt and keep left in the direction of Monforte. The road starts to climb to bring us to the watershed from where we can contemplate on one side Perno and on the other the vineyards of Barolo wedged between Monforte and Castiglione. This road has also seen the chronometer of the Barberesco-Barolo leg of the Tour of Italy, in one of its most spectacular and emotional passages. Passed the municipal boundary with Monforte we leave the asphalt close to Favot, the big farmhouse of Aldo Conterno, and descend to the left between the vineyards of Rocche di Castiglione, to continue between the wood and the farmhouse almost on flat ground; passed the Favot, our road bends decisively to the right to enter the bushes of the rock formation (which is little pronounced here) and emerge at the foot of the hill of Santo Stefano, with the ancient Romanesque church that looks onto the castles of Perno and Castiglione, a must-see site for travellers and pilgrims travelling these hills. The climb on dirt access road among the vineyards is very steep, but the atmosphere of mystic quietness of the small church will make it all worthwhile. In front of us, the hill slopes gently towards the village of Perno, all gathered around the castle (today more a noble palace), where in summer Giulio Einaudi used to bring together the editorial staff in the distant 1970s. An obligatory stop-off point before resuming the climb on a steep mule track, which cuts the bends of the paved road, going left just after we exit the village, to go alongside the new cemetery and emerge, just before the sharp bend, above the village. This is one of the most extraordinary panoramic points of all of Langhe, which embraces in a single glance Barolo and La Morra, Verduno and Roddi, with Castiglione in front and, again, the Church of Santo Stefano and the castle of Perno in the foreground, almost unrealistic; then, on the right, the infinite succession of steep hills of Serralunga with the castle pressed against the darkest hills of the high Langhe. An extraordinary panorama and totally unexpected. Continue on a paved road for a few hundred metres and descend, past the junction for Castelletto (the 16th century Church of the Assumption and the ancient cemetery are worth a visit), to the village of Gramolere, where, at the height of a large purple big bench, you follow the signs of the walls of the farmhouses and, beyond the houses, from the courtyard you take the country road to the left which runs half way up the hill between woods and vineyards to reconnect with the provincial road a few kilometres later. A few cool paved bends between the trees and you are at the junction on the left, on gravel road, which gently climbs the hill of the Ginestra. You clear the hill just before the public swimming pool and descend to Monforte from the higher area of Saracca (the ancient part of the village, practically hanging vertically from the rock of the hill).
Points of interest
Castiglione Falletto: Castle, Municipal Winery of Castiglione Falletto, Clock tower, Church of San Lorenzo - Monforte area of Perno: Castle, Church of San Pietro - Monforte d'Alba: Horszowski Auditorium, Civic Museum Colonnello Martina, Civic Tower, Oratory of San Agostino and Bonifacio.
Itinerary code: BTB
Recommended period: Apr - Nov
Access by public transport: Yes
Classification: Medium and low mountain provincial
Provinces crossed: Langhe Monferrato e Roero