Highlights and tour details
From Roddino, a bordering village between Alta Langa and Langa del Barolo, you return to the wine-producing heart of the area, ready to pedal among the most famous crus of Barolo, stopping for unmissable visits to villages overflowing with history.
From Roddino we leave the village towards Serralunga and once we reach the Chapel of the Madonna della Neve we take the grassy path on the right that runs halfway up the hillside and then take the Bricco del Gallo road (initially on the paved road on the left and then immediately to the right).
(This Roddino-Sinio-Montelupo-Sinio-Serralunga part is recommended only for experienced cyclists. For others we suggest reaching Serralunga directly on the paved road from Roddino).
Shortly after the agritourism farm, we go under the road on the left firstly on a dirt road, then on the right on grass among the vineyards and, further on, through a hazelnut grove. The road descends gradually (D1-2), entering the woods and then reencountering the dirt road almost at the bottom of the valley. Once on the provincial road, we cross it to climb back up to the village of Sinio, dominated by the beautiful castle and positioned almost vertically over the valley. It is no coincidence that we will use the steps to cut through the steep alleys of the village and from the church road, reach the upper square with the town hall and, indeed, the castle (now a hotel). We turn left into Vicolo del Castello and then, at the next camper van parking area, we turn right to start the climb towards Montelupo. After 50 m we take the first dirt road on the right (S2) and follow it through the hazelnut groves until we reach a house in the village, where we turn left and go uphill (S2) for a couple of kilometres, until we briefly reencounter the paved road at Protto. Once we reach the Gabusi locality (right, left, then right in quick succession) we take the grassy road again on the left which now, having briefly touched the village of Montelupo, descends gently to the entrance of a ravine (which we will leave on the right by turning left), then, after the small bridge, we arrive at a group of houses. After the last farmstead, the road is steep and becomes a narrow path in the woods (D3), which then comes out among the vineyards, always very steep and stony, and descends among fields and hazelnut groves, keeping to the left until we reach Cascina dei Bricchi. Here we continue steeply downhill (D3 extreme), still keeping to the left and, with two gravel bends, reach the paved road just beyond Sinio, in the direction of Valle Talloria. We then cross the provincial road to Valle Talloria and take the dirt road that descends to the ford on the Talloria and then climb steeply (S3 beyond the stream, we take the one on the right) first through the woods and then the vineyards until reaching the village of Cerrati, from which, going over the hill, we descend to the provincial road that opens onto one of the most beautiful landscapes of Barolo. Almost all of the great crus of Serralunga are located on this side overlooking the opposite hamlets of Ginestra, Castelletto and Perno di Monforte. Just below us is the famous Lazzarito, with Meriame on the right and Garombo on the left, with Marenca and Parafada. We then turn left to reach Serralunga, the most medieval village in the Langhe, with its turreted castle dominating a single circle of houses. We enter from the arch on Piazza Umberto I with the donjon of the Falletti fortress now above us. A tour of the castle (museum, national monument, which has remained intact in its defensive specifications) and the main road is a must. Finally, we leave the village on Piazza Cappellano, from whose remarkable viewpoint we can admire the vineyards of Vigna Rionda (perhaps the most famous cru of the village), to reach on an paved road the junction of Collaretto (another famous Barolo vineyard) on the right and then once past the village, slip into the dirt road in front of us that descends in D2 among the truffle plants, until the stream below. We ford it to find ourselves at a three-road junction from where we take the middle road that climbs steeply uphill on stony ground (S3 extreme), which, once past the woods, opens out onto the Ginestra vineyards, taking us back on an paved road through the village, passing a few acute hairpin bends, then the cemetery and, finally we reach the coveted Monforte from above. Monforte is another fascinating centre with the Saracca, the oldest part of the village, which rises steeply like a pueblo to the Palazzo degli Scarampi and the Auditorium Horzowsky (where the most beautiful jazz music festival in Piedmont has been held in July for over thirty years). Arriving from the top, we go downhill through the Saracca: the village roads deserve a thorough visit, facilitated by the presence of numerous bars and accommodation. The bell tower, which stands between the oratory and the confraternity, is the most important vestige of the now disappeared medieval castle that occupied the entire area. Here in 1080 the Cathars (they were actually Manicheans) barricaded themselves in to resist the Pope's militia in what remains the first case of persecution of heretics. The poor inhabitants of the village were dragged in chains to Milan where, when they refused to abjure, all three hundred were condemned to be burned at the stake: the homonymous Corso Monforte up in Lombardy is in memory of them. The sad fate of the Cathars brings us back to the historical reality of these hills which, disputed and fragmented among local lords, experienced endless invasions even from the most distant kingdoms, pirate raids and epidemics left by mercenary soldiers. The density of votive chapels, country churches and monasteries (now often disappeared) can therefore be well explained with the fragility of these communities, which ultimately found order and a little peace only with the rise of the Savoy family in Piedmont at the end of the 17th century, after an endless war like that of the Thirty Years’ War.
Points of interest
Roddino: Country Chapel of Santa Margherita, Country Chapel of San Lorenzo Martire - Sinio: Church of San Frontiniano, Oratory of the Annunziata (Church of the Battuti) - Grinzane Cavour: Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour - Monforte d'Alba: Auditorium Horszowski, Colonel Martina Civic Museum, Civic Tower, Oratory of San Agostino and Bonifacio.
Source: Unione dei Comuni della Langa del Barolo, Comune di Serralunga d'Alba, Comune di Barbaresco
Itinerary code: BTM
Recommended period: March - November
Access by public transport: Yes
Provinces crossed: Langhe Monferrato e Roero