“We found the people we met made the trip so special. Several of us have already been talking about which trip to go on next year.”
– Kay & Jim D,
Custom and self-guided trips also available and can start any date. Call or email for details.
7 days/ 6 nights
Monterotondo near Gavi Ligure/ Bra
30-40+ miles daily
Land Cost (current year):
Piedmont, known for the Slow Food Movement creation, white truffles and some of the most sought-after red wines in Italy, including the robust full bodied Barolo and Barbaresco, are luring travelers who seek its charms (and tastes). With the rugged Italian Alps as a back-drop, the quiet roads of this region with moderate rolling hills provide the ideal terrain for all levels of cyclists. On this trip there are opportunities to experience small villages, Roman remains, medieval castles and superb cuisine as we journey through this delicious region.
Only Great Explorations:
- Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences.
- A ride you will never forget: our route around Borolo with the Italian Alps as a back-drop
- A meal you will never forget:
- A meal you will never forget: ‘La luna Nel Pozzo’ in Neive’s old town centre
- Order off the menu at restaurants you won't find in guidebooks.
- Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups.
- We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises.
Getting there :
The trip starts in Monterotondo near Gavi Ligure, accessible from Serravalle Scrivia by taxi. We recommend you fly into Turin and take the train to Serravelle (1hr 30). We’ll pick up at the train station in Serravelle for the 5 minute transfer to the hotel, our starting point.
Monterotondo- Your hotel is included on arrival day - we’ll start from the hotel in Monterotondo at 10:00 and depart on bikes. You’ll start your first day riding from Monterotondo to Gavi with its fortress style surroundings and its award winning white wines. Then it is on to Libarna to see remains of a Roman settlement and then cruise through the Val Borbera Valley. This valley is rich with abbeys, monasteries, towers, castles, and medieval villages. We will finish the day with a wine tasting at the ancient cellars of Villa Sparina, surrounded by over 100 hectares of vineyards. The L’Ostelliere Hotel boasts a spectacular setting amongst vineyards. We’ll dine at Il Gallina where chef Massimo Mentasi combines due respect for tradition with contemporary vision.
Next day is a tribute to Italy’s history of cycling and it’s legends. Ride in the birthplace of Fausto Coppi and Costante Girardengo, and visit the Museum of Cycling in Novi Ligure, the largest dedicated museum of its kind in Europe. Stopping in Castellania, we’ll enjoy a savory lunch and taste the famous cheese ‘Montebore’, which has been recently rediscovered and proclaimed the ambassador of Italian cheese by Slow Food International. After lunch we’ll ride past Villavernia and observe traditional farmhouses built from raw earth, typical of the Alexandrian plane. We’ll ride through Sant’ Agata Fossil, known for abundance of fossils and ride the rolling hills of Sandigliano which providing stunning views across the valley.
Distance D1: 11 up to 46 km, elevation gain up to 530 m.*
Distance D2: 18 km, elevation gain 150m or 75 km, gain 570m.*
Acqui Terme: Another day of beautiful rolling hills, valleys and spectacular views. We start the day riding towards Mornese and Castello di Tagliolo, which has an impressive history dating back to the end of the first millennium. Afterwards we’ll explore the region of ‘Capanne di Marcarolo’ Natural Park. Lunch will be in the town of Ovada, a Roman city located at the confluence of the Orba and Stura rivers. In the final stretch you can day dream about Acqui Terme, a spa town built over natural hot springs by the Romans.
Distance: 62 km, elevation gain 630 m or 93 km, gain 1200 m.*
Neive: After a restful stay in Acqui Terme, we embark on a ride dominant in two things; endless panoramic views and endless wine tasting. We’ll pass through the villages of Montabone and Rocchetta Palafea with a stop in the Brachetto and Moscato’s lands – an area known in Italia, and the world, for its sweet wine and medieval castles. In Canelli, we’ll visit the magnificent Underground Cathedral cellar, currently a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Since the pace of day usually slows down upon arriving in Canelli, we stop here for lunch, choosing the wonderful Enoteca Contratto restaurant where we’ll sample more wines from the region and taste the unique local flavors. After lunch, we ride on to Santo Stefano Belbo, then to our ultimate destination near Alba, Neive.
Neive is in the stunning Langhe area and identified in the grouping of villages titled ‘The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy’. This rich fertile area is where Barbaresco wine earns its reputation. The day will end with an unforgettable dinner at ‘La luna nel pozzo’ restaurant, located in Neive’s old town. Experience organic and traditionally raised meats, as well as breads and pasta’s made with stone ground grains, regional cheeses and gelato, and of course the mouth watering local truffles.
Distance: 43 km, elevation gain 625 m.*
La Morra: After a much deserved sleep in, and overnight ‘fast’, we bid farewell to Nieve and make our way towards La Morra. Stops along the way include Barbaresco, a name synonymous with reds of the region, and its two distinct medieval villages.
We’ll visit the ‘Enoteca regionale del Barbaresco, created to promote local wine production, displaying 112 different wineries, with 130 labels, representing over 90% of the area’s production. Taste, savor, linger and learn about everything this region has to offer. We’ll lunch in Alba, and afterwards continue to La Morra, situated atop an imposing ridge, La Morra overlooks, in one direction, the Po Valley with the Alps and the peak of Monviso as backdrop and, in the other, vine-clad hills which create a stunning amphitheatre. You’ll meet our friend and his furry best friend, as you explore and dig among the hazelnut groves for truffles.
Dinner for the evening will be in a medieval castle, the ‘Belevedere’ restaurant, over looking one of the ‘natural balconies’, some say the most beautiful in Langhe.
As with most of our trips, we’ve saved the best for last. The second day you’ll ride along quiet winding roads between charming villages in the Barolo appellation, amid the immaculate hillside vineyards, where one of worlds most famous has been produced for two centuries. Explore medieval villages all set with a backdrop of the spectacular mountain peaks of the Alps. For keen followers of the ‘king of wines’, we’ll be stopping at the Falletti Castle in Barolo. The WiMu-Wine museum, provides an interactive display of culture and wine traditions designed by famed architect; François Confino. You’ll also learn about the French Marquise Juliette Colbert, the lady who created Barolo wine.
Our ride continues along the tiny roads between Monforte d’ Alba and Serralunga d’ Alba, settlements dating back to the Neolithic period with discoveries of Roman times. To finish the week, we will visit the La Morra’s Cantina Comunale, the town’s wine cooperative and if you feel energetic, a walk along the Sentiero del Barolo before a festive dinner out.
Distance D5: 37 km, elevation gain 700 m.*
Distance D6: 57 km, elevation gain 840 m or 67 km, 1114 m.*
DAY 7 :
After breakfast, transfer to Bra or Asti’s train station. It is a 45 minute train trip back to Turin.
*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.
Map of the Area
Great Explorations trips are designed to appeal to a range of fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from day to day - and your traveling companion's may vary from yours. For this reason, we offer a range of distance options, so that you can decide each day how much you want to ride; the guides will have additional options than those listed here, but this will give you an idea of what to expect:
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Day 4||Day 5||Day 6||Day 7|
|Distance- Add-on 1 (km)||52||50||30||40||44|
|Elevation- Add-on 1 (m)||550||525||535||680||650|
|Total Distance with add-ons||62||68||95||45||75||81|
|Total Elevation with add-ons||630||675||1195||625||1320||1135|
*Elevation gains are approximate and subject to final hotel choices and conditions.
What's Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
- services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
- 6 nights lodging
- all breakfasts, 2 lunches, and all dinners but 1
- entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
- cooking course with guest chef
- detailed map and route instructions
- all baggage transportation
- all transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 604.730.1247