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Lush vineyards and truffle woods blanket the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato hills, making this corner of Piedmont a foodie Shangri-La. Wine tours and truffle hunts top the to-do list for visitors eager to taste the area’s premium Barolo and Barbaresco wines and prized white truffles, along with cooking classes, market tours, and dining experiences. The scenic countryside—just a hour from the bustling city of Turin—is also a popular spot for hot air balloon rides, hiking and biking, and hill-town hopping between Alba, La Morra, Barolo, and Acqui Terme.
This wine and truffle hotspot is a gourmand’s paradise in the fall, when local vineyards are harvesting grapes and the woods are thick with some of the world’s most precious fungi. This is also the season for local food festivals, including Alba’s White Truffle Fair, which takes place in October and November. Summer visitors can enjoy the cool temperatures in these high hills and a variety of musical events, including Monforteinjazz, Barolo’s Collisioni Festival, and the Alba Music Festival.
With rolling hills topped by medieval villages and remote wineries, this corner of Piedmont is a challenge to explore if you’re using public transportation. You can reach the largest cities, Alba and Asti, by train or bus; from there, you’ll need to rent a car or hire a taxi to visit the outlying hilltowns and wineries. Experienced cyclists can opt to take the steep hills on two wheels, but come armed with a good map as it’s easy to get lost on the winding country roads.
The Langhe-Roero and Monferrato area is a hotspot for contemporary art. A bright chapel painted by Sol LeWitt and David Tremlett sits deep in a vineyard, and Chris Bangle’s many “Big Benches” invite visitors to climb on oversized seats to take in the view. Artist residency programs have also taken over dozens of tiny hamlets, former farmhouses, and even plots of grapevines. Art Mapping Piemonte maintains an updated guide to all the contemporary works displayed in the region.
These two vineyard regions in Piedmont (which together comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site) are known for their long winemaking histories, which stretch all the way back to the 5th century BC. These areas are known for nebbiolo grapes—used to make Barolo wine—as well as hazelnuts and white truffles....More
These areas are in northern Italy’s lower Piedmont region, somewhat southeast of Turin, in the provinces of Cuneo and Asti. Geographically, the hills straddle the Po River and Liguria’s Apennine Mountains. Langhe-Roero and Monferrato are easy to reach by car from Milan, Turin, Genoa, and Alessandria....More
Drive around the area, and you’ll find wineries at practically every twist and turn. It’s unlikely you’ll get a walk-in tasting, so be sure to do some research and book an experience in advance—many wine tastings can now be booked online. You can also book tours (ranging from 1.5 to 6 hours) that will let you sample several vineyards around Langhe-Roero and Monferrato in one day....More
The region is known for its reds: Barbaresco, barbera, dolcetto, and, of course, Barolo—the wine of kings—are the styles to try here. If you’re a white drinker, the well-known Asti sparkling and moscato dessert wine are popular choices. You can try wines during a winery tasting or in local shops and restaurants....More
If you’re a wine connoisseur, you could happily spend five days or so visiting the regions’ wineries and enjoying the local food. Most people, however, are content with one or two days; this offers enough time to indulge in at least one wine tasting and have some decent restaurant meals....More
When you’re not trying local wines, enjoy the region’s foods; be sure to order dishes with truffles, especially during white truffle season (late fall to early December). You can also book a truffle hunting experience in the woods and hike or cycle through the hilly vineyards....More
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