Castles in the Langa and Roero
1st day – Friday
A little stroll in the town’s historical centre: particularly interesting are St. Claire’s Church, the Baroque façade of the Town Hall Building and the imposing Parish Church of St. Andrew built on a design by Bernini. Your visit may continue at PalazzoTraversa, the last remaining real Medieval building in town, and at the church of Santissima Trinità (Holy Trinity), rich in frescoes. You can then take a leisurely walk along Corso Garibaldi with its long Portico called “l’Ala” which on market day (Friday) houses a picturesque market.Finally, don’t miss a visit to the best historical bars in town where you can enjoy excellent coffee and delicious fancy cakes typical of Piedmontese tradition. You can also decide to organize a cheese tasting at the shop / museum of Fiorenzo Giolito, historic cheese “affineur” in Bra.
In the evening you may then have a lovely dinner at Osteria Murivecchi, where you can enjoy the best dishes of the typical local cuisine and drink the best wines of the area.
Tourist Office: +39 0172 430185
2nd day – Saturday
A visit to Alba’s traditional market (15km from Bra) after which you may get an aperitif in the town’s historical centre enclosed between the Cathedral (Duomo), Via Maestra (Main Street) and Piazza Savona.
From Alba you can head for the Langhe and Roero on lovely tours among vineyards and truly unique country villages like La Morra, Barolo, Monforte d’Alba and Serralunga d’Alba in the Langhe and Canale in the Roero.
It is also possible to visit a whole series of castles and mansions typical of the area: some of them open all year round and featuring cultural events, others open to the public during the “Open Castles” period.www.castelliaperti.it
General Information: call center Ente Turismo Alba Bra Langhe Roero: +39 0173.35833
- Grinzane Cavour Castle
a splendid example of fortress in the Langhe hills, whose central tower was built in the first half of the eleventh century. Currently is UNESCO World Heritage site. Headquarter of the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour is the place where every year takes place the World Truffle Auction. It also houses an ethnographic museum and memorabilia of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, a leading political figure of the Italian Risorgimento and in the winemaking history of Langhe and Roero.
- Barolo Castle
a fascinating imposing building which narrates over a thousand years of historical vicissitudes and curious events. Today the castle houses the WIMU, the Wine Museum, set up by the famous architect François Confino, who oversaw the re-stagings of the Cinema and the Automobile museums in Turin. Its ancient cellars, which in mid 19th century saw the rebirth of Barolo Wine, now house the prestigious Barolo Regional Enoteca.
- Serralunga d’Alba Castle
on top of a hill overlooking a picturesque village, it is a fantastic vantage point offering a unique panorama. The building, characterized by its three towers: a cylindrical one, a square one and a suspended one, used to be a fortress defending the whole valley. In some months Medieval duels are re-enacted and in June an interesting event called “Degustar per Vigne”, a wine-and-food walk, takes place in the surrounding vineyards.
A wide choice of restaurants is obviously available for dinner: we suggest them in the charming, magical Medieval Village of Pollenzo, The village, a suburb of Bra, also houses the homonymous Agency, site of a unique Gastronomic Sciences University and of the Wine Bank.
3rd day – Sunday
Before going back home, we advise you to take a walk among the striking Roero Rocks, where you can follow several paths, all of them part of a truly integrated system.
Near the main path called S1, which goes from The Virgin of the Flowers’ Shrine, in Bra, up to Cisterna d’Asti, you can find the second path (S2) leading to some woods, the site of the ancient “Selva Popularis”. S3 , the eastern Roero path and S4, running along the familiar Oltre Tanaro hills (central Roero) together with local tourist paths (T), and loop paths offer you the opportunity to get in touch with the lands typical of the different municipalities.
The main path, S1 (34 Km) is divided into three sections. The whole path cuts the area crosswise all along the Rocks Ridge, an imposing 20-km eroded front characterized by 10-30 m, deep gorges, and it links the most significant and attractive places in historical Roero. By following indicated shortcuts, you can admire, near Pocapaglia, the magnificent Hermit Rock or the maze-like Ghia and Soffranino Rocks or you can discover the remotest and wildest corner of this wonderful land. Chestnut woods, vineyards, wild gorges and, of course, ancient villages characterize this itinerary ideal for walks or bike rides or horse rides.
As there are no actual stopping places and as it not possible to take a whole walking tour in a day, it is advisable to hire two cars: one at the departure point, one at the arrival one. Conversely you may use public transport. All along the path there are signs following the criterium of “coordinated image”. Info points can be found on village squares, but the best way to explore the Roero District is by consulting Gianluca and Umberto Soletti ‘s guidebook “Guida ai sentieri del Roero”, available at the hotel.