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Occupying a large area that borders on France and Switzerland, Piedmont is the ancient dominion of the Savoys, the ill-fated royal family who ruled Italy from the Unification in 1870 until abdication in 1946. Piedmont is also a region where food comes first, with a host of specialities in an area which boasts centuries’ old culinary traditions and outstanding, top quality local produce appreciated throughout the world.
ROUTE PROFILE A tour through the regions of Langhe (hills in the Piedmont dialect) and Monferrato. The daily stages are not very long, from a minimum of 40 to a maximum of 55 km, with a medium level of difficult. Train transfers -including optional trip to Torino -are not included in the tour price. Total Length: 240/275 km Total vertical up: 2,630/2,930 m Terrain: 91% asphalt, 9% unpaved Train connection among the overnight stays: day 2, 6 and 7. Possibility to shorten the itinerary by taking the train: day 2 and 7.
Arrival in Alessandria, a city divided by the river Tanaro. Worth a visit is Piazza della Libertà and Piazza Duomo with its wonderful neoclassical cathedral.
You cycle for a few Kilometers along the Strada Franca, an ancient road dating back to 1454. You will pass across smooth hills, woods and small isolated villages where you will be able to taste local products and excellent local wines (Barbera and Dolcetto d’Aqui among others). Aqui Terme: famous for its spring waters, like the “Bollente” situated in the historical centre.
You come across the famous hills of the Langhe, the countryside and the vine- yards as well as the splendid small villages of Montabone, Rocchetta Palafea and Canelli. The stage ends in Alba, home of the most precious of the truffles, the Tartufo Bianco, and of the famous “Dolcetto d’Alba”.
A route through vineyards and along panoramic paths which will eventually take you to Asti in the heart of Monferrato. Do visit the historical centre with its famous towers, the romanic monuments and the splen- did gothic cathedral.
Today you have a choice between cycling across the Asti hills and their nature parks and a trip to Torino. You can reach Torino, the first capital of Italy, carrying the bike on the train. It is a city with splendid monuments, tree-lined roads and ancient cafés, which offer a choice of chocolate-based specialties.
Take advantage of the hospitality of the wine cellars and restaurants along the way, which offer an excellent eno-gastromomical choice. In Monferrato you will eventually meet the river Po, the longest river in Italy.
Further cycling across green hills and cultivated lands. Passing through the small villages on the right side of the Po river you will return to Alessandria where the tour ends
After breakfast individual departure.
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