Cycling among the "Rocche" of the Roero
This route has been designed as a discovery trail through the most fascinating corners of the Roero region, an area probably less well known than its 'sister' hill region the Langa. But the Roero, as you will quickly realize, also has everything to offer the discerning tourist: great wine and food, beautiful and at times dramatic landscapes, and towns and villages steeped in history.
The round route - which begins and ends in Canale - presents a well-balanced series of uphill and downhill sections, suitable for all fit amateur cyclists blessed with a fair amount of stamina. From Canale, one of the area's main towns, the road heads uphill towards Castellinaldo, which possesses a magnificent historical centre, and then descends to Priocca, with its 11th-century Romanesque church of San Vittore.
From here, it's on to Magliano Alfieri, with its castle, site of the Landscape Museum, and wonderful views over both the Rocche hills and, further in the distance, the Langa, home to so many magnificent wines.
From here, there are several uphill and downhill sections in the direction of Neive, then on, uphill, to Castagnito and Guarene. Guarene also possesses a truly magnificent castle. This area of the Roero is also a wine producing one, but the landscape is more varied than in other parts of the region owing to the presence of commercial fruit orchards.
You will now pass by the village of Monticello d'Alba, which possesses another very handsome castle still owned by the local nobility, and then continue towards Santa Vittoria d’Alba where, if you have the time, there is a wonderful view to be enjoyed from the top of the medieval watchtower. From here, it isn't far to Bra, just on the edge of the Roero region. This little town is where the revolutionary food and wine movement Slow Food was founded and, if time allows, we advise a break here to sample some of the local veal sausage and maybe a glass or two of Arneis, a fruity white wine produced in the Roero and much appreciated as an aperitif.
The tour continues through the Rocche area towards Sommariva Perno and Baldissero d’Alba, where the cultivation of strawberries and other fruit is predominant. The 'Rocche del Roero' area is a nature reserve, protected by the Ecomuseum and the different Municipalities. The roads are flanked by densely wooded land that provides an excellent habitat for many wild animals and insects. Beekeeping is widely practiced here and local honey has a reputation for excellence. White truffles can be found in the woods owing to the wide variety of trees and shrubs to be found here. The local natural history museum (Museo Naturalistico) in Vezza d'Alba is worth a visit to admire the collections of local flora and fauna.
From here, the route returns to Canale, where, as a reward, we advise a trip to the local Regional 'Enoteca' Wine Shop for some well-deserved wine tasting.
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
Piazza Martiri della Libertà
Piazza Martiri della Libertà