Family Outings - Barbaresco to Neive
A walk through the stunning landscapes of World Heritage vineyards from the Barbaresco tower to the elegant streets of Neive along a portion of the spectacular Bar to Bar cycling itinerary.
You can park along Strada Giro della Valle (important: one way street on weekends and holidays) and then continue on foot into the centre of Barbaresco. Here, you will find the Regional Wine Centre of Barbaresco and the Information Office inside a deconsecrated church. Continue straight along the main road through Barbaresco until you reach the parish church, behind which there is a medieval tower. A modern elevator can take you up to the entrance at a height of thirteen meters (over 40 ft) in a blend of modern glass and steel with ancient brick. There are two floors that can be toured before you reach the panoramic terrace, where there is a stunning view of the landscape ranging from Roero to Monferrato!
Head back to Regional Wine Centre, then continue to the left along the main road, Via Domizio Cavazza (the first section of which lacks a sidewalk), which will take you out of the centre of village to highway SP3. Look both ways for oncoming traffic, then cross the highway to take a steeply downhill, paved road (marked by a white and red sign: “Neive 313”) in the direction of the hamlet of Montestefano. Just before you reach the hamlet, turn left along a paved road that winds sharply downward to the bottom of a lovely valley completely covered in vineyards, rose bushes and cherry trees.
When the asphalt ends, a very brief, marked deviation will take you to a giant bench shaped like half a wine barrel, where you can take a break and enjoy the view. The dirt road continues down to the base of the valley, then bends sharply to the right (“Neive 313” signage) along a slightly uphill gravel road that runs past poplar and hazelnut trees. At the end of the hazelnut grove, the road bends to the left and takes you up to a ramp to cross the railroad, which dates back to 1865 and once connected the towns of Bra and Nizza Monferrato.
On the other side of the railroad, you will be in the area of Cascina Principe. Cross the hamlet following the white-and-red markings along the edge of the vineyard. Once you are back on a paved road, follow it to the left through the dense foliage of the vineyard.
This road will take you gradually back up to highway SP3. Here, unfortunately, you will have to walk along the highway for about 500 meters (about one-third of a mile) without any sidewalk until you reach a large roundabout. Be extremely careful if traveling with strollers or small children.
Note: It would be safer to get up onto the grassy trail on the left just before the highway. This will take you near a home and then onto a paved road that runs parallel to the main highway to the roundabout. This detour runs through private property, so it is not marked as the official route, but parents looking to avoid this dangerous section of highway may want to choose this alternate route.
From the roundabout, take the uphill road (at the brown “Informazione” sign) that also has no sidewalk. This will take you into the centre of Neive through more vineyards and with a beautiful view of the valley behind you.
Unlike Barbaresco, where the village ran along the crest of the hill with one main road, Neive’s roads circle around the castle and a few churches in what may appear, at first glance, to be something of a maze, taking you to Torre dell’Orologio (clock tower).
The return trip follows this same route in reverse, or you can take the no. 62 bus line that runs from Alba to Castiglione Tinella (see www.buscompany.it).
Accessible only to large-wheeled jogging strollers due to the steep dirt road near Barbaresco.
Franco Voglino and Annalisa Porporato
Along the way:
Point of interest along the way
Strada Giro della Valle