Langhe in a day: my essential itinerary

So far in this blog I have talked a lot about the Ligurian coast, seaside promenades, salty breezes and starry skies… but those who read me may not know that I am proudly from Genola and that it was in the Langhe that I opened the doors of the first Vayadù houses.

As autumn arrives, I return to my still and silent hills, to enjoy the most beautiful colours of the year. Today I take you with me on a short, slow-paced journey through my favourite Langhe. Here you will not find long lists of hit-and-run destinations, but only the essence of my favourite places.
A vehicle, a walk, a work of art, a winery, a restaurant… and of course a Vayadù house. The best taste of these hills, which are at their best when they reveal themselves gradually, like the best wine.

Cycling on the Barolo route, among vineyards and giant benches

How can our slow tour begin if not by bicycle? It is my favourite means of transport here, even when the air is tingling my face, because it gives me the right rhythm to enjoy every nuance that nature has to offer, to totally immerse myself in the embrace of these panoramas, to fill myself with beauty and silence.

Photo of the Langhe. A bicycle rides along the road through the hills and their rows.

That’s why, when I reach my hills around Monforte d’Alba, I start the day with a hearty breakfast on the panoramic terrace of the Vineyard retreat, the Vayadù accommodation in the heart of the Langhe, then I dress comfortably and mount my bike.

If you also love to look at the world from the saddle of a bike but you cannot take it with you, don’t worry: in these hills there are many places to hire a traditional or e-bike! One example among all – just a minute from Barolo – is the historic Bike Square Langhe, reliable and well-stocked, where you can find the most suitable solution for your route and your physical condition.

But let us return to Barolo route, a trail through the vineyards, wineries, castles and villages of Langhe in Piedmont, which has become an association that promotes these enchanting territories for more than 15 years.
The starting point is the panoramic Big Bench #6 in a bright fuchsia, where the Vayadù accommodation is located.
The starting point is the panoramic Big Bench #6 in a bright fuchsia, where the Vayadù accommodation is located. This bench is set in a panoramic spot in Castelletto in Monforte d’Alba, where the Vayadù lodgings are located. From there I embrace no less than 11 Langa villages with my gaze and then – between descents and ascents – I climb up to the giant red bench.

Giant red bench, also known as the “bench of serenity”, near La Morra.

After an hour or so of cycling, I like to stop right here, at the “serenity bench”, and climb on it for a little rest amidst the peaceful expanses of vineyards. I love this art project started by Chris Bangle more than ten years ago and which now has about 60 installations. I like it not only because it sets off the panoramic viewpoints of my hills, but also because it makes you change perspective and go back to childhood, with your feet dangling and your eyes full of wonder.

A scenic picnic at my favourite winery

Visiting Langhe is often synonymous with cellar experiences, to pay homage to the fruits that these extraordinary lands provide. After a stop at the happiness bench, I get back into the saddle and – in less than half an hour – I am at Cannubi vineyard, in my heart’s winery: Serio and Battista Borgogno, where Federica and Emanuela welcome me with a smile.

Portrait of Federica and Emanuela, the fifth generation at the helm of the Langa winery Serio and Battista Borgogno

Beyond the name of the founders, today it is an almost all-female company: Emanuela takes care of the cellar and the vineyard, from pruning to harvesting, from pressing to bottling; while Federica brings their elegant Barolo to the world, dedicating herself to hospitality, communication and sales

Among their proposals, the one I prefer is the “Langhetta picnic”: I love to sit in their panoramic garden with a glass between my fingers and enjoy a simple but elegant lunch based on products from my land.
It often happens that the girls sit next to me to chat, while our glances run together among the hills and our thoughts meet in an astonished smile that seems to say: “do we really live here?!”.

Photos of Langhetta picnic, an experience offered by Serio and Battista Borgogno winery.

To those who instead wish to take a journey through time, tracing the evolution of their Barolo over the years, I recommend their Cannubi Tasting Experience: a vertical tasting of 7 Baroli Cannubi, 5 of which Riserva, wines that patiently age in Slavonian oak barrels to become memorable experiences.
Thanks to this tasting, I discovered how the climate of our hills – from year to year – influences the nectar of the same vineyard in different ways. And the art of the winemaker is just that: “giving expression to what nature gives”, an ancient but very dynamic art, in eternal evolution.

Vertical tasting of Barolo Cannubi, the flagship wine of Serio and Battista Borgogno winery.

Truffle hunting in the wood: my favourite walk

After the winery experience, there is only one reason why I decide to park my bike for a while and continue on foot: a walk in the woods together with a trifulau – that’s how we call a truffle hunter here in Piedmont – and his trusty dogs, in search of other precious treasures in these hills. This, too, is one of the experiences offered by the Borgogno Serio Battista winery, in an enchanting wood close to their vineyard.
Truffle hunting in the woods is one of my favourite experiences when I return to my Langhe, because it stimulates my ability to observe, to trust intuition and small signals, and the silent understanding with the people and animals that come with me.
Truffle hunting in the woods is one of my favourite experiences when I return to my Langhe, because it stimulates my ability to observe, to trust intuition and small signals, and the silent understanding with the people and animals that come with me.

A trifulau and his dog walk in the woods in search of truffles

Borgo Sant’Anna: eating truffles (but not only)

If I’m still a little peckish, I ride to my favourite restaurant.
Borgo Sant’Anna is not only a restaurant with a simple and light elegance, but a real little hamlet where you can breathe a strong bond with the treasures of the earth and the slow time of its cycles.

I always choose it when I want to taste the Langhe in a dish: a recipe prepared by the skilful hands of Pasquale Laera, who knows how to put together simple and precious ingredients, the ancient knowledge of the people working these hills and his explosive curiosity, in a mix that becomes a living memory.

Panoramic shot of an autumn sunset in Langhe

One more suspended pause on their panoramic viewpoint and then I speed towards the Vineyard retreat as the sight of the most beautiful colours of the year crosses my eyes.

Hi, I’m Floriana. I love transforming flats and soulless places into cosy and regenerating spaces. Spaces to relax, to find inspiration, rhythm and creative energy.
Vayadù houses are in Liguria and Langhe, because I find inspiration and rhythm in the enchantment of these places.
Here in my blog I take you for a walk with me. I suggest you to encounter the beauty of these areas, to discover the treasures that each season gives and to be inspired by nature and the creativity of other women.

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