Wine and truffles road trip in Piedmont, Italy.
Wow – I mean this is such a BEAUTIFUL Italian mini Road Trip to do. The Langhe valley – home of Wine and Truffles – what better combination can there possibly be? On this road trip itinerary – you even get the richest and creamiest chocolate thrown in when you arrive in Alba.
Driving through glorious countryside with field after field of vines laid out. All meticulously tended to, row after row surrounding historical villages with either churches or towers on the highest point of the village. Fruit is grown in abundance – orchard after orchard of plums and apples or hazelnuts and apricots.
This short Italian Road Trip in the north west of the country is a foodies dream – do try and plan it to catch market days if you can – the markets are just a dream to wander around and take photos. Your pocket might suffer as you purchase item after item of delectable food, wine and oils to take back to the motorhome!
The Wine and Truffles road trip is one that relies on you having your own wheels – so whether you are on a bike, a motorcycle, car or in a motorhome. Even though there are plenty of stops, you can do the trip in a long weekend – the actual driving is only an hour altogether. Which gives you so much time to relax and enjoy the food and wine – and walks in the countryside.
You can totally add this little road trip with one taking you down to Portofino and a days hiking and onto the Cinque Terre. If you have time you can hook up to the ultimate Food Valley experience in Emilia Romagna region – the King of Hams, Cheese and Vinegar!
- La Morra
- Grinzane Cavour
- Truffle Hunting
- Wine Tasting
- Michelin Star Menu Tasting
- Wine Festivals
- Endless Hiking Routes
wine and truffle 4 day itinerary
Its a wine focused day – so kick the day off by having a leisurely breakfast. If you have caught this right – there could be a local market where you can buy fresh pastries or fruit to get off to a healthy start. You can buy wine made from grapes that are around the village for around 10E.
Wander up the narrow lanes to the Piazza Castello. You can pop into the tourist office and get yourself a map which shows walks in the region. You can take a 15 minute walk down to the Capella del Barolo – a brightly painted church, painted by American artists in exchange for Barolo wine! What a great idea.
You can drive from here to Annunziata, where you can visit the Ratti Abbey and Wine Museum and do a taster if you wish.
From here, make your way down to Barolo, where you can eat in the evening at the restaurant which serves the wine from Capella del Barolo, saving the Barolo visit for the morning.
La Morra have a Food Tour of the Vineyards on the last Sunday in August.
- La Morra
Again take yourself a long and leisurely breakfast in Barolo, where you have entered a sacred valley of wines! No motorhomes allowed in Barolo, but you can park up outside and enjoy a lovely walk into the town.
The town of Barolo is really pretty – historic, artistic and of course home to the ‘King of Wines’ Barolo!
You simply must go to the interactive wine museum (called the WiMu). It is housed over 5 floors of the magnificent castle and takes you on a real journey of art, music and history of this fine grape and wine making process. Of course you are able to do a wine tasting here and buy the wine too!
Take a meander around the town – its really small but some of the wine shops are lovely – and the wines themselves – range from £18 – £600 (that was the most expensive I saw – but I am sure they go higher!).
It is probably a great time at this point to take some lunch and have a nap! After that and a nice walk, drive the few minutes to your next stop of Grinzane Cavour – a 16th century castle which dominates the village and in November holds the prestigious White Truffle auction where the truffles can exchange hands at the glorious sum of £100,000. Makes that Barolo seem cheap now! After you have finished here, I suggest you make your way to Alba for a good start in the morning.
- Grinzane Cavour
After a couple of days of wine tasting and lovely wines – it is great to switch it up a little – welcome to the world of truffles! I adore truffles – so Alba was absolutely a must for me! (November is the best time to hit truffle markets – climate change has made the season a little later).
Take some time to walk around the town, go visit the cathedral, take a look around all the shops and buy all things truffle related. It has a buzzing night life, so great for drinks in the evening. Obviously the big sale here is truffle – from oil, to cheese, ham, salami, mayonaisse – everything comes with truffle in it which you can buy on Via Vittorio Emanuele II (the main road). Main market day is Saturday in the morning – so thats when you need to be here. Around 200 stalls set up from 7am till about 1pm. 60 of them are food. Save your truffle purchases until after you have visited this magnificent market!
If you want to really push the boat out, one of the few 3* restaurants is here in Piazza Duomo.
Although Saturday is the main market day, smaller ones are available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
If you are coming over in October/November/December I would definitely do a truffle foraging tour – where you can go out with the dogs to find the truffles. The best time is now November due to climate change.
The Alba wine festival (Vinum) is in late April/May.
You may wish to sneak in one last trip around Alba, especially if you took in a truffle hunting trip on day 3.
Once you are done with Alba, so to speak, the next stop is the beautiful town of Neive. If you go in May, there is a wine festival, which we managed to get and it was such fun! Be aware that the party continues until 2am – right next to the carpark that we parked in!
Neive has some fabulous lunch spots if you want to stop there – lots of delicious foods and wines – and not that expensive either. Take time to stroll around the village and embalm yourself in the 18th century. If you make it to Neive earlier – go first thing in the morning – (say 7am) and not a soul is around. You can coat yourself in the deliciousness that surrounds Neive, from a historic building to the glimpse of a rolling vineyard.
Once you have taken your fill of Neive, it is time to move on for your final wine tasting villiage of Babaresco.
The wine here is quite beautiful – softer than the full bodied barolo. In the square of Babaresco, there is a sundial which shows the wine making process painted on the wall of a building, which will lead you to the 12th century stone tower, which has a large photographic display showing the wine makers of the region – some of them are 5th generation. Quite fascinating.
Where to park up or stay.
We stayed off grid when doing our road trip – and it is perfectly acceptable over here in Italy. People don’t look at you like you are strange for being in a motorhome at all – its not like in the UK.
We always use google maps to look for our spots – and we often stay outside of towns – mostly because some of these smaller towns have such narrow old streets – the possibility of getting stuck is pretty real – as is the fact that you simply can’t turn all the corners – depending on how much overhang you have at the back of the motorhome! (As a reminder – we are in a 7m motorhome).
The other failsafe that you can use of course – is Park4Nights. They pretty much always have somewhere that you can find if you need to – although some of these villages are pretty off the beaten track!
Campsites in the area are limited. A really cute one which is 4km from Barolo in Sole Langhe – in the vineyards and with a swimming pool that you can use. If you have electric bikes – this could be a good first stop as you can get to Barolo, La Morra and also Vergne from the same place. It is on the SP3.
There is also another Aires type site at Alba. You could stay there for a couple of nights as there is plenty to do in Alba – especially if you catch it on market day. We stayed in a car park near the football/rugby ground. It was a great place to stay and near the market and a 10 minute walk into town.
Neive – there is a parking place just below the town of Neive, which is big enough for plenty of motorhomes. It is free too.
Finally, Babaresco – you can park just outside the village and walk down, which is a cute walk – there is grey water outlet but thats all.
video diary of our wine trail...
Such a fun time to be had on this road trip. We loved it – so many little nooks and crannies to see in the Italian countryside. Even though the drive distance is really small, there are so many little villages that you can stop at as it takes your fancy!
I would recommend a look at google maps before you start your day – just to make sure that there is nothing that you fancy doing on the way to the next stop or two for that day.
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