Home > Piedmont and its Treasures: Alba, Asti, Acqui Terme & More
Located at the foot of the Italian Alps, Piedmont ("Piemonte" in Italian) offers an unbeatable combination of world-class food and drink, breathtaking scenery, and some of Italy’s finest art and architecture. Without a doubt, the best way to experience it all is on two wheels!
Highlights of this eight-day self-guided cycling tour include the ancient spa centre of Acqui Terme, the beautiful baroque town of Casale Monferrato, and Alba, the white truffle capital of the world. Our itinerary has been carefully crafted so that each day brings new discoveries, like tiny villages, ancient ruins, and stylish Italian avenues.
You can be sure of unforgettable gastronomic experiences focused on local, seasonal produce. And no matter what season you choose, you’ll find the conditions perfect for cycling! Come discover the hidden treasures of this corner of Italy — before everyone else does.
For travel and cycling tips to Piedmont, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
After arriving in the historic center of Alessandria, 90km (56 miles) southeast of Piemonte's capital, Torino, you'll check in at your hotel and meet our local representatives. They will give you everything you need for the adventure ahead: route maps, tourist information, safety advice, and some priceless insider tips.
An early arrival will allow you to discover Alessandria: Don't miss the 14th-century church of Santa Maria di Castello— Alessandria's oldest place of worship — and the Sale d'Arte's series of delightful medieval frescoes inspired by the tales of King Arthur. After some leisurely sightseeing, choose one of the many superb family-run restaurants for your first taste of authentic Piedmontese cuisine, washed down with a glass or two of the region's famous wine — something you'll be doing lots more of over the next few days!
Your bikes will be delivered right after breakfast. Setting out from Alessandria's vast Piazza della Libertà, this stage is the perfect introduction to the Piedmontese countryside, taking you past forests, vineyards and rolling hills into charming villages. You'll also have the chance to visit the Forum Fulvii, an important Roman archaeological site that is now an excellent museum.
The route takes you through ideal picnic territory, but if you're after a more substantial lunch, head to one of the numerous agriturismi: small, family-run farms offering food and accommodation. We recommend Amarant and Cascina Marcantonio, both of which offer some of the region's finest home-cooked specialties made with their own produce. If you fancy something sweet, stop by the ancient amaretti (macaroon) factory at Arudi Mirella, where you'll find the best examples of Piemonte's famous biscuit.
The stage ends in the ancient spa town of Acqui Terme. When you arrive at the Piazza della Bollente, make sure to visit the little temple housing a hot (and supposedly healing) thermal spring.
This stage takes you across the famous hills of the Langhe, whose vineyards produce some of Italy's most distinguished wines, including Barolo and Barbaresco. On the way, you'll pass through the quaint villages of Montabone, Rocchetta Palafea and Canelli.
Finally, you reach Alba, the capital of the Langhe and centre of its winemaking industry. The medieval town is also the hub of the region's white truffle (tartufo bianco) trade; the surrounding countryside produces the best in the world. And while a whole truffle may be beyond most budgets — the record is £165,000 for a 1.5kg specimen — chefs here will often add a few shavings to their dishes, adding a deep, earthy flavor. As well as offering sublime gastronomic experiences, Alba's stuffed full of historic architecture such as its Romanesque cathedral and the austere Gothic church of San Domenico.
If you’re not ready to leave the sweet-smelling Alba (home to the original Ferrero factory), don’t worry—today’s ride is a loop that will bring you back in time to fill your bags with more chocolate treats! In the meantime, you’ll be riding through the famous wine region of Barolo, where the fragrant, tannic, red Barolo wines are produced. Visit the wineries and enjoy a glass (or two), but remember—you’ve still got plenty of cycling to do!
Along the route, you’ll be able to do some “history-tasting” as well. The Castle of Pollenzo, now home to the University of Gastronomic Sciences, was once a residence of the Royal House of Savoy; and a further 8 km (5 miles) pedal takes you to the village of Monticello d’Alba, whose castle is one of the best-preserved medieval castles in the Piemonte! You may wish to stop for a tour before completing the loop back to Alba…and its irresistible epicurean delights.
Today’s ride will take you through vineyards and small villages and along panoramic paths with spectacular views. On your way to Asti, you’ll have the chance to visit Govone, a small hilltop village overlooking the Tavaro valley that's famous for its baroque castle. San Martino Alfieri, another quintessential Italian village, is also worth a visit.
Your ride ends in Asti, once one of Piemonte's most important cities. The beautifully preserved architectural heritage is the main draw here — do visit the 13th-century cathedral, crammed full of artistic treasures — but there are world-renowned wines to be sampled too, such as the sparkling Moscato d'Asti.
From Asti, you will journey into the heart of the Monferrato. The route crosses gentle hills and tranquil meadows, past historic villages and world-famous wineries — and towards the end of the stage, you'll ride alongside the river Po. The many agriturismi along the way mean you're never too far from hearty Italian classics, but there are plenty of opportunities for simple lunches or lazy picnics too.
Numerous wine cellars offer first-rate bottles at reasonable prices, but don't automatically go for the big names — lesser-known varieties such as Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato, a light and spicy red made nearby, can be just as satisfying.
The stage ends in the historic town of Casale Monferrato, which boasts a stunning Romanesque cathedral, a grand castle and one of Europe's most beautiful synagogues. There's a great range of bars and restaurants too, so recharge with a few glasses of local wine and some Piedmontese specialties such as the famous bagna càuda, chickpea soup or oxtail braised in Barolo.
The final stage of the tour is spent cycling through the Monferrato's glorious countryside back to Alessandria, passing through several quaint villages. For those who wish to rush to Alessandria for last minute shopping, you have to option to take advantage of the good train service between Casale Monferrato and Alessandria.
Following breakfast at the hotel, you’ll depart on your own time schedule.
7 nights' accommodation in 3- and 4-star properties
NB: Starting on another weekday possible for groups (must be 5 or more at time of booking and departure).