If you are looking for a culinary destination that is under the radar, Monferrato is the choice! A rural land where the crisp Barbera and the fruity Moscato wines team with a savoury cuisine perpetuated from one generation to the next, while their hills offer a pictoresque and challenging environment for the enthusiast cyclist
The Infernot hills
Mandoletta Panoramic road
The abandoned village of Moleto
Lunch in the vineyards
The WWF natural oasis
The pic-nic in the farm
Moscato wine hills
Traditional “Monferrina” dinner
The Calosso scenic road
Moscato tasting in the historic cellar
Departure/Arrival: Casale Monferrato/Montegrosso
When: On Request – from March to November
Cost: 340€ per person
Level of Difficulty: demanding
Lenght: 2 days/1 night
Distance/Elevation Gain: 110 km/1650 metres
Terrain: paved backroads
Accommodation: family-run small hotel
Meals: restaurants and outdoor pic-nics
Note: in case of bad weather the tour will be cancelled
2 days/1 nights
110 km/1650 metres gain
If you are looking for a tasty Italian destination that is under the radar, Monferrato is the choice! A rural land where the crisp Barbera and the fruity Moscato wines team with a savoury cuisine perpetuated from one generation to the next, while its highlands offer a pictoresque and challenging environment for the enthusiast cyclist.
Day 1: we meet in Casale Monferrato, one of the most important towns of the region since the medieval times, and start cycling along the beautiful Mandoletta road which gently rises towards the hills of Monferrato Casalese. The whole area has become UNESCO world heritage thanks to its unique rural and vineyard landscape, and it’s easy agree with such a call just looking around us: farming lands covered with corn and red grapes, scattered with little ancient towns made in sandstone blocks on the hilltops. Passed Cella Monte we reach the abandoned village of Moleto which offers spectacular views over the hills, then we proceed uphill towards the scenic ridge of Casorzo dividing Monferrato Casalese from Monferrato Astigiano.
Here we go finally, after so many ups and dows it’s time for a funny descent across the backroads of the Basso Monferrato until the low valley of river Tanaro, which we cross nearby the city of Asti home of the most important horse race after Palio di Siena. We’re almost done for today, just a final climb of 6 km to reach the panoramic town of Montegrosso, where we will stay overnight and enjoy the delights of a local trattoria.
DISTANCE: 56 km
ELEVATION: 670 mt
Day 2: from Montegrosso we ride towards the vally at the feet of the Moscato production area: today we’ll get to know this tasty white wine, exploring its terroir and meeting the markers. We tackle the first hill, a steep but super-scenic climb which leads us to Calosso, followed by the descent towards the Belbo Valley. We reach Santo Stefano hometown of the famous writer Cesare Pavese whose rymes can be found on plaques all over the Monferrato region. A quick stop to the local market to buy food for our picnic lunch, and right in front of us a large hilly wall appears: the highlands of Moscato, our next destionation. We start climbing a beautiful road surrounded by vineyards which rises through a series of tight switchbacks. The road shape reminds a bit the Stelvio pass, but less tough thankfully! We shift down to the lightest gear and it will be just easy!
Once we get to the 650 meters high ridge the road flattens and runs through the highland, giving us an enchanting view over the valleys below. We cycle several kilometres on the ridge until we reach a inique WWF natural oasis. The warden runs a farm here and he’s also a wine producer: he’ll be happy to host us for a picnic in his garden and serve us some of its Barbera and Moscato crus. It’s the kind of place you would stay forever, but we can’t, we have to we move on, still cycling in plain along the highland for a good while. Below us we can now spot Canelli, the capital of Moscato, we reach it following a funny and snaky descent. Canelli hosts some of the most notorious Moscato wine producers and its historic cellars await us for a visit and a sampling. After the tasting we proceed towards small ascents and quiet country roads crossing the thermal town of Agliano Terme and then reaching Montegrosso, final destination of the ride.
DISTANCE: 54 km
ELEVATION: 980 mt
Costs may vary depending on the travel period and number of participants. The figures shown are therefore approximate based on average.
PRICE 340€ PER PERSON INCLUDES:
– night stay in 3*** hotel, double room accommodation with breakfast
– 3-course gourmet dinner drinks excluded
– two picnic lunches drinks included
– wine tastings in the historic cellar
– classic touring bicycle+helmet
– luggage transport
– taxes, entrances, fees
Additional services such as support van, private transfer to/from the start/end of the tour, electric-assisted bicycle, licensed tour guide, shall be quoted upon request.
The tour will be escorted by an english speaking volunteer local expert: he is not a licenced tour guide but a trustworthy companion, fine connoisseur of the places, culture and oenogastronomy. He will join for free, if the clients enjoyed the tour they can tip him at the end.