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Bike & Gourmet Tour through the Piedmont

Chrissi reports on her cycling-bliss experiences in the Piedmont

Since I really enjoyed exploring the Italian mainland by bike on my last employee-on-tour trip through Tuscany in 2021, I quickly realised that I would like to explore another one of the beautiful regions of Italy this year. Together with my friend Theresa we decide on the culinary gourmet region around the Piedmont: from the white Alba truffle to delicious wines and Piedmontese hazelnuts. The Piedmont region has a lot to offer and is particularly diverse in terms of cuisine.

Still at home we get an overview of the weather so that we can pack our suitcases accordingly. The weather forecast: 36 degrees and it is getting hotter. So sunscreen and refillable water bottles are at the top of the packing list.

Our holiday already starts in Munich, since from here we take our flight to Turin. Due to the current situation at the airports, we regret to say that our flight is affected by the rebooking. The new arrival time: 00:30 in Turin. What a pity! Because we were so looking forward to a stroll through the town to get us in the mood for the forthcoming holiday.

Varied routes in north-west Italy

Relaxed from Turin via Pinerolo to Saluzzo

Unfortunately we miss the welcome meeting with the subsequent bike handover on the day of arrival, which is carried out on site by our colleague Cesare. However it is no problem, since I am already familiar with the procedure from the previous year. The routes of the first two cycling stages mostly run on flat terrain. Since we had a somewhat longer arrival, we decide to start the initial cycling tour a bit later.

With Turin behind us, we leave our place of arrival and follow the river Po into the countryside. The route leads us past numerous orchards: apples, cherries, apricots, kiwis and much more. Delicious fruits as far as the eye can see! In the late afternoon we reach our first Day Finish, Pinerolo. What is a must with a typical holiday in Bella Italia? That’s right! A refreshing glass of Aperol Spritz. And so we let the impressions of the first day sink in and go to bed early.

The Pinerolo – Saluzzo stage takes us through mostly flat terrain, but we still want to avoid the hot midday sun and get on our bikes at 8am. Past meadows and fields we reach the nice little town of Cavour with its unusual castle „Rocca“. After a short break for the cyclists, we push our pedals properly and so we discover ancient Saluzzo shortly after noon, where we are warmly welcomed by the hotel owner of the accommodation „Antiche Mura“. Harmoniously inserted buildings highlight the palaces and buildings from the Middle Ages and the oldest part of the city nestles up on the hill. With an extensive walk, this day is gradually coming to an end.  

Through vineyards until Asti

Although we are accompanied by rain for the initial 30 minutes, the stage from Bra via Barolo to Alba is definitely one of my favourite stages of our holiday.
With every kilometre that we leave behind, we immerse ourselves more and more in the flair of the picturesque region with its numerous grapevines. The clouds are clearing and with the rays of the sun coming out we can see that the vines are already bearing fruit.

„Che Bello“ (Italian for „How beautiful“) I hear my friend Theresa say! I can only agree, because a few ascents later, shortly after the village of La Morra, we are rewarded with a unique panoramic view of the wine-growing region of the Piedmont.

After a short and crisp descent we reach Alba. Alba is particularly known for its white truffles, so it is only natural that we must not miss out on this taste experience.
The next day’s stage to Asti lets us only guess which villages fill the hills of the Piedmontese landscape. These include the towns of Castagnito and Castellinaldo. On hilly terrain we continue through the vineyards, past peacefully grazing herds of cows and take a break at inviting picnic areas, until we finally reach Asti. As many know, Asti is best known for its sparkling wine of the same name. Unfortunately, we do not have the opportunity to taste a glass of it. However, we recommend it to anyone travelling in the region.

Following the river Po until the finish in Turin

We proceed 40 kilometres steadily but comfortably uphill, we only have to overcome a few steeper hills. After our past stages of the previous days, as well as today, we have to say: It is a good thing that we decided on an electric bike after all. In no time at all we reach Chierei. Although Cheiri is not our Day Finish for today, but since rain is forecast for the next few hours it suits us that this tour includes a train ticket to Turin. Alternatively, this section can also be done by bike, however we decided on the more leisurely option. Arriving in Turin, we let the impressions of the past week sink in over a cozy dinner.

Early in the morning of the following day we start our journey home. Hot but still relaxing days are behind us!

Culinary bliss – paradise for all gourmets

Pure pleasure attracts gourmets from all over the world to the Piedmont. Because there are numerous specialities on the menu here: bubbly sparkling wine from Asti, white truffles from Alba or tempting chocolate from Ferrero. Every pleasure lover is guaranteed to get their money’s worth here. And of course we let ourselves be won over by the delicacies of the region and we agree: it is definitely worth a visit!

Characteristic for Italy: Antipasti, Primi Piatti, Secondi Piatti or Dolci. We really do not miss an opportunity and feast our way through the pleasure paradise.

My personal taste highlight on this tour is the truffle pasta, which we chose in Alba. But pizza and pasta also taste excellent and at exceptionally optimisitic prices! And what also surprised us very positively: with every glass of Aperol you not just get a small bowl of nuts or crisps which you surely know from some tourist regions. But instead here a varietly of small snacks such as focaccia, olives, salami and cheese are served as a kind of ‚Greeting of the house‘. We feel completely at ease and enjoy the tasty cuisine!

Our conclusion:

Historic towns, breathtaking scenery and a cuisine that can hardly be surpassed in its authenticity, simplicity and originality. Away from tourism, the region invites you to relax and even if we did not have the opportunity to take a closer look at Turin, we will definitely want to visit again!

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