Barolo - the famous little town, located right in the heart of the Langhe wine route, is THE destination for those who love Italian food and wine.
Just a short way from Barolo is a truly enchanting hotel - The Corte Gondina (view details here). The Corte Gondina is a place where the Italy of your dreams becomes real. It is like starring in Under the Tuscan Sun or some other movie, only better!
Give me a choice between the area where that movie was set and here, and I'll choose here ten times out of ten.
Well, because it is just as lovely, far more genuine, and not overrun with tourists.
Barolo's architectural marvels beckon exploration. Luca, a local fan of history, unravels the town's storied past: "Barolo is a living testament to our medieval heritage. Take the Castle of Barolo, it stands as a symbol of the noble Falletti family's legacy, while the quaint village center showcases historic buildings that have stood the test of time. They teach us who we are, where we came from and connect us to this land and to our ancestors who lived, worked, loved and built here. If we don't respect that how can we as a people have any self respect?"
Top of the list must be the Castle of Falletti; views from the walls over the surrounding wine country are magnificent. Most of the castle dates back to the sixteenth century, although its origin are much older.
The castle is interesting in its own right, but the fact that it often holds very good art and photographic exhibitions and that the original cellars now host the Regional Enoteca make it particularly great to visit.
Take the quick thirty-minute tour of the castle, which is conducted in English, French, or German, and then move onto the Enoteca.
What is the Enoteca? Basically a massive wine cellar located in the basement of the castle.
The tasting area allows you to try three local wines for €3 or one for 2€. The selection available changes daily in order to allow all local producers a chance to have their wines featured.
The idea is that all producers, even the small unknown ones, get an equal chance.
Good idea and I am all for promoting small wineries...I even have a wine website that tries to do that but my biggest gripe is that the staff in the shop give you little info about the wines on sale. You are supposed to just wander around and learn about the wines.
This is a little unfortunate and if the staff could explain something about the wines on display it would be far more useful.
Despite my moans the Enoteca is well worth a visit and the wines are always exceptional. The museum gives you a good understanding of the region and its traditions
Elisa, a museum curator, explains its significance: "Through interactive exhibits and a curated collection, we delve into the history, culture, and science of winemaking. Visitors can immerse themselves in the art of vine cultivation, learn about winemaking techniques, and appreciate the nuances of different grape varieties."
I really suggest you take a wine tour of a couple of the surrounding vineyards too. Here is one such tour that comes highly recommended.
More Churches & Castles
Barolo has another castle, the Castle della Volte. Little remains of what must have been the most strategic of the town's castles, but the view from the castle is stupendous, and it is worth visiting.
I nearly forgot that there's a lovely pink church, the Chiesa di San Donato, which has its origins in the 15th century. Pop inside and feel a sense of history, peace, and the presence of God. I really mean that; in Italian churches like this, I always feel deeply moved, and I'm not even Catholic.
The Surrounding Landscapes:
offer a haven for nature enthusiasts. Matteo, a local hiker, explains: "Exploring the Langhe region on foot unveils breathtaking vistas and hidden treasures. The paths meandering through vineyards, hazelnut orchards, and oak forests showcase the harmony between nature and winemaking."
Last thing... while in the Langhe area do yourself a favor and have lunch at the Belvedere Restaurant, a really fabulous restaurant. From classic dishes like Tajarin al Ragù to local cheeses and truffles, Barolo's cuisine is a celebration of simple yet exquisite flavors. Pair these delights with a glass of velvety Barolo wine, and you'll experience true culinary bliss.
An Artist's Message
As we say goodbye to Barolo, we reflect on the words of Lorenzo, a local artist who captures the town's essence on canvas: "Barolo is more than a place; it's an emotion. The dance of nature, history, and the deep-rooted passion of its people creates a canvas of experiences that leave an indelible mark on the soul. In Barolo, time slows down, allowing us to savor life's simple pleasures and connect with the essence of the land."
Another gorgeous town in the area, voted one of Italy's loveliest, is Neive.
For more tours of this area please visit our Piedmont and Italian Barolo wine region tours page.