Where to stay in Barolo wine country or the larger Piedmont wine region: an insider’s guide to what you need to know. 

A question I get from a lot of would-be Piedmont travelers is where to stay in the Barolo wine region. With so many options, I’ve put together some practicalities and recommendations to get the most of your time in the area.

The Barolo wine region lies within the province of Piedmont in northeastern Italy. Piedmont itself has many high quality, famed wine regions within it, though Barolo and nearby Barbaresco are certainly two of the most famous. There is also a small town of Barolo, which the wine region is named after, and this village lies 20-30 minutes from the city of Alba, Italy: a central point close to many of Piedmont’s most popular wine areas.

Where to stay in Barolo wine country: The city of Alba, Italy

Alba is located about 50 km / 31 miles from Turin, the capital of the Piedmont region. It’s a city of 32,000 inhabitants, but its historical heart is so calm and quiet that it feels much like a town. Alba is almost directly between Barolo and Barbaresco. So, while not properly in Barolo, it’s quite close and is central for exploring the entire Southwestern Piedmont wine region, and visitors enjoy easy access to amenities like restaurants, shopping, grocery stores, outdoor markets, post office, tourist office, etc. The city’s train station also has a direct route to Torino Porta Susa and near-direct (one transfer) to Torino Porta Nuova.

Another option in southern Piedmont is Asti. Its hotels and lodging are popular, but note that the city itself is 40+ minutes from Barolo and about 25 to 30 minutes from Barbaresco. That said, for those looking for convenience and accessibility, I recommend staying in Alba.

However, if you plan to stay in Alba for visiting Barolo and other wine regions nearby, you almost definitely need to rent a car or hire a driving service, because public transit is limited in the countryside. Which brings us to…

Getting around Piedmont, Italy:

Serralunga d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy - by Valerie Quintanilla

  • Will you have a rental car? If yes: Stay pretty much anywhere. Will you get your rental car at the airport or pick it up when you get to the area? If the latter, note that here opening hours and locations aren’t always convenient. Always check the hours and remember: rental car places close during lunch.
  • If you aren’t driving, public transit into and around the area is limited, so consider the following for staying in a small village or the countryside: There are trains into Alba and Asti (but no directs between the two) and a bus route connecting Alba and Asti. This means that getting to countryside or village accommodations may require a driver or a taxi service. Taxi services are easier to find at the train station in Asti but are not always immediately available in Alba.
  • You can schedule a driver service in advance; often your lodging can help with that. Public transportation for visiting Barolo and Barbaresco proves challenging without wheels (or, good hiking boots!). Ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft do not exist here. And, taxis generally need advanced booking.

For our recommendations on Driver Services and area Car Rental locations, click here.


Geographical orientation: Map It! 

Often people think they are staying in Alba, Italy, but find their lodging is actually outside the city proper. So I stress using Google Maps to know the location in respect to your trip plans and goals. It can be that they are 5 to 10 km / 3 to 6 miles outside of Alba, so not walkable to the city center as they’d hoped. Or they are actually about 20-30 minutes away from Alba in a village or the countryside when they wanted the city itself.

Planning Tip:

For a benchmark in Alba, Italy, use Piazza Michele Ferrero (formerly Piazza Savona) or Piazza Risorgimento. These are Alba’s two main piazzas in the historic center.


Where to stay in Alba, Italy

For Alba lodging, the historic center is your best bet. It’s small enough for a life-in-Italy vibe with everything you need nearby. Plus, the train station is less than five minutes by foot from Piazza Michele Ferrero.

Alba_RestaurantsSome of my Alba, Italy favorites:

  • Voglia di Vino: Restaurant, three well-appointed rooms, and an enoteca where I probably spend far too much money.
  • Ape Wine Bar – Alba: If you are looking for a pairing recommendation, ask for the manager, Vanessa. She’s ace.
  • Cafe Umberto: The foie gras burger is everything. And, the wine director Mauro knows just what to pair.
  • Hotel Langhe: About 1.5 km / 1 mile from the historic center. Nice rooms, pool, and tennis court.

Where to Stay in Barolo wine country: The Villages

Want to stay in a village, but don’t want the hassle of a car? Below is a list of villages where you will find dining options, walk-in tasting rooms, and shopping. You can stay in your fairy-tale village for as long as you want without being afraid you’ll run out of wine shops or won’t find a good souvenir to take home.

These villages are great for folks using a Barolo wine tour service and/or want to explore the area on foot or by bike. There are tons of vineyard hikes and nearly every village has a bike rental location (traditional road or mountain OR electric bike, which is so nice for the hefty hills).

Recommended Barolo Villages

  • Barolo: The village of Barolo has a pharmacy, restaurants, enotecas/wine shops, wineries, walk-in tasting rooms, and more. Don’t miss Enoteca La Vita Turchese – often we organize specialty tasting during my Barolo wine tours.
  • La Morra: The highest point in the Langhe with a gorgeous view of the Barbaresco and Barolo villages as well as Alba. Great restaurants, bakeries, a tourist office, wine bars, and walk-in tasting rooms.
  • Monforte: For me, probably the most charming Barolo village with captivating views and medieval architecture.
  • Novello: One of the lesser-known villages with great energy, plenty of restaurants, and a gas station in the village! (this isn’t always the case)
  • Verduno: I adore Verduno. It’s a little more sleepy than the others listed, but oozes character. Don’t miss the fabulous, rustic Trattoria dei Bercau.
  • Castiglione Falletto: Also small, but bursting with fabulous authentic and fine dining options, as well as great lodging options. Visit Renza’s for lunch with one of the Langhe’s most amazing views.

    Monforte d'Alba, Piedmont, Italy
    Monforte d’Alba, Piedmont, Italy

Recommended Barbaresco Villages

Where to stay in Barolo wine country: Countryside picks

  • Hotel Castello di Sinio: Pool, onsite ristorante in a restored 12-century medieval castle.
  • Palas Cerequio: In the La Morra vineyard area just outside the village of La Morra. This is the property of winery Michele Chiarlo, so you’ll have some excellent vino options right on the property. Pool, restaurant, and more.
  • Réva Wine Resort: A gorgeous new resort outside of Monforte. Indoor and outdoor pool, spa, and a Michelin-starred ristorante.
  • The Monvigliero Vineyard Villas: A four-house villa property in Verduno. Large outdoor pool, equipped for events of all sizes and types. Sleeps up to 40; rent the villas individually or the entire property.
  • Villa Ribota: In Novello’s vineyard area, owned by British expats. Restored farmhouse villa, excellent hospitality.

And, there you have it: recommendations for where to stay in the Barolo wine region.

 

Author

Valerie Quintanilla is an American expat in Alba, Italy. She designs custom travel / tour programs while moonlighting as a marketing consultant around Europe and North America. Her work has been featured in Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine Magazine, Open Skies (Emirate Airlines inflight magazine), Italy Magazine, and more. She also writes Italy wine guides for Carpe Travel. Valerie and her toddler, Il ragazzino, are based in the Piedmont region, but she organizes travel and tour programs, specialty events, and destination weddings throughout Italy. In addition to wine and travel, she loves to run, hike, cook, and is desperately trying to find time to read again.

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