The Langhe hills south of Alba contain some of the most popular vineyards in Piedmont, such as those in the townships of Cerequio, Sarmassa, Cannubi and Brunate. This is the realm of Barolo Docg: the wine of the kings that is considered by many people the king of wines. It is also the production area of Doc Nebbiolo d'Alba, Dolcetto d'Alba, Barbera d'Alba and Verduno Pelaverga.
Running through a tortuous path made of slopes, descents and small curves, after a few kilometers one reaches the most famous townships of this area, such as Barolo, La Morra, Monforte, Serralunga d'Alba and Verduno, with fortresses and medieval towers in quick succession. The visitor is welcomed in Verduno by a scenographical 18th century castle surrounded by vineyards. Today it is a restaurant and hotel and offers delicious menus that accompany valuable wines such as Pelaverga, the pride of the local vine growers. The most evocative place of this town is its green square, reached only on foot through the square of the Castle, which is situated below. The belvedere offers the visitor a view of the Langhe and the beauty of a restful, shady and quiet place.
After Verduno the road gently slopes down to the town of La Morra, situated on the top of a hill, which offers a great view of the Alps and of the Langhe hills planted with vines. The urban plan is medieval, with streets that runs fanwise and lanes that are often steep and paved with river cobblestones. From the historical centre starts the Barolo road that passes through bastions, old city walls, and proceeds through the vineyards belonging to great crus and surrounding the town in the shape of a ring.
The hometown of Barolo, though, is the homonymous township, which is situated near La Morra, in the centre of a wide hollow of a hill, planted with luxuriant "Nebbiolo da Barolo" grapes. Among the houses, noteworthy is the Falletti Castle, which today belongs to the city and is also the seat of the Regional Barolo stock of vintage wines. The history of this valuable wine starts here, when Carlo Tancredi's wife, the last of the Falletti marquises, ordered the famous French oenologist Louis Oudart to renew the production techniques of the wine that was made in her vast estates.
Another lovely hill town is Monforte D'Alba. Its historical centre develops fanwise through a series of small lanes that climb up towards the area where in ancient times there used to be a castle. Now Scarampi Palace rises there and, together with the Bell Tower and the small church of Saint Augustin, creates a wonderful scenario with the central square. During summer, on the occasion of classical music concerts, it becomes a charming outdoor auditorium.
Finally, on the eastern borderlines of the Barolo production area there is Serralunga D'Alba. The particular hilly structure of the land allows this town to cultivate Nebbiolo da Barolo grapes. Serralunga D'Alba is not only worth visiting for this reason, but also for its original urban layout. In fact, this town developed around the castle. The dwellings are arranged in two concentric rings, deployed in a typical defensive arrangement.