Thursday, May 16, 2019

Walking Piedmont Day 4, Monforte d'Alba to Cissone, Italy: May 16, 2019

View of the Alps as we leave Monforte d'Alba

The day began with cloudless skies, but by the end of our walk, the sky was full of threatening clouds. Today's walk is long. It is 20.14km/12.51mi with an additional 2km for a detour. The estimated time is five hours. We left Monforte just before 9am and straggled in to Cissone at 5pm. This walk had the steepest decent and assent so far. The elevation of Cissone is 680m/2231ft.

We walked on asphalt, wooded trails, country roads, and unbeaten paths, but we made it.






On our detour to Serralunga d'Alba we were treated to a distant view of the Alps and Mt. Monviso beyond the very neat patchwork of vineyards.

Serralunga d'Alba
                 

Like most hill towns, Serralunga d'Alba has a castle. In this case, it is a restored 14th-century castle that once belonged to the Falletto family who made their fortunes through commerce, money changing, money lending and agriculture.

Continuing on our path, we found ourselves on a pilgrimage route that was also a 4x4 track. The pilgrimage destination was a pretty little shrine to the Madonna of the Rosary. The shrine had a dedication by Papa (Pope) Francis.


Still walking and hoping for lunch in Roddino.



Distant view of Roddino
Lunch in Roddino didn't go so well. We arrived at a restaurant recommended by Utracks only to be told that they were full and didn't know when a space would be free. It was 2:00pm on a Thursday. Roddino is another hill town, so we walked back down to a restaurant that we passed by. It was closed. We followed a sign to a Pizzeria Restaurant that said "open." It was closed and apparently only open for dinner. The guy there took pity on us and brought us a pitcher of cold water. He let us sit in the shade of his patio while we consumed our emergency nuts. Oh nuts!! We had our hearts set on an excellent restaurant specializing in regional dishes. After our short break, we hit the trail again.



It began to sprinkle before we arrived at our lodging in Cissone (at 5pm). It was a long day with little food so we were dragging at the end.




The Church Bell Tower in Cissone
After checking in to our room at Radice Verde, it took us about 5 minutes to see all of Cissone. We're here for two nights. Fortunately, dinner and a bottle of Barolo wine at Agriturismo Balcone Sulle Langhe was exquisite. The hotel owners also own the restaurant across the street. Their meals are creative, local ingredients are used, and it is slow-cooking at its best. The restaurant name is the Balcony of the Langhe. Unfortunately, with the fog and low clouds swallowing the view we rarely had a glimpse of the valley below.

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