Whatever the meaning, it is a place that will amaze all your senses – the physical and emotional – because it’s here that you will find the greatest wines in the world, probably some of the best foods in Italy (..the world) and scenery that will amaze. You couldn’t do much better than start your journey in Alba – the capital of the Langhe. You might not of heard of Alba but you’ve heard of Ferrero Chocolate, makers of Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tacs and all the Kinder stuff (the company has a yearly revenue of €6.2billion..). The famous chocolate maker got started close to Turin (Pino Torinese) but set up here. There's a huge factory on the edge of town that often drives the locals crazy with wafts of hazelnuts soaking in chocolate - Langhe hazelnuts are said to be amongst the best in the world. As we travel south we’ll see hundreds of acres of hazelnut trees in perfect majestic lines on the Langhe hills. But that’s not all Alba is about. The centre of town is historic, friendly and although never overrun with tourists caters well for them. You get the feeling that locals are on a constant holiday as no one moves quickly, and the cafes are always full. Hey, I like this town! There are plenty of good places to eat, but it’s much cheaper outside of town, and often better quality. I always prefer to eat in the heart of the Langhe. OK, Alba is self-explanatory. You can discover it yourself I think. I heard that Ferrero do factory tours. So if you like chocolate you might be tempted. The factory is fairly easy to spot, or just follow your nose. Now head out of Alba on Corso Italia which becomes Corso Cortemilia. After 10 minutes driving you’re in the real Langhe. Breathtaking hills and hairpin bends – go on, put your foot down.. It’s loved by rally drivers, and motorcyclists come from all over on the weekends to enjoy it’s curvaceous nature. The first town is Benevelo. A little tip, just after the petrol station on the top of the hill, on the right is a small bakery. I swear they make the best Focaccia I’ve ever tasted – but you have to get there before 11am. Just beside it is a Pasta Restaurant. They boast hundreds of dishes and prices are good. Keep following the road out through Borgomale (it means ‘sick town’ interestingly enough). Get to the bottom of the valley and you’re presented with a bridge then a crossroads on the far side. Left is Santo Stefano Belbo – good eating, excellent wines but the town is nothing special. Straight on is Cortemilia. A nice road to drive. The town is ordinary – it has an average age of 104 and the yearly consensus is taken by counting the teeth of the population. Ok, I just made that up, but if you decide to go straight on I promise you will feel young. Cortemilia is famous for hazelnuts and hazelnut cakes – yes, it is worth going straight on. There’s a hotel there called the San Carlo Hotel and the owner is a famous Italian Chef. He’s a nice guy and once did the catering for Sofia Loren’s son's wedding. Now, if you’ve found yourself in sleepy Cortemilia - where next? You could head south down the Bormida valley – there’s some nice scenery but nothing much else. The towns of Gorzegno and Monesiglio are un-extraordinary and very agricultural. You could head north and go up the Bormida. Very nice scenery and I love the little town of Vesime. It has a nice little market a couple of days a week and a nice café on the little piazza. Keep going and you leave the Langhe to enter the area of Alessandria. You come across Acqui Terme. More about that somewhere else. Now, what I would suggest is heading south about 5-6km then going right up the hills to Cravanzana. Cravanzana has a great castle. It’s privately owned so no tours. It was built by the Savoy family and has a dominant position over the Belbo valley. This is a particularly nice valley of the Langhe – high and wide in most places. From here head south towards Feisoglio. In Feisoglio turn right down the valley towards Bossolasco. This used to be a central town many years ago, now it has several good places to eat, a public open-air pool and shops. After a fill up head north towards Serravalle Langhe. If the weather is clear you will see the most amazing views to your left. It gets really spectacular here. In Serravalle Langhe there's a great restaurant called Trattoria La Coccinella. It's fabulous! After lunch in Serravalle Langhe go down the other side of the valley then turn right towards Roddino, then head for Serralunga. Again, magnificent views and the best wines in the world. I was on a plane from London to Turin once and sat beside me was a young English girl coming to work in Turin. She said ‘the locals wines aren’t great I heard’. I would have chocked on my complimentary peanuts if it hadn’t have been a Ryanair flight where the toilet seat is barely complimentary. No, the wines here are very highly rated and I promise you will enjoy them. That’s what I said to her, and what I’m saying to you. The Serralunga castle is the best in the Langhe (my opinion). It is a tall tower that seems to reach the sky. Good eating here. Walk around the ancient streets. You will love them. Now find your way to Monforte d’Alba. Small but nice, excellent in fact. It has more restaurant places than anywhere else in the Langhe. Next stop Barolo. Now, the girl on my flight would not have appreciated Barolo wine. It’s rated by many as the best in the world and is very rich in flavour. And is expensive. You will see the beautiful and priceless vineyards all around the town growing the precious Nebbiolo grape. Visit the ‘new’ castle and enter the museum and wine tasting room – there’s ample parking here. You can also buy local wines in the castle. For €5 you get three tasters, and complimentary bread sticks (and I bet they earn far less than Ryanair). Have a sit in the cool brick cellar and think of all the passion and hard work that goes into making these wines and you will truly appreciate it. Barolo has some interesting shops, a museum of cork screws (yes, you did read that right) and plenty of ‘enoteche’ wine shops. If you are still able to drive, head in any direction and I promise you wont be disappointed. I love La Morra. So high and so beautiful on a clear day. From here Cherasco Langhe is a good bet. What a great town. You still have Dogliani, Murazzano, Mondovi and many other places to discover. I’ve been here 13 years and feel I’ve barely scratched the surface. Enjoy it. Rent a Vespa Scooter from my friends in Canale, hire a Panda or a Fiat 500 or come on your BMW GS. Whatever way you travel it, you wont regret you did.