Canelli and the Underground Cathedrals UNESCO heritage
The city of Canelli is the Italian capital of Spumante where, in 1865, Asti Spumante was born by Carlo Gancia . It is famous above all for its underground cellars for aging wines, real and proper Underground Cathedrals that branch out under the town, masterpieces of architecture and enological engineering, where millions of bottles are left to ferment at a constant temperature of 12-14 degrees, taking on the typical aromas and flavors of sparkling wine and wines.
Canelli is a medieval town that developed around the ancient structure formed by stratifications around the Castle. Its economy is based on the processing of Spumante and Moscato wine, so Canelli is known all over the world for its wines and winemaking traditions.
It is home to many historic wine companies like Bosca, Coppo, Contratto, Gancia and the historic Bocchino distillery.
They create a unique landscape developing along the rolling hills covered by vineyards as far as the eye can see and shaped over the years by man’s work.
The visit to the Underground Cathedrals is a unique experience, the most original and characteristic place you can discover in Canelli but also the least visible.
This is where the project that led to the recognition of the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato Vitivinicoli Landscapes as the 50th UNESCO World Heritage site in Italy started.
A team of highly trained young people will guide you along the way enriching it with historical anecdotes which will make your stay even more attractive. Before or after the visit and the wine tasting in the wineries, a tasting menu of the local typical dishes will make this experience simply unforgettable.
The Underground Cathedrals
You will enter one of the most fascinating places in the world of wine, welcomed by people that have dedicated their lives to grow and store one of the most famous products in the world:the wine of the Piedmont region.. You will enter the subsoil of Canelli where tunnels have been dug in the tuff for over 20 km and you will walk in silence breathing the scent of the wood of the barrels, surrounded by millions of aging bottles. We will tell you the story of the genius and passion of those who built these cellars by tasting their extraordinary wines.
The Castle of Canelli
The Castle of Canelli was built in the eleventh century to defend and control the commercial route connecting the town of Asti to the port of Savona. The complex grew bigger and bigger through the following years thanks to the fortune of the Signori governing Canelli then inherited by the Scarampi family during the Renaissance, it was enlarged and restored becoming an elegant and somptuous residence. Then dismantelled in 1617 by the Spanish during the Monferrato Succession War, it was rebuilt in 1676 by the last Marquis Scarampi-Crivelli. Carlo Gancia purchased it at the beginning of the XX century and assigned the restoration and renovation project to the architect Arturo Midana in 1929. The gardens of the Castle will be open to the TrEno tourists.
Food and wine experience
In addition to the wines, these extraordinary lands present an equally rich local gastronomic offer: from meat, also eaten raw, to hand-made pasta and infinite varieties of cheese, tome and robiola, from vegetables to slowly cooked braised meat, to desserts. Their taste accompanied by fine wines will crown your experience.
If you book the full experience (Grappolo d’Oro, Meravigliati, ‘n Ca’ ‘d Basan) you will eat at the restaurant of typical local dishes with a rich menu consisting of a mixed Piedmontese appetizer, a traditional first course, a main course with side dish, a typical dessert, all topped off with a glass of Barbera d’Asti DOCG and a glass of Moscato d’Asti DOCG Canelli.