September 7th 2016

For the merchants of old who ventured along the Via del Sale, their cargo was precious indeed… even more precious than gold.

Vai Del Sale Walking Vacations with The Wayfarers

Our new Walk for 2017 takes us along the old salt road, part of a network of trading routes in northwest Italy that have been walked for more then a thousand years. Merchants carrying salt from the coast would cross the mountains to trade goods with the plains, returning laden with golden wheat, robust wine and round, pungent cheeses. So valuable was their stock-in-trade that at today’s equivalent, just a couple of pounds of salt could trade for an astonishing $25,000! A world away from freeways and cities, to hike the ancient route today is to get to see parts of Italy that few regular tourists ever visit. We take the route in reverse, from the high ground of Piedmont, wending our way towards the sparkling Ligurian sea, where the Italian Riviera brushes against France.

Hiking a World Heritage wine region on the Via del Sale

We step out on to the trail among the vine-clad slopes of a UNESCO World Heritage Site wine region where we taste the famous Barolo and Barbaresco wines. As we head southwards we discover the Alta Langa, known for its breathtaking views of pastures and age-old woods. To work with the steep slopes that characterize the area, vineyards are planted on terraced land and supported by stone ramparts. On the way we encounter a landscape of medieval castles, unspoiled historic villages and small Romanesque churches, taking the time to sample the special flavors of the outstanding regional cuisine: truffles, artisan cheeses, sweet hazelnut cake and agnolotti ravioli.

via del sale italy

The coast beckons and, sheltered from the north by the Maritime Alps, this strip of land by the sea has a microclimate of its own; with sunshine and comfortable temperatures the whole year round. Hence the name Riviera dei Fiori – the Riviera of Flowers. Read all about this wonderful new Walk on our website.

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