Cultural vacations of Italy’s northern regions for Food & Wine lovers who want to escape the crowds
THE FLAVORS AND VISTAS OF PIEDMONT
Arrival airport: Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
For an authentic Italian experience, Piemonte is off the beaten path.
Although more and more people are hearing about Piemonte and coming to visit, the region remains quite undiscovered; any place in Italy that isn’t Rome, Venice, or Florence is still off the beaten path. Yes, “authentic” is a loaded word, but in Piemonte, the rhythms of Italian life, uninterrupted by tourists, can be found everywhere: from the corner bar where the same folks grab their thrice-daily café to the local sacre and festivals that almost always revolve around food and wine.
Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian) is often referred to as ‘Tuscany without the tourists’. Piedmont’s undulating hills striped with vineyards bear more than a passing resemblance to its famous southern counterpart. The name ‘pied monte’ literally means ‘at the foot of the mountains’. It is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including Monviso, where the Po rises, and Monte Rosa. It borders with France, Switzerland and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Aosta Valley and for a very small fragment with Emilia Romagna. Piedmont is the second largest of Italy‘s 20 regions. The countryside varies from the rugged peaks of the massifs of Monte Rosa and of Gran Paradiso, to the damp rice paddies of Vercelli and Novara, from the gentle hillsides of the Langhe and of Monferrato to the plains.
The regional capital of Turin (Torino) is magical. It is Italy’s fourth-largest city and has an illustrious past, resulting in elegant squares, world-class museums and historic cafés, flanked by some 18km of colonnaded walkways.
Head to the south and the border with Liguria, and we enter wine and truffle country. The town of Alba sits among the hills of Le Langhe. This is home to white truffles, which are more delicate and aromatic than the more common black version. Alba is also home to Barolo, the ‘king of Italian reds’ and the lighter, Nebbiolo, which also happens to be the name of the grape variety that Barolo is made from. Neighboring Asti is another big wine town, famed for its sparkling sweet whites of course, and also for its annual Palio festival.
If you wish to extend your time with us, we can customize itineraries for you to visit the Val d'Aosta, or the Italian lakes (Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore, Lake Como).
Taste Barolo, hunt for truffles, and hike through vineyards at the base of the Italian Alps
PRICING: 8 days/7 nights from $3,500USD per person (double occupancy)
This itinerary is for private groups only of 4 to 8 people, and can be customized to your group's needs. Contact Audrey to book your preferred dates.
The price for a private tour is per-person sharing a double room, and it varies according to the number of guests on the tour, because of minimum fixed costs that need to be covered. With this tiered pricing structure we are generally able to offer slightly lower pricing if there are a higher number of guests on the trip.
Highlights and Inclusions of your week with us in Piedmont (Piemonte in Italian)
- Transfer to/from Milan Malpensa airport
- Scenic hiking trails in the middle of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Langhe and Monferrato hills, through vineyards and countryside roads
- Explore the quaint village of La Morra, the highest of this area and enjoy breathtaking views over the region
- Meet a truffle hunter and his dog for a walk in a real truffle wood
- Stroll along the promenade on the Mediterranean coast with lunch in the seaside town of Noli, once an independent Maritime Republic
- Visit the majestic aging room of a Barolo winery and relax in the dining room of the on-site restaurant overlooking the vineyards followed by a traditional lunch paired with five wines.
- Meet Pia who is the owner of an organic farm surrounded by hazelnut trees and vineyards. Cooking class with seasonal ingredients and with herbs or vegetables from Pia’s garden. This is a real hand-on experience, followed by dinner with the 4 courses prepared, water and wine included.
- Enjoy a stroll in the elegant town center of Alba, hometown of Nutella and white truffles.
- A guided walking tour in central Turin with your local expert guide, visiting Piazza Castello, the interior of the church of S. Lawrence with the impressive dome, the exterior of Palazzo Carignano and many other gems.
- Chocolate experience in a historic coffee shop in Turin.
- Visit the aging cellar of a cheese refiner. This is not a dairy farm but a farmhouse where a young cheese master refines different types of cheese coming from Piedmont and nearby regions.
- A full understanding of Piedmontese wines from Barolo to Barbera, Nebbiolo, Moscato, Ruchè and others
- Enjoy a traditional farmer’s brunch, called “merenda sinoira”. Local delights such as salami, goat cheese, vegetable pie, a plate of local ravioli (plin) are paired with four wines.
- Visit the town of Acqui Terme founded by the Romans. Acqui boasts many ruins and a natural hot spring of sulphur water known since the early days for its beneficial effects on the human body.
- Discover the mountain town of Varigotti where a brave farmer grows an ancient indigenous varietal of olive trees. Enjoy a pleasant hike through olive trees overlooking the Mediterranean coast followed by a visit to the olive mill for an introduction on Ligurian olive oil and its beneficial effects. Savor a bruschetta with an extra virgin olive oil.
We can customize the week for the activity level and interests of your group, from fitness walks to more casual strolls, cooking classes and winery visits.
Not included: airfare, visa fees and entry clearing fees, personal travel insurance, any other personal travel expenses not associated with tour package and anything not specified to be included.
OUR GOLD STANDARD
We've personally tried, tasted and tested every single experience, ensuring quality and authenticity. If it doesn’t meet our personal Stamp of Approval, it won’t be on your tour! Zero tourist traps, subpar service, or second rate food.
Enjoy the Elegance and Traditions of Piedmont's Hilltop Castles, Vine-Filled Valleys, Breathtaking Landscapes, Exquisite Gastronomy and Its Wines!
Local living and boutique hotels - Where you stay matters
We believe that where you sleep is an important part of your overall travel experience. We choose truly special and unique locations, that reflect authentic local charm. Here are photos of a few of our favorite places.
To discuss the details and customization options, contact Audrey
Travels with Audrey RECOMMENDS YOU BOOK EARLY
Hotel availability may occasionally be an issue on Audrey’s unique small group tours of 4-12 guests. This is due to popularity and/or high season. A supplement may be applied if our normal set of hotels in each city is not available. Your hotels will be finalized about 90 days prior to the tour and will be available in your Pre tour documents mailed to you 60 days prior to your tour. Book early!
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