Piemonte is synonymous with great wines and boasts a rich historic background and unique attractions for the wise traveler. From the mighty Alps towering over its elegant capital Turin, to the rolling hills of vineyards and the spectacular Lake Maggiore with its island-villas. The scenery will scroll in front of…
- Trip Outline
Piemonte is synonymous with great wines and boasts a rich historic background and unique attractions for the wise traveler. From the mighty Alps towering over its elegant capital Turin, to the rolling hills of vineyards and the spectacular Lake Maggiore with its island-villas. The scenery will scroll in front of your eyes like a movie. Countless UNESCO World Heritage sites will satisfy your historic and artistic appetite, during a unique journey to the heart of Italian excellence and hands-on meetings of many signature products of Italian cuisine.
• UNESCO world heritage sites included: Royal residences of Turin, Barolo & Barbaresco “Langhe” landscapes and wineries
• Outdoor activities (optional, upon agreement with participants and subject to meteorological conditions): light hike across wine hills and castles in Barolo and Lake Maggiore
• Barolo and Barbaresco are among the flagships of Italian red wine excellence, and the modern sparkling wines are even born here in Monferrato. Learn the traditional techniques and taste the fruit of the winemaker’s work through an itinerant “master class” with hospitable and friendly wine-makers
The rice paddies and the “Wine cathedrals” of CanelliYour flight should arrive in the morning at Milan Malpensa airport where you will meet the rest of the group and your guide/driver and from here we will drive to our first overnight destination, the scenic hills of Langhe. The first of many surprises lies ahead: did you know that Italy is the biggest European producer of this grain with 1,5 millions tonnes per year? The best varieties come from the fertile plains of Piedmont, in particular the well-known “Arborio” and “Carnaroli” varieties which are the cornerstone of all Italian “risotto”. In summer, when light juicy green blanket covers the water world, the landscape looks more Asian than Alpine and rice producers take the shape of elegant historic mansions and fortresses more than classic farms. We will discover the techniques, traditions and of course flavors of rice while visiting a historic producer also used as movie set for “Riso Amaro”, one of the great classic of Italian neo-realistic cinema of the 50s After a tasty risotto-based lunch, the next surprise are the famous “wine cathedrals" of Canelli, creators of the first Italian sparkling wine, with guided visit to its spectacular underground cellars and tasting of their premium bubbly. In the evening we will sit down to a classic home-style dinner and dig into a selection of starters and main courses prepared according to original recipes and accompanied by local wine. Meals included: B, L, D
Barolo & Barbaresco Master ClassA day dedicated to the “heavy weights” of Italian red wine excellence, Barolo and Barbaresco. We start in the small town of Barolo itself for a “Master Class in Red Wines" starting from a visit to the stimulating “Wine Museum" in Barolo Castle and continuing with the visit of a selection of the best wine makers to discover the secrets and traditions of Barbera, Nebbiolo and of course Barolo, the “wine for kings, and king of wines". In the afternoon we will we will continue towards Barbaresco to admire the scenic hills from the top of a medieval watchtower and sample some last glasses in a very special “temple” of wine-making. Since most wineries provide a filling tasting of cheese and cold cuts, we prefer to leave you time to relax instead of a formal dinner, and to stroll around the scenic vineyards, magnificent at sunset. Our guide will be available to bring you to a good local restaurant and help you with a-la-carte choices if requested. A recommended option is an informal Italian-style aperitif-dinner, in a cosy wine bar nested in the medieval heart of Monforte where we can admire the picturesque architecture, seat of the dramatic events of the Cathar heresy movement in the 13th century. Meals included: B, L.
Cheese & Chocolate delights in Bra and CherascoAfter a sumptuous breakfast we will visit the thriving town of Bra, home of the world-famous Slow Food Association and host of "Cheese", an international festival held every September, where we will take a "Masterclass in Cheese" and lunch with a traditional cheesemonger. We will taste the famous “Robiola di Roccaverano", just one of a selection of prized cheeses from the high Alps, paired with special mustards and jams and a choice of Barbera and Nebbiolo wines. From Bra we will drive to the baroque town of Cherasco, made famous by the peace treaty signed by Napoleon and the Savoy royal family, for an exclusive “Chocolate Experience" with a renowned master to discover the origins of cocoa, his secrets and unique techniques. Later in the afternoon, you will have the chance to learn hands-on the secrets and techniques of a selection of the local delicacies you will have learned to love in the previous days including “tajarin” or “ravioli del plin” fresh pasta and the delicious “bunet” chocolate and amaretti dessert. Meals included: B, L, D
Turin historic & artistic wondersToday we head to the capital of the Piemonte region, Torino, home of the Fiat motor company. We start our exploration of this vibrant city with the open-air food market, the biggest in Europe, to sample some fresh specialties during a colorful and stimulating “promenade lunch" including the famous “Bicerin" drink in the temple of the Italian chocolate tradition. Next it's time for some history and culture with a guided tour of the historical centre of Torino, from the Roman monuments to the UNESCO World Heritage masterpieces of Baroque architecture in what was the first capital of Italy and the host city of the 2006 Winter Olympics in the foothills of the Alps. Torino has a lot to offer and would well deserve a few more days to admire the unique National Museum of Cinema, the Egyptian Museum with the biggest collection outside of Egypt. In the afternoon, transfer towards our agriturismo accommodation on the lakeside where we will be welcomed by a tasting dinner. Meals included: B, L, D
Island hopping in Lake MaggioreA day dedicated to the splendid islands of Lake Maggiore, a unique interaction between natural and man-made wonders. Isola Bella is a place of splendor thanks to the recurrent blooming and the priceless architectural treasures that blends into a wonderful microcosm. It took four hundred years of work of qualified architects, engineers, stucco workers, painters and cabinet-makers to transform a barren rock to a place of delight: a blooming garden appearing as a galleon floating on the blue waters of the Lago Maggiore as his founder, Vitaliano VI Borromeo, meant for her. Visiting this place allows you to live a normal day of a long-gone era and the tasting of local fish delicacies in a family-run restaurant. Nearby Isola Madre, the biggest of the Verbano islands, raises from the water with an enticing silhouette traced in the luxurious vegetation that covers the greatest part of it, as long as the squared palazzo in the southern part, which is also the highest. Blessed by mild weather all year round, the island is a little green Eden renowned all over the world for the refined botanical collections. We will return to Stresa for a late afternoon relax; your guide will provide suggestions for the best options for dinner close to the accommodation. Meals included: B, L.
Orta, the Cinderella of Alpine lakesAfter a rich breakfast, it is time to set off to explore the echanting Lake Orta, one of the lesser-known Alpine lakes said to be “kept secret’ by local connoisseurs to avoid the “Lake Como VIP villas syndrome”. The secluded lakeside villages have been popular with writers since the 19th century: Lord Byron, Friedrich Nietzsche, Honoré de Balzac and Robert Browning all came here. Even a British-run poetry festival in September attracts artists from all over the world. The historic town of Orta San Giulio is built on the slopes of a steep hill (the Sacro Monte) that forms a peninsula protruding into the lake. We will enjoy the a tasty lunch in the historic center and then head inland towards Tenute Sella, the oldest winery in Italy still owned by the same family since its foundation in 1671: a dynasty of ministers, scientists and even founders of the Italian Alpine Club. We will discover the typical wines of the region like Lessona and Bramaterra, highly appreciated by connoisseurs. We will return to Lago d'Orta in time for a farewell dinner. Meals included: B, L, D
Transfer to MilanAfter a rich breakfast, we will bring you to Milan Malpensa or to Milan center to continue your journey in any of the JayWay destinations, in particular the splendid Como lake area. If you have enough time, we will arrange an additional visit in the region until early afternoon.
Gourmet Tour Package including daily guiding and tasting experiences
6 lunches or equivalent
4 dinners or equivalent
- 3 Nights Accommodation in Barolo
- 3 Nights Accommodation in Lago d’Orta
- Flights to and from Europe
- Tips for Tour Guides and Drivers
- Travel Insurance
- 2 evening meals (daytime tastings and other activities make these very ‘optional’)