Day 1 - Start in Torino, Capital of Piemonte +
We meet at the central train station in Turin (Torino) and take a short 1-hour ride in a comfortable and private mini coach to our first hotel in the heart of Piemonte’s wine country. Our stay in the town of Alba, in the wine region of Langhe, starts with a wine pairing dinner.
Day 2 - Barolo is Nebbiolo! +
His majesty “The Barolo Wine” awaits us at the Enoteca Regionale, located in a magnificent castle in the town of Barolo. We learn about the different styles of Barolo with a local guide at the Enoteca, and the challenge is to distinguish between old and new style Barolo producers. You will certainly be able to do so after a side-by-side tasting of the different styles.
In the afternoon, we are off to visit the campus of the world’s first university specialized in…food! Università del Gusto was founded by Slow Food – the international movement started right in Piemonte by Carlo Petrini in 2003. We stay in the quaint village of Pollenzo.
Day 3 - Barbaresco, Che Passione! +
After breakfast, we drive uphill to the village of Barbaresco. Some people call Barbaresco wine the younger brother of Barolo, but I totally disagree. And you’ll find out why when we enter this world!
We start with a visit and tasting at a family-run winery located in one of the best “cru” vineyards of this region. Then we stop in the main village piazza to visit a unique church, home to the Enoteca Regionale del Barbaresco. Afterwards, we embark on a “Caccia al Tartufo” (truffle hunting) journey in the woods with a local expert guide and his dog.
Alba is in the heart of the Tartufo region where the very rare, expensive, and world-famous truffle is harvested. It is then used in the best restaurants all over the world.
Day 4 - Piemonte Cooking Day +
A delightful day in Piemonte awaits us! We will introduce you to the traditional cuisine of Piemonte, which features staples such as risotto, agnolotti (small ravioli), polenta, braised meat with a Barolo reduction sauce, many seasonal garden vegetables, and of course…tartufo! We will gather at a family winery with panoramic views of the hills and prepare some of these dishes. You will have the amazing opportunity to experiment with typical Piemonte flavours and ingredients while recreating local recipes. Lunch will follow, paired with wines.
In the afternoon, after our espresso, we will return to Alba where you will have free time to walk around the Roman historic centre and visit the elegant fashion boutiques and wonderful food and wine shops.
Day 5 - A Day in Genoa +
Genoa is the queen of the sea and a city with glorious history. It is an important Mediterranean port, a city of merchants and bankers, and known by all as the most English city in Italy. The city is home to fascinating narrow streets in the Old Town, the famous carruggi, both elegant buildings and humble houses, and beautiful churches with austere marble facades in black and white stripes or opulent baroque lines. The influence of the historical seventeenth century, during which the great Genovese families reached maximum wealth, is visible throughout the city.
Day 6 - Marble Mountains on our Way to Tuscany +
We begin the day with breakfast, followed by hotel check-out by 09:00. On route to Tuscany, we will stop for a visit to the unique marble quarries of Carrara, which have supplied the raw material for many architectural and artistic works in squares, palaces, and private buildings all over the world. After a tasting of the famous Lardo di Colonnata IGP paired with local Sangiovese, we depart for Castellina in Chianti where we check in at our spa-hotel, located in the centre of the village in an ancient and restored 11th-century palace.
Day 7 - Wines of Chianti Classico and History of San Gimignano +
After breakfast, we drive through the Chianti Classico hills and stop in Radda and Gaiole in Chianti. We visit an ancient monastery and palace, which hosts historical underground wine cellars, to taste their wine and learn about its production. After lunch, we depart for San Gimignano, the home of the first white Italian DOC wine, which is now a well-known DOCG (the top Italian wine appellation) and made with Vernaccia grapes. The village is one of the most fascinating medieval towns in Italy with many tall stone towers marking the landscape. You will have free time here to discover the many stores and artisan products.
Day 8 - Meet the Brunello di Montalcino and the Val d'Orcia +
The Brunello di Montalcino wine, made of 100% Sangiovese Grosso, has great potential to age due to the grape’s thick skin, which is rich in tannins. You can expect some great wine tasting here! We visit the town of Montalcino, its castle and the Enoteca, and then move onto Pienza and Bagno Vignone in the Val d’Orcia.
Val d’Orcia’s “distinctive aesthetics, flat chalk plains out of which rise almost conical hills with fortified settlements on top, inspired many artists. Their images have come to exemplify the beauty of well-managed Renaissance agricultural landscapes…” (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004).
Day 9 - Blending with the Locals +
Today is the day we become acquainted with true Tuscan cuisine with our lovely mamma Vilma. Vilma works and lives in Tavarnelle Val di Pesa, near Firenze, where she owns a homemade pasta shop. Her passion for Tuscan cuisine is in her eyes and you will notice it right away!
In the morning, after our cappuccino (remember, cappuccino is a breakfast item for Italians), we blend in with the locals in the piazza. If you are familiar with the Italian language, you will recognize that beautiful Florentine accent all around you.
We then participate in a demo and hands-on pasta-making seminar. We put our hands to work making all kinds of fresh pasta, and gather around Vilma’s kitchen where we cook the rest of the meal, eat, taste wine, and perhaps even have a siesta! What a day!
Day 10 - End of Tour in Florence +
After breakfast and check-out, we depart for Florence where the tour ends.
- Private winery tours and tastings in the prestigious DOCG of Montalcino, Chianti Classico, Barolo and Barbaresco.
- The chance to discover other unique local wines such as: Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Brachetto, Canaiolo, Colorino.
- Lessons on and samples of extra virgin olive oil.
- Two cooking classes - one in Piemonte and one in Tuscany.
- Truffle hunting in Piemonte with a local guide and trained dog.
- Visit to a 1,000 year old Dominican Abbey and its stunning centuries-old wine cellar.
- Visits to many small villages and time to browse local shops (Pollenzo, Barolo, Barbaresco, Colonnata, San Gimignano, Tavarnelle, Castellina in Chianti, etc.)
- Visit to the world’s first University of Gastronomical Science where you will tour and taste its "Banca del Vino" founded by Slow Food.
- Guided walking tour of Genoa with its black-and-white-striped facade, narrow streets and monumental squares.
- A chance to taste many typical regional dishes: risotto, polenta, pesto alla Genovese, pici, pappardelle, cinghiale (wildboar), during the many included meals in typical trattorie and ristoranti where you will fully absorb the traditional cuisine, customs and lifestyle.
- Handpicked hotels with every effort made to choose the best-rated available in the tour travel areas.
- Breakfasts, plus a variety of lunches or dinners as per tour itinerary, including two glasses of wine.
- Comfortable private deluxe mini-coach with a professional licensed driver from tour origination to final drop-off point.
- Use of professional local guides when touring areas of significant historical / artistic / cultural importance.
- The best tour director! -- your friendly guide who’s at your side for the entire tour and available to answer all of your questions.
- Included are all entrance fees, applicable taxes (including hotel city taxes) as well as some of the gratuities associated with the tour.
WHAT YOU DON'T GET ANYWHERE ELSE! +
- Visits to carefully selected wineries of different sizes and a chance to talk to the owners who make the wines you enjoy!
- For “foodies”: In-depth discussions on regional cuisine and how it pairs with local wines while enjoying ‘garden to table’ meals.
- A perfect mix of wine and non-wine related activities.
- Immersion in Italy’s culture and heritage up-close and often.
- Group sizes that typically include 12 to 16 participants.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR +
- Your travel costs to tour start and from tour endpoint.
- Transfers and accommodations pre- and post-tour.
- Any expense incurred for personal items, services or hotel room extras.
- Travel insurance, cancellation and medical insurance.
- CONTACT US OR YOUR TRAVEL AGENT IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE WITH ANY OF THE ABOVE ITEMS