Day 1: Arrival Day/ Benvenuto!
Day 2: Barolo and Castles
Day 3: Turin - The Cultural Capital of Piemonte
Day 4: Barbaresco and Roero
In the morning we’ll visit a small, family-run winery in the Roero region of Piemonte. Our guided tour will take us through the evocative cellars and teach us about the unique terroir of the Roero and what makes this land so special. You'll also hear the story of the family and their philosophy behind wine making, before tasting some delicious Arneis, Barbera, and Roero wines.
After, we’ll explore the charming and idyllic medieval village of Neive. This picturesque town is nestled in the hills between Asti and Alba and is known for its amazing wine, historical sites, and breathtaking landscapes. This tiny village is part of "I Borghi più belli d'Italia" - a prestigious group of villages recognized for their historical interest and beauty. Here, you can still find well-preserved structures from the Middle Ages, including several notable churches. But Neive is most famous for its delicious local wines: Barbaresco, Barbera, Dolcetto d’Alba, and Moscato d’Asti. This region is known for its full-bodied Barbaresco wines, and approximately 30% of all Barbaresco wine production comes from Neive.
Enjoy some free time to explore Neive and have lunch in one of the many quaint cafes or restaurants.
Barbaresco is a small and charming town in Lange, famous for precious wine – Barbaresco. From its picturesque location, surrounded by vineyards, to the winding roads and 11th century tower that watches over it all, this village is rich in history and character. At its heart is the production of Barbaresco wine – It is hard to believe these famous big and bold reds come from such a tiny hamlet. We'll visit Barbaresco and ascend its tower to take in the amazing panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, with vineyards as far as the eye can see.
We’ll cap of the day with a visit to another family-run, boutique winery passionate about their wines and wine making process. The tasting will be a delicious experience for the senses. (B, D)
Day 5: Truffle Hunting & Grappa Experience
Later we will embark on a journey through the centuries at a historic family-run distillery and discover the art of grappa-making. The historic cellars and tasting room are the perfect place to learn about this unique spirit and taste some of the best grappa in the region. This grappa is produced using the fermented pomace of the Moscato grapes, and aged in oak barrels to give it its distinctive amber color and delicate flavor. We'll sample this smooth, aromatic spirit while learning about its long history and all aspects of this fascinating tradition. (B, D)
Day 6: Tasting Piemonte - Cheeses & Hazelnuts
Are you a fan of Italian cheese? The Piemonte region is famous for many cheeses like Bra, Gorgonzola and Grana Padano as well as DOP Robiola. Today, we’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at Piemonte's cheese-making scene on a visit to a small dairy that produces DOP Robiola, one of the most famous cheeses in Italy. Here, you'll get to see how this soft-ripened cheese is made and taste its delicious flavor profile. Robiola is renowned for its unique mix of cow, sheep, and goat's milk, as well as its intense flavor profile that depends on the aging time.
Next the group will explore a family-run hazelnut farm in the beautiful Alta Langa countryside. We’ll learn about the sustainable farming methods used to cultivate these nuts and see how they're turned into everything from spreads and creams to cakes and cookies. Then we’ll have the opportunity to taste some of the delicious products made with this versatile nut. This will be followed by a “tree-to-table” lunch showcasing the many ways hazelnuts can be enjoyed – from Savory to sweet. This is a unique opportunity to learn all about one of Italy's most iconic ingredients. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Visiting Alba and Cooking Lessons on a Farm
Our first stop today is Alba, a lovely small town and the capital of the UNESCO World Heritage region of Langhe. In addition to being a wine center for the region, Alba is known as the culinary capital of Piedmont, most famously for its white truffle. In fact, the Langhe-Roero area has over 15 Michelin Starred restaurants and the majority of them are in Alba. The city is also known for its confectioners, who craft a crunchy nougat (known locally as torrone) that incorporates the local Piemonte hazelnuts. Add on the fact that Nutella and Ferrero Rocher are from Alba as well, and it is no wonder that the “Slow Food” movement originated here
The group will enjoy a private guided tour to discover its various important points of interest. We’ll wind our way through labyrinth-like cobblestone streets, past Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque architecture, and stop to admire the many medieval towers. Similar to the well-known town of San Gimignano in Tuscany, Alba was once known as the “City of a Hundred Towers”. Unfortunately, there are only 10 remaining today. In the center of the town is the Cathedral with a precious wooden choir dating to 1512.
Enjoy some free time to explore and have lunch. Then we’re off to the countryside to visit a family farm for a “Farm to Table” cooking lesson where we will discover the culinary art of creating typical Piemonte dishes. After our hard work, we’ll enjoy the fruits of our labor and sit down to a group dinner accompanied by wine tasting, including more Barolo. (B, D)
Day 8 : Visiting a Rice Farm & Transfer to Lake Maggiore
"Rice is born in water and dies in wine,”
This morning the group will check out of their accommodations in the Langhe as we make our way to Lake Maggiore. Our first stop of the day is the town of Vercelli.
According to most historians, Vercelli was founded around 600 BC. Now it is considered Europe’s rice capital, located right in the middle of the Piedmontese-Lombard rice-growing area, and has the largest surface area planted with rice in all of Europe. Vercelli began cultivating rice in the 15th century. A network of ancient canals—constructed from the 13th century on—brings water from the Po, and various other rivers to irrigate the rice paddies. The particular type of rice grown is perfect for preparing risotto, thanks to the way it holds up to cooking, its ability to absorb seasonings and a good release of starch, which adds creaminess to the final dish.
Vercelli is home to numerous relics of the Roman period, e.g. an amphitheater, hippodrome, sarcophagi, and many important inscriptions, some of which are Christian. The city’s notable landmarks include the cathedral (reconstructed in1572), with a valuable library that houses the Codex Vercellensis, a late 10th-century Old English manuscript; the Romanesque-Gothic Basilica of Sant’Andrea (1219–24); and the churches of San Cristoforo, San Paolo, and San Francesco. There are also seven noteworthy towers. We’ll have a private guided tour of the town before moving on to a rice farm for a tour and lunch.
After, we’ll move on to Lake Maggiore and check into our hotel for the next three (3) nights. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Palaces & Gardens of the Borromean Islands
The Borromean family used only the best architects and gardeners being art lovers and botanists—to breathe life into their grand projects. The islands of Bella and Madre were transformed into magnificent, luxurious villas with lush, tranquil gardens, while the third island, named “dei Pescatori” after its ancient fishing community, was left to continue its traditional way of life. Its village still unchanged by time, offers a fascinating simplicity.
Our private cruise with guided tour of the islands is the perfect way to see these beautiful palaces and gardens. Soak up the stunning views as we spend the day boating around and exploring these islands. We'll visit Isola Bella, with its magnificent palaces and gardens, then continue to Isola dei Pescatori for free time and lunch. After a relaxing break, we'll continue our tour of the lake with a visit to Isola Madre. Finally, you’ll have free time in Stresa to shop or just relax. It's the perfect way to spend a day in this picturesque corner of Italy. (B, D)
Day 10: Orta San Giuli & Isola San Giulio
The small town of Orta San Giulio lies on the eastern shore of Lake Orta. It is situated on a peninsular of rock that juts into the lake. A medieval village rich in history and art, Orta is a gem delighting visitors with its maze of picturesque streets, narrow cobbled lanes and tall, old aristocratic houses and villas clustered by the lake. The little squares, reminiscent of the campielli of Venice, are enlivened by the presence of boutiques, antique shops and cafés. The main square, called the sitting-room of Orta, is surrounded on three sides by porticos and lively restaurants. The fourth side, dotted with large shade trees and park benches, is open to the lake; from here boats travel to the tiny, singular island - Isola San Giulio.
We will take a boat from the little harbor to the picturesque Island of San Giulio, dominated by the 12th-century Romanesque Basilica di San Giulio, the bishop’s palace and the Benedictine abbey. The church, island and mainland town are named after a Greek evangelist, Giulio, who’s said to have rid the island of snakes, dragons, and assorted monsters in the late 4th century. His remains lie in the crypt of the Basilica.
At the Mater Ecclesiae Benedictine Abbey, is a convent of cloistered nuns who live permanently on the island, devoting their days to prayer, study, restoring valuable old church vestments, making communion wafers and the famous “Pane di San Giulio” (St Julius’ bread).
The group will enjoy a private guided tour of both Orta San Giulio and Isola San Giulio. After, enjoy some free time and lunch on your own. In the afternoon, we will enjoy one last wine tasting of the region. (B, D)
Day 11 - Departure Day
Dates: April 24 - May 4, 2023
11 Days/10 Nights
Where: Piemonte Region: Turin, Asti, Alba, Barolo, Neive, Stresa, Orta San Giulio
Group size: 10-12 Guests Maximum
Tour Cost: $4,550 per person/double occupancy
Single Supplement: $700
Balance due: 60 days prior to tour start date
We also offer a monthly payment plan - Please inquire if interested.
Custom Italy Tours | Custom Italy Itineraries | Small-Group Italy Tours | Private Italy Tours | Escorted Tours of Italy |Watercolor Workshops in Italy | Celebrations in Italy | Special Events in Italy | Weddings in Italy |Day Tours in Italy |Excursions in Italy