Treasures of Piemonte Tour

April 24 – May 4, 2023

Discover Piemonte
Discover the Foods, Wines, and Treasures of the Piemonte region
If you’re looking for a charming and picturesque Italian destination to explore, look no further than the Piemonte region. Nestled at the foot of the Alps in the northwest corner of the country bordering France and Switzerland, Piemonte is home to snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, rolling hillsides covered in awe-inspiring vineyards and captivating medieval villages. It is here that you can also find Turin, its capital and one of Italy’s largest cities. Turin boasts an abundance of stunning baroque architecture and has everything from history and museums to monumental landmarks like the Mole Antonelliana with its soaring spire and the impressive Royal Palace, to world-class opera, historic cafes and famous chocolates. And of course, it’s home to the renowned “Shroud of Turin”.

In addition to great architecture and stunning scenery, the Piemonte region offers travelers a wealth of activities to enjoy, including wine tastings, delicious food offerings, hiking and biking through the countryside and truffle hunting.

 

Taste of Italy Tour
Taste of Italy Tour

The Piemonte region is also a haven of gastronomic treasures that leave a lasting impression. The region produces some of the most famous wines in Italy, including Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, and Arneis. This is an extremely rich area form a culinary standpoint – it’s the land of rice, cheese, chocolates, hazelnuts, wines, and of course, the jewel of the region, the world-famous ‘Tartufo Bianco d’Alba‘ (white truffles). It’s no wonder the Slow Food Movement was started here.

Our Treasures of Piemonte Tour is the perfect opportunity to experience the best that Piemonte has to offer.  Spring is also such a lovely time to explore the breathtaking Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato and lake areas of Piedmont. With lush green hills, rolling vineyards and surrounding alpine mountains, these UNESCO world heritage sites offer some of the most exquisite landscape views in all of Italy.

Sample local cuisine that reflects the region’s historic traditions, from cheese and wine to hazelnuts and precious truffles. Plus, explore charming villages like Lake Maggiore, Orta, Turin, Barolo, Alba, and Asti. With its medieval castles, miles of vineyards, and lake views, this area of Piemonte feels as if it were plucked right out of an ancient storybook.

From gastronomic tours and wine tastings, to visits to medieval villages and rolling hillsides, this 11-day tour offers a unique insight into one of Italy’s most historic and enchanting regions.

Discover Piemonte and enjoy the fantastic food, wine, and experiences that this beautiful region of Italy has to offer.

J.M.

Our first trip to Italy and it won’t be our last! We initially had to cancel our trip due to a family emergency but then were able to reschedule it 9 months later. Catherine was very understanding and helped us through everything. What could have been a disaster, turned into the trip of a lifetime. We could not thank her enough for making this trip such a memorable one!

J.M.

Martha F

Book your trip NOW!!! I had the most delightful trip. Everything was arranged perfectly. They really listened to what I wanted and didn’t want in my itinerary. We went to places I never would have found on my own. Worth every penny/euro. I have been telling all my friends that want to travel to Italy about Vitalia.

Martha F

M.H.

Catherine, I can’t thank you enough for all the information! Great advice and insights! Thank you for all the travel and restaurant info as well. I have a feeling this is going to make the difference between a good stay and a great stay! You’re providing a great service! Thank you so much. So exciting and looking forward to trying your recommendations in Rome!

M.H.
Taste of Italy Tour

Tour Highlights

  • Private Turin Highlights Tour
  • Guided city tours of Asti
 & Alba
  • Guided castle visits
  • Several wine-tasting tours and excursions of the famous Barolo, Barbera & Barbaresco wines
  • Cheese tour & tasting
  • Hazelnut farm tour & tasting
  • Cooking lesson
  • Truffle Hunting experience and tasting
  • Grappa & Blend experience at a distillery
  • Private boat and guided tour of the Borromean Islands
  • Private boat and guided tours of Isola di San Giulio & Orta San Giulio
  • And much more...

$4,550USD per person/dbl occupancy

Itinerary:*
Day 1: Arrival Day/ Benvenuto!
Welcome to Italy! After arriving to the Milan Airport (MXP), the group will be met for our private transfer to Asti. Located between two hills, Monferrato and Langhe, in the heart of Piedmont, Asti is best known for its exceptional food, the standout sparkling wines Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti and for the Palio di Asti – a bareback horse race through town held in September. The group will enjoy a private guided tour of Asti as well as some free time to explore and have lunch. In the afternoon we will transfer to our accommodations for the next seven (7) nights, a boutique agriturismo set in the heart of the Langhe area of Piemonte. The group will then enjoy their first dinner together featuring the typical cuisine and wines of the region. (D)
Day 2: Barolo and Castles
After breakfast we'll head out to Barolo, the small hillside village for which the famous DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) red wine is named for. Barolo is a tiny, but perfectly preserved and marvelously kept medieval village surrounded by vineyards and with the imposing Castello Falletti (also known as 'Barolo Castle') looking over the town from its perch at the top of hill. We'll enjoy a guided tour of the castle and its museum, learning its history and the making of Barolo wines. After, you'll have some free time to peak around the tiny village on your own. Next we'll visit a small family-run winery where you will have the opportunity to see how the great Langhe wines are produced: Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto. You'll discover how to drink it and and how to pair it with the local cuisine. Later in the afternoon, we'll visit a second castle in the region with a guided tour.  (B, L, D)
Day 3: Turin - The Cultural Capital of Piemonte
This morning our private driver will transfer us to the capital of the Piemonte region, Turin (Torino). Turin is a city of Baroque architecture with streets filled with piazze, porticoes, grand boulevards, and historic cafès. It is also home to one of the most famous relics of Christendom, the Shroud of Turin, and some of the most outstanding museums (The Egyptian Museum is the second largest in the world, after Cairo), as well as the many palaces of the Royal House of Savoy. We will explore this intriguing city often compared to Paris, with a guided tour. Then you'll have some free time to explore on your own, shop and have lunch. To cap off the day in true traditional Turin fashion,  we'll meet up again in the afternoon and enjoy "Merenda Reale" (royal snack) - A tradition born at court in the 17th century based on sweet pastries served with “Bicerin”, a hot and alcohol- free drink typical of Turin concocted of coffee, chocolate and cream.  (B, D)
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
After breakfast this morning, we will embark on an unforgettably unique experience, truffle hunting! You'll be guided along a scenic wooded trail by a professional Trifulau (truffle hunter) and his trusty dog. Along the way, you'll learn about the local history and traditions, as well as the many unique products that this area has to offer. The highlight of this adventure is undoubtedly discovering the world-famous, prized white truffles of Alba. And of course, no truffle hunt is complete without a tasting! Free time to explore and have lunch.

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
Today we will take a private boat and guided tour of the Borromean Islands of Lake Maggiore. The three Borromean Islands, Isola Bella, Isola Madre, and Isola dei Pescatori, are a wonder to behold. Surrounded by mountains and set in a wide gulf, these islands take their name from the aristocratic Borromean family, who owned the land in the 16th and 17th centuries.

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
After breakfast we will transfer to the tiny lake of Lake Orta.

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
We'll say our goodbyes. The group will have a private transfer to Milan Airport (MXP). Bid "Arrivederci" to Italy! Or...you could add days on to your tour with visits to Milan, Venice or other.
Key: B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner​,  included
*Itineraries are subject to change. Vitalia Tours and its partners will strive to provide you with the best possible tour and experience. It is our intention to adhere to the outlined itinerary as published. However, please be advised that it may be occasionally necessary to substitute an activity due to events that cannot be predicted. Therefore, Vitalia Tours reserves the right to make changes in accommodations, tours or excursions, meals, and itineraries at any time should it become necessary or desirable.

This Tour Includes:

  • 11 Days/10 Nights
  • Small group size: Maximum of only 10-12 travelers
  • 7 Nights in a boutique agriturismo in the Langhe area
  • 3 Nights in a hotel on Lake Maggiore
  • All breakfasts, buffet style, 3 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • Regional wines with most meals
  • Private airport transfers from/to Milan (MXP)
  • Private full-time escort, interpreter and driver
  • Private comfort van for our daily excursions
  • Guided walking tour in Asti
  • Guided walking tour in Alba
  • Guided walking tour in Turin including the Royal Palace
  • Guided castle visits and tours
  • Truffle hunting excursion
  • Tasting tour of the region's famous sparkling wine
  • Cooking lesson
  • Multiple winery tours and tastings of the region's famous wines including Barolo, Barbera, & Barbaresco
  • Cheese & olive oil tasting events
  • Grappa experience at a distillery
  • Private boat and tours of the Borromean Islands
  • Pre-trip information packet
  • All excursions and entrance fees as outlined by the itinerary
  • Local VAT taxes and government fees, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, and parking fees​​​​

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Travel insurance*
  • Travel documents & fees: i.e. passport and visas (if required)
  • Covid testing
  • Any telephone, cell, data & internet usage**
  • Items of a personal nature​
  • Travel-related expenses outside of the tour itinerary
  • Any food or beverage ordered by traveler that is not included or presented during meals including: wine and other alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks & gelato
  • Any taxes on personal items purchased
  • Optional tips to guides, staff or drivers. These are not required and are given at your discretion.​

* We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance to protect your investment. This is to ensure that you are covered in the event of loss of deposit and cancellation fees, medical emergency or health expenses, personal accident, flight cancellation or delays and to protect your luggage against any loss or damage.​ ​​​​​​ ​

** There is free wifi at our accommodations

Details

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

Deposit: $1000.00 USD at time of booking to reserve your spot

Balance due: 60 days prior to tour start date

We also offer a monthly payment plan - Please inquire if interested.

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