PIEDMONT BETWEEN WINES AND CULTURE: EXPLORING THE LANGHE AND MONFERRATO

8 Days / 7 Nights

10% discount for bookings now – October 31st 2020.  Travel window from now – December 31, 2021

*Possibility to extend the stay 

Itinerary:

DAY 1: Arrive in Italy: Arrive at the Turin airport and enjoy a private transfer to a fabulous country resort in the Langhe area, check in. Free time in the afternoon to freshen up and relax, then you will be delighted by a special welcome dinner prepared by the resort’s master chef. Overnight.

DAY 2: Turin – Crown of Delights of the House of Savoy: Breakfast at the resort. This morning you will meet your local guide and have a half day city tour of Turin; capital of Piedmont, Turin is a town of grace and charm, with superb baroque architecture and excellent museums, set against the dramatic scenery of the foothills of the Alps. You will see the Royal Palace, the Cathedral, Piazza San Carlo with its famous cafés. Turin is home to a number of castles and royal palaces of remarkable historical and artistic value, which are part of an architectural and urban design plan intended to create an ideal frame around the city. They are known collectively as the Crown of Delights of the House of Savoy.  This afternoon your local guide will lead you through some of these majestic palaces, part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites; the most grandiose and famous is the La Venaria Reale (the “Versailles” of Turin), a monumental complex dating back to the mid-17th century. The estate consists of an 80,000 sq.m. Palace, 60 hectares of gardens, 3,000 hectares of fenced and protected parkland (the Park of La Mandria) and the adjoining Old Town. Together they make up a single architectural and environmental continuum that offers a shiny example of European Baroque. You will go next to the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi (Stupinigi Hunting Lodge), a sumptuous building dating 1729; it is a place of leisure and hunting, this was the favorite spot of the Savoy family for spectacular parties and solemn marriages, as well as being the residence of Napoleon in the early 19th century. Return to the resort, tonight’s dinner will be in a traditional restaurant in the surroundings.  Overnight at the resort.

DAY 3: The Langhe: After breakfast at the resort, leave for a full day excursion of the Langhe and Roero district: ancient towers and castles, dating back to various ages, dominate the succession of vineyard covered hills. In this area, the grape farmers’ wine cellars produce and age some of the world’s most unique wines such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Arneis and Moscato, just to mention those among the most important.  This excursion will take you on the Barolo trails to Monforte d’Alba through the vines that give life to the most precious “cru”. Arrival in Monforte d’Alba and tour visit of the center of the village called “Saracca”, historical center that gave hospitality during the middle-age to the “Catari” community. Lunch will be independent, at a local restaurant, where you can taste the typical local cuisine. The excursion continues to the village of Novello and Barolo, visiting the historical center. At the end of the tour you must be quite thirsty and anxious to taste some of these wonderful wines, so we planned a Barolo wine tasting at a family-owned winery. With more than 80 wineries, each with its own unique wine style, setting and history, Barolo offers special adventures for everyone. The flavor of this unforgettable wine along with stunning landscape views and behind the scenes tours of wine cellars and caves, will let you live a unique experience.  Return to the resort, dinner and overnight.

DAY 4: Alba – Truffle Hunting: Breakfast at the resort. This morning you will visit the annual International White Truffle Fair of Alba, the town’s centro storico fills with the world’s greatest chefs and food enthusiasts; the event includes a truffle auction (by invitation only), a truffle market and a truffle fair. The market, with white truffles and a whole host of truffle-related produce, takes place at weekends, the fair, on the other hand, serves as a showcase for Piedmontese specialty foods. After breakfast at the resort, board your minivan and go for a half day guided tour of one of the oldest of the Savoy residences, the Castle of Moncalieri, located just a short way from Torino, it rises in all its restrained monumentality to guard the River Po. Built in the medieval period for defense purposes, it was transformed by the Savoy into a “place of delight” by extensive enlarging and embellishing. Much loved by the women in the House of Savoy, such as Queen Marie Adelaïde and the princesses Clotilde and Laetitia, the castle was a place for holidays, where the education of the young princes was imparted and also the setting for ludic events: fragments of history and reminders of the family still linger in the royal apartments, connected to the huge park that extends over the hill. Independent lunch and in the afternoon, you will go for a truffle hunting experience: To the uninitiated, truffles may just be foul tubers.  But to the gourmand, it represents the ultimate in culinary delights, with some epicureans declaring that they have the fragrance of the gods.  Although found in France, northern Spain, and other parts of Italy, the region around Alba is considered the quintessential truffle capital.  Your half-day truffle hunt with your local expert truffle guide begins at the doorway of one of the region’s finest wineries.  After a brief walk through the vineyards to enjoy the scenic views, you’ll be off in the woods exploring with your truffle expert and his trained dog. You will learn how to analyze truffles from a technical and sensory point of view, as professional truffle tasters do. Then, you’re full-immersion into the world of truffles will continue with a terrific truffle dinner, accompanied by the best wines from the Langhe. Return to the resort, overnight.

DAY 5: Asti – Casale Monferrato: Breakfast at the resort. This morning you will leave the home of Barolo to Asti, the first stop at the most famous Pasticceria and you will have a short-guided tour in the medieval town between the Langhe and Monferrato, rich of art and culture, known in the world for its sparkling wine. Alternatively, you can opt for a visit to Castigliole d’Asti, a town famous for its charming hilltop castle. We organized for you a convivial lunch at a farm producer of wines, meats and cheeses, where you can stroll through the vineyards, to assist to the work in the cellar, visit the herds of goats and cattle and participate in the processing stages of the cheese and yoghurt.  In the afternoon, a short transfer will bring you in Canelli, the land of Spumante and Moscato d’Asti. Here you will have the chance to realize a real underground tour, going from winery to winery (with important names such as Gancia, Contratto e Bosca), which inevitably leads to the Enoteca Regionale. It thus refers to the true “underground cathedrals”, recognized as UNESCO heritage, which extend beneath the city, carved into the hills of tufa, creating the masterpieces of engineering and architecture loads of suggestion. The final tasting tour is the perfect end to a day full of discoveries and flavors. In the evening, you will reach the elegant villa or country resort, where you will spend the rest of your vacation; after checking in you will have some time to relax. Dinner will be independent, you can either choose to stay at the villa’s/country resort’s excellent restaurant or go to a lovely farm adjacent in a striking position that offers cuisine and local wines. Overnight. 

DAY 6: Lake D’Orta and Stresa, the Jewel of Lake Maggiore: Breakfast at the Villa/Resort, board your minivan and go for an excursion to visit the two most beautiful lakes in Piedmont, Lake D’Orta and Lake Maggiore. The morning will be spent in the gorgeous town of Orta San Giulio, located on the charming shores of Lake D’Orta.  A favorite place for romantic souls, the village of Orta San Giulio, is a maze of picturesque streets and narrow cobbled lanes, flanked by old stone walls with doorways topped with triangular architraves. The little squares, reminiscent of the campielli of Venice, are enlivened by the presence of craft boutiques, antique shops and lively cafés. There is a splendid view of Lake Orta from the 15th century Church of Maria Assunta, a favorite for weddings, from where a flight of broad granite steps leads to Piazza Motta, the main square of the village. You walk down between two rows of houses frescoed in the 16th century to arrive in the square with the 16th century Palazzo della Comunità (Town Hall). The finest view in the area is to be had from the Sacro Monte of Orta, a complex of chapels built between the late 16th and early 17th centuries, in the woodland setting of the Sacro Monte Special Nature Reserve. You can reach the complex via a path from Piazza Motta. Free time for lunch, in one of the restaurants of the lake shore.  In the afternoon, head to Stresa, a splendid location on Lake Maggiore in the Gulf of Borromeo, where it overlooks the eponymous islands, the main attraction in the region. The Borromean Islands, with their stunning palaces and ornamental gardens, are an unmissable destination for aesthetes. Luxury villas and opulent Art Nouveau hotels line the elegant lakeside, which is ideal for a tranquil stroll. Here you can visit the stunning Isola Bella, which derives its fame from its stunning Baroque palace and elaborate Italian gardens. It was the crowning glory of a group of famous Italian architects in the 17th century who, thanks to generous sponsorship from the Borromeo family, were able to create a unique masterpiece. At the of the tour, you can a enjoy a delicious dinner either on the island or in Stresa, before heading back to the Villa/Resort to retire for the evening for a good night’s sleep after a fruitful and enjoyable day!

DAY 7: Rest Morning – Designer Shopping Outlet: Breakfast at the Villa/Resort, today you are invited to have a restful morning on the grounds of the villa/resort. However keen shoppers are also free to visit Italy’s biggest named retail stores (Versace, Dolce Gabbana etc.) and a host of other designer brand stores at the nearby Serravalle Designer Outlet. This outlet is western europe’s largest designer outlet so the term “shop till you drop” really applies here!  Free time for lunch, before heading off to the elegant town of Aqui Terme for the afternoon. Aqui Terme is best known in Italy for its thermal springs which date back to Roman times. But the highlight of this hidden gem is undoubtedly its beautiful old town center. While strolling around the historic center and admiring Piazza della Bollente, you can breathe the particular air of the town, rich in sulfurous vapors. The smell comes from the neoclassic-style shrine located in the center of the square, rightly renamed Bollente (boiling). In fact, the water that flows in here never drops below 73° Centigrade! Enjoy an unforgettable wine tasting experience, pay a visit to Enoteca Regionale d’Acqui, established in 1981 in the basement of an ancient Roman house. Here, you can learn and taste the wines selected from 87 producers of the area by a committee of experts of the “Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori di Vino” (the Italian association of wine tasters). Enjoy your evening meal here in one of the many restaurants, trattorias or enotecas on offer before heading back to the villa/resort for the evening.

DAY 8: Arrivederci Italia: Breakfast at the villa/resort, and then board your minivan to catch your flight back home at Milan Malpensa International Airport.

*RATES ON REQUEST

Rate includes: 

  • 2 nights in HB (dinner-no beverages) at a 4star hotel in Langhe area occupying standard rooms 
  • 2 nights in BB at a 4star hotel in Langhe area occupying standard rooms 
  • 3 nights in BB at a 3star hotel in Monferrato area occupying standard rooms 
  • 1 dinner at local restaurant in Langhe area 
  • 1 dinner at local restaurant in Alba area—truffle 
  • 1 lunch at local restaurant in Asti area
  • 1 wine tasting at Barolo wine area
  • 1 dinner at local restaurant in Stresa
  • 1 wine tasting in Acqui Terme area 
  • 1 truffle hunting experience in Alba area
  • Boat and entrance fee from Stresa di Isole Borromee
  • Private english-speaking driver and car (1-2 pax), minivan (3-6 pax), minibus (7-12 pax) or coach (13-24 pax) at disposal as per indicated program
  • Driver’s meals and accommodation if necessary
  • Compulsory parking
  • Professional english-speaking tour escort at disposal as per indicated program
  • Tour escort’s meals and accommodation if necessary
  • Compulsory english-speaking local guides for visit to the following:
  • Turin (max 05 hours) 
  • Vat

Rate doesn’t include: 

  • City taxes (to be paid on the spot)
  • Entrance fees
  • Other local guides 
  • Tips and personal extras
  • Anything which is not clearly specified in “rate includes”

PLEASE ASK FOR ALL OUR ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATIONS OR EXPERIENCES

*Package descriptions and pricing are subject to change without notice.