Our Journeys

The Tastes of Val d’Aosta, Piedmont & Liguria with Caffe Mingo
May 30 - June 11, 2020

$5,950

The Tastes of Val d’Aosta, Piedmont & Liguria with Caffe Mingo- June 2020

Join us for this food, wine and chocolate exploration of Northern Italy with Michael and Tenley Cronan, owners of Caffe Mingo. Michael and Tenley are excited to share with you their favourite dining spots, wineries and other local producers. On this original itinerary, you will have the unique opportunity of visiting three distinctly different regions of Italy, all with tremendously rich food and wine traditions. We will get off the beaten path in the alpine Val d’Aosta region, famous for its Fontina cheeses and cured meats. In Piedmont, we will visit the region’s regal capital city of Turin, before heading to the Alba countryside where we will visit Barolo and Barbaresco producers, enjoy a cooking class and its picturesque rolling hills. In coastal Liguria, we will savour delicious fish, delicate olive oil, and take in some of the most stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline.


MAP




ITINERARY


*Please click on each day to view daily itinerary.

Day 0 – Friday, May 29, 2020: Fly from the US to Milan, Italy

Fly from the USA to Milan

Day 1 – Saturday, May 30, 2020: Arrival in Milan

Upon arrival, you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the city center. You will have time to rest and get settled before a welcome prosecco and dinner at a quaint local restaurant. Overnight in Milan

Day 2 – Sunday, May 31, 2020: Milan / Val d’Aosta

This morning we will enjoy a walking tour of Milan including its world famous gothic Duomo. This afternoon we will leave Milan and enjoy a meandering scenic drive through the Val d’Aosta region and stop on our way for a wine tasting before arriving in Aosta. Dinner tonight will be at a charming local restaurant. Overnight in Aosta

Day 3 – Monday, June 1, 2020: Aosta and Cheese tasting

Today, we will explore the small city of Aosta, an important Roman outpost and today’s capital of the Italian region Valle d’Aosta. You will be surprised by the lesser-known beauties of this dramatic region and the impressive architectural heritage from its Roman and medieval past. We’ll discover the important castles of the area, including Fenis, famed for its many towers and battlemented walls and Issogne, famous for its unique frescoes. You will also visit a producer of Fontina Valdostana, the most famous cheese of the area. Overnight in Aosta

Day 4 – Tuesday June 2, 2020: Mt. Blanc Skyway, Ham/Lard Tasting Lunch and Verres

This morning, we will take a ride on the Mt. Blanc funicular to see the its incredible views. The skyway connects the peak above Courmayeur with the peak above Chamonix by passing over the Mont Blanc Massif. For lunch, we will enjoy a tasting of local cured hams, lard and salami at a very interesting local producer, along with some regional sweets. Afterwards, we will visit the imposing Verres fortification, one of the most impressive castles from the middle ages in this area.Overnight in Aosta

Day 5 – Wednesday, June 3, 2020: Biella/Turin

Today we will reach the spectacular Sanctuary of Oropa, near Biella. There, we’ll embark on a very special tour of the main church, where we’ll view the worshipped and beloved Black Madonna. This is a very special time to visit the sanctuary as 2020 is the year that 100 year coronation occurs. We will also visit the treasure museum and ex-voto galleries. After a delicious lunch of Piedmontese specialties, including a famous local polenta dish and sharp herb liqueur, we will make our way to the Birra Menabrea brewery, to see one of the oldest active breweries in Italy. In the afternoon, we will continue on to the amazing city of Turin which was once the capital of the Savoy Kingdom. Home to the Italian Royal family for centuries, Turin attracted the international spotlight thanks to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games. Overnight in Turin

Day 6 – Thursday, June 4, 2020: Turin & Venaria Reale

Today we will enjoy Turin and its many fantastic buildings such as Mole Antonelliana, the symbol of the city, the Royal Palace and the Cathedral, which preserves arguably the most famous Roman Catholic relic in the world – the Shroud of Turin. After enjoying a visit to Veneria Reale, the Royal residence created in the 1600s as a hunting lodge for the king, we will take in a scenic view of the city. Later we will stroll through the city center with a great local guide and sample delicious hand-made gianduiotti chocolate and meander through a few of the world’s finest coffee and pastry shops (Torrefazione Samambaia, Caffe Mulassano, Stratta, and Caffe al Bicerin). You will be introduced to bicerin, the famous coffee, chocolate and cream drink the city is renowned for as well as have a chance to try some of the city’s unique and herbaceous Vermouths. Overnight in Turin

Day 7 – Friday, June 5, 2020: Barbaresco/Moscato d’Asti

Piedmont’s culinary and wine-making traditions are world famous, and today is dedicated to unveiling the delectable treasures of its countryside! We will start our exploration with a visit to one of the best wineries of the region where we’ll learn about the full-bodied reds that are produced from the local Nebbiolo grape. After our visit to the winery, we will have lunch in Barbresco and at the Ristorante La Torre, a favorite of our host Michael Cronin. In the afternoon we will focus on the delicious Moscato d’Asti wine, with a visit of a producer in the Canelli area. Afterwards, we will head to our base for the next few nights, a countryside resort near to Alba. Sleep in the countryside, near Alba

Day 8 – Saturday, June 6, 2020: Mercato in Alba, Cheese & Barolo

This morning we will head into the red-bricked city of Alba where we will have time to meander through the lively weekly market. Full of street stalls selling local specialties and delicacies, it will be something to remember! Afterwards, we’ll have lunch at a small- scale organic creamery and sheep farm that produces “formaggio del pistone.” The owner, a true local character, will explain to the group what it takes to make the business fully self- sustainable. We will also learn from the cheesemaker about the history and mission of the Slow Food movement that was started nearby by Carlo Petrini in 1986. Later, we will pay a visit to a local small-family wine producer featuring Barolo wines (Podere Ruggeri Corsini). Sleep in the countryside, near Alba

Day 9 – Sunday June 7, 2020: Chocolate & Cooking Class & Wine Tasting

This morning we will enjoy a tasting of the very unique Ravera chocolate in the historic town of Cherasco, famous and revered throughout Italy and Europe for its high quality confectionery production. Afterwards we will learn to make the traditional and celebrated Piedmont dish of Ravioli del Plin, which we will sample for lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit the winery of Renato Ratti for a wine tasting of Barolo and Barbaresco wines. Sleep in the countryside, near Alba

Day 10 – Monday, June 8, 2020: Gavi & Chocolate

This morning we will transfer to a different part of Piedmont known as “Gavi.” Along the way, we will visit another chocolate production, sample several different kinds of chocolate and pralines, and enjoy a wine tasting lunch at one of the most beautiful estates in Piedmont. After lunch you will reach the Liguria region and the historic maritime city of Genoa. Overnight in Genoa

Day 11 – Tuesday, June 9, 2020: Portofino

Today you will visit Portofino and Camogli, the two most famous villages on the Italian Riviera. On the way back to Genoa you will stop in Recco to enjoy a lunch of the city’s famous cheesy Focaccia. Overnight in Genoa

Day 12 – Wednesday June 10, 2020 : Genoa & Ligurian coast

The birthplace of Christopher Columbus Genoa is a surprising treasure trove of antiquities best experienced with a knowledgeable local. After a good look at the city, you will explore the other side of the Ligurian coastline: Finale, Noli, and Varazze. We are certain you will love the charming but lesser known village of Finalborgo. You will end the day near Malpensa airport. Overnight near Milan Malpensa airport

Day 13 – Thursday, June 11, 2020: Departure

This morning you will be transferred to Milan Malpensa airport for your return flight or extend your trip with a 3 night stay in the Lake Como region.



INFORMATION


Trip Details:
13days – 12 nights
1 night in Milan
3 nights in Aosta
2 nights in Turin
3 nights near Alba
2 nights in Genoa
1 night near Milan Malpensa

Price: $5,950 USD per person (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $950 USD per person

What is included in the price

  • All hotel accommodations in charming and well located hotels
  • All land transportation in private deluxe bus
  • Pick up transfer upon arrival in Milan
  • All breakfasts and one main meal per day
  • All entrances to museums and attractions as per the itinerary
  • All tastings as per the itinerary

What is not included

  • International airfare to and from Italy
  • Personal expenses
  • One meal per day
  • Trip Insurance
  • Tips to guides and drivers

MORE INFO