Our Journeys

Val d'Aosta, Piedmont & Liguria Culinary Exploration with Chef Cathy Whims - November 2024


Val d’Aosta, Piedmont & Liguria Culinary Exploration with Chef Cathy Whims – November 2024

Embark on an extraordinary journey through the diverse landscapes and rich cultures of Northern Italy with our Aosta, Piedmont, and Liguria Culinary Exploration, hosted by renowned Chef Cathy Whims of Nostrana. This meticulously curated itinerary invites you to explore the unique beauty and flavors of three distinct regions, promising an immersive experience that resonates with history, culinary excellence, and natural splendor. Chef Cathy will share her extensive knowledge and love of these regions with our travelers, while an experienced Customized Journeys tour leader will be there to accompany the group throughout this amazing journey, ensuring a seamless and enriching experience for all.



*Please click on each day to view daily itinerary.

Day 0- Thursday, October 31: Optional Pre-Night at Milan Airport Hotel

For those travelers arriving today from the US and wishing to have an easy hotel option for the night before the trip, an optional pre-night at a Milan airport hotel can be added.

Day 1 - Friday, November 1: Transfer to Val d’Aosta

This morning, our group will convene near the Milan airport for a collective transfer, set to depart at 10 am. Our destination is the captivating Aosta Valley, where you will be enchanted by the undiscovered treasures and remarkable architectural legacy steeped in Roman and medieval history. Embark on a delightful journey as our first stop brings us to an agriturismo just outside Aosta, where a delectable welcome lunch awaits. Following this gastronomic experience, we will explore the nearby Issogne Castle, renowned for its distinctive frescoes. Later in the afternoon, we will reach the charming town of Aosta, affording you some leisure time to unwind before an engaging aperitivo and a welcoming discussion with your tour leader. As evening approaches, you'll have the freedom to choose from a variety of dining options within walking distance of our conveniently located hotel. Overnight in Aosta

Day 2 - Saturday, November 2: Aosta & Cheese

This morning, we will immerse ourselves in the rich history of Aosta through a captivating guided walking tour. Once a crucial Roman outpost, Aosta now stands as the capital of the Italian region Valle d'Aosta. Following this enlightening exploration, our journey continues to the renowned Fenis Castle, celebrated for its impressive towers and battlemented walls. A highlight of the day awaits as we visit a Fontina Valdostana producer, offering insights into the craftsmanship behind the area's most famed cheese. The culinary adventure unfolds with a delectable lunch featuring a tasting of local cured hams, lard, salami, and regional sweets at a fascinating local producer. In the afternoon, we return to Aosta, granting you ample time to savor a dinner of your choice in this charming city with its array of culinary delights. Overnight in Aosta

Day 3 - Sunday, November 3: Turin

This morning marks the beginning of our journey from Aosta to the captivating city of Turin. Upon reaching Turin, our exploration kicks off with a light walking tour, taking us through its enchanting streets. A highlight of our tour includes immersing ourselves in the gastronomic charm of Turin including a delightful sampling of hand-made gianduiotti chocolate. We will take some time to meander through a few of the world's finest coffee and pastry shops, such as Torrefazione Samambaia, Caffe Mulassano, and Stratta. An exquisite treat awaits as we sip on the renowned bicerin, a delightful blend of coffee, chocolate, and cream—a true indulgence in Turin's culinary legacy. The day culminates with a group dinner. This communal dining experience offers a chance to share the day's adventures and relish the collective spirit of our journey. Turin's rich history and culinary treasures promise an unforgettable day of exploration and indulgence. Overnight in Turin

Day 4 - Monday, November 4: Egyptian Museum & Turin Free Time

Today unfolds with a continuation of our exploration in Turin, featuring a visit to the renowned Egyptian Museum. Not only is it the oldest Egyptian museum globally, but it also holds the distinction of being the second largest, surpassed only by Cairo. Immerse yourself in the fascinating exhibits that showcase the rich history and cultural treasures of ancient Egypt. Following a satisfying group lunch, the afternoon grants you the freedom to further indulge in the delights of Turin at your own pace. Explore its charming streets, discover hidden gems, or perhaps unwind in one of its inviting cafes. This day is yours to savor the city's offerings and create your own memorable experiences in this enchanting destination. Overnight in Turin

Day 5 - Tuesday, November 5: Gavi Wine Region

Today we will embark on a day of indulgence and scenic delights as we bid farewell to Turin, venturing towards the picturesque Gavi wine region. Our first stop brings us to a charming winery nestled in the heart of Gavi, where you'll be treated to a delightful wine tasting experience. Savor the nuances of exceptional local wines, paired with a sumptuous lunch that captures the essence of the region's culinary delights. As the afternoon unfolds, indulge in an optional stop at a luxury outlet mall, providing a perfect opportunity for those seeking a touch of retail therapy amidst the stunning landscapes before we continue our journey to the vibrant city of Genoa. Arriving in Genoa, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this coastal city, known for its rich maritime history and cultural treasures. Our exploration of Genoa promises a perfect blend of historical charm and coastal allure. Overnight in Genoa

Day 6 - Wednesday, November 6: Pesto Cooking and City Tour

Today we will embark on a captivating exploration of Genoa, beginning with a guided city tour through its historic center. Our journey will lead us to the city's renowned pastry shops, where we'll indulge in the delectable world of local chocolates, savoring the rich flavors that define Genoa's sweet culinary traditions. The adventure continues with an immersive cooking class featuring an Italian pesto champion. Unveil the secrets behind crafting perfect focaccia and pesto as you learn from the best. Following the hands-on experience, relish in a delightful lunch, savoring the fruits of your culinary creation. As the day transitions to evening, you'll have the freedom to immerse yourself further in the city's vibrant atmosphere. Whether you choose to explore more historic corners, indulge in local cuisine, or simply savor the ambiance, Genoa awaits your personal discovery. An evening of leisure beckons, promising an opportunity to create lasting memories in this captivating Italian city. Overnight in Genoa

Day 7 - Thursday, November 7: Ligurian Riveria

Today we will embark on a day of coastal enchantment as we explore the captivating Ligurian Riviera, visiting charming coastal villages that paint a picturesque scene. Weather permitting, we'll enhance the experience with a delightful boat excursion, allowing you to unwind and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring views that unfold along the coastline. Before our return to Genoa, our journey includes a stop in the delightful village of Recco, renowned for its culinary gem—the famous cheesy Focaccia. Indulge in a leisurely lunch, savoring the unique flavors of this local delicacy, and relish the coastal ambiance that graces this enchanting part of the Ligurian Riviera. Today promises a perfect blend of scenic beauty, coastal exploration, and culinary delights along the shores of this Mediterranean gem. Overnight in Genoa

Day 8 - Friday, November 8: Piedmont Wines

Today we will bid farewell to the coastal charm of Genoa as the group embarks on a journey to the illustrious Piedmont region, celebrated for its exceptional wine, truffles, and as the birthplace of the slow food movement. En route, our expedition takes us to the first stop—an esteemed local vineyard—for a captivating wine tasting experience, featuring the distinguished wines of this region. Following this sensory journey, we continue our adventure to a charming hotel, where you'll have ample time to soak up the distinctive local atmosphere. As the day concludes, anticipate a delightful group dinner, a shared culinary experience that brings our day’s exploration of Piedmont to a delicious and convivial close. Overnight in Piedmont countryside

Day 9 - Saturday, November 9: Truffle Festival, Alba & Cooking Class

This morning, our journey leads us into the enchanting, red-bricked city of Alba, where a vibrant weekly market awaits our exploration. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as you meander through the bustling market, adorned with street stalls showcasing an array of local specialties and delicacies—an experience destined to leave a lasting impression. Additionally, our visit includes a stop at the international truffle fair, offering the opportunity to delve into the world of diverse local products. Later in the day, indulge in a hands-on cooking class, unveiling the secrets behind crafting authentic Piedmontese dishes, such as the iconic risotto or delicate ravioli del plin. A feast for the senses awaits as we delve into the region's culinary heritage. To cap off this enriching day, we'll pay a visit to a local small-family wine producer, renowned for their exquisite Barolo wines. Delight your palate with the nuanced flavors of this exceptional wine, rounding off a day that promises a harmonious blend of cultural discovery, culinary delights, and the rich flavors of Piedmont. Overnight in Piedmont countryside

Day 10 - Sunday, November 10: Truffle Hunt & Truffle Lunch

Today we will embark on an authentic truffle adventure as we commence the day with a genuine truffle hunt. Immerse yourself in the secrets of truffle harvesting, learning the art of finding and collecting these elusive treasures. Discover the intricacies of preparing truffles to unlock their extraordinary aroma, ensuring a deeper appreciation of this culinary gem. Our truffle-filled day culminates in a lunch dedicated to truffle-based dishes, celebrating the day's harvest in a symphony of flavors. Indulge your senses as we savor the rich, earthy notes of truffles in each meticulously crafted dish. To cap off this immersive experience, we will visit a local winery nestled within the walls of a captivating castle. Overnight in Piedmont countryside

Day 11 – Monday, November 11: Departure

This morning, the group will be transferred to Milan Malpensa airport where you can either fly out or continue your journey. Be sure to schedule your flights for after 12:00PM if you plan to fly out today.


Trip Details:
2 nights in Aosta
2 nights in Turin
3 nights in Genoa
3 nights in Piedmont countryside
Total: 10 nights, 11 days

Price: $6,450 USD per person (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $850 USD per person

Recommended Pre-Night in Milan (October 31st)
Staying at First Hotel Malpensa
$165 USD per room for 2 people
$140 USD per room for 1 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 including wine
  • Entrance fees, cooking class and tastings as per the itinerary
  • Group transfers upon arrival and departure

What is not included

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


    Customized Journeys

    We devise innovative, small-group expeditions for the discerning traveler who desires the benefits of group travel without the negative side effects.

    Our clients (we have an industry leading 85% return rate) have told us that it is our “local knowledge” that keeps them coming back for more.


    Contact Us

    (503) 914-6452

    Customized Journeys/MG Expeditions
    25 NW 23rd PL. Suite 6 PMB # 478
    Portland, OR 97210
    Montgomery & Gardino Expeditions
    Belvedere Montaldo, 1/12A
    16124 Genoa


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