Join us for this food, wine and chocolate exploration of Northern Italy. 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, participate in a real truffle hunt, enjoy a cooking class, and just take in its picturesque rolling hills with the changing colors of the fall. In coastal Liguria, we will savor delicious fish, delicate olive oil, and take in some of the most stunning views of the Mediterranean coastline.
*Please click on each day to view daily itinerary.
Fly from the US to Milan, Italy.
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
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 to reach the entrance of Val d’Aosta region, where we will stay in an authentic ancient castle. Dinner tonight will be at the charming restaurant of our hotel. Overnight near Ivrea
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. We will also visit a producer of Fontina Valdostana, the most famous cheese of the area. For lunch, we will enjoy a tasting of local cured hams, lard and salami at a very interesting local producer, along with some regional sweetsToday, 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 near Ivrea
Today we will head south to Genoa, the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa is a surprising treasure trove of antiquities best experienced with a knowledgeable local. On the way we will stop in Gavi, where we will enjoy a wine tasting meal at one of the most beautiful estates in Piedmont. Overnight in Genoa
Today we will enjoy the Italian Riviera with visits to Portofino and Camogli, the two most famous villages on the coast. On the way back to Genoa we will stop in Recco to enjoy its famous cheesy Focaccia. Overnight in Genoa
This morning we will venture to the city of Turin with a stop along the way to visit the Venaria Reale, the Royal residence created in the 1600s as a hunting lodge for the king. Once in Turin, we will start to explore this amazing city, the former 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. We will get familiar with the Mole Antonelliana, 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. Overnight in Turin
Today we will continue to explore Turin and its many fantastic buildings and stroll through the city center with a great local guide. We will sample delicious hand-made gianduiotti chocolate and will have time to meander through a few of the world’s finest coffee and pastry shops such as Torrefazione Samambaia, Caffe Mulassano, and Stratta. We will sip a great bicerin, the famous coffee, chocolate and cream drink, and will have time to visit Turin’s Egyptian Museum. Besides being the oldest Egiptian museum in the world, it is the second biggest, after Cairo. Tonight, we will have a wine and food pairing dinner at a gourmet local restaurant. Sleep in Turin
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 the day with a real truffle hunt, during which we will learn more about truffles, how to find and collect them, and of course how to prepare them to best enjoy their amazing aroma*. After lunch we will visit 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. Afterwards, we will head to our base for the next few nights, a countryside resort near to Alba. Sleep in Piedmont countryside
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! We will also visit the international truffle fair and have the possibility to learn more about all sort of local products. 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. Sleep in Piedmont countryside
This morning we will enjoy a tasting of the 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 with some good local wines. We will end the day near Malpensa airport for an easy depature tomorrow Sleep near Malpensa
For those flying out today, we can arrange for a transfer to the airport using the hotel shuttle or you can continue your journey with a 3-day extension to the Italian Lakes region.
11days – 10 nights
1 night in Milan
2 nights near Ivrea
2 nights in Genoa
2 nights in Turin
2 nights in Piedmont countryside
1 night near Milan Malpensa
Price: $4,950 USD per person (double occupancy)
Single Supplement: $825 USD per person