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Join Italia Dolce Vita in this incredible tour of Piedmont, the land of truffles, great wines, and rich history. This gourmet tour leads you through the beautiful hills of Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, a unique scenery of vineyard landscape recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The month of October is also the best time of the year to enjoy this region as it is the peak of the Nebbiolo grape harvest and the time for celebrating the international white truffle festival in Alba.
You will be accommodated at the Hotel Relais Montemarino in single or double rooms. This historic 19th-century stone farmhouse is set in the heart of the hilly Langhe area, surrounded by orchards and vineyards. It offers traditional rooms with exposed brick walls. Your room will be a bright and spacious one.
You can relax indoors in the heated swimming pool that overlooks the grounds and surrounding countryside. Outside, you will find plenty of tables and lounge chairs. A large buffet breakfast will be served each morning and it will include top-quality sweet and savory food, and freshly-baked breads and cakes.
The following itinerary is how Italia Dolce Vita intends to proceed with this special tour. Occasionally, they need to adjust itineraries based on a number of factors, including weather, hotel availability, and accessibility to sites. In the event that a change to the itinerary is necessary, they will make every effort to keep it to a minimum. Rest assured that it is the company's goal to make your trip an exceptional experience.
You will be greeted at your airport of arrival for a direct transfer to Relais Montemarino in the heart of the Langhe region. After check in, there will be time to relax before you meet with the group for a welcome aperitivo and dinner at a local restaurant.
In the morning, you will enjoy a rustic and authentic experience learning the secrets of natural organic cheese-making. You will follow the whole process from the pasture to the sheepfold, milking room, cheese-making steps, and ageing, followed by a tasting lunch with typical products in the rustic and simple atmosphere of the shepherd’s home.
After lunch, you will set off for a panoramic tour in the Barbaresco wine area, along the UNESCO vineyard landscape. You will stop for a stroll in the Barbaresco town center and in Neive, one of the most beautiful hamlets in Italy. There will be a private guided tour and tasting at a selected Barbaresco wine cellar. You will dine in one of the favorite local trattorias.
Today, you will navigate the Monferrato hills for an exciting cookery course for local dishes. Learn to prepare a traditional menu to discover the roots of Piedmont’s local food and wine culture. Pick up the secrets behind the flavors and ingredients from an expert cook. After the course, you will have lunch with the prepared dishes to toast to the wine and food valley.
In the afternoon, you will transfer to Canelli to visit the oldest Italian wine cellar that produces the metodo classico sparkling wine, and its huge underground cellars known as "underground cathedrals". This is also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, extends below the city, and is dug out from several levels in the tuffaceous hills. It creates a striking environment, and is a true masterpiece of engineering and architecture.
The splendid historical center attached to the hill is rich in picturesque glimpses and ancient splendor dominated by an 18th-century castle. Enjoy a tasting of their spumante wines, then return to the hotel for some leisure time before dinner.
You will visit the elegant center of Cherasco, considered the salotto, or salon, of the hills, and its charming pastry shops and cafes. A sweet stop with a guided chocolate tasting in the heart of town is a must. After a short transfer, it will be time for an exciting Alba white truffle-hunting excursion in the woods with the trifolao and his trained dog. Don't forget to put on your walking shoes so you can stroll through the historic forest with panoramic views over the Langhe.
Lunch will be served in the characteristic agriturismo with the truffle hunter’s family to discover more about this traditional and special job. In the early evening, there will be a guided visit of Grinzane Cavour castle. This prestigious manor, now a museum, was home of Italy’s first prime minister, Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour. Like an Italian Thomas Jefferson, this politician was equally adept at wine and became a seminal figure in the creation of the Barolo wine in the 1800s. After the visit, you will enjoy dinner at the elegant Michelin-star restaurant of the castle. All dishes will be paired with the greatest local wines.
During the weekend, truffle hunters, gourmands, and restaurateurs will convene in Alba for the International Alba White Truffle Fair, the most renowned truffle fair in the world. In the morning, you will visit the famous truffle market in Alba where all things truffle will be for sale. Every day, thousands of batches of freshly-dug truffles are displayed and sold by the trifolao themselves.
Find everything from truffle oil to cheese and more. An expert guide will show you the highlights and you will have time to roam the market for your purchases. Enjoy lunch at a slow food restaurant in Alba. After lunch, there will be a guided walking tour of the medieval streets of Alba. You will have free time in Alba before returning to the hotel. There will also be some time to relax before you head over to dinner.
You will set off for a panoramic tour of the Barolo wine area along the UNESCO vineyard landscape, with stops in some of the most charming and characteristic towns of the region. There will be a private guided visit to a well-known Barolo wine cellar with a tasting lunch. It is a unique and authentic experience to meet the owners and talk to them about their passion and the quality of their great wine.
This place is ideal for the passionate wine lover and the connoisseurs. It has a cozy yet exclusive atmosphere to appreciate special wine tastings of prestigious wines. The wine tasting will be guided by an oenologist and paired with the lunch dishes featuring local products. Later in the afternoon, you will have a stroll in Barolo, the town from which the king of wines and the wine of kings got its name.
Enjoy a unique guided visit of the Wine Museum, or WIMU, hosted in the amazing Barolo castle. You will also have the opportunity to taste several Barolo cru at Damiliano. This winery dominates over half of the historic Cannubi vineyards and produces some of the best-price-value Barolos around. You will have time to relax at the hotel before the farewell dinner.
You will depart from Italy, carrying home with you all the fun and amazing memories of this trip. If you wish to extend your stay, Italia Dolce Vita can further assist you with other vacation ideas and proposals.
This culinary vacation will take place in the region of Piedmont in Italy.
All three daily meals are included in the price of this retreat. A buffet breakfast will be served each morning in the hotel. Lunches and dinners will be authentic Italian and gourmet meals, all paired with local wines. You will also experience a Michelin-star style of dining and white truffle dinners.
Italia Dolce Vita is accustomed to accommodating food allergies or preferences in their vacation planning services. They can cater to gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or kosher specifications, so please do not hesitate to let them know well ahead of the trip.
If you're feeling adventurous, Italia Dolce Vita can help you arrange other activities and services at an additional cost. They can also help you with tour extension options before or after the scheduled trip dates.
You can book massage treatments at the hotel for an additional cost.
Please book your flight to arrive at Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP) or Turin Airport (TRN). Transfer from these airports is included. Italia Dolce Vita will pick you up from these airports.