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11 Days Gourmet Culinary Vacations in Italy

11 Days Gourmet Culinary Vacations in Italy

  • Torino - La Morra - Polesine Permense

Emilia and Piedmont Wine and Cooking Holidays in Italy

Do not miss out on the opportunity to bring back happy vibes in your life with this retreat brought to you by Olde Ipswich Tours. Discover the best northern Italy has to offer: culture, scenery, food, and wine. Enjoy the scenery of ancient medieval villages, a landscape dotted with vineyards, and taste the pleasures of the Parma food valley. You surely deserve some time off to enjoy the luxuries you have been working hard and always dreaming of.

Highlights

  • 3 winery visits and tasting
  • 2 fun cooking classes in a mansion and resort venue
  • A visit to a traditional balsamic vinegar farm with tasting
  • Visits to Serralunga dAlba, Alba, Novello, Barolo, and Bologna
  • A visit to a parmesan cheese and a prosciutto farm with tasting
  • Guided tours of Torino, Alba, Parma, and Bologna
  • 10 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners with drinks
  • 10 nights deluxe accommodations
  • 10 days with instruction
  • English
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Spend 10 nights in deluxe accommodations during the tour. You will spend 3 nights in Torino, 3 nights in La Morra, 3 nights in Polesine Parmense and 1 night in Bologna.

Day 1 - Arrival, Torino

Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to Torino. Before arriving at their deluxe centrally located hotel, you will take a scenic guided tour of the city that will allow you to see the Parco del Valentino, the city's largest park located along the Po River; the Monte dei Cappuccini; the circular Neoclassical Gran Madre di Dio church inspired by the Rome Pantheon; and the grand Piazza Vittorio Veneto. After checking into your hotel, you take a stroll nearby and enjoy a welcome aperitivo the Italian way before heading to a restaurant for dinner.

Overnight in Torino. Meals included: dinner.

Day 2 - Torino

After breakfast, you will meet your guide to discover the historical center of Torino, the extravagant red brick facade of Palazzo Carignano, Piazza Castello (castle square), the elegant Royal Palace, the majestic San Carlo Square, as well as some antique courtyards, real hidden gems of Torino. After lunch at a 19th century elegantly decorated cafe, head to the Mole Antonelliana, symbol of Turin and former Jewish synagogue, now hosting the amazing Cinema Museum, where you will take the panoramic lift up to a terrace from which you can enjoy a birds-eye view of the city. The afternoon is free for you to stroll on your own or to visit one of the striking museums of Torino. Dinner will be on your own in one of the many charming restaurants around our hotel.

Overnight in Torino. Meals included: breakfast and lunch.

Day 3 - Torino

The tour begins with a visit to Turins famous market, Porta Palazzo, where you will meet a native Piedmontese lady who will be your chef for the night and will help you shop for the ingredients of your hands-on cooking class. The chef will teach you how to select the seasons finest vegetables, herbs, spices, and fruits. In the afternoon, you enjoy a 3-hour hands-on cooking class at an ancient private mansion where you learn how to prepare both typical Piedmontese and northern Italian dishes. Later in the afternoon, you will be transferred to an old private mansion to enjoy your dinner.

Overnight in Torino. Meals included: breakfast and dinner.

Day 4 - Torino, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra

After breakfast, check out of our hotel and drive to the Langhe wine region. After the hustle and bustle of the big city, enjoy the idyllic scenery and relaxing views of the rolling hills that grows some of the best wines in the world. Your first stop is the medieval village of Serralunga dAlba where you stroll to the impressive fortress and the surrounding landscape.You then continue to the former private hunting estate of the first king of Italy, Fontanafredda, where we have lunch at the cozy and warm osteria on the premises. After lunch, continue to La Morra, the highest village in the area, where our charming family-run hotel is located. Enjoy the beautiful view from its Belvedere before a typical Langhe dinner at a local inn.

Overnight in La Morra. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 5 - La Morra, Alba

After breakfast, head to Alba. Named the city of 100 towers, it is the capital of the Langhe region, and its historical center is rich in Roman and Gothic monuments. You will take a guided tour of the center, then the rest of the morning will be at your disposal to discover the beautiful squares and pedestrian streets, lined with beautiful shops and cafes. Your last visit for the day is at the world-famous winery, near Alba. The group will then return to La Morra for some free time and dinner.

Overnight in La Morra. Meal included: breakfast.

Day 6 - La Morra, Novello, Barolo

For today, you will visit Novello, a beautiful ancient hilltop village. From here take an easy downhill walk through the surrounding vineyards that will take you to Barolo. Located in an ornate hollow of hills covered in vineyards, this simple and cozy town is dominated by the austere image of the 10th century Faletti Castle, site of the regional wine shop and of the Wine Museum, which provides a fascinating sensory experience, a descent into the world of wine. After lunch on your own and some time to explore the village, you return to La Morra. Half way up the hill overlooking the main Barolo Valley, along the first spurs of the neatly aligned vineyards, lies the Abbey of the Annunziata (Our Lady of the Annunciation), a priceless jewel of the 15th century, today hosting the Renato Ratti winery. You enjoy a visit and a wine tasting before getting ready for your gourmet dinner.

Overnight in La Morra. Meals included: breakfast and dinner.

Day 7 - La Morra, Parma

After breakfast, you will leave La Morra and head to the area of Parma, in the heart of the so-called Food Valley. Your hotel for the next four days is the Relais Antica Corte Pallavicina, a country estate dating back to the 14th century, that is at the same time a quaint inn, a farm, a restaurant, a dairy and a renowned salami producer. Upon arrival, visit the property with the ancient cellars and take a hands-on cooking class, focusing on home made pasta. You then head to central Parma and check into your luxury hotel.

Overnight in Polesine Parmense. Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 8 - Parma

In the morning, enjoy a cultural visit to the city of Parma. A local professional guide will show you this lively town rich in history, art and culture. Parma has been shaped over the centuries by great painters and architects. Antelamis pink marble Baptistery and Correggios illusionist frescoes decorating the cathedral, the Chamber of St. Paul and St. John the Evangelist, are the trademarks of the town, together with Parmigianinos masterpieces.The national gallery, located in the Pilotta Palace, displays paintings by Canova, Tiepolo, and Leonardo da Vinci. In the afternoon, explore the countryside, scattered by castles built by noble families between the 14th and 15th centuries. You will also visit the Torrechiara Castle, where the famous Lady Hawk movie was filmed. Before going back to our hotel, we stop by one of the numerous prosciutto factories to see how this Italian specialty is prepared and to taste it with an expert.

Overnight in Polesine Parmense. Meal included: breakfast.

Day 9 - Parma, Rocca di Soragna, Rocca Sanvitale di Fontanellato, Reggia di Colorno

Today, you will visit a local certified Parmigiano Reggiano dairy. You’ll discover the ancient secrets of the world’s most renowned Italian cheese. The rest of the day will be dedicated to the discovery the surroundings of Parma. Some of the most important castles, fortresses and royal palaces are the Rocca di Soragna, still the residence of Prince Meli-Lupi, with its outstanding frescoed decorations and Baroque furniture; the Rocca Sanvitale di Fontanellato, a charming medieval fortress standing at the center of the town and surrounded by a deep moat which hosts one of the masterpieces of Italian mannerism; and the Reggia di Colorno, with its monumental structure and French gardens.

Overnight in Parma. Meals included: breakfast and lunch.

Day 10 - Parma, Modena, Bologna

On your final day, enjoy a full day excursion to the magnificent city of Bologna. On your way, stop near Modena for an educational and gourmet visit at an authentic balsamic vinegar Acetaia, where you’ll learn the production techniques and enjoy a tasting session. Upon arriving in Bologna, you will discover the city center, visiting the main monuments and palaces with a local expert guide. After time strolling among the many food shops in this gastronomic capital, you depart for your resort on a hill outside Bologna for our farewell dinner and overnight..

Overnight in Bologna. Meals included: breakfast and dinner.

Day 11 - Departure

After breakfast, head to Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP) for your return flights.

Meal included: breakfast.

  • Guided tours of Torino, Alba, Parma, and Bologna
  • Visit a parmesan cheese and a prosciutto farm with tasting
  • Visit a traditional balsamic vinegar farm with tasting
  • Visits to Serralunga d’Alba, Alba, Novello, Barolo, and Bologna

This retreat takes place in the beautiful country of Italy which boasts as a hot spot for those who crave for a rich cultural, art and gastronomic experience. Northern Italy, home to some of the most beautiful and authentic medieval villages and breathtaking landscapes, will not only feed your cravings for a feast of the eyes but most importantly a feast for your stomach for it is simply the perfect venue for every food lovers dream.

During this holiday, you will visit Torino, Alba, Parma, Grinzane Cavour, Alba, Novello, Barolo, and Bologna in Italy.

This retreat combines some of the best food experiences in Italy. Aside from the two cooking classes, wine tastings and visits to the Parmesan cheese farm, prosciutto farm and traditional balsamic vinegar farm, you will dine on the finest local ingredients and traditional plates in restaurants.

Olde Ipswich Tours seeks to find the perfect balance between planned excursions and free time. They select some of the best cultural and culinary destinations for your itineraries. In your free time, explore shops, cafes, or restaurants on your own, check out a new museum, or wander over to the next town.

  • 10 nights deluxe accommodations
  • All activities as described in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners with drinks included
  • All local tour guides, museum, winery and monument entrance fees
  • All tips and taxes
  • Cheese and prosciutto production tours and wine tastings as described
  • Full-time English-speaking tour escort
  • Transportation by air-conditioned minivan
  • Walking tours with local expert guides
  • Additional visits and meals (done in free time) and associated fees and tips that are not listed above
  • Personal insurance
  • Wine and alcohol with meals, unless specified

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airport to arrive at is Milan-Malpensa Airport (MXP).