Day 1 - OUR FIRST BAROLO
For those of you arriving by train from Milan or Turin, we’ll pick you up at the Alba train station. For those of you that prefer a private car transfer directly from Milan, we can arrange transportation for you.
Whichever way you choose to arrive, we’ll pick you up & bring you to Felicin, a 4-star boutique hotel in the heart of Barolo wine country. Take your time to get settled in, walk around the gardens, or take a quick swim in the outdoor pool.
In the mid-afternoon, we’ll have our first wine tasting at the Enoteca Regionale del Barolo. This will be our first introduction into the complex & diverse Barolo wines unique to the local terroir of this region. After the tasting we’ll head back to the hotel for a warm welcome dinner with regional specialties.
Day 2 - ALBA & COOKING CLASS
We’ll start the day with a morning walk from our hotel to the town of Barolo (about 1 hour), which is the best way appreciate our stunning surroundings at the foot of the Italian Alps.
In Barolo, the town best known for producing the eponymous wine, we’ll have time to visit the underground cellars that have produced wine in this region for centuries and continue the tradition today.
After a tour of Barolo, which will include a wine tasting & lunch, we’ll drive over to Alba (20 minutes), where we’ll have some free time to explore the town center. From Alba we’ll take a short scenic drive (20 minutes) to Verduno Castle, an estate that belonged to the Italian royal family dating back to 1500. At the castle we’ll discover the secrets to Piedmontese cuisine with a cooking class! We’ll sit down together to enjoy what we’ve prepared (paired with a delicious wine, of course!), then head back to the same hotel in Monforte for a good night’s sleep.
Day 3 - BIG WINES & SMALL VILLAGES
When we finish our leisurely breakfast, we’ll head over to La Morra (15 minutes by car). A small village with a population of about 2700 residents, La Morra offers spectacular views of the vine-covered hills & even more spectacular wines to taste.
The first winery we’ll stop at is Marengo, a family-owned vineyard & one of only 6 producers of Barolo “Brunate.” After a tasting, we’ll head over to the picturesque town of Neive for lunch on a panoramic terrace. Then we’ll head to our next hotel, but not before stopping en route at the Enoteca Regionale of Barbaresco, located inside an ancient church.
We’ll spend the night at Tenuta la Romana, an 18th-century farmhouse that has been transformed into a luxury hotel, with an excellent restaurant & beautiful outdoor swimming pool.
Day 4 - LOOKING AND COOKING WITH TRUFFLE
A short ride take us at the to the meeting point with our truffle hunter and his dog. Be sure to have good walking shoes as the trail in the wood may be slippery. We will admire the perfect entente between the man and the animal and be told about the characteristics of the wood where the truffles grow and stories about the life of the “Tartufaio”. Keep some of the truffle for supper that you will prepare yourself in cooking experience at a farm. Night at same hotel
Day 5 - BUBBLES & BARBERA
Today we’re off to Canelli, a town which specializes in the production of sparkling “spumante” wines. Yet what truly makes Canelli so unique lies underneath the surface . . . literally. The town is built on top of “underground cathedrals,” enormous vestibules dug directly into the ground rock which date back to the 16th century. These underground chambers extend for an astounding 12 miles & provide the perfect chill, dark environment for making sparkling wines.
We’ll visit the underground cathedrals & learn about the unique wines fermented inside them.
After lunch in the area, we’ll digest with some grappa at Berta distillery. The Berta family has been producing grappa for four generations, since 1866. After our digestif, we’ll head to Villa Sparina, a beautiful estate where we’ll visit the cellars, enjoy a gourmet dinner with wine pairings, & also spend the night.
Day 6 - CHILLING IN CASTLES
It’s time for some R&R. Relax at the pool, take a leisurely stroll through the vineyards, read in the garden ... the villa is yours to enjoy.
In the afternoon, we’ll take a scenic walk through the vineyards of Castello di Torniolo for lunch. Built on top of the cliffs in the early 1200s, this medieval defensive castle was transformed into a glamorous getaway for nobility in the 1570s.
After lunch we’ll head back to our villa to change & relax before dinner in the charming town of Gavi, then back to the villa to spend the night.
Day 7 - TASTE THE SEA OF LE CINQUE TERRE
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the lovely gardens of Villa Spaina before we head to Le Cinque Terre. On our way, we’ll stop in Camogli for a stroll & some shopping, as well as a seafood lunch on the coast of the Mediterranean sea. We’ll check in to a villa overlooking the Levanto harbor, the Hotel Giada del Mesco, after which you’re free explore or relax.
Day 8 - MONTEROSSO BY LAND & SEA
Those who prefer can hike the scenic trail (2h30) to the seaside town of Monterosso. Otherwise you can catch a boat departing from Levanto harbor.
Once we all reconvene in Monterosso, we will enjoy a spectacular lunch of fresh seafood, followed by a visit to a local vineyard. Given the extreme terrain of Cinque Terre, the grapes often hang out over cliffs or grow on steep vertical terraces, which is why winemakers from this region call them “i vigneti eroici,” or “heroic vineyards.”
From there we’ll take a quick but scenic train to Vernazza, the next town, to enjoy a walk around & maybe a gelato. Then we’ll return by boat to Monterosso for our farewell supper. We can also include a cooking class this last evening, since Ligurian food is quite different from Piedmontese, or we can simply enjoy a nice glass of wine together.
DAY 9 - YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE
We will drive you to the Levanto train station, where you can continue to your next destination!