Flavors and Vistas of Piedmont | Pasta, Cheese, & Chocolate Tastings
10 Days from $14,090 per person
Multiple dates offered
Milan, Benevello, Verbania
Discover the best of northern Italy on this 10-day luxury journey. Start in Milan and travel to Benevello, where you'll explore the UNESCO-listed wine region of Monferrato. Enjoy gourmet tastings, truffle hunting, and cooking classes. Continue to Verbania for a scenic tour of Lake Maggiore and Lake Como's charming villages. Conclude your trip in Milan with unforgettable memories of Italy's culinary and cultural delights.
Day 1 | Milan to Benevello - You’ve Arrived! Meet your private driver at the airport for a transfer to Benevello. Approximate travel time is 2 hours. For your ease and comfort, a private English-speaking assistant will be waiting for you in the arrivals section of the airport to briefly review your tour details, and assist you in locating your private driver. A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful, will be provided to you on your first day in destination.
Day 2 | Benevello - Of Vineyards and Vintages - This morning, get picked up by your private driver and expert sommelier-guide and embark on a full-day discovery of the UNESCO-listed wine region on Monferrato. Start your day in Castell'Alfero by visiting Italy's leading artisanal facility for traditional oak barrel production. Exploring the property, meet the owner, and gain insight into the complete production process, from the use of Slovenian wood for classic French barrique to distribution. Continue on to the charming commune of Nizza Monferrato and spend some time in the oldest Piemontese cellars at the outdoor Wine Museum Bersano. Take in the spectacular surroundings as you sit down for a delicious wine tasting. Next, drive into the heart of Monferrato, Canelli. Prepare to be dazzled with delectable lunch prepared by Mariuccia, the first female chef to receive a Michelin Star in Piemonte. In the afternoon, step into a variety of underground wine cellars as you learn the secrets of the business while sampling local wines, including sparkling, dessert, and the classic Vermouth. End your day making a stop in the famous quaint village of Barbaresco for one final wine tasting of a Barbaresco DOCG, before returning to Benevello.
Day 3 | Benevello - Gourmet Delights - Embark on a private gourmet tasting tour today with your guide and driver, beginning with a transfer to the small commune Monale d'Asti. It's here where you'll visit a local goat, sheep and donkey farm, enjoying a tasting of some of the cheeses produced on site, paired with Monferrato wines. After, head to the small village of Cocconato, where you'll make a visit to a prosciutto and wine producer, tasting both of their specialties followed by a light lunch of cold cuts and Piemonte pasta. Continue into the world of hazelnuts, visiting a nut producer in Castellero where you'll taste the famous Piemonte hazelnut pie, as well as Grissini breadsticks. On the way back to Benevello, you'll make a stop in Asti where you'll visit a small producer of the famous local torrone (Italian Nougat), enjoying a tasting of 3 different torrone, together with 2 different chocolates. Your day of gourmet delights concludes back in Benevello.
Day 4 | Benevello - Take to the Trails - Meet your private driver for a transfer to nearby Alba, where you'll meet up with a professional English-speaking truffle hunter and his trained dog, embarking on an amazing private truffle hunt experience today. With the helpful translation of your guide, you'll follow this trained hunter and his expert dog into the rugged woodlands outside of the city. Discover natural secrets and botanical information of this precious land’s product as you look for the prized black truffle, a delicacy which can be found in this region with the right combination of skill and luck. Watch the dog sniff out the territory and hopefully lead everyone to a fungal jackpot! Upon completion of your hunt, you'll return to Alba where your truffle hunter (a member of the Italian National Truffle Association) will provide you with an approximate 2-hour seminar, leading you through theoretical concepts and practical exercises, where you'll learn to make the best use of your sensory organs for the evaluation and appreciation of truffles, bringing an entirely new dimension to this sought-after delicacy. After, enjoy some free time in Alba before concluding your day back in Benevello.
Day 5 | Benevello - A Festive Feast - Today you'll depart with a private driver to La Morra, located 30 minutes from Benevello, for a genuine cooking experience. Situated among hills covered with vineyards and centuries-old historic castles, the picturesque commune offers a delightful sight as you approach. Upon arrival, you'll come to a local farmhouse and winery for today's activity. Meet your private cook (the farmhouse Mama), who will hand you an apron and menu for the day as you prepare a complete Piemonte meal with her help and expertise. You'll make a starter, first course, second course and dessert, all under the helpful guidance of Mama, followed by a lunch consisting of the very meal you just prepared! After lunch, and with a full tummy, you'll transfer back to Benevello.
Day 6 | Benevello to Verbania - Explore with an Expert - Meet your private driver for a transfer to Verbania. En route, you'll stop in Turin and meet a local guide for a private walking tour of the city's classic highlights. At Turin's principal square, Piazza Castello, take in views of the stunning Royal Palace, a 16th century palace recognized as one of the thirteen UNESCO World Heritage-listed Residences of the Royal House of Savoy. Starting off Piazza Castello, see the Fascist-era architecture spanning Via Roma, a stark contrast to the 16th and 17th century influence of House Savoy, which radiates throughout the city. Just behind Piazza Castello, spot the 15th century Turin Cathedral with its 130-foot bell tower. An annexed chapel is where the renowned Shroud of Turin is held. Nearby you can see the Palatine Towers, an ancient Roman city gate that formed part of the city walls that used to envelope the historic center. Be sure to keep your eye out for glimpses of the Mole Antonelliana's staggering 550-foot pinnacle, the highest point in Turin's skyline, which can be seen towering over the surrounding city center buildings. Next, continue with a local guide through the Po Valley for a informative drive through scenic rice fields, where the famous Italian risotto is grown. Arrive to a small artisan estate where you'll enter into the world of rice, and enjoy a light lunch comprised of rice dishes paired with local wines before continuing on to your hotel in Verbania.
Day 7 | Verbania - All Aboard! Meet your private guide and embark on a walk to the nearby harbor, boarding a privately captained boat for a discovery of the Borromean Islands of Lake Maggiore. You'll first cruise to Isola Madre, the furthest among the Borromean Islands where you'll disembark to visit the elegant English botanical gardens animated by peacocks and pheasants roaming freely in the park, and a Renaissance palace still owned by the Borromeo family. Afterward, sail to Pescatore Island (also known as Isola dei Pescatori) to discover the tiny ancient village with its narrow streets, a church dedicated to St. Victor, and panoramic views of the lake. The afternoon will be devoted to a visit of Isola Bella with its magnificent Baroque palace richly decorated with Italian-style gardens. Enjoy a bit of free time in the quaint village on the island before returning to your hotel in Verbania.
Day 8 | Verbania - Sights and Insights - Meet your private guide and driver for a 30-minute drive to the stunning Lake Orta, stopping first at the most picturesque viewpoints, followed by a visit of the lovely lakeside town of Orta San Giulio. Once called God's Watercolor by Italian writer Piero Chiara, you know you're in for a treat with its cobblestone streets, 16th century town hall, and medieval houses flanking the open town square. You'll board the public ferry with your guide, heading to the tiny nearby St Giulio's Island. The island itself is dominated by the quiet community of nuns that live there, shut away from the outside world in almost complete silence within the walls of their convent. Visit the 12th century Basilica of San Giulio, with its vaults and domes and stunning frescoes, then stroll the streets of this tiny island before returning back to Verbania.
Day 9 | Verbania - Hidden Gems - Meet your private driver and set out to the village of Como, 1.5 hours southeast of Verbania. On arrival, you'll meet up with a private local guide who will bring you aboard a private Venetian-style boat for a voyage to admire the ancient villas and lakeside villages of Lake Como. You'll sail north, spotting the elegant villas of the noble branch of the lake, such as Villa Erba, Villa d’Este, as well as Villa Fontanelle in Moltrasio - once owned by Gianni Versace, and even Villa Oleandra, now owned by award-winning actor George Clooney. You'll pass alongside the lake's only island, Isola Comacina, nowadays an open air museum with its ancient medieval ruins. Reaching the village of Tremezzo, you'll disembark and visit the famous 17th century Villa Carlotta, now home to a Neoclassical art museum, and a wonderful lush garden, one of Italy's most cherished botanical collections. After, rejoin your boat and cruise to Bellagio for a brief visit of this famous resort village. Arriving back to Como, you'll discover the treasures of the historical center on a brief walking tour with your guide. Founded by the Romans, the city is surrounded by medieval walls on its three sides. Admire rationalist style buildings (1920's-30's) as you continue toward the ancient core of the city, admiring some quaint squares enriched with works of art. Here you can spot Como's best-known monument, the Gothic and Renaissance Cathedral, where construction spanned the 14th-18th centuries. After, you'll return to Verbania with your private driver.
Day 10 | Verbania to Milan - Bon Voyage! Meet your private driver for a transfer to the airport in Milan. Approximate travel time is 1 hour.
- Taste pasta, cheese and chocolate on a private gourmet tour.
- Take a private cooking class with a local farmhouse 'momma'.
- Truffle hunt and kayak with local experts.
- Cruise the stunning waters of Lake Maggiore and Lake Como.
- Expert selection of premium quality accommodations.