FOOD AND WINE OF NORTHERN ITALY
In our “Food and Wine of Nothern Italy” itinerary, you will embark on an 11-day eno-gastronomic experience like no other! This delectable journey concentrates on the sublime food and wine of Northern Italy. Additionally, learn about how geography and history have shaped the regional dishes and wines from Piemonte to Emilia-Romagna to Tuscany. Enjoy each regions’ local specialties through cooking, market visits, wine tastings, market visits, and more.
PIEMONTE – 3 NIGHTS
Your first stop on your Food and Wine Of Northern Italy tour will be the Piemontese countryside. The birthplace of the Slow Food movement, Piedmont is known for its hearty food. Think truffles, meat dishes, and pasta such as plin and tarajan. Actually, it may be even more famous for its highly acclaimed red wines such as Dolcetto, Barbera, and Barbaresco.
Upon arrival in Milano or Torino, your private transfer to deliver you to your beautiful accommodations in the heart of the Piemontese countryside. You will have several lodging options to choose from based on your travel taste and style.
During your stay in Piemonte, we will arrange the following special experiences:
- A fabulous Wine, Cheese, and Chocolate Tour of the region. Enjoy a private guided tour to discover Piedmont’s genuine products: sought-after wines, cheese, and chocolate. First, visit a local chocolate maker where you can try and buy different kinds of chocolates, included the renowned Baci di Cherasco (Cherasco’s kisses). Secondly, visit cheese producer in Bra, the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement. Lastly, sightseeing in the Barolo area with a possible stop in La Morra with the scenic “belvedere”. Alternatively, you can choose Barolo with the Falletti castle and the Regional Enoteca of Barolo. Of course, all these visits will include wonderful tastings of the local products. Afterward, you can return to your hotel full of wonderful food and memories to remember!
- A Day of Truffle Hunting and Eating! The beautiful Monferrato landscape will be the backdrop for the day. Join a “trifolau” and his truffle dog for a hunt through the woods for the famous white truffles in the region. Afterward, you will have lunch at a local farmhouse. Here feast on a traditional home-cooked Piemontese meal served with fresh White Truffle and wines.
BOLOGNA – 2 NIGHTS
The next destination on your Food and Wine of Northern Italy tour will be Bologna. After checking out of your hotel in Piemonte, your private transfer will be waiting to take you to the culinary capital of Italy. You will stay in one of the finest hotels within this very walkable city. While you are staying in Bologna, you will enjoy:
- A Half-day tour of Bologna’s historical, cultural and culinary highlights. With your private guide, discover the many wonders and gems of this beautiful city. There will be elegant churches, interesting museums, the oldest university in Europe, the Jewish quarter, frescoed porticoes, outdoor markets, and specialty food shops to explore. Afterward, you will have plenty of time to explore and enjoy on your own.
- A fascinating journey learning about the Culinary Specialties of the Region of Emilia Romagna. These include Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma ham, Lambrusco wine, and last but not least, Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale balsamic vinegar. Your Private Driver will pick you up after breakfast and you’ll start your adventure near Parma. This is home to a producer of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Tastings will be abundant! Then, you will proceed to a maker of Prosciutto di Parma. Here, where you’ll be able to see first hand how this world-renown ham is produced. Then, at lunchtime, you’ll stop at a local winery for a tasting of their wines and traditional lunch. Afterward, you’ll drive towards Modena. Here you’ll have a fascinating tour of an authentic acetaia or producer of balsamic vinegar. Finally, you will be returned to your hotel full of wonderful food and memories of the day.
TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE – 3 NIGHTS
From Bologna, make your way south through olive groves and vineyards into the heart of Tuscany. This will be your home base for the next 3 nights. You will explore the charming hill towns of Chianti and the Val D’Orcia. Meander through medieval alleys leading to stone palazzi and ancient walls. Plus take time to peruse the local shops for olive oil, wine, cheeses, olive wood, and ceramics. All this while immersing yourself in the local cuisine and varietals so famous from this region.
We have several wonderful lodgings options for your consideration, ranging from castles to renovated farmhouses. In any case, it will be quintessential Tuscan. During your 3 days in the Tuscan countryside, you will enjoy the following experiences:
- On your way from Bologna to your accommodations, experience Chianti food and wine at its best with this special winery visit, wine tasting, and lunch! Begin with a guided visit to the winery’s medieval castle and beautiful gardens. Afterward, you will head to the historical cellars followed by a presentation of a selection of our best wines. Finally, sit down for a wonderful 4-course Tuscan meal with products from the winery’s organic farm. Wines tasted will vary from Rosso IGT Toscana to Chianti Classico DOCG, Chianti Classico Riserva, Supertuscan, and even the local grappa!
- A Day Full of amazing scenery, food, wine, in the Val D’Orcia. Begin in the medieval picturesque town of Montepulciano, famous worldwide for its high-quality wine. Then, it’s off to Montalcino, renowned for “Brunello di Montalcino” wine. This was the first wine to be awarded Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) status. For lunch, you will visit the organic cheese farmhouse to enjoy home-made cheeses, bread, olive oil, and of course a glass of wine.
- We will leave a day at your leisure. The hotel can arrange for a driver if you wish, but we recommend sailing up the local atmosphere at your amazing accommodations as there will be a beautiful pool, spa, and panoramas to enjoy!
FLORENCE – 2 NIGHTS
After checking out of your hotel, your private driver will be waiting to take you to beautiful Florence. Here you’ll stay at one of our preferred hotels or upscale inns for three nights. As always, it will be situated in the city center within a short walk of the city’s most famous sites.
Your visit to Florence will consist of the following:
- You’ll start your visit to Florence with our Leisurely Walking Excursion of the City with our private local expert guide. Florence’s rich past as the cultural center of the Italian Renaissance can still be seen today. Visits such famous sites as Il Duomo, Piazza dell Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, and more. Plus you will have the choice of a VIP, skip the line visit to either the Uffizi Gallery or Accademia (house of Michelangelo’s David).
- Enjoy a fascinating morning exploring a bustling Florence food market before your cooking class with an expert guide. The Florence market is a place where the stalls are heaped with produce raised in the green belt around the city and brought in before dawn by the producers. The market offers everything from fruits and vegetables, fish, fresh meat, salt-cured meat, cheese, and much more in a true Italian farm-to-table experience. Your guide will take you through the market, explaining local products as you absorb the sights, sounds, and smells of this incredible foodie dream. Afterward, you will head to a wonderful kitchen for your hands-on rustic Tuscan cooking class with a professional chef. You will prepare a full 4-course menu, including appetizer, first and second course and dessert. The menu will depend on seasons and availability of products. You will then “enjoy the fruits of your labor” with a delicious sit-down meal of your creations…buon appetito!
On your departure day, you will have a private transfer upon departure to the airport or train station
If you are not yet ready to go home, we can add several options to your itinerary. You could head south to embark on a Southern Italy Food and Wine Lovers tour? Or, for instance, finish off in Rome exploring both its historical sites and culinary surprises? In addition, how about heading to the coast and trying the amazing dishes of the Cinque Terre and Italian Riviera? The choice is yours and we would be happy to design your trip as you wish.