Villages, Castles, Hills and Vineyards: UNESCO Wonders in the Lands of Piedmontese Wines
This tour offers a journey to discover the territory of Langhe, Monferrato and Roero, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. It is a territory awarded for the extraordinary fusion between the work of nature and the hand of man made up of small-perched villages, fairytale castles, soft hills and geometric vineyards.
Starting from the elegant city of Turin, you will discover the castles between Monferrato and Roero, you will then visit Alba, the world homeland of the White Truffle, and you will cross the Langhe area among castles, vineyards and panoramic points until you reach Barolo. Throughout this tour, you will stop in one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, climb a medieval tower for an exciting 360° panoramic view, be amazed by the majestic Underground Cathedrals where Spumante ages and, finally, you will reach Asti, a fascinating medieval and baroque city.
There will be moments dedicated to food and wine with visits to cellars and tastings of the most important wines that have made this area famous all over the world. You will go on a journey to discover the diamond of Alba, its famous White Truffle, taste the magnificent Tonda Gentile IGP Piedmont Hazelnut, the main ingredient of some of the delicacies of Piedmontese pastry, and try your hand in a cooking class to learn how to prepare some dishes typical of the Piedmontese culinary tradition.
Best season : All year round (especially in autumn for the harvest and truffle hunting)
Included / Not Included
Assistance upon arrival at the airport/station
Car rental with insurance
7 nights in a 3-star hotel/B&B (with accommodation in a double room)
Visits and activities as scheduled (if chosen)
Tour of the center of Alba and Asti with licensed tour guide (if chosen)
Directions and suggestions for best beaches
Travel accessories and telephone with Italian SIM
Directions and suggestions for best bars and restaurants
Telephone assistance in Italian, English, Spanish and French
Flights to/from your home city
Meals where not mentioned
Travel Insurance (strongly recommended)
Arrival at the airport/station where you will be greeted by an Italy Trails representative who will welcome you and give you the travel material. You will be accompanied to the desk to collect the rental car and, after completing the bureaucratic formalities, you will leave for the center of Turin. After having refreshed yourself in the hotel, and depending on your arrival time, you can discover the historic center of the elegant Piedmontese capital, dedicating some time to visit some fascinating Baroque palaces, the center of aristocratic life and royal residences during the Kingdom of Savoy. You can then relax by strolling along the long-arcaded avenues, also famous for shopping, or by stopping in the refined squares, defined as the “salons of the city”, full of elegant cafes and historic bars. We recommend a stop at the historic Caffè Al Bicerin, a very small and charming place dating back to 1793 where the typical Turin drink based on coffee, hot chocolate and cream was created, also sipped by Camillo Benso Conte di Cavour during his working days. Feeling refreshed, you can continue your walk through the streets of Turin heading towards the symbol of the city, Mole Antonelliana, a 167.5 meter high landmark that you can ascent thanks to a spectacular panoramic glass lift that crosses the National Cinema Museum. You will reach the top of the dome from which you will enjoy an amazing 360° view over the city of Turin and the Alps. From here, we advise you to head towards Piazza Vittorio, the main square in the city and the largest arcaded space in Europe. Overlooking the Po River, you can enjoy a delicious aperitif accompanied by sandwiches, tradition created in Turin in 1926, similar to American and English tea sandwiches (with many variations including butter and anchovies, bagna cauda, veal with tuna sauce, truffle, lobster, etc.). Here you can enjoy the view of the suggestive Church of the Gran Madre di Dio and the Turin hill at sunset. Finally, you can stop for dinner in one of the many sites in the center: you will find everything from pizzerias to typical trattorias, and from the most modern and chic clubs to starred restaurants. Night in hotel or B&B.
After breakfast at the hotel, you will set off to reach the majestic castles that dominate the hills between Monferrato and Roero. The first stop will be a small historic village in the hills, immersed in lush vegetation and surrounded by vineyards. You will visit the elegant San Martino Alfieri Castle, a medieval fortress transformed in 1600 by the noble Alfieri family into a Piedmontese Baroque style residence, with a simple and refined appearance. Here you will take a step back in time wandering through the rooms and various environments of the castle including the Orangery, the cellars and the lush English park. Conclude the visit with a tasting of the best wines produced by the historic winery present within the property. After a stop for lunch in one of the typical places in the Roero hills, you will go to a town of Roman origins, which had a considerable development in medieval times and where excellent red wines are produced. You will visit The Royal Castle, a home with a thousand-year history of the Savoy family. Included in the Crown of Delights, a circuit that comprises the residences of the Savoy family, and proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, it has been mentioned as a fortress for defensive purposes since 989 A.D. Then passed to the Solaro Counts, to whom we owe its current appearance, it became the summer residence of the royal family thanks to the purchase by Vittorio Amedeo III. The castle still remains an emblematic testimony of the Piedmontese court life of the early nineteenth century and can be grasped by visiting the royal apartments, the Chinese rooms, the galleries, the stairways and, outside, the vast English park and the Italian roof garden. At the end of the visit, we recommend that you reach the perched village of Magliano Alfieri to admire an enchanting 360° view of Alba, the hills of Langhe, Roero and Monferrato and the entire Alpine arc, thanks to the panoramic platform present inside the city park or the scenic terrace of the medieval castle, which today houses a pizzeria and a luxury restaurant. If you still have time, you can visit a beautiful neighboring village with stone houses, also full of elegant villas and ancient churches where you can admire the wonderful Baroque Castle from the outside, now home to a luxurious hotel that is part of the Relais & Chateaux circuit. Finally, you will conclude the day in Alba where you will enjoy an aperitif or a typical dinner in the elegant squares and streets of the center. Night in hotel or B&B.
In the morning after breakfast, you will discover the beauties of Alba. City renowned throughout the world for being the home of the prestigious White Truffle, to which an International Fair is dedicated that takes place between October and December, and the delicious Nutella whose aroma often invades the streets of the city. Alba also boasts a great historical and architectural wealth dating back to the Roman and medieval periods. Vestiges of wealth remain in the underground parts of the city in the Lombard Gothic style Duomo, in the various churches of medieval origin and in the many towers that still stand majestically after centuries and that have given Alba the nickname of the city of a hundred towers. Furthermore, in the narrow streets of the center, there are many elegant shops and typical boutiques where you can find souvenirs or taste delicious food and wine products. We advise you to go into the most characteristic alleys and squares to enjoy lunch in an osteria or trattoria of the past. Feeling refreshed, you will dedicate the afternoon to learning about the diamond of Alba: its fragrant White Truffle. During the autumn months, you can follow a professional truffle hunter, trifulau, accompanied by its faithful tabui, the truffle dog, inside a truffle ground to hunt for the precious underground mushroom. During the rest of the year, you can taste this delicacy in one of the shops in the center (Morra) or by visiting a company that works with and transforms this prestigious product (TartufLanghe). After the experience with the truffle, you can treat yourself to an aperitif or dinner in the typical restaurants of the capital of the Langhe. Night in hotel or B&B.
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itinerary for this trip to Italy
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