8 Day Italian Food and Wine Tour
Best of Italy Food and Wine Experiences in 8 Days
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Your 8 Day Food and Wine Tour Itinerary Summary
From one coast to the next.
Starting in Genova, you and your private guide, Marta, are going to be exploring the heroic winemakers of Cinque Terre and their perilous vineyards while learning the real recipe of pesto.
Up through the mountain passes and into Piemonte we’ll be diving into the chalk cellars of Asti which run for kilometers and kilometers patiently aging spumante. Through the tongues of Le Langhe and into the ex-Italian Capital of Turin, here French influence blends into the history of the Italian nobility and their extravagant banqueting tradition.
Through the Pianura Padana and its rice paddies past Milan and onto Lake Iseo, whose prehistoric origins as a glacier gave rise to some of the best sparkling wines Italy has ever produced. Into the Alps and towards the vineyards clinging to the peaks and the incredibly aromatic wines they yield towards Veneto and its big, bold Amarones not to mention its rivers of Prosecco.
Ending our voyage of Northern Italy in la Serenissima, Venice with its Cicchetti and fairytale atmosphere.
Day 1: Cinque Terre Vineyards and Villages
Waking up in the Cinque Terre to wander through these tiny fishing villages who still struggle to make a living off the rocks they live on. We will hike into these impossible vineyards to properly understand the difficulty in growing and harvesting wine in this region.
Learning from the winemakers themselves we will taste the varieties of the area and along with freshly caught fish.
We will walk part of the historic paths of the Cinque Terre winding through the villages, the dry stone walls, and its terraces in order to enjoy a well-earned aperitivo at sunset right in front of the water. We will finish the day by sampling medieval recipes with pirate influence at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Genova – Pesto-Making Class – Via Garibaldi
An early start will bring us to the historic port town of Genova. Take the morning to explore its markets and alleyways soaking up the atmosphere of this city. The birthplace of pesto, no visit to Genova is complete without sampling the original recipe of this well-loved condiment. Learn how to make your own with a local chef, while tasting the equally famous focaccia.
After having sampled the delicacies you prepared, take the afternoon to explore the Palaces of Via Garibaldi and understand its UNESCO heritage status. Noble families and great sailors who made their fortunes on the sea built imposing palaces which now lie almost forgotten in full view of hundreds who pass by every day.
End the day with a seafood dinner at one of Genova’s most historic restaurants, beloved by presidents and popes alike.
Day 3: Piedmont – Cascina – Monferrato – Alba
A short drive through the hills will bring us right into the wine country that is Piedmont.
Settle in for lunch in Cascina in the midst of the vineyards while we take a nosedive into the red wines of the region from Barbera to Barolo with local Fassona beef and Robiola di Roccaverano goat cheeses.
Dessert will be taken elsewhere in a grove of hazelnuts where some of the best chocolate in Italy is created.
Traversing the wine hills of Monferrato we will reach Alba where we will dine with the world-famous white truffle.
Accommodation: Guarene or Alba.
Day 4: Turin Trip – Culinary Walking Tour – Palace of Venaria – Milan
This morning we will discover Turin and its royal heritage. Once the capital of Italy this city still retains its elegant past in its streets, cafés, and high-end restaurants.
A culinary walk of the city will acquaint you with classic Piedmontese recipes like vitello tonnato and tajarin.
We will walk off our morning of gastronomic indulgence by exploring Reggia di Venaria, Italy’s very own Versailles with its stunning gardens and grand palace complex before hopping on the high-speed train to Milan, jumping forward 200 years right into the future that is this globally-minded city.
Day 5: Milan Sites – Lake Iseo – Curtefranca or Franciacorta – Verona
Touching on a few must-sees like the Last Supper and the Duomo of Milan we’re going to taste the future of Italian food with some avant-garde cuisine which Milan is best known for, without forgetting its origins. Molecular gastronomy will be combined with age-old classics like risotto allo zafferano.
Leaving the urban texture of Milan behind we will drive to Lake Iseo into the wine region of Curtefranca or Franciacorta.
These beautifully elegant sparkling wines will charm us with their complexity and finesse while we visit the underground caves where they rest for years before they are ready for drinking.
We will end the day in Verona, where we would be greatly remiss if we did not dine on the local specialty of donkey stew while drinking the right vintage of Amarone.
Day 6: Bolzano – Sterzling – Val Pusteria
Another short stint on the fast train will bring us right into Bolzano, at the foot of the Dolomites. Before lunch, we will visit the Abbey of Novacella, a historical producer of wines and one of the most wonderful examples of viticulture in this region.
Lunch will be at a farm-turned restaurant in Sterzling, alpine cheeses and cured meats here reign supreme along with the local Kanederli pasta.
Taking a break from food and wine for a few hours we will take a leisurely hike through Val Pusteria where we will admire the grandiosity of the Dolomites and their peaks before diving back into the plate with dinner at a local malga or alpine farm.
Accommodation: Malga close to Canazei or Castello Fragsburg.
Day 7: Val Sugana – Prosecco – Bassano del Grappa
We will take the morning to soak up a little bit more of the scenery while we make our way through to the Val Sugana where we will sample the famous polenta dishes.
Coming out of the mountains and into the hills of Prosecco we will visit Bisol, the gold standard when it comes to Prosecco.
Learning about the ‘rive’ or ‘crus’ of the hills between Valdobbiadene and Conegliano we will end the day at Distillerie Poli, the highest qualitative producer of Grappa in Italy, before heading to Bassano del Grappa where will sample more delicacies from Veneto.
Day 8: Venice Day Tour
After almost a week of having explored the peaks and hills of Northern Italy we finally return to the sea and another great marine city, la Serenissima otherwise known as Venice.
Stepping off the train at Santa Lucia and being picked up by our own water taxi we will make our way through the canals before stepping off to sample Cicchetti and ombre.
We will get to know Venice through its complex history and glorious Palazzo del Doge as well as its lesser-known quarters like Dorsoduro and Canareggio.
We will end our incredible journey through the north of Italy by the water with dinner at the Cipriani overlooking the lights of Venice.
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