Piedmont & the Aosta Valley

Embark on an exceptional journey into Piedmont & the Aosta Valley - the Land of Barolo & Barbaresco wines, epic UNESCO sites and some of the most incredible mountain ranges in Italy. Home as well to the stunning and revered white truffles in the world, this is a sojourn that tantalize all senses. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Experience a less-trodden part of Italy without crowds

Enjoy stays in unique and boutique hotels

Experience exceptional wines and gourmet experiences

Enjoy an intimate Piedmont experience with local characters

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE MILAN / CASALE MONFERRATO / ASTI / SANTO STEFANO BELBO

Arrive into Milan Malpensa Intl Airport where you will be met and then begin a scenic drive immediately into the heart of Piedmont, a land rich with food produce as we are instantly greeted to the sights of the stunning rice fields of Vercelli - some of the highest grade of rice produced for top quality risotto, the rolling vineyards and medieval villages of the Casale Monferrato area past villages such as Moncalvo, Grazzano Badoglio. Enjoy a visit of the historic center of Casale Monferrato with its unmistakable Baroque architecture and stunning monuments such as the Cathedral of Sant'Evasio and the Synagogue. 

Thereafter, a short drive away arrives us at the medieval city of Asti, adorned with an impeccable old world atmosphere revealing its century-long history in a town centre enriched by medieval towers and noble palaces once owned by powerful banker families, respected all over Europe. Start your tour of Asti in the unique triangular-shaped Piazza Alfieri where the traditional Palio horse race takes place each September. We then get a glimpse of the incredible food on offer as begin our appetite-inducing adventure of Piedmont before arriving in the hill-perched village of Santo Stefano Belbo to check in at the lovely Relais San Maurizio where we will spend the next few nights. 

Overnight: Relais San Maurizio, Santo Stefano Belbo

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: SANTO STEFANO BELBO (INTO THE LANGHE)

A refreshing second day as we start our discovery of the Langhe area, together with Roero and Monferrato are listed as the only vineyard UNESCO site in mainland Italy. Our visit begins with the village of Barolo, renowned as the home of the Barolo wine. Enjoy a tour of the Barolo Castle, a fascinating and imposing building which narrates over a thousand years of historical vicissitudes and curious events. Today the castle houses the WIMU, the Wine Museum, set up by the famous architect François Confino, who oversaw the re-stagings of the Cinema and the Automobile museums in Turin. Its ancient cellars, which in mid 19th Century saw the rebirth of Barolo wine, now house the prestigious Barolo Regional Enoteca. Next, continue to the village of La Morra where we make a dedicated visit to the Fratelli Revello winery established by the Revello family after WWII and has quickly gained a cult following in the Piedmont wine scene for its remarkable positioning of its award-winning wines cultivated with care and aged in French oak barrels. 

Next, we then continue on to the UNESCO-listed Grinzane Cavour Castle, a splendid example of a fortress in the Langhe hills, whose central tower was built in the first half of the eleventh century. Headquarter of the Enoteca Regionale Piemontese, Cavour is the place where World Truffle Auction takes place every year. It also houses an ethnographic museum and memorabilia of Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, a leading political figure of the Italian Risorgimento and in the wine-making history of Langhe and Roero. After an insightful education of the region today, we return back to Relais San Maurizio where this evening, you enjoy a lovely dinner at the Michelin star Restaurant Guido da Costigliole, situated in the ancient cellars of Relais San Maurizio. 

Overnight: Relais San Maurizio, Santo Stefano Belbo

Meals: Breakfast & Michelin Dinner

DAY 3: SANTO STEFANO BELBO (ANOTHER DAY IN THE LANGHE)

We spend another day in the Langhe where our first visit of the day is the magnificent Castle of Serralunga d'Alba, overshadowing surrounded by the hills of Barolo vineyards. Considered to be one of the best-conserved examples of 14th century noble castles in Piedmont, this castle represents a unique piece of history in Italy with an architectural structure of a French donjon. 

Thereafter, we enjoy an interactive visit to a truffle farm as we enjoy a truffle-hunting tour in search of the  precocious winter white truffles - thought to be the most valuable truffles in the world. Witness as the truffle hunter and his dog go on tracking down the elusive fungi and along the way, learn more about truffles and why they are so rare, and pick up expert tips on how to find them. Sit down thereafter for a sampling of truffles with pasta in a wonderful setting before we move on to the elegant town centre of Alba immediately
seeing the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, built in the 12th Century and boasting an impressive wooden inlaid choir dating back to the 16th Century. 

Our day comes to an end where en route, we visit the Castello de Neive close to the Barbaresco-producing area owned by the Stupino family established since 1964 and possess more than 150 acres of vineyards that has consistently produce some of the most revered Barbarescos in the Langhe. Enjoy a wonderful tour and tasting with the family and admire the spectacular setting of the vineyards as the day winds down. 

Overnight: Relais San Maurizio, Santo Stefano Belbo

Meals: Breakfast & Truffle Picnic

DAY 4: SANTO STEFANO BELBO / TURIN

After 3 sensational nights in the Langhe, we head north towards Turin, first capital of Italy in 1861 and home to Fiat and some of the best chocolates in all of Europe.

 

En route to Turin, worth a stop is the Basilica of Superga, built as a tribute to Victor Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy after the monumental victory in the War of Spanish Succession. Thereafter, we enter into the city for an introduction to the city's main highlights including the Turin Cathedral dedicated to St. John the Baptist where the Holy Shroud is preserved in an urn, the Royal Palace of Turin, the iconic Palatine Towers and the Roman district,

The second half of the day, we will visit the UNESCO-listed 17th Century Venaria Reale, a scintillating Baroque masterpiece where we will gain privileged access with your expert guide and gain insight into centuries of Italian royal history. Stroll through the hallways and gardens with your guide, admire original frescoes and fine sculptures, and learn of the customs and traditions prevalent in the 17th century Italian court. Finally, we will retreat to the Turin Palace Hotel where you will spend the next 2 nights. 

Overnight: Turin Palace Hotel, Turin

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 5: TURIN (ROUTE OF THE PILGRIMS & THE SUSA VALLEY)

An exciting day beckons as we travel out of Turin making a first stop at the jaw-dropping ancient abbey of Sacra di San Michele, the ultimate symbol of the Piedmont region built between 983 and 987 at the top of Mount Pichiriano with surreal views of the Susa Valley dedicated to the cult of Archangel Michele, defender of the Christian people. The location of the abbey is interestingly in an axis that runs in a straight line over 2,000km which runs from Mont St Michel in France to Monte Sant'Angelo in Puglia, south of Italy. 

Thereafter, continue on to the incredible Fenestrelle Fortress, dubbed the "Great Wall of the Alps" that snakes the height of Mount Pinaia with over 2,500 steps up to the summit and best-known as the fortress that kept the "Man in the Iron Mask" captive. We have sufficient time for you to enjoy the hike up this amazing feat of architecture genius before making our way back to Turin passing some enchanting scenes of the Susa Valley and its charming villages. 

This evening, enjoy a lovely walk and thereafter, a sumptuous gourmet experience at the Michelin star Del Cambio 1757, tucking into exceptional cuisine of Chef Matteo Baronetto. 

Overnight: Turin Palace Hotel, Turin

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6: TURIN / AOSTA VALLEY

We leave Turin today heading north towards the spectacular Aosta Valley, technically the smallest region in Italy but surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Swiss and French Alps and home to some of the most amazing ski destinations in Europe dominated by the peaks of Cervino, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc. Expect charming hamlets and charming villages on our road north from Turin where we will make a series of stops and visits. First up is the Roman bridge of Pont St Martin: an exceptional feat of engineering from the 1st century BC, with a single hump-backed arch 23 meters above the Lys torrent. Not far away, our second stop is the incredible Forte di Bard, an imposing fortress famous for having kept Napoleon’s Great Army at bay for over a month. Thereafter, consider a visit to the Issogne Castle, formerly the property of the Bishops of Aosta, but transformed into an opulent residence over the centuries by its luminous occupants since the late 15th Century. 

We then finally arrive into the delightful thermal town of Saint Vincent with breathtaking mountain scenery of the Aosta Valley to check in at the Grand Hotel Billia where we spend the next 2 nights. 

Overnight: Grand Hotel Billia, Aosta Valley

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7: AOSTA VALLEY

Today's agenda is to see some of Aosta Valley's highlights including a visit to Aosta, dubbed as "Rome of the North" with its sheer number of Roman and medieval ruins where we enjoy a dedicated tour starting from the Augustus Arch, the Porta Pretoria, the circle of ancient walls with guard towers at intervals, the forum with its long underground portico called the “Criptoportico”, the archaeological area at the magnificent Roman theatre, the Collegiate Church of S. Orso with its lovely cloister and the heart of the city, Piazza Chanoux. We will stop to enjoy lunch at the revered Michelin star Vecchio Ristoro helmed by Chef Alfio Fascendini and his wife Katia who will put a contemporary spin into traditional Aosta mountain cuisine. 

After lunch, we visit the Castello Fenis, prestigious seat of the Challant family and one of the most beloved for its pretty setting and its beautiful architecture. Return back to Grand Hotel Billia thereafter where you may spend the rest of the day indulging in the region's therapeutic spa for a fitting finale to an incredible journey in Piedmont. 

Overnight: Grand Hotel Billia, Aosta Valley

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 8: AOSTA VALLEY / DEPARTURE MILAN

An incredible journey of all senses comes to an end as we transfer to Milan Malpensa Intl Airport for departure OR continue your journey in Italy to the foodie region of Emilia-Romagna. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

In the heart of the Piedmont vineyards and the white truffle region, this former Franciscan monastery was transformed into the Relais San Maurizio, a place dedicated to the wellness of body and soul. Every suite offers a different view of the Langhe hills, designated a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Relais San Maurizio, Santo Stefano Belbo

At the Turin Palace Hotel, you will experience an unforgettable stay in a unique atmosphere, full of appeal and absolute comfort. The light-filled rooms in its recently re-modeled, historic 1870 building exude mystique and elegance and welcome guests in an ambience of pleasant relaxation.

Turin Palace Hotel, Turin

Grand Hotel Billia is an old, historic building, with a Belle Époque façade dating back to 1908, frescoes that are more than a century old. High ceilings, wooden floors, bathrooms in stone and detailed decorations on the walls combine to create the unique atmosphere of each of the rooms and suites at the Grand Hotel Billia. A fusion of tradition and technology in a single context, for a unique stay.

Grand Hotel Billia, Aosta Valley

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