Piedmont, Parma and Bologna Snapshot
Discover the best Northern Italy has to offer: culture, scenery, food and wine. Enjoy the scenery of ancient medieval villages, a landscaped dotted with vineyards, and taste the pleasures of the Parma food valley on this Piedmont tour.
2017 Tour Price: $6,690
2018 Tour Price: TBD
Tour price includes:
- Roundtrip airfare from New York or Boston (airfare can be deducted)
- 10 nights deluxe accommodations: 3 nights in Torino; 3 nights in La Morra; 4 nights in Parma
- All breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners with drinks included
- Transportation by air-conditioned minivan or mini-bus
- 2 fun cooking classes
- 3 winery visits with wine tastings
- 1 visit to a Parmesan cheese farm with tasting
- 1 visit at a prosciutto farm with tasting
- 1 visit at a traditional balsamic vinegar farm with tasting
- Visits to Grinzane Cavour, Alba, Novello, Barolo, and Bologna
- Guided tours of Torino, Alba, Parma, and Bologna
- Full-time tour escort
- All local tour guides, museum, winery and monument entrance fees
- All tips and taxes
Depart the United States, flying overnight to Torino, Italy.
Upon arrival we will be met and transferred to Torino. Before arriving at our deluxe centrally located hotel, we take a scenic guided tour of the city that will allow us to see: the Parco del Valentino, the city’s largest park located along the Po River; the Monte dei Cappuccini; the circular Neoclassical Gran Madre di Dio church, inspired by the Rome Pantheon; and the grand Piazza Vittorio Veneto. After checking into our hotel, we take a stroll nearby and enjoy a welcome aperitivo the Italian way, before heading to a restaurant for dinner.
Overnight: Torino | Meals: D
After breakfast, we will meet our guide to discover the historical center of Torino: the extravagant red brick façade of Palazzo Carignano, Piazza Castello (Castle Square), the elegant Royal Palace, the majestic San Carlo Square, as well as some antique courtyards, real hidden gems of Torino. We head to the Mole Antonelliana, symbol of Turin and former Jewish synagogue, which now hosts the amazing Cinema Museum, where we take the panoramic lift up to a terrace from which you can enjoy a birds-eye view of the city. We enjoy lunch at a 19th century elegantly decorated café. The afternoon is free for us to stroll on our own among historic shops or to visit one of the striking museums of Torino. Dinner will be on our own in one of the many charming restaurants around our hotel.
Overnight: Torino | Meals: B, L
We begin with a visit to Turin’s famous market, Porta Palazzo, where we meet our chef for this afternoon who will help us shop for the ingredients of our hands-on cooking class. The chef will teach us how to select the season’s finest vegetables, herbs, spices and fruits. In the afternoon we enjoy a 3-hour “hands on” cooking class where we learn how to prepare both typical Piedmontese and northern Italian dishes. Later in the afternoon, we transfer to an old private mansion, where dinner will be served in the beautiful dining room.
Overnight: Torino | Meals: B, D
Torino, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra
After breakfast we check out of our hotel and drive to the Langhe wine region. After the hustle and bustle of the big city, we can enjoy the idyllic scenery and relaxing views of the rolling hills that give birth to some of the best wines in the world. Our first stop is the medieval village of Grinzane Cavour for a relaxing stroll to the impressive 14th century castle that dominates the surrounding landscape. We then continue to the local winery for lunch with wine pairings in the cellars. After lunch we continue to La Morra, the highest village in the area, where our charming family-run hotel is located. Enjoy the beautiful view from its Belvedere before a typical Langhe dinner at a local inn.
Overnight: La Morra | Meals: B, L, D
La Morra, Alba
After breakfast we head to Alba. Named “the city of 100 towers”, it is the capital of the Langhe Region, and its historical center is rich in Roman and Gothic monuments. We will take a guided tour of the center, then the rest of the morning will be at our disposal to discover the beautiful squares and pedestrian streets, lined with beautiful shops and cafés. Our last visit for today is at the world-famous winery near Alba. We return to La Morra for some free time and dinner.
Overnight: La Morra | Meals: B
La Morra, Novello, Barolo
Today we visit Novello, a beautiful ancient hilltop village. From here we can take an easy downhill walk through the surrounding vineyards, that will take us to Barolo. Located in an ornate hollow of hills covered in vineyards, this simple and cozy town is dominated by the austere image of the 10th century Faletti castle. Inside the castle is the regional wine shop and of the Wine Museum, which provide a fascinating sensory experience – a descent into the world of wine. After lunch on our own and some time to explore the village, we return to La Morra. Half way up the hill overlooking the main Barolo valley, along the first spurs of the neatly aligned vineyards, lie many amazing wineries. We enjoy a visit and a wine tasting before getting ready for our gourmet dinner.
Overnight: La Morra | Meals: B, D
La Morra, Parma
After breakfast, we leave La Morra and head to the area of Parma, in the heart of the so-called Food Valley. Our hotel for the next four days is the Relais Antica Corte Pallavicina, a country estate dating back to the 14th century that is at the same time a quaint inn, a farm, a restaurant, a dairy and a renowned salami producer. Upon arrival, we visit the property with the ancient cellars and take a hands-on cooking class, focusing on home made pasta. We then head to central Parma and check into our luxury hotel.
Overnight: Parma | Meals: B, L, D
In the morning we will enjoy a cultural visit to the city of Parma. A local professional guide will show us this lively town rich in history, art and culture. Parma has been shaped over the centuries by great painters and architects. Antelami’s pink marble Baptistery and Correggio’s illusionistic frescoes decorating the Cathedral, the Chamber of St. Paul and St. John the Evangelist, are the trademarks of the town, together with Parmigianino’s masterpieces. The National Gallery, located in the Pilotta Palace, displays paintings by Canova, Tiepolo and Leonardo da Vinci. In the afternoon we will explore the countryside, scattered by castles built by noble families between the 14th and 15th centuries. We also visit the Torrechiara Castle, where the famous Lady Hawk movie was filmed. Before going back to our hotel, we stop by one of the numerous prosciutto factories to see how this Italian specialty is prepared, and to taste it with an expert.
Overnight: Parma | Meals: B
Parma, Rocca di Soragna, Rocca Sanvitale di Fontanellato, Reggia di Colorno
Today, we visit a local certified Parmigiano Reggiano dairy. We’ll discover the ancient secrets of the world’s most renowned Italian cheese. The rest of the day will be dedicated to the discovery the surroundings of Parma. Some of the most important castles, fortresses and royal palaces are the Rocca di Soragna, still the residence of Prince Meli-Lupi, with its outstanding frescoed decorations and Baroque furniture; the Rocca Sanvitale di Fontanellato, a charming medieval fortress standing at the center of the town and surrounded by a deep moat which hosts one of the masterpieces of Italian Mannerism; and the Reggia di Colorno, with its monumental structure and French gardens.
Overnight: Parma | Meals: B, L
Parma, Modena, Bologna
On our final day, we enjoy a full day excursion to the magnificent city of Bologna. On our way, we stop near Modena for an educational and gourmet visit at an authentic Balsamic Vinegar Acetaia, where we’ll learn the production techniques and enjoy a tasting session. Upon arriving in Bologna, we enjoy a tour of the city center, visiting the main monuments and palaces with a local expert guide. We also have time to stroll among the many food shops of this gastronomic capital.
Overnight: Parma | Meals: B, D
After breakfast, we head to Bologna Airport for our return flights.