Ferry to Calais and overnight stay in France.
Continue to our hotel in Viverone.
Day 3 – Monferrato & Asti with wine tasting
We start the day with a scenic drive through the Monferrato region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important wine districts of Italy. Set against the backdrop of the Alps, this picturesque region of rolling hills and vine-clad slopes is dotted with ancient villages and castles.
We continue on to Asti, where we enjoy a guided walking tour of the beautifully-preserved centre of this ancient town with its medieval towers and historic palaces followed by a visit and wine tasting in an Asti vineyard. The sparkling Asti wine is renowned and exported all around the world.
Day 4 – Turin
Today we head to Turin where we have free time at leisure to explore. The capital of the Piedmont region is renowned for its beautiful architecture, grand squares and elegant boulevards as well as its confectionery, patisserie and chocolate shops. During our visit, we are treated to a ‘Merenda Reale’ in a historic café – a tradition that dates back to the 18th century which includes a rich hot chocolate, bagnati (hand-made biscuits) and other chocolate specialities.
Day 5 – Alba & Barolo with wine tasting
Our first visit is to Alba, a beautifully-preserved town known as the ‘city of a hundred medieval towers’, where we have some free time. Surrounded by rolling hills and lush vineyards, the town is also known for its production of white truffles, chocolate and wine.
Next stop is the hilltop village of Barolo where we visit a traditional wine cellar for a tasting of some of the famous Barolo red wines and local products.
Day 6 – Lake Orta, Isola San Giulio & Ghemme with wine tasting
Despite being Italy’s smaller and lesser known lake, Lake Orta is most probably the prettiest and certainly the most tranquil. From the medieval village of Orta, we embark on a scenic boat cruise to Isola San Giulio to visit the 10th-century abbey.
En-route back to the hotel, we stop in Ghemme to visit a winery in Ghemme Castle. Here we enjoy a wine tasting along with local food products such as salami and Gorgonzola cheese.
Day 7 – Day at leisure
Day 8 – Rice farm & cheese factory
Italy is Europe’s biggest producer of rice and this morning, we head into the countryside surrounding the town of Novara to visit a rice farm. Here we walk through the rice fields and learn more about the history of rice in Italy and the production process from the farmer. After our visit, we enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, tasting a traditional risotto dish accompanied by local wine.
Our final visit is to a local cheese factory near Biella. The area is famous for one of the oldest cheeses in Italy (Toma Piemontese DOP) and we enjoy a cheese tasting here.
Travel to our overnight hotel in France, with a light evening meal included.
Continue to Calais for our return ferry home.