Piedmont Barolo and White Truffle Extravaganza – October 16 – 23, 2014

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Join Il Campo Cucina for an exciting week of food and wine discoveries in the world renowned wine and white truffle region of Piemonte surrounding Barolo, Alba and Asti. We will tour and taste our way through outstanding, world class Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera wineries, learn to cook regional dishes, tour some lovely villages, enjoy a day at the International White Truffle Festival in Alba and hunt for truffles with a trifulau. Throughout the week we will dine in superb destination restaurants and stay in the luxuriously appointed, exclusive apartments of the Marchesi Alfieri Estate, which features an award winning Barbera winery and 17th century Baroque castle–an elegant, enchanting setting!

The week includes transfers from the Torino train station on day one and day eight, seven night’s lodging at the Marchesi Alfieri Estate, all ground transportation for the week, all meals, cooking classes, and wine tastings. Optional bicycle and Vespa rentals as well as massages can be arranged at an additional charge.

Price: $4,400 per person based on double occupancy with a $500 single room supplement (based on availability). A $1,000 deposit and completed booking form are required to hold your space.

Book before January 31, 2014 and receive a $200 discount off your week; pay by check and receive an additional $100 off.

Please note that the 2014 Salone del Gusto in Turin begins on October 23, the day this tour ends. We will be posting a supplemental Slow Food Festival package for those who would like to stay on and experience the birthplace of the Slow Food movement and taste their way through the flavors of all Italy.

Tentative Itinerary

Thursday October 16

12:00 Noon pickup at Torino Train Station, followed by a visit to the original Eataly, described as “the grand and glorious emporium dedicated to the finest foods and gastronomic traditions of Italy”, where we will enjoy a lunch of your choosing. Drive to Locanda Marchesi Alfieri in the Barbaresco village of San Martino, a 17th century castle and wine estate and our elegant and exclusive lodgings for the week. Check into your room, explore the extensive castle gardens and freshen up for the evening. Join the group in the Orangerie for an aperitivo at 6:00, then enjoy a wine tasting lesson with a licensed sommelier followed by a sumptuous dinner with paired wines from the region.

Friday October 17

Begin with a bountiful buffet breakfast in the Orangerie of the Marchesi Alfieri estate. Afterwards drive down to Barolo country in the heart of the Langhe where we will explore the hilltop villages of Barolo, La Morra and Monforte d’Alba.  A guided hike through the vineyards will be followed by a wine tasting at La Morra’s noted enoteca with time to explore the charming streets and shops.   From La Morra we will drive to the nearby village of Monforte d’Alba for a delicious Piemontese lunch by chef Gianfranco Massolino, at Restaurante della Posta, known for reproducing the great classical recipes of the Langhe.  After lunch, we will drive to a famous Barolo winery for a tour of the vineyards and cellar, and a tasting of their wines. Continue to the fabled village of Barolo to explore the numerous enotecas and wine museums at your own pace. Meet for dinner at La Cantinetta, a wonderful and noted restaurant in the center of Barolo, serving traditional cuisine of the Langhe paired with Barolo’s legendary wines.

Saturday October 18

After a leisurely buffet breakfast in the Orangerie of the Marchesi Alfieri estate, we will drive to the beautiful rural village, Neive, and take a morning hike through the vineyards just outside the town walls. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to taste local wines in the village enoteca and explore the streets and shops on your own. We will meet for lunch at La Contea, a refined local restaurant that serves light, elegant dishes in a lovely dining room with frescoed ceilings.  Every meticulous detail in both setting and cuisine of La Contea has made owner, ToninoVero, famous all over Italy and the world.   In the afternoon, we will visit a famous Barbaresco winery, then explore the streets and shops of Barbaresco. Return to Locanda Marchesi Alfieri for free time in the late afternoon. Dinner in a San Martino village trattoria enjoying tasty local cuisine.

Sunday October 19

Enjoy a buffet breakfast in the Orangerie of the Marchesi Alfieri estate. Drive to Alba for the annual White Truffle Festival, a must for foodies visiting Italy.  Alba’s truffle fair and market is considered by connoisseurs to be the best in Italy, where the scent of fresh truffles fills the air.  Explore the exposition hall on your own, and maybe buy a truffle! Enjoy a delicious lunch with truffles, of course, in a wonderful Alba restaurant, then drive on to the nearby town of Bra.  Bra is the birth city of Carlo Petrini, Founder of Slow Food, and where the Slow Food Cheese Festival is held every other year.  Explore the streets and shops, and taste amazing and mouth watering cheeses.  Return to the Locanda Marchesi Alfieri to relax and unwind.  We will end the day with a very special dinner prepared for us by a noted local chef and served in the winery tasting room.

Monday October 20

A wonderful buffet breakfast in the Orangerie of the Marchesi Alfieri estate is followed by a drive to Cortemilia, the hazelnut capital of Piedmont.  We will visit a hazelnut farm where the sweetest and most flavorful variety in the world, Tonda Gentile della Langa, are grown. Take a gentle hike in the countryside surrounding Cortemila, and visit the charming village streets and shops. We will stop in a local confectioner’s shop specializing in sweets made with the local hazelnuts.  Driving on to the village of Santo Stefano Belbo in the Asti province, we will lunch in a noted local restaurant which will include pairings with the special wines of the region, including Barbera D’Asti, Asti Spumante, and Moscato d’Asti.  Return to the Locanda Marchesi Alfieri for a Piemontese cooking lesson in the winery kitchen followed by an amazing dinner paired with local wines in the winery tasting room.

Tuesday October 21

The morning begins with a leisurely buffet breakfast in the Orangerie of the Marchesi Alfieri estate.  We then drive to the Langhe for the day, starting with a visit to the eco-sustainable Fontanafredda winery for a tour and a tasting, then hike or ride up to the enchanting castle village of Serralunga. Explore the castle with it’s ancient frescoed ceilings and the surrounding streets and shops, then enjoy a very special lunch in a restaurant with a breathtaking, panoramic view of the vineyards.  After, we will visit a famous Barolo winery for a tour and tasting, followed by a second visit to the fabled wine village of Barolo for relaxing in a village café or tasting wine in one of the enotecas, or—if you prefer, going for a ride on a rented Vespa or bicycle. On to Castle Grinzane Cavour that offers one of the most spectacular settings in the Langhe.  The Castle houses the “Cavour Regional Enoteca”, a most prestigious showcase for the best Piedmontese wines and grappas, and is home to the Order of the Knight of the Truffle and Wines of Alba.  Dinner in Michelin 1-star Ristorante Castello di Grinzane Cavour, in a beautiful dining room within the castle tower.

Wednesday, October 22

Enjoy a leisurely buffet breakfast in the Orangerie of the Marchesi Alfieri estate. Drive to Acqui Terme, a small jewel of a city, steeped in history and one of the principle winemaking communities of Brachetto d’Acqui.  The hot thermal waters of this historical spa town were discovered over 2,000 years ago by the Romans.   Spend the morning at the spa where people come from all over Northwestern Italy to take the waters of Acqui Terme, walk the village with wonderful enotecas and boutiques.  We will then enjoy lunch in a wonderful local restaurant.  Return to Locanda Marchesi Alfieri to relax for the rest of the afternoon. Join the group for an aperitivo in the Orangerie followed by a spirited farewell dinner with paired wines, beginning with a blind wine tasting contest with prizes to the best tasters!

Thursday, October 23

Enjoy a leisurely buffet breakfast in the Orangerie of the Marchesi Alfieri estate, then depart for drop-off at Turin train station by 1:00 PM.

 

Please note that there will be free time every morning for bicycling, hiking, or massages.

Additional options available during the week:

Bicycle rentals, Scooter rentals, massages

*If you prefer not to hike, we will be happy to drive you to the next village where you can explore on your own until the group arrives.

Itinerary details subject to change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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