Enjoy some of Italy's finest food and wine with this 5-day trip to the Piedmont region. Explore Turin's city center and learn about its food scene from a local guide on a street food tour. Try local specialties including bicerin and grissini. Discover the medieval town of Alba and the surrounding Langhe Hills wine region with a full-day tour to several small wineries and villages where Barolo and Barbaresco wines are produced.

Highlights

  • Tour Alba's historic city center and underground tunnels
  • Experience Turin's street food scene
  • Visit grand palaces & piazzas in Turin
  • Enjoy a full day of wine tasting in medieval towns in Piedmont

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Milan, Transfer to Turin Turin
Day 2 Turin Street Food Tour Turin
Day 3 Turin to Alba, Guided Tour Alba
Day 4 Barolo and Barbaresco Winery Tour from Alba Alba
Day 5 Goodbye Italy  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Milan, Transfer to Turin

Turin
Turin

Welcome to Italy! From one of Milan's international airports, you'll be taking a train ride west to Torino, known as Turin to the English-speaking world. The journey is around 2.5 hours from the airport, usually changing at Milano Porta Garibaldi station. The capital of the Piedmont region, Turin is known for its elaborate architecture and excellent local cuisine. The train station where you'll be arriving is centrally located, so you can quickly check in to your hotel and familiarize yourself with your surroundings.

Take a walk to a city square—both Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo are good options—for coffee and a delicious baked sweet treat to reinvigorate you after your travels. The following activities are all excellent ways to spend your next several hours.

  • Visit the interactive National Cinema Museum, housed in a 19th-century Jewish Synagogue. 
  • Wander through Turin's old town and Europe's largest open-air market, Porta Palazzo. The Piedmont region is famed for its truffles, cheeses, and meats- sample and purchase many mouthwatering examples of these here.
  • Cross the river over the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele I bridge to the Santa Maria del Monte dei Cappuccini church. The walk is uphill but not steep, and you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the entire city after the climb. 

To experience excellent examples of regional cuisine, head to the riverside area near the Piazza Vittoria Veneto for a delicious meal.

Day 2: Turin Street Food Tour

Turin
Piazza Castello, Turin

Turin is famous for its sophisticated and historic architecture, museums, and food (notably chocolate). It's one of Italy's most fascinating cities, named in the New York Times "52 Places to Visit" in 2016. After breakfast, you'll resume exploring Turin on a walking tour with a local guide and passionate foodie. Together you'll snack your way through the city's historic streets while visiting markets, bakeries, and various street food stalls, on the hunt for sweet and savory delicacies. After meeting your guide, you'll wander through Turin's old town and Europe's largest open-air market, Porta Palazzo.

Piedmont is famed for producing products such as truffles, cheeses, and meats, and you will taste many local specialties that incorporate these ingredients. Your guide will show you some of the best local eateries and provide you with insight into Turin's historic food culture.  Sample Italian breadsticks, called grissini, agnolotti (fresh stuffed pasta with meat and vegetables), and bicerin (a special coffee with chocolate), in addition to fine pastries, chocolates, and more. In around 3 hours you will explore the streets and tastes which are unique to Turin. 

When the tour is finished, you are free to explore the city at your own pace in the afternoon. Head to the iconic Piazza Castello and visit the Royal Palace, one of the city's most distinctive buildings. The Palace was the main symbol of the Savoy house when the capital moved from Chambery to Turin, and the greatest artists of the time were commissioned to create this Baroque masterpiece. Visit the ornate galleries and library, stroll through the gardens and the Royal Armory, and see the adjacent Cathedral that houses the Holy Shroud. One of the buildings hides a great architectural treasure, the San Lorenzo Church. This baroque, octagonal building contains beautiful inner chapels and a soaring cupola with eight windows bathing the interior in sunlight.

We recommend visiting the historic center with many interesting monuments, or walking across the river over the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele I bridge to the Santa Maria del Monte dei Cappuccini church. The walk is uphill but not steep, and you'll have panoramic views across the entire city of Turin. 

In the evening, you'll find many restaurants serving great food for dinner. Feel free to ask your guide for a local recommendation.

Day 3: Turin to Alba, Guided Tour

Alba
Alba

After breakfast, pack your bags and check out as you get ready to move on to the town of Alba, around a 90-minute train ride away. Alba is in the UNESCO protected Langhe region and is most well-known as the "White Truffle Capital of the World". Between September and January is peak truffle hunting season, and people travel from across the world to the annual festival in October. You'll find no shortage of Michelin-starred restaurants here- it has the highest concentration in Italy. Alba is a great city with activities to suit all tastes and interests.

After checking in to your new hotel, explore the city center with a local guide to see how Alba's buildings, from Roman origins to modern construction, have been built on top of each other. During Roman times, the powerful city was known as Alba Pompeia. After the fall of the empire, citizens continued to build atop the former city. Head underground to see Alba's many architectural formations. At the center is a 12th-century cathedral, Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, built on top of an old Roman temple- what you see now is mostly from the Gothic period. Close by is the Church of San Domenico (no longer a place of worship), where visitors can take a look at the frescos and exhibitions. 

In the Piazza del Duomo, you can see many towers that offer amazing views across the city and dominate the skyline. At one point, Alba had hundreds of towers, but only a few have been very well preserved. It is possible to climb to the top of the Sineo, Bonino, and Artesiano towers. Allow your guide to navigate through the narrow Old Town streets as you walk along Via Cavour to Piazza Risorgimento.  Don't forget to look up at the beautiful architectural structures all around you!

After your tour ends, enjoy a relaxed afternoon of shopping or extend your underground adventure, walking in the footsteps of Romans on one of the archaeological paths. For dinner, head to Piazza Savona to find a wine bar or osteria with outdoor seating, nice ambiance, and great food.

Day 4: Barolo and Barbaresco Winery Tour from Alba

Barrels of wine aging in a Barolo vineyard
Barrels of wine aging in a Barolo vineyard

Today, you'll discover the beauty of the Piedmont countryside on a full-day private wine tour. The Langhe hills roll through Piedmont with medieval towns, vineyards, and castles overlooking the valleys below. This region is famous for producing excellent food and wine. In 2014, LangheMonferrato, and Roero were made UNESCO World Heritage Sites to protect the natural landscape and their traditional methods of winemaking. Full-bodied Barolo and Barbaresco red wines are the most well-known varieties hailing from this area, but there are also many others such as Barbera and Dolcetto. Today, you'll drive through luscious Langhe hills to discover and taste what local winemakers are proudly producing here, while learning about the significance of the geographical area.

With your guide, you will visit several small, family-owned wineries throughout the day and sample their wines, to enjoy as well as compare and contrast the flavors. Take a tour through the wineries and cellars, where wines are aged in oak barrels. The wine tastings are complemented by local charcuterie, cheeses, and bread. In the afternoon, stop for lunch and visit some hilltop villages and towns. In Barolo, you will have the opportunity to visit a unique wine museum. The final visit is to the ancient Grinzane Castle, which was restored in 1967. Inside the castle is a large showroom (and salesroom) of the best regional wines. Taste a Moscato or Grappa dessert wine- if you didn't already buy a bottle at a winery this is the last chance to take one home.

The tour ends back in Alba where you have the evening free. Later, head out for dinner around Piazza Duomo at a restaurant on one of the small side streets off the main square.

Day 5: Goodbye Italy

Cozy street in Trastevere, Rome
Depart Italy

Your journey in Italy will end after breakfast, with a transfer to the airport to catch your flight home or to your next destination. Arrivederci!

Map

Map of Food & Wine in Piedmont: Turin, Alba & Barolo - 5 Days
Map of Food & Wine in Piedmont: Turin, Alba & Barolo - 5 Days