- Explore Turin's historic plazas, cafés and visit the Egyptian museum
- Browse lively markets and taste local foods in Turin
- Enjoy a full day of wine tasting in Piedmont's medieval hilltop towns
- Go hunting for truffles with trained dogs in the Piedmont countryside
|Day 1||Arrive in Milan, Train to Turin||Turin|
|Day 2||Guided Tour of Turin, Free Afternoon||Turin|
|Day 3||Drive to the Langhe Wine Region, Explore the Piedmont Countryside||Barolo|
|Day 4||Barolo & Barbaresco Winery Tour||Barolo|
|Day 5||Drive to Alba, Guided Tour of the City||Alba|
|Day 6||Truffle Hunting Experience||Alba|
|Day 7||Depart Italy|
Day 1: Arrive in Milan, Train to Turin
Benvenuti in Italia! Upon arrival in Milan, transfer by train to Turin. Known for its elaborate architecture, culture, and wide, elegant boulevards, Piedmont's capital is the perfect base for exploring the region's towns and villages, notable for their exceptional wines and delicious local cuisine. Upon arrival at your city center accommodation, head out for a stroll. The central squares of Piazza San Carlo and Piazza Castello are excellent options to stop for a caffè and savor Turin's famous cioccolato di Giandiutto.
Afterward, discover the bustling energy of Porto Palazzo, Europe's largest open-air market and a great place to taste the region's renowned cheeses and meats, many flavored with Piedmont's famed tartufi (truffles). Cross the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele I bridge over the river to the Chiesa Santa Maria del Monte dei Cappuccini church, and you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the entire city. End the evening with dinner at one of the restaurants near the Piazza Vittoria Veneto and enjoy dishes such as brasato al Barolo (braised beef in Barolo wine) washed down with the local vino.
Day 2: Guided Tour of Turin, Free Afternoon
This morning, discover the city's landmarks and architectural treasures with a guided walking tour of the city. Start in Piazza Castello and visit the Baroque Royal Palace, one of Turin's most distinctive buildings. Stroll the gardens and Royal Armory and visit the ornate galleries and libraries before seeing the adjacent cathedral, home to the infamous Holy Shroud. You'll also visit the Real Chiesa di San Lorenzo, a Baroque church containing beautiful inner chapels and a soaring cupola with eight windows that bathe the interior in light.
Next up is a trip to the renowned Turin Egyptian Museum. Considered one of the world's oldest and most important museums dedicated to ancient Egyptian art and culture, it houses an astonishing collection of over 30,000 artifacts, including mummies, statues, and papyri. Afterward, part ways with your guide and catch a breather at one of the nearby cafés'; Turin's coffee houses are legendary, with a long history as meeting places for artists, writers, and the city's bella gente. They're also the place to try the local drink, bicerin—a decadent combination of thick chocolate, coffee, and cream.
Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering through Parco del Valentino, a medieval riverside park with a replica medieval village, before seeing the world's best-preserved Roman city walls at the Parco Archeologico Torri Palatine. In the evening, make your way to the Quadrilatero district, where you'll find plenty of options for dinner. Try the region's famous tajarin (Piedmontese dialect for tagliolini—silky, egg yolk pasta in thin ribbons), often served with a simple butter and sage sauce or more luxuriously with tartufo bianco (white truffles) or salsiccia di Bra (veal and pork sausage).
Day 3: Drive to the Langhe Wine Region, Explore the Piedmont Countryside
Leave the city behind today for a couple of nights in the tranquil setting of the Piedmont countryside. Within an hour's drive south of Turin, you'll find the charming hilltop villages of La Morra, Monforte d'Alba, and Barolo, all well-placed to explore the Langhe wine region, one of the most famous and notable wine areas of Piedmont. Pick up your rental car and drive through verdant hills and vineyards until you reach your village of choice. With the small towns just a short distance apart, you'll have plenty of time to explore all three.
Start in Barolo with a visit to the Castello Falletti, an evocative 10th-century castle with a museum and home to the Enoteca Regionale del Barolo, the perfect place to find out more about the famous wine's heritage. You'll find a large collection of vintages from different wineries here, and it's a beautiful spot for a tasting. Head for lunch at one of the local restaurants—you're guaranteed to eat well here, and if you've worked up an appetite, opt for a primo (usually a pasta dish), followed by a secondo (a simple meat or fish main, served simply with vegetables) and finish with a dolce (dessert).
Continue on to Montforte d'Alba, a 10-minute drive away, where you'll find an ancient amphitheater within the historic Palazzo Scarampi, as well as the 17th-century church of Sant'Agostino and San Bonifacio. End your tour in La Morra, a gorgeous hilltop town with an elegant square, Piazza Castello, offering great views over the surrounding vineyards. For a further stretch of the legs, climb the village's Torre Campanaria di La Morra, an early 18th-century Baroque tower, and see the Parrocchia San Martino, a splendid church with an ornate interior and beautifully frescoed ceiling.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Barolo & Barbaresco Winery Tour
Piedmont's rolling Langhe Hills are notable for their medieval towns and castelli (castles) that overlook the valleys below. However, it's the area's vineyards that attract plaudits from around the world for the quality of the wines produced here. As well as Barolo and Barbaresco, you'll also find barbera and dolcetta varieties, and today, you'll take a guided tour through the Langhe-Roero and Monferrato area that comprises five distinct wine-growing areas with outstanding landscapes that were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.
You'll learn from your experienced guide about the traditional winemaking methods used in the region and then see these in action with a visit to several family-owned wineries throughout the day. Take a tour through the cellars and see how the wines are aged in oak barrels before tasting a selection of vintages and varietals, accompanied by tasty local charcuteries, cheeses, and bread.
In the afternoon, you'll stop for lunch in one of the nearby hilltop villages and finish your tour with a visit to the beautifully restored, centuries-old Grinzane Castle. As well as providing stunning views across the Langhe Hills, the castle is a renowned showroom for Piedmont's best regional wines. You'll have the opportunity to taste a moscato or grappa dessert wine and purchase any of your favorites. Afterward, you'll be dropped back at your hotel in time to watch the sunset over the hills and enjoy dinner at a nearby trattoria.
Day 5: Drive to Alba, Guided Tour of the City
This morning, you'll leave your hilltop village and drive 30 minutes north to the city of Alba, famous throughout the world for its tartufo bianco and annual truffle festival every October. Unsurprisingly, the city has the highest concentration of Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy, and people come here from all over to eat, especially during peak truffle hunting season, from January to September. Check into your accommodation, and when you're ready, head out with a local guide to explore the city.
Visit the Piazza del Duomo and see the torre (towers) that dominate the skyline. While there were once hundreds of towers, only a few very well-preserved ones remain, including the Sineo, Bonino, and Artesiano Torre, where you're able to climb to the top. Follow your guide through the narrow cobbled streets of Alba's Old Town and walk along Via Cavour to Piazza Risorgimento. Stop for refreshments and continue on to the 12th-century Cattedrale di San Lorenzo, built atop a Roman temple and the nearby Church of San Domenico, one of the city's architectural gems, filled with frescoes and art.
Part ways with your guide and either spend the afternoon walking in the footsteps of Romans along one of the archaeological paths, stop for a caffè and pastry at one of the neighborhood bars, or explore the extensive artisanal food shops and truffle stores. In the evening, you'll be spoiled for choice with places to eat. Piazza Savona has a great selection of wine bars and restaurants where you can grab a table outside and sample the local dishes.
Day 6: Truffle Hunting Experience
Today, you'll see out your stay in Alba with a memorable excursion into Piedmont's countryside to experience the art of truffle hunting. Accompanied by an expert truffle hunter (or trifulau in the local dialect) and his trusty four-legged companion, the tabui (truffle dog), you'll spend several hours in search of Alba's prized tartufo bianco.
After spending the morning hunting for the rare truffles, you'll take them to a local restaurant where the chef will grate or finely shave your freshly foraged tartufo bianco onto the dish of your choice. Savor the irresistible earthy flavor as you feast on regional delicacies accompanied by fine local wine. Your guide will drop you back in Alba, where the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore at leisure. Savor your last evening at one of the local bars or osterias around the buzzy Piazza del Duomo.
Day 7: Depart Alba
Say goodbye, or ciao, to Italy for now. Take advantage of any extra time with one last morning stroll around Alba before driving to the airport to drop off your rental car and catch your flight home or continue your European adventure. Safe travels!
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