Overview | La Dolce Vita Itinerary | About Hotel Villa Beccaris
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July 8 – July 15, 2018
Day 1 : Benvenuto in Turin!
Meet up with our motorcoach and our English-speaking guide at Piazza Vittorio Veneto at 10:00 am. Once we have stored all our luggage onto the bus we will venture on an exciting 2 hour private walking tour of Turin highlights . Palazzo Carignano, Corpus Domini, the“Turin miracle”, the Dome of San Giovanni Battista and the Holy Shroud chapel are just some of the amazing jewels we will discover together. Of course there will be time to window shop some of the 18 kms of Italian designer high fashion arcades that cross the city center.
Lunch: in a fashionable city center trattoria. (water, wine & coffee included)
Afternoon: Check into our Hotel Villa Beccaris, and enjoy a pleasant afternoon on your own.
Dinner: A short stroll through the charming old village of Monforte d’Alba for a 4-course Welcome Dinner at “Ristorante Moda Venue” featuring a most spectacular panoramic terrazza!
(water, wine & coffee included)
Day 2 : SLOW FOOD in Pollenzo and truffle hunt in the woods
Morning: Discover the headquarters of the SLOW FOOD International Association ! Our tour continues with the private visit of the prestigious University of Gastronomic Sciences and the historic cellars of the Wine Bank, dating back to the XVIII century: the Wine Bank is a cooperative founded in 2001 and designed to commemorate the history of Italian wine by selecting, storing and retaining the best wines of the peninsula.
Slow Food is a grassroots organization founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986. It has since spread worldwide. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. It was the first established part of the broader Slow movement. Its goals of sustainable foods and promotion of local small businesses are paralleled by a political agenda directed against globalization of agricultural products.
Slow Food began in Italy with the founding of its forerunner organisation, Arcigola, in 1986 to resist the opening of a McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps in Rome. In 1989, the founding manifesto of the international Slow Food movement was signed in Paris, France by delegates from 15 countries.
Lunch: Lunch in the historic cellar of the Wine Bank accompanied with a fine selection of three premium wines
(water, wine & coffee included)
Afternoon: Private truffle hunting excursion in the woods with our own trifolao and his dog! All the secrets of these priceless white and black morsels are revealed to us….
Dinner: A five course feast at the house of the trifolao , including three truffle dishes. (water, wine & coffee included)
White truffle season goes from mid September till end of January (out of season, only black truffles are available).
Day 3 : Biking through the Alta Langa wine country: Dogliani, Roero (Arneis), Barolo, Dolcetto
Morning: Bordered by France to the west and Switzerland to the north, Italy’s Piemonte region offers an assortment of splendid scenery and fascinating history… an ideal destination for a beautiful bike ride.
We meet our 3 biking guides in the hotel lobby and get properly set up with bikes and helmets before heading out on our tour in the Upper Langa. Along the route, a stop in Dogliani to visit the colorful weekly farmers’ market in the heart of this quaint old town; second stop in Albaretto della Torre and a climb to the top of the medieval tower to enjoy the amazing 360° view of Langhe & Roero hills with the Alpine Arc in the background!
for those not biking . . .
Motorcoach to Dogliani to visit to the colorful weekly farmers’Motorcoach to Barolo and visit WIMU and Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour, hosted inside the Castello Falletti di Barolo.Motorcoach to Monforte, Località Sant’Anna
Lunch: a delicious lunch at “Agriturismo La Torricella”, an exquisite and historic farmhouse in the Langhe area that produces its own wine.
(water, wine & coffee included)
Afternoon: Motorcoach back to Villa Beccaris. Leisure time by the pool and on your own.
A pleasant walk to “Pizzeria in Piazza” in the village, for an exciting pizza making experience. We’ll learn how to prepare the inimitable Italian pizza. Get ready to roll and knead the dough and savor the fruits of our own labor!
(local craft beer, water and coffee included)
Day 4 : Romancing the Piedmont: Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands
The lake was a favorite resort for the noble families of Lombardy (e.g. the Borromeos and the Viscontis) who built sumptuous villas here, beginning in the 1700s.
Lake Maggiore is a long, thin lake on the south side of the Alps, shared by Italy’s Piedmont and Lombardy regions and Switzerland’s Ticino canton. It is noted for its picturesque and romantic surroundings of greenery-filled mountains. The 3 tiny, popular Borromean Islands, with terraced gardens and aristocratic villas, are reached by boat from Stresa.
The lake was a favorite resort locality for the noble families of Lombardy (e.g. the Borromeos and the Viscontis) that also constructed sumptuous villas here, beginning in the 1700s.
Immersed in the marvelous and suggestive waters of Lake Maggiore, the Borromean Islands are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Loved by Ernest Hemingway and, in more recent times, by the English Royals, this Archipelago is made up of the monumental Isola Bella, with its 17th-Century Palazzo Borromeo, surrounded by scenic gardens, the picturesque Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island), Isola Madre, noted for its botanical garden, rich in rare plants, the little Island of San Giovanni that faces Pallanza, and the Rock of Marghera.
The Borromeos, prestigious family of Florentine origins, became the Islands’ owners in the 14th Century, when they began to transform them by building residences with elaborate gardens.
Still today Isola Bella and Isola Madre remain in the family’s possession, as do the two rocks, or little islands, of Castelli di Cannero, that bear the ruins of two Medieval fortifications.
The little Island of San Giovanni and the 16th-Century Palazzo Borromeo, for many years the residence of famed orchestra conductor, Arturo Toscanini, is private and cannot be visited.
Little worlds unto themselves, enchanting scenery, and an enriching historical-artistic legacy render the Lake a truly magical place, so much so that it has been defined by French poet Montesquieu “the most beautiful place in the world.
Morning: Be prepared for a long and beautiful day spent exploring one of the most prized parts of the Piedmont region. Coach transfer to Arona and private boat tour on Lago Maggiore. Visit of Isola dei Pescatori, Isola Madre and Isola Bella, the most famous of Borromean Islands.
Lunch: On Isola dei Pescatori at Ristorante Verbano. (water, wine & coffee included)
Afternoon: Transfer to Stresa for shopping and sight seeing.
Dinner: We will be back at Villa Beccaris around 8:30 pm for an informal picnic in the Villa’s gardens.
(water, wine & coffee included)
Day 5 : A day of gourmet delights…. spumante , cheese, hazelnuts!!
Morning: Transfer to the town of Canelli, famous throughout the world as “the spumante capital”, for a private visit of an historical winery and the amazing “ Underground Cathedrals” recognized as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Then it is off to Bergomale to discover the various kinds of “ toma” cheeses typical of the region while touring and tasting with the owner of a local dairy farm. A few more kilometers over to Cravanzana to learn all about growing the famous Nocciola Piemente IGO . This hazelnut, characterized by its spherical shape, fine delicate flavor and very crisp pulp is considered to be one of the finest varieties in the world. A sampling of this delicious hazelnut paired with a little Moscato tops off our morning adventure.
Lunch: a tasting lunch of locally grown farm products served in a typical and picturesque “ciabot” . ( a wooden hut) (wine, water included)
Afternoon: back at Villa Beccaris for some well-deserved “farniente ”on our own!
Dinner: 8.00pm at Osteria dei Catari in Monforte d’Alba (wine, water & coffee included)
Day 6 :From underground lakes and caves to a breathtaking Dome and rooftop vistas….
Morning: Our private speleological guide leads us to explore “ Grotta di Bossea” in Fabrosa Soprano. This is one of the most important Italian caves with plenty of water and underground lakes amid magnificent surroundings : it is more than 2kms long and was first explored in 1850.
Note: Raincoats and waterproof shoes are recommended.
Lunch: delightful lunch in Santuario d Vicoforte, at La Travola del Chiostro ( water, wine & coffee included)
Afternoon: We will divide in 2 groups for a private guided visit of The Dome of the Sanctuary of Vicoforte, one of the largest elliptical domes in the world, alongside St. Peter’s, the Pantheon in Rome, Santa Maria del Forte in Florence and Gol Gumbaz in India.
Via spiral staircases and tread worn walkways, past buttresses and cornices, we’ll enjoy sweeping views of the outside and of the great painted ceiling and admire more than 6000 sq.meters of frescoes and works of art that took two centuries to complete.
Our visit culminates atop the 75 meter high bell tower for a magnificent rooftop vista!
Note: Safety helmets and harnesses will be provided and the visit is supervised by a security guard.
Dinner: Evening at leisure (dinner not included). We are on our own!
Day 7 : Over the hill and over the dale, merrily merrily hiking through Barolo we go…..!
Morning: We join our guide in the lobby of Villa Beccaris and head out for an exciting hiking tour of the Barolo hills and villages, amazing castles and vineyards of legendary crus!
A little stop for snacks along the way at the charming XII century Santo Stephano di Perno hilltop chapel, and we resume this easy 10K walk on mostly downhill paths suitable for all. The hike ends with a visit of Franco Conterno winery hosted by the winemaker.
Lunch: Buffet lunch with paired wines on the panoramic terrace of the Conterno winery with beautiful views of the surrounding vineyards.
Afternoon: back to Villa Beccaris for an afternoon of relaxing by the pool or souvenirs shopping in the village or…packing
Dinner: 8.00pm Al fresco Farewell Dinner in the beautiful garden of the castle at Real Castello. (water, wine & coffee included).
Real Castello was originally built in 1500. It eventually became the property of King Carlo Alberto of Savoy who entrusts the management of his estate and wine cellar to the famous enologist General Carlo Staglieno. Here, the ‘Oenotechnician General’ Paolo Francesco Staglieno made the first vinifications of the nebbiolo grape, laying the bases for modern Barolo.
DAY 8 : We say goodbye . . .
Breakfast : Villa Beccaris
There will be one early morning group transfer by motorcoach from Villa Beccaris to Milan Malpensa airport.