|from €2,900* per person||7 Days||Year-round|
|Boutique accommodations||Exertion level: 3|
|Operator: Mama Margaret & Friends Cooking Adventures In Italy||8 people max|
Rediscover simple pleasures of good wine, good food and beauty in this exquisite countryside of small towns and gentle hills covered with vineyards, fields and forests. Let us take care of you for a change.
Drink some of Italy’s top red wines, Barolo and Barbaresco and meet four quite different women who own Barolo and Barbaresco wineries. Listen to their inspiring stories, exchange stories with them over their wines. Truly unique, insider experiences that take you into their worlds and them into yours. Fun and potentially life changing!
Get to know an amazing variety of other warm, fun loving local people like cooks, cheese makers, soon new local friends, in a wide range of places, many off the tourist track. Authentic, local Italian life experiences!
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Italy, Europe, Piedmont - Piemonte
"Mo and I wanted to thank you again for arranging for us a most enjoyable and memorable vacation in Italy. I've been travelling to Italy at least once a year since 1980, when I met Mo. I've always enjoyed my yearly visits to Italy immensely, however, "Mama Margaret & Friends Cooking Adventures in Italy" was exceptional. I repeatedly tell my family and friends it was just too good. So good, I fear all my future trips to Italy will pale in comparison.
Carmen was an absolute delight. She did everything she possibly could to make our stay in Italy perfect and perfect it was. Carmen was a joy to be with in addition to being a font of knowledge. She seemed to know everything about everything--the history, battles, castles, churches, towns, festivals, wines, cheeses, olive oil and food in general. I could go on forever.
Elio was the perfect gentleman. Although Elio was not able to accompany us every day of the tour, we knew he was with us in spirit and via his cellphone. Elio was in contact with Carmen daily to make sure all was well. He is a very caring person.
Toscana was great, but we absolutely loved Piemonte. All the cooking lessons were great with the various chefs--each with his or her own unique personality. What a perfect combination--to be able to laugh and learn at the same time. "
"I would like to take the time to tell you how much Nanci and I enjoyed our gastronomical trip to Emilia-Romagna. We've spent most of the week since we've been back telling people about it. We are in awe of the energy and graciousness of our host and hostess (Marcello & Raffaella). We saw, tasted, and experienced things we never would have on our own. We met people--parmesan cheese maker, 5th generation balsamic vinegar maker/patriarch, Italy's best sfoglina (pasta maker), and much more. What a treat it was to gaze out the window of an ancient monastery, now hotel, overlooking dozens of sets of fireworks as the new millenium started. A very romantic moment neither of us will forget.
We thought the price/value of the trip was exceedingly fair. Nanci is not the cook in the family...I even overheard her telling a friend she would do it again! We are your biggest fans."
Please note: Walks are optional. If you have other interests, just let us know and we can change the day’s plan for you.
Meet your group at Turin airport or railway station. Leave for Barolo a one hour drive away. In Barolo you stay at a pretty, three star, family-run hotel in town with lovely views of Barolo castle and vineyards.
Dine on authentic Piedmont specialties at a great local restaurant as you drink a line-up of great local wines.
In Barolo, you’ll visit the charming Brezza family in their winery cellars, where the father or son sits with you around a wooden table lit by candles and tastes their wines with you. Conversation with them may stray to topics like family and friendship, so when you see them again in their restaurant for dinner, they feel like old pals.
Explore the hill town of La Morra on a one hour guided stroll. From a piazza, take in splendid views of the Barolo wine area valleys, while your guide points out towns you’ll visit.
Visit a winery near Barolo well known for its award winning wines and warm hospitality. You’ll feel their passion for their wines as they tell you all you ever wanted to know about Barolo, Barbera, Nebbiolo and other local wines. One wife is from California, married into the family years ago and plays an important role in running the winery. You’ll meet her and hear her interesting life story over a glass or two of their wines.
Drive along winding country roads, gazing in awe at the spectacular hill views and up to hill town Castiglione Falletto. Light lunch alfresco on a cafe patio with lovely wine country views.
Drive to a fine restaurant outside a Barolo wine country town for a hands-on cooking class with a young, passionate, creative chef who welcomes you warmly. Some of his typical, local dishes with his creative touches: delicate little torte with asparagus and cod, tasty risotto with Barbera wine and tuma cheese cream, semifreddo with boysenberries, white chocolate and mint. Savour your creations with great Piedmont wines.
Drive up about 30-40 minutes into the hills to a small, family farm to meet a man passionate about making his sheep cheeses in a totally natural way. Learn how he makes his cheeses in the cheese making room. In a divine picnic, you sample a range of his cheeses as he eagerly tells you all you’d ever want to know. You may even meet his sheep!
Drive to the scenic Barbaresco wine country hills and visit a family run winery to chat and taste their excellent wines. The charming owner will tell you her inspiring story how she became a single mother as a young woman, took over running the winery and now manages it with her adult son.
Just outside the town of Barbaresco, enjoy a hands-on cooking class on several dishes with the delightful owners in a well known restaurant set among vineyards. Enjoy your full menu dinner with Barbaresco wines in their cozy dining room or out on their shady terrace with marvelous vineyard views.
In Barolo visit a welcoming family’s winery where the adult daughter now plays a major role in running with winery with her father, well known for his strong, sometimes witty “no barriques” stance. They believe in using large wooden barrels. As you tour and taste, the daughter will tell you her winery career story.
Drive to nearby Monforte for a stroll and light lunch of typical Piedmont hot and cold appetizers at a local restaurant. Piedmont is famous for its incredible array of appetizers.
Return to town of Barolo for a guided stroll, visit the interesting Barolo wine museum, the Barolo castle where “the Mother of Barolo” lived, and if you wish, the humorous Corkscrew Museum.
Dinner is in a typical restaurant for more delicate Piedmontese fare.
Stroll through the delightful medieval heart of Alba, a small bustling city. Browse the high quality clothing and houseware stores or tempting gastronomy shops like “Peccati della Gola—Sins of the Throat”. Light lunch in Alba on your own.
Shops in Alba close about 1:00 and open about 4:00.
Drive back to the Barolo wine country to visit a well known winery near La Morra, run by a woman and her niece. Over a tour and tasting, they’ll tell you their stories about their lives and wine careers.
Dinner on your own. Barolo has a variety of good restaurants.
In the hill town of Serralunga, visit a unique medieval castle, renovated in 1340. With the castle’s entertaining guide, discover ingenious architectural features that kept invaders out. On the top floor, marvel at the 360 degree views of the countryside and town.
If you wish, we can go on an optional 45 minute walk through the vineyards at Serralunga.
Visit a family’s farm where friendly Francesca shares a slice of their everyday life with you. They produce cheeses and most of what they eat. Eat a light, scrumptious farm lunch and chat with her at the table. Visit the farm after lunch to experience a slice of country life.
Back to your hotel for a rest.
Drive to Sinio where friendly local women, excellent home cooks, welcome you warmly to a community kitchen for your hands-on cooking class. They show you how to make their families’ traditional dishes, share cooking secrets with you and dine with you around the table. Lots of fun!
If you have time, experience market day at the street stalls in Alba, bursting with local people. The colour, pace and sounds of this action filled extravaganza will amaze you. A lively, genuine slice of Italian life! If we go to Alba, lunch is on your own.
Reluctantly depart for Turin or for Alba’s train station and leave your new Piedmont friends, taking with you the women’s stories, your inspirations and heartfelt memories of all the laughter, sensual experiences, beauty, food and wine you shared together.