& VAL D’AOSTA, ITALY
SEPTEMBER 6 - 14, 2024
Calling all wine lovers!
Travel with Chef Angela Cicala and
Sommelier Lynn Finkbiner in autumn, 2024. Northwestern Italy is home to world class vineyards, truffles, castles, and some of the best views of the Italian Alps. Grab a glass and get cozy.
Spend 4 nights in the vine covered hills of Piemonte at Villa D'Amelia, then we move closer to the Alps for 4 nights in Val d’Aosta, at the majestic Bellevue Hotel & Spa. All rooms have a balcony with a view over an Alpine field or the snow covered Gran Paradiso in the distance. Taste cheese and wine fireside, or relax at the spa.
Excursions around the area include medieval castles and fortresses, wineries, and local artisans’ workshops tucked away high in the mountain villages. Being so close to the French and Swiss borders, expect the local cuisine to blur the lines of France, Switzerland and Italy. Think polenta, rich cheeses, juniper and mountain herbs, warm raclette, prosciutto, and pastas with a foreign flare.
Sommelier Lynn Finkbiner
Relais Villa d'Amelia
Start this adventure with 4 nights at Relais Villa d’Amelia, in the heart of Piedmonte’s Langhe region.
Located in the vineyard-covered hills, the villa is convenient to the important historic and culinary cities of Alba, Barolo, Barbaresco, Bra and more. Walk the property’s 7 acre park, and take in the views of the Alps and the hazelnut grooves, or take time for yourself to enjoy some of the on site spa services.
Deluxe and Junior Suites available, all with views over the valley, king sized beds, travertine marble bathrooms with either shower or bathtub, TV, mini bar, air-conditioning, and heating. Breakfast included daily.
DAY 1 WELCOME TO ITALY!
Pick up at Milan Malpensa airport or Milano Centrale train station according to your needs.
We start the week off with a wine tasting and lunch at Villa Tiboldi's cantina, Malvira', before checking into the Villa d’Amelia. Dinner tonight at Villa d'Amelia.
DAY 2 PIO CESARE & GAJA WINERIES
After breakfast we take a drive to the vineyards of Pio Cesare and Gaja for tastings and lunch. Return to Villa D'Amelia to relax before dinner. Aperitivo tonight in the village of Bra, the birthplace of Slow Food, followed by dinner at Osteria Boccondivino, famous for its local sausage, 40-yolk tajarin, and typical Piedmontese bonnet dessert.
DAY 3 HAZELNUT & CHEESE FARMS
Today we visit our neighbor, Silvio Pistone's cheese farm for a tour and tasting in his countryside cottage including giunta and tuma cheeses, which few farmers make anymore. For dessert, we head to Cascina Barroero hazelnut farm for a tasting of sweets including giandujia, torrone, and more. Dinner tonight at a nearby trattoria.
DAY 4 VIETTI & CERETTO WINERIES, AND VILLAGE OF BAROLO
We visit two more wineries today. This time we're heading to Vietti and Ceretto, followed by a stop in the village of Barolo with free time to explore. Return back to Villa d'Amelia before dinner in Alba at Osteria del Arco.
DAY 5 LA VENARIA REALE & TRANSFER TO THE ITALIAN ALPS
What did it mean, to Eat Like a King? See what a royal banquet was really like at this temporary exhibit, "Monarchs At The Table", inside La Venaria Reale palace. Paintings, silverware and fine China tableware from the major Italian courts will tell the fascinating and intriguing story of popes, princes and kings at mealtime.
Enjoy a light lunch near the palace and then we transfer to the magnificent Bellevue Hotel in Cogne, in the
Val d'Aosta. Dinner at the Bellevue Hotel tonight. Think fondue, steak, and polenta in the coziest setting.
Hotel & Spa
The Bellevue Hotel was originally founded in 1925, three years after Gran Paradiso National Park was created from the historic hunting reserve frequented by the Royal Family. Bellevue stands in a privileged position, enclosed by the Meadows of Sant’Orso and affording a spectacular vista over Gran Paradiso Glacier.
The entire property is straight out of a fairytale. You'll find traditional wood carved furniture and antiques reflecting mounting life throughout, a cheese bar, bakery, restaurant, and spa services on site. Their garden ensures that guests are served locally sourced vegetables and herbs, and all water comes from the mountain springs. Choose from a Deluxe room or Junior Suite.
DAY 6 COOKING CLASS IN AOSTA
After breakfast explore the capital of Aosta today with a market to table cooking class with a local. Free time to shop, visit St. Orso Church or the Roman theater after lunch. Dinner together tonight in Cogne.
DAY 7 FREE DAY
Take the day to relax and enjoy the nature that surrounds Bellevue Hotel. It's only a 6 minute walk to the village of Cogne, so set out and explore, pick up souvenirs, or grab a bite. Lunch and dinner are on your own today. Take advantage of the spa services, restaurants and bars on the hotel property. (Spa services should be booked in advance. Email us for assistance.)
DAY 8 LE PETITE RIENS, GROSJEAN, & FENIS CASTLE
Discover the wines of the far north at Grosjean and Les Petits Riens wineries today with tastings and lunch, then visit Castello di Fenis afterward. Farewell dinner together in Cogne tonight where we'll try a flaming la grolla, ("a friendship cup" of flaming alcohol and sugar), an after dinner tradition in Val d'Aosta.
DAY 9 ARRIVIDERCI!
After breakfast we will depart to Milan and return you to the Milano Centrale train station or Milano Malpensa airport. If you have a very early flight, a private driver is available at an additional charge for early morning airport transfers. Please let us know in advance.
Piemonte & Val d'Aosta 8 night tour rate:
$6,400.00 per person
Included in price:
4 nights accommodation at Relais Villa d'Amelia
4 nights accommodation at Hotel Bellevue & Spa
7 Lunches & 7 Dinners
Wine included with all meals
Private transportation throughout the tour
All entrance fees to excursions outlined in itinerary
Hands-on cooking class in Aosta
All taxes and gratuities
Transfers to and from Milan.
Tour pick up is at Milano Centrale train station.