Turin, Langhe, Orta San Giulio, Stresa
Gourmet & Wine, History & Culture
Deriving its name from the Italian notion of ‘winds that blow from the North West’, it’s perhaps no surprise that Piedmont’s influence has permeated both national and international culture – it’s the birthplace of Gianduiotto chocolate, Ferrero, Grissini breadsticks, Lavazza and the aperitif, and celebrated for the famous International Alba White Truffle Fair and having the second highest number of Michelin restaurants after Lombardy.
The journey celebrates Piedmont’s architectural, historical and gastronomical significance, starting with a jaunt in its capital, Turin, characterised by baroque buildings, soulful squares and historical landmarks. We then head out to the rolling hills and vineyards of Langhe, appreciating fine wine and truffles and a UNESCO-listed underground cathedral, before finishing at the lakes of Orta and Maggiore, each with its distinctive appeal, from the pretty village of Orta San Giulio to the palaces and landscape gardens of the Borromean Islands.
Arrive in Milan Malpensa Airport, where you will meet your driver and to transfer Turin for check-in.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel for a walking tour of Turin, covering the hidden treasures of the Baroque capital of Italy, visiting enchanting palaces and elegant buildings commissioned by the Savoy Royal family across the 17th and 18th centuries. Take in the beauty of gods, skies and clouds adorning noblemen’s ceilings and marvel at the secrets concealed within the ingenious architecture of the church of San Lorenzo. Walk amongst breath-taking marbles in Turin Cathedral, through stunning squares, such as Piazza Castello, San Carlo and Carignano.
During the tour, we will rest and refuel at Baratti & Milano. Established in 1858, the prestigious cafe remains the venue of choice for Torino’s intellectual and artistic crowd. We will sample their bicerin, the signature hot drink of Torino, which layers espresso, chocolate, and cream.
After breakfast, visit a chocolate factory on a private arrangement. The tradition that links Turin to chocolate seems to date back to 1560 when the king of the Duchy of Savoy, Emanuele Filiberto, celebrated the transfer of the kingdom’s capital from Chambery to Turin by offering the court a cup of steaming chocolate. Love was born and grew from year to year, always creating new products such as Gianduiotto, Bicerin, Alpino, spreadable cream and new processing and production techniques.
Next, head towards Sassi village where we will take a rack tramway to reach the Basilica of Superga on the top of the highest hill in Turin. The Basilica of Superga is an eighteenth-century architectural jewel immersed in the greenery of the Parco della Collina. Art, culture, history, nature, all come together in this monumental church that towers over the city. Explore the Royal Tombs of the Savoy, the rooms of the Royal Apartment and the King’s Room.
For lunch, we will taste a ‘Merenda Sinoira’ in Torino surroundings. The Royal Turin Merenda is a tradition born in the distant 1700s at the Savoy court to calm the appetite of the nobles in the time between lunch and dinner and after dinner (the royal snack could in fact be served between 14.00 and 22.00). The absolute protagonist of this delicious moment is chocolate obviously, served together with other delicious delicacies of the Piedmontese tradition.
Transfer to the Langhe region to meet your guide for a walking tour of Alba and La Morra. A medieval gem and the foremost town in the Langhe area, Alba is renowned for its International White Truffle Fair, cathedral and ancient arcades and towers.
From there we will move to La Morra, known as the Terrace of the Langhe where we will take in the breath-taking views of Barolo’s birthplace. More and more tech, green and design, the cellars in the Langhe are transformed to leave their ancient guise and dive into the future with new and daring shapes. A journey through one of the most innovative and fascinating design wineries in the Piedmont area.
Depart early this morning for a private truffle hunt. The truffle in Piedmont is rooted in tradition; the stories of the truffle hunters and their 4-legged companions are imprinted in the memory of those who live in these lands, handed down from generation to generation. In Piedmont all types of truffles are collected at different times of the year, but what has made this land so famous is certainly the massive presence of the most prized truffle of all: the prized white truffle, also called Alba white.
In the afternoon, enjoy a tour and tasting at the historic Coppo Cellars, which have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. These underground cathedrals are akin to a temple dedicated to wine, originating in the eighteenth century as small storage cellars, remodelled and enlarged during the 1800s and 1900s to over 5,000sqm, reaching a depth of 40m at its lowest point.
In the first light of the morning, we will view Langhe from a completely new perspective – flying high in a hot air balloon! Taking off amongst the famous vines of this most prestigious of wine regions, we will admire the spellbinding beauty of the gently rolling hills from a new angle. For around an hour marvel at the dream-like landscape, the vines of a thousand colours and experience a bird’s eye view of the medieval castle of Barolo.
Depart for Orta San Giulio in the late morning, to arrive in Orta San Giulio, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The village centre is completely pedestrianized, characterized by narrow streets, with Piazza Motta at its core, a real living room overlooking the lake, from which boats depart for the island of San Giulio. A private motorboat will take us on the ten-minute journey to San Giulio, home to the imposing Benedictine Abbey, Mater Ecclesiae and the 900-year-old Basilica di San Giulio.
After breakfast, embark on a walking tour of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sacro Monte of San Francesco. Your experienced guide will lead us around the 17th century complex of twenty small chapels decorated with frescoes and terracotta statues, which are dedicated to St Francis of Assisi. The view from Sacro Monte is utterly captivating, encompassing the lake and its island.
In the afternoon, transfer to Stresa, where you have the afternoon at leisure.
In the morning, transfer to nearby Mottarone for a day of outdoor activities amongst the stunning scenery. A qualified mountain biking guide will take us on an e-bike tour of the area, revealing sweeping views of Lake Maggiore.
Transfer by motorboat to the Borromean Islands, an earthly paradise where nature, culture and art blend perfectly, where ancient villas and their well-kept gardens form a unique habitat rich in biodiversity that is not easily found elsewhere in Europe.
Enjoy lunch at Il Fornello Bottega, characterized by quality ingredients and careful preparation of the dishes, which can be enjoyed on the pleasant terrace with views of the lake.
On Isola Bella, embark on a guided tour of the 16th century Palazzo Borromeo, walking the 20 rooms, including the Sala del Trono, the Galleria Berthier – a mosaic of over 130 paintings and masterpieces – and the magical Grotte, originally built to amaze the guests and give them some refresh. In the palace we will also visit the exhibition “Vitaliano VI. The invention of Isola Bella”, dedicated to the founder of Isola Bella. Stroll at leisure through the Baroque Italian-style garden terraces and spend some free time shopping and walking in the Vicolo del Fornello, in the heart of the ancient village before returning to Stresa.
Enjoy a relaxing morning in your hotel before a transfer to Milan Malpensa Airport or Milan city for your onward journey.
High Season (June – September)
NH Collection Torino Piazza Carlina • UVE Langhe • AL Dom B&B • Hotel La Palma Stresa
This contemporary hotel with 17th century origins is located in a charming, elegant square in the heart of Turin. The hotel is set around a charming courtyard and has modern rooms, most offering views of Turin’s landmarks and rooftops. (Opened: 2014; Rooms: 160)View More
Situated in the historic centre of La Morra, the centuries-old building boasts a distinctively sophisticated and contemporary style, with warm elegant interiors and exquisite attention to detail that create the inviting ambience of a private home. (Opened: 2015; Rooms: 8)View More
In a magnificently restored late 18th century mansion, this family-run B&B enjoys a fantastic location on the shores of Lake Orta with a tranquil garden and own boat landing. The interiors feature both antique and contemporary furnishings that adds to the charm and authenticity of the property. (Opened: 2013; Rooms: 4)View More
In the heart of Stresa along the lakeside promenade, this boutique hotel is set in lovely gardens and offers breath-taking views of Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands. It is the only hotel in Stresa with its own outdoor pool located on the lake itself, and the rooftop Skybar is one of the most popular spots in town for sunset. (Renovated: 2019; Rooms: 120)View More
High Season (June – September)
Principe Piemonte • UVE Langhe • Villa Crespi • Hotel Villa E Palazzo Aminta
Housed in an impressive Rationalist-style building in the heart of Turin, this historical hotel is a symbol of ancient Italian splendour, offering elegant rooms with views over the city and surrounding nature. (Renovated: 2018; Rooms: 100)View More
This luxury boutique hotel lies at the heart of the Piedmont region, overlooking a vast expanse of working vineyards and rolling hills. Interiors combines traditional Piedmontese design with a contemporary aesthetic and focus on sustainability, offering farm-to-table dining and authentic activities. (Opened: 2021; Rooms: 39)View More
Set on a hill overlooking Orta San Giulio, the unique Moorish architecture of Villa Crespi and period furnishings create a homely and relaxing atmosphere reminiscent of the Thousand and One Nights, complemented with Antonino Cannavacciuolo’s award-winning Mediterranean restaurant. (Opened: 1999; Rooms: 14)View More
This luxury hotel is housed in a Belle Époque mansion from the early 20th century, set in lush Mediterranean gardens with breath-taking views of Lake Maggiore and Borromean Islands. Rooms retain a charming classical style with rich fabrics and Italian furniture, most of balconies overlooking the lake. (Refurbished: 2015; Rooms: 72)View More
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