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Harvest Tour of Northern Italy
Experience Harvest Time in Italy
Italy Vacation Specialists Harvest Tour of Italy Luxury Fall Tour
Beautiful Montalcino, Tuscany
Exterior of Hotel Relais San Maurizio

Harvest Time in Italy: Fine Wines and Food in Piedmont, Cinque Terre and Tuscany (October 22-30 2020) Back

  • Tour Code : TUR-01632
  • Type : Private
  • Duration : 10 days
  • Departs from : Turin
  • Meeting Place : Hotel

Description

The land of Piedmont starts in the Alps, plunging down to the Padan Plain where Italy's most fertile agricultural land surrounds the Po River.  Our journey will start where the Po enters the city of Turin.  Once the capital of the Kingdom of Italy and the House of Savoy, Turin is known for its UNESCO protected palaces, car makers and chocolate!

To the East, in the Langhe Valley,  Nebbiolo grapes are grown to produce Barolo and Barbaresco wines.  Barolo is regarded as one of Italy's finest, and most expensive wines.  'Cru' classified wines are produced on superior plots of land, while aging softens the tannins and results in the most sought after vintages.  Less than 10 miles away, another microclimate causes the grapes to ripen earlier, maceration is reduced and the tannins that characterize Barolo, are much less pronounced.  Visiting producers in both areas will give you ample opportunity to taste for yourself how the microclimates affect the wines they produce, and to learn how the production processes vary.

Further South we come to the whites of Gavi and Liguria.  In the Cinque Terre, grapes are grown on man-made terraces on the cliffs that surround the colorful villages.  As well as discovering the wines of this area, you will witness the harvest which nature insists is done in the most traditional way and entirely by hand!

In Tuscany we will visit the Chianti hills and Orcia Valley that produce some of Italy's best known red wines.  Chianti, Chianti Riserva, Rosso di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino are just a few of the wines we will be tasting, as well as visiting some of Tuscany's best-loved towns.

Finally, we end with a tour of Florence and the option to extend your time here to see more of Tuscany's capital and the 'cradle of the Renaissance'.

Itinerary

 

Day 1 - Welcome Day in Torino - Orientation Tour of Torino - Welcome Dinner

Where we visit : Turin
Meeting Location : Hotel
Your tour officially begins at 2pm in the hotel lobby, or outside on the patio, depending on the weather.  Here you will meet your tour escort and get to know your fellow travelers over coffee.
 
The afternoon will continue with a walking tour of Turin with a local guide.  Learn about the history of this beautiful city that was once the capital of various kingdoms, and see some of the Royal Residences of the House of Savoy which are protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
 
The tour will end with dinner in the heart of the city, a short walk from the hotel.
 
Overnight at the Grant Hotel Sitea, Turin*

*the tour includes shared accommodation in a double/twin room.  Single supplements and optional upgrades available.
Meals : Dinner
 

Day 2 - Fine Wines and Gorgeous Landscapes of Barolo and Barbaresco

Where we visit : Piemonte
After breakfast at the hotel, you will leave Turin for the Langhe wine region.  Here you will discover two of the regions most famous wine-producing areas: Barolo and Barbaresco.

Both wines are produced from Nebbiolo, a grape native to the Piedmont region.  High in tannins, Nebbiolo wines are traditionally aged for years until the tannins soften to reveal other flavors for which the wines are so revered.

Before arriving in Barolo, you will drive through the beautiful hillsides where Nebbiolo grapes are bathed in just the right sunshine for Barolo production.  In the town you will visit the Marchesi di Barolo winery where you will visit the historic cellars and learn about producing Barolo wine.  Taste Barolo DOCG, Barolo DOCG Riserva, Dolcetto di Alba DOC, Moscato d’Asti DOGC and Asti Spumante DOC, along with traditional products of the area.

Next you will visit one of Italy’s many family-run vineyards, where you will receive a warm welcome from the Marrone family.  From the terrace, enjoy wonderful views over the Barolo Valley while tasting different wines with local cheeses, meats and typical snacks.

In the late afternoon, you will arrive at the Relais San Maurizio, where you will be staying for the next two nights.  You will have some time to relax and enjoy the spa before dinner at the San Maurizio Bistrot on the property.

Overnight at the Relais San Maurizio*. 

*the tour includes shared accommodation in a double/twin room.  Single supplements and optional upgrades available.
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner, Wine Tasting
 

Day 3 - The Barbara Wines and Fine Foods Unique To Piedmont

Where we visit : Piemonte
Today will be dedicated to the Barbara wine region.  Barbara grapes are found throughout Italy, from northern Piedmont all the way down to Sicily.  Barbara blends, the best of which are said to come from the limestone slopes you will visit today, range from the light and fruity, to more intense, aged wines.
 
The first stop will be at Coppo winery, where the Coppo family have been making wine since 1892.  The highlight of the morning will undoubtedly be the visit to the cellars, which extend over 5000 square meters and up to 40m deep.  These ‘underground cathedrals’ are so unique that they were added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2014.  The tour will conclude with a tasting of 3 riserva wines: a Barbera d’Asti, a Chardonnay, Riserva Coppo (spumante) and the sweet, sparkling Moscato d’Asti DOCG.
 
Following the wine tasting, there will be a stop in the town of Asti, where you will have some free time to explore the town and have lunch, before meeting the group again.

The next visit will be to the Marchesi Alfieri winery.  Home to the wine-producing Alfieri Family since 1696, the estate is centered around the historic 17th century castle.  You will tour the gardens, orangery, castle and cellars, before tasting some of the wines, including the award-winning Barbara d’Asti, Barbara d’Asti Superiore and the sparkling Blanc de Noir.
 
Returning to the Relais San Maurizio, you will have time to enjoy the spa and swimming pool in the afternoon, before dinner at a local pizzeria.
 
Overnight at Relais San Maurizio
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner, Wine Tasting
 

Day 4 - Gavi COGG Wines and the Italian Riviera

Where we visit : Santo Stefano Belbo, Camogli, Portofino
This morning bid farewell to the Alba hills as the tour heads south towards the narrow region of Liguria.

To break the journey, there will be a stop in Gavi and a chance to taste one of Italy's most popular, and internationally renowned, white wines: Cortese di Gavi (or simply 'Gavi').  Although still in Piedmont, you will find that the characteristics of 'Gavi' have more in common with the fruity whites of Liguria, than the wines of Piedmont.  

The wine tasting will follow a tour of the cellars of the La Scolca vineyard, and will include both Gavi DOCG and a sparkling Gavi.

Finally leaving Piedmont, you will arrive in the delightful fishing village of Camogli in time for lunch.  Lacking the name recognition of Portofino and Cinque Terre, is it easy to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and laid-back charm of this beautiful town, whether you decide on a seafood lunch on the seafront or delicious foccacia as you wander the streets.

Portofino is the next port of call.  You will have free time here to admire the colorful houses, the luxury yachts that line the harbor and the work of local artisans that fills the shops. 

Later in the afternoon, the final stop of the day will be in Rapallo, where you will spend the next 2 nights at the Grand Hotel Bristol*.  

Dinner at leisure and overnight at the hotel.   

*the tour includes shared accommodation in a double/twin room.  Single supplements and optional upgrades available (including sea views).
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Wine Tasting
 

Day 5 - Wines and Villages of the Cinque Terre National Park

Where we visit : Cinque Terre
The day will start early with breakfast at the hotel, before taking the train along the beautiful coast of the Italian Riviera to the village of Manarola.  You will have some time to explore on your own or to enjoy the stunning views over coffee, before learning to make Liguria’s signature dish.

Discover the art of making pesto by crushing fragrant basil leaves together with fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts and hard cheese in a pestle and mortar and why this ancient art can never be successfully replicated by modern technology.  Once your sauce is prepared, sit down to a well-deserved lunch of pasta al pesto and a glass of the local wine.

Departing Manarola by ferry, you will arrive in the village of Vernazza, thought by many to be the most beautiful of the Cinque Terre.  Here you will have some time on your own to enjoy the colored houses from the beach, or to wander up into the winding streets.

The final stop on the ferry will be Monterosso al Mare, the largest of the five villages, where a driver will meet you for the drive up to the Sassarini vineyard.  Throughout the day you will have seen vines growing precariously on manmade terraces up the cliffs.  Wine production here is an arduous process, which is done entirely by hand. Much of the wine produced here is white, but there are also some reds, as well as the local nectar, the sweet Sciacchetrà DOC, which is made from the best grapes, grown closest to the sea.

In the late afternoon, return to the hotel and enjoy the evening at your leisure in Rapallo.

Overnight in Rapallo.

NB: The villages of Cinque Terre are not accessible by coach and a moderate amount of walking will be required today.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Wine Tasting, Cooking Class
 

Day 6 - The Carrara Marble Caves and Tuscany's Magnificent Chianti

Where we visit : Carrara, Chianti
Leaving Liguria behind, today you will arrive in Tuscany, the last region on our tour. 

Your first stop will be in Massa Cararra to visit the quarries which produce some of the most precious marble on earth and a favorite among artists for the pure color of the marble and the ease with which it can be worked.  Here Michelangelo once came to select the best marble for his pietà and statue of David, which is famously built from a single block, and to oversee its extraction and to deepen his knowledge of the material.

In the company of a local, private guide, travel high up the marble mountain in off road vehicles and into the quarries to discover how the marble is extracted and experience stunning views before journeying down into an underground quarry. 

By lunchtime, you will have arrived in the walled town of Lucca, where you will have free time for lunch on your own and to visit the town.  Relax in the central Piazza dell’Anfiteatro, walk the ancient walls or climb the Guinigi Tower for a great view across the city and surrounding countryside, before it is time to move further into Tuscany and the famous Chianti region.

Arriving at Villa Le Barone*, you will have some time to relax before you are welcomed to Tuscany with a typical Tuscan dinner.

Overnight at Villa Le Barone.

*the tour includes shared accommodation in a double/twin room.  Single supplements and optional upgrades available.
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
 

Day 7 - Truffle Hunting in Tuscany and Wines of Chianti

Where we visit : Chianti
Today will start with an early breakfast and a special walk in the countryside.  Starting with an introduction to the precious and mysterious truffle, you’ll accompany a professional truffle hunter and their dogs out into the woods in search of truffles.  When the dogs sniff out one of these fragrant tubers, your job is to help them dig it up! 

If you don’t feel like chasing truffles, you can opt for a leisurely morning at the hotel where you can enjoy the gardens and the swimming pool until the group returns to start preparing lunch.

Under the guidance of the hotel’s chef, learn to make a traditional Tuscan meal, including homemade pasta with a seasonal sauce, a main course and dessert.  Following an active morning, enjoy a leisurely lunch and some free time in the hotel grounds.

In the afternoon you will visit some of the delightful towns for which the Chianti region is so famous.  Towns like Greve in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti and Castellina in Chianti are great places for a relaxing stroll and a little shopping, without the crowds that dominate the region’s better-known towns.

Return to the villa for dinner this evening.

Overnight at Villa Le Barone.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Cooking Class
 

Day 8 - The Great Tuscan Cities of Siena, San Gimignano

Where we visit : Siena, San Gimignano
Your tour today will include 2 of Tuscany’s most famous towns: Siena and San Gimignano. 

Following breakfast at the villa, you will meet your local guide in Siena.  Together you will visit the town’s main square, the Piazza del Campo, which hosts the famous Palio di Siena each summer, visit the world’s oldest bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena where you will learn about the importance of Siena as a financial and political center and discover its artistic and architectural heritage.  A highlight of the tour will undoubtedly be the Romanesque-Gothic duomo, whose distinctive black and white stripes celebrate the city’s colors.  Along the way, don’t miss the chance to stop in one of pasticcerie to try some of the delicious dolci sensi like panforti, ricciarelli and cavallucci.

Lunch will be in the countryside surrounding San Gimignano at the Torciano winery.  You will enjoy a private Tuscan lunch, paired with some of Toriciano’s wines.  A sommelier will discuss the wines with you, as well as how Chianti wines differ from others in Tuscany and the wines you have already experienced in Piedmont and Liguria.  The tasting will include Chianti DOCG, Chianti Classico DOCG and Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG, as well as Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a rare example of a Tuscan white.

Following lunch, you will have time on your own in San Gimignano to explore the Medieval streets and the 14 surviving towers, which gives it its distinctive, Medieval skyline.

In the evening, returning to the villa for dinner.
 
Overnight at Villa Le Barone
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Wine Tasting
 

Day 9 - Burnello di Montalcino and Noble Wines

Where we visit : Montalcino, Montepulciano
The final day of wine exploration will be in the UNESCO protected Orcia Valley.  Starting with a walk in the lovely town of Montalcino, dominated by a Medieval fortress, which today houses the enoteca della Fortezza di Montalcino, a favorite stop for wine lovers looking to try the best of the local Brunello di Montalcino.

Your visit to the Altasino Winery will begin with a tour of the wine cellars, followed by lunch on their terrace, with stunning views across the valley, accompanied, naturally, by a selection of their wines.

The afternoon will be dedicated to Montepulciano, the most famous of the towns in the valley.  Much of the town is pedestrianized, which makes it a wonderful place for an afternoon stroll.  Though the streets are all uphill, you will have free time to go at your own pace and visit the many beautiful shops on the way, before the group meets again in the central square at the top of the town for your final wine tasting at Cantina da Ricci*.  Claiming to be the most beautiful wine cellar in the world, the visit begins with a descent through the ancient cellars, built to resemble a Gothic cathedral.  In the tasting room at the bottom, learn about Italy’s first DOCG wine, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG, which you will taste along with Rosso di Montepulciano DOC and Vin Santo di Montepulciano DOC, Tuscany’s sweet dessert wine, which is traditionally served with dry cantucci biscuits.

Return to the villa for dinner and overnight.

Overnight at Villa Le Barone.

*participants must be able to do a moderate amount of walking, but if reaching the top of the town and taking the steps down to the cellar is an issue, there is an alternative entrance directly into the tasting room which your escort can direct you to.
 
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Wine Tasting
 

Day 10 - Florence From a New Perspective; Walking Tour & Conclusion of Services in Florence

Where we visit : Florence
Following breakfast and the hotel check out, you will transfer to Florence for a tour of the city with a local guide.  As you walk through the beautiful Renaissance streets, you will learn about the powerful Medici, and how they shaped much of the city you see today.  Patrons of the arts, the wealthy Medici not only built spectacular palaces and art collections, but also supported some of the greatest artists of the day, including the young Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.  The highlight of the morning will be a visit to the Accademia Gallery, to see Michelangelo's monumental sculpture of David, carved from a single block of Carrara marble when he was just 26 years old.

After the tour, you will have lunch in a local trattoria before returning to the coach for the short trip to the train station where our time together officially comes to an end.  If you are taking advantage of our optional post-tour stay in Florence, you will be accompanied to your hotel on the banks of the Arno River.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch

Map

 

Inclusions/Exclusions

Tour Highlights and What's Included

  1. Cooking class
  2. Detailed explanation of sites
  3. English speaking tour escort for the duration of the tour
  4. Entrance Fees
  5. Entrance fees to Siena’s Duomo
  6. Excellent Photo Opportunities
  7. Local English speaking Driver Guide
  8. Luxury small group journey with no more than 15 passengers
  9. Siena and San Gimignano
  10. Sightseeing tours as indicated in the itinerary
  11. Specialized and Personal Service
  12. Stay in Luxury Villa in Tuscany
  13. Tastings of local products
  14. Wine and Olive Oil Tastings
  15. Winery Visits
  16. Truffle Hunting
  17. Luxury accommodation

What's Not Included

  1. Gratuities of any type
  2. Meals not mentioned in the program
  3. Optional excursions during your tour
  4. Personal Expenses or Extras at hotels
  5. Travel Insurance

Sites and Locations Visited on this Tour

Pricing & Availability

Please contact us today by either phone or email for assistance with this booking.
Email : team@italygroupspecialists.com
Toll Free : 1-866-779-2565

Hotels

Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa

Opened in 1908, the Grand Hotel Bristol Resort & Spa offers classic style rooms with a fully equipped private bathroom. Some rooms feature a small balcony and views of the Mediterranean Sea..

Hotel Relais San Maurizio

Relais San Maurizio lies in a unique and enchanting place, the ancient XVII century monastery, where people and nature have always lived together in peace and harmony..

Villa Le Barone

This Villa Barone is a delightful hotel that is located just outside the beautiful town of Panzano in the heart of Chianti. With sweeping vineyards that surround the property, a fantastic restaurant that uses entirely organic products and a wonderful swimming pool, the Villa Barone makes for a very fine choice during your stay in Chianti and an ideal base to explore Tuscany.

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