These James Beard Award Winners have a special connection to the honest and ingredient-driven cooking style of Piemonte. Mike and Jeff's approach to food is focused on honoring the tradition and heritage of a region.
Mike in particular embraced the world wide movement of Slow Food which was born in Bra, Piemonte and became a champion of the local growers in the Lowcountry and co-founder of Slow Food Charleston in 2005.
Sleepy villages, hillsides blanketed in grapevines, delicate pasta dusted with shaved truffles, and wine that tastes of violets: just add to the many reasons to visit this gastronomic paradise with this duo of inspired chefs.
Meet Giorgio Rivetti for a private tour of Italy's first sparkling wine cellar, then taste his outstanding Brut, Barbera and Barbaresco wines in a hands-on cooking class with his sister Giovanna
Join a truffle hunt to see how our trifulau Natale finds these hidden gems, then taste fresh truffles while learning about the history of the prized tubers in a truffle museum
A Mecca for Food & Wine Lovers
Along winding roads that climb steep hillsides blanketed with neat rows of nebbiolo vines, there’s always an ancient castle up ahead, or a world-famous wine estate
Villa d'Amelia has the most stunning view of the Langhe winemaking region along with a spa, bar, and an awarded restaurant in a renovated 19th-century farmhouse
The traditional stuffed pasta of Piemonte is called "plin" (pinched) and it's fun to make! Learn all the secrets behind the art of pasta making in our hands on cooking classes
For five generations, the Craveros have been selecting and aging the very best Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano... You'll be in awe of their 20-foot-tall caves and of their cheese of course!
Admire the spectacular vistas as you ride through a landscape of centuries-old vineyards and ancient castles!
Benvenuti! This morning, Jeff and Mike welcome you at the Milano Malpensa Airport and together we head to Piemonte! First stop is the Roero Wine region where we will enjoy a restoring lunch before we head to the first Winery visit of the week. The Damonte Family will welcome us for a tour and tasting of their excellent Malvira' wines. Right after we’ll reach our villa!
As soon as we arrive in the heart of the Langhe wine-growing region, we settle into our rooms at the gorgeous Villa D’Amelia and have some free time to relax and explore. You may not want to leave the villa at all: the view of the Alps, hazelnut groves, and rolling Piemonte vineyards are absolutely breathtaking! Villa D'Amelia has an award-winning restaurant, a spa, gardens, and plenty of lounges where we sip aperitivo at sunset.
That is exactly what we may do tonight before heading to dinner for a special Piemontese tasting menu by three brothers that, after traveling the world, returned to their roots to add flair to traditional recipes. Think potato gnocchi with Castelmagno cheese, roasted cockerel and a twist on the classic Fritto Piemontese.
For five generations, the Cravero Family has been aging the finest DOP Parmigiano Reggiano money can buy. This morning, master affineur (cheesemaker) Giorgio Cravero gives us a private tasting and tour of his 20-foot-high cheese caves in the mountain town of Bra.
What goes best with cheese? Wine! Let's head for lunch to Osteria del Boccondivino, a restaurant that adheres to the Slow Food Chefs’ Alliance to defend biodiversity, tradition, and small local producers. Right after, we have some free time to explore Bra's delightful baroque squares and churches. The town was the birthplace of Slow Food, a grassroots organization for preserving traditional foods and foodways and promoting small-scale agriculture, and remains a showcase for Italian food creativity today. Later in the afternoon we will relax back at our Villa before we get ready for our memorable Michelin star experience where we dine enjoying the astounding view over the vineyards, towards the Alps. Chef Maurilio Garola and his team crafted a very special menu for us to pair with a selection of wines from their cellar. Carved from the tuff hill, the wine cellar preserves more than 60,000 bottles from all over the world and one of the most complete wine lists in Italy.
Who wants to ride a Vespa or a Fiat 500? This morning let's zip down to the charming village of Barolo in style. We are going to visit the Conterno and Fantino families, some of the most famous winemakers in the Barolo Wine Region in Piemonte. They took a daring and provocative path, employing green harvesting, shorter fermentation, and the use of small barriques. Pioneers and rebel winegrowers, they are treating us to a private tour and tasting at their winery. Can't wait! Then we are on for an al fresco lunch at a local favorite spot before riding through hill villages like Barolo, La Morra and admire the Castles topping the vineyards on our way back to our villa. The rest of the afternoon is all to yourself, so today's a good day to book that spa treatment or chill at the pool. In the evening we gather to dine at the table of Elena and Marco in Monforte d'Alba. Their solid cooking and precise aromas and flavors speak of the high-quality ingredients they meticulously source in the Langhe region... Think risotto with chestnuts and raschera cheese, farm-raised quail egg with local potatoes in puff pastry, and hazelnut semifreddo...
Today our day starts, as always, with a homemade breakfast at the Villa. Right after, we head near Alba to visit the hazelnut groves of Daniela and her daughters.
This morning we wear comfortable shoes and after breakfast we depart for Alba. We meet our local guide and enjoy a tour of the historic medieval "city of hundred towers".
Beverage alert: we found the most lively wine bar in Alba. It sits right beside a beautiful cathedral in town. After some drinks and appetizers in the square you have free time to explore more and shop on your own or follow the chefs in a culinary stroll. This afternoon we go hunting! Fall in Piemonte is truffle season - These buried treasures are notoriously hard to find, but Natale and his stout-nosed dog guide us as we search the forests of Costigliole D’Asti in the Monferrato region. Then we sit down for a truffle tasting and learn more about these "diamonds of the kitchen". Tonight, we stay "home" and let the expert hands of awarded chef Dennis Cesco weave Piemontese ingredients with flavors inspired by the french influence in the Region, in a delicious tasting menu between past and present. Buon appetito!
Founded in 1867, Contratto Winery is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This morning, Giorgio Rivetti (known as "the rhino"), owner of both La Spinetta and Contratto wineries, gives us an inside view of the winery's cathedral cellars located in Canelli. We hear more about the winemaking tradition of Piemonte and how the Rivetti Family is re-interpreting the indigenous grapes into some of the most prized wines in the world! Then we move into the winery kitchen for a cooking class with Giorgio's sister, Giovanna, along with chef Michaud. You learn to master the most famous Piemontese recipes like bagna cauda, tajarin and vitello tonnato and pair them during lunch with an extravaganza of amazing creations of Barolo, Barbaresco and Barbera wines! Now it is time to unwind and lounge back at the villa. Dinner tonight is a special treat: a meal with Chef Giaccone is like no other. He is a Piemonte legend. A chef's chef. Yet a humble man. And an extraordinary cook. Savor this exclusive meal cooked for you by one of Italy's most celebrated chefs who has inspired countless others throughout Italy, America, and beyond.
Enjoy our final breakfast, take in the rolling vineyards of the Langhe, and gaze upon the snow-capped Alps before we say goodbye to Piemonte ... until next time.
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What does the price include?
Six nights luxury accommodation in double occupancy at the Relais Villa D’Amelia; private driver for all trips and excursions in itinerary; arrival and departure airport group transfer; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, lunches and dinners with wine; gratuities for local staff.
What does the price not include?
International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service, and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in the itinerary.
What are the arrival & departure details?
We recommend that you arrive at the Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP) in Milan, on or before Sunday, October 2, 2022. We’ll meet as a group between 9 and 10 am at the Airport. The last day of our culinary trip is Saturday, October 8, 2022 when we will reach the Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP) around 8,30am. You should schedule your flight back home after 10,30am.
Who is going on this trip?
We limit the group to no more than 16 travelers and your hosts Jeff Michaud and Mike Lata. In this culinary trip, you can expect to be joined by a diverse group of like-minded people who share your passion for the food, wine, and traditions of Italy – including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This trip is recommended for travelers aged 18 and above.
Who is leading this trip?
This trip is led by our founder, Chef Jeff Michaud. He traveled extensively through Piemonte and the person who crafted your itinerary for the week. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.
What is the cancellation policy?
You may cancel on or before June 4th, 2022 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per person service fee. If you cancel on or after June 5th, 2022 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after August 3rd, 2022, there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being canceled (See our Terms and Conditions for full details).
What travel documents are needed?
U.S. citizens are not required to have a visa for tourist visits to Italy but are required to show a valid US passport. It is recommended that your passport is valid for six months after your travels are over. As of now, travelers must present proof of a negative result from a molecular or antigen test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Italy and provide valid proof of vaccination.
Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?
Yes, there is a $1,500 supplement for solo travelers, to be paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. Single spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. (See our Terms and Conditions for full details).
Can this itinerary be booked for a private group?
Of course! We can customize this trip and itinerary at a time that is most convenient for you and your friends. The minimum number of participants for a private trip is 8. For more information contact us at email@example.com.
Still have questions?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org