• Duration

    September 20-28, 2019
    9 days, 8 nights

  • Location

    Piemonte region, Italy

  • Maximum participants

    12

  • Price

    $ 500 (reservation deposit)
    $ 2450 (second payment)

Join Saveur the Journey for a Culinary Adventure to the Piemonte region of Italy, famous for its wine, hazelnuts, risotto, egg pastas, chocolate, castles, art, architecture, and beautiful countryside. Piemonte is also the birthplace and home of “Slow Food.” Following Turin native, Rachele Ellena, a research fellow for Slow Food’s University of Gastronomic Sciences, we will visit a plethora of food producers, chefs, and winemakers for exclusive tours, tastings, and experiences. 

 

Join an Italian truffle hunter as his dogs look for the famous truffles of Alba, take a chocolate making class from one of Turin’s artisan chocolatiers, visit a revered gelateria to learn how to make gelato, and sip the famous Barolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto wines as you look over hillsides covered in vineyards and the celebrated hazelnuts trees of Langhe. Explore Turin, an important historical and cultural center of northern Italy. Experience the restaurants of Piemonte and taste the regional dishes: agnolotti del plin, vitello tonnato, risottos, bagna cauda, yellow and silky tajarin pasta, and more.

Piemonte is a culinary paradox. It has remained intensely traditional and yet is one of the most progressive regions in Italy culinarily, with influences from the Spanish avant garde. Slow Food, an international organization formed to protect traditional foods and food production, started in the town of Bra, located in the heart of Piemonte. We will tour Slow Food’s School of Gastronomic Sciences where we will visit the impressive and unusual “Banco del Vino” (wine bank) and learn about the mission and history of this internationally famous food organization. We will also dine at Osteria Boccon di Vino, where the idea for Slow Food was formed.

Piemonte is famous for bright yellow, egg-yolk rich pastas such as tagliolini (tajarin in the local dialect), filled pastas such as various raviolis and agnolotti del plin (small “pinched” ravioli filled with braised meat and served in a ragu or sauce made from the braising). Stuffed gnocchi is also a dish specific to Piemonte. We will join the famous Gemma Boeri, a woman in her 70s who runs the restaurant “Gemma,” and has 50 years of pasta making experience. In her kitchen we will watch the master at work and learn the intricacies of making and shaping beautiful handmade pasta.

Fall is a time of roasting chestnuts, multicolored chicories, heirloom squashes, honey, Piemontese beef, and hazelnuts. At the farmers markets, we will see impressive displays of Italian heirloom crops. We will join Allessandra (chef) and Lestizo (bartender) of Castello di Verduno, a 16th century Castle for a class on wild edibles and their places at the table and in the glass.

Val Maira, southwest of Turin, is a small valley nestled in the southern Italian Alps. We will ride pedal assisted e-bicycles along an old panoramic military road in Val Maira to take in the countryside and spectacular views of Monviso. There we will try the regional polenta, smoked trout, bitters made from herbs, mushrooms, and more.

Cesare Grandi of La Limonaia restaurant in Turin is known for reinventing traditional Piemontese dishes and ingredients in creative and delicious ways. Cesare, a graduate of Slow Food’s School of Gastronomic Sciences, will demonstrate some of his techniques and tell us about the local ingredients and his cooking philosophy.

No trip to Italy would be complete without a stop at a “Salumeria” where artisans turn fresh meats into the famous Italian cured delicacies that we love. The Crudo di Cuneo is a prosciutto from the Piemonte region which is made possible by the microclimate from the warm and dry breezes that rise from Liguria and Provence. Italy is also famous for its cheeses and we will visit Agriturismo LoPuy to watch cheesemakers Giorgio and Marta at work, transforming the milk of their goats into curds and then formed into both fresh and aged cheeses.

Beppe Gallina, an eccentric and visionary fourth generation fishmonger from Turin, is known for his spectacularly fresh fish sourced as locally as possible. He will explain his philosophy of fish and fishing. Afterward we will get to try his famous “fritto misto” a lightly fried selection of delicious fish and crustaceans at Pescheria Gallina.

Italians are great appreciators of beauty and pleasure. We will stay in beautiful old hotels, a spectacular villa in the countryside, and even an agriturismo. We will see stunning architecture, art, and experience the pleasures of the table. Sip espressos, macchiatos, and cappuccinos throughout the day. Visit castles, stroll on cobblestone streets, hike through terraces of hazelnuts and wine grapes. Sit down at a vinoteca for “appertivo” and choose between hundreds of local wines to sip alongside a platter of paper-thin prosciutto, hams, salamis, and local cheese. Experience the Italian way of life, full of joy, passion, and emotion. Time restraints are forgotten and hospitality is everywhere. Relax and let us lead you to the amazing people and food of Piemonte!

Sample Itinerary- subject to change

Day 1 -Friday September 20
Arrive at Turin-Caselle Airport mid-morning
Transportation by van from Turin airport to hotel in Turin
Rest and relax, visit Turin on your own
Welcome, introductions, logistics
Aperitivo
Hosted welcome dinner
Covered (aperitivo, welcome dinner, airport transfer)

Day 2 - Saturday September 21

Breakfast at hotel
Turin history
Farmer’s market
Pescheria Gallina (fish market with fritto misto lunch)
Gelato, Chocolate, and Coffee workshops
Dinner at La Limonaia with Cesare
Covered (breakfast, dinner)

Day 3 - Sunday September 22

Breakfast at hotel
Check out of hotel
Truffle hunting with trained truffle dog
Picnic lunch
Wine tasting of Barolo wines
Check into accommodation (Villa)
Dinner at Castello di Verduno featuring truffles
Covered (breakfast, picnic lunch, wine tasting, dinner)

Day 4 - Monday September 23

Breakfast at Villa
Visit Slow Food Cheese Festival
Lunch at Osteria Boccon di Vino
School of Gastronomic sciences tour + Wine Bank
Return to Villa
Dinner at Villa
Covered (breakfast, lunch, Slow Food tour, dinner)

Day 5 - Tuesday September 24

Breakfast at Villa
Pasta class with Gemma (starting from 10.30-11)
Lunch at Gemma’s after class on pasta 
Hike + aperitivo/winery
Dinner on your own in Bra/Alba
Covered (breakfast, pasta class, lunch, wine tasting)

Day 6 - Wednesday September 25

Breakfast at Villa
Free morning
Check out of Villa
Transportation by Van to Val Maira area
Salumi demonstration in Cuneo
Check into Agriturismo
Tour of the dairy
Dinner at Agriturismo
Covered (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Day 7 - Thursday September 26

Breakfast at Agritourismo (Val Maira)
E-bicycle tour on picturesque ancient road
Lunch / Picnic with Agriturismo cheeses
More Bicycling
Dinner at local restaurants on your own
Covered (breakfast, lunch, bicycle rental and tour)

Day 8 - Friday, September 27

Breakfast at Agriturismo
Check out of Agriturismo
Ceramic class and visit local producers
Lunch on your own
Check into Turin Hotel
Farewell dinner at restaurant in Turin (included)
Covered (breakfast, farewell dinner)

Day 9 - Saturday, September 28

Breakfast at hotel
Transfers to airport
Covered (breakfast, airport transfer)

What’s included?

  • All accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Cooking classes, hosted meals, 1 day bike tour
  • Most Meals (8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners)
  • All transportation by van during trip
  • All tours and tastings
  • English/Italian speaking guides

What’s NOT included?

  • Airfare (Turin-Caselle Airport is the closest)
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended). Try World Nomads
  • Alcohol
  • Gratuities

FAQ Italian Culinary Adventure

Do you have to speak Italian to go on this trip?

No! Italian language proficiency is recommended but not required. Even if the only Italian word you know how to say is “vino” you will be fine. We will help with translations and Italians are expressive and usually happy to try speak English.

What is included in the trip?

Most meals, transportation in Italy during the trip, tours and tastings, and all accommodations are included. Alcohol, gratuities, Airfare, and travel insurance (highly recommended) are not included

What if I have dietary restrictions?

This trip is not suitable for vegetarians, vegans, dairy free, or gluten free diets. Many of our meals will be hosted and it can be difficult for our hosts to accommodate many dietary restrictions. Please contact us if you have any questions.

What will the weather be like?

The weather in Piemonte in September is usually quite nice, with highs in the mid 70s (Farenheit) and lows in the 60s. Of course nights can get a bit chilly and we may the occasional hot day.

Is the schedule relaxed or rigorous?

This trip has a reasonably rigorous schedule as their are so many interesting and fun things to do. Many of the food producers we will visit begin their days quite early so we will have some early departures (like leaving the accommodations by 7:30am). The Italians dine later than Americans so there may be some later nights (possibly returning back to the accommodations as late as midnight). However there is rest time built into the schedule and some of the activities can be skipped or shortened. Also the schedule can be tailored to each group’s needs and desires.

What are the hikes like?

This trip has several hikes of moderate difficulty that can include rocky terrain and elevation changes with steeper uphill sections and descents. You should have some experience hiking and should be able to hike for 30 minutes without having to stop. Please plan on being in shape when you arrive for the trip. Try to do 30 minutes of aerobic activity 3 times a week leading up to the trip.

What if I need to cancel my trip?

If you need to cancel a trip that you have already booked and it is at least 90 days before the start of the trip your deposit is fully refundable.  Final payment for the trip is due 60 days before the start of the trip.  Cancellations between 30 and 59 days before the of start of trip that cannot be filled are 50% refundable, if your spot is filled then it is 25% refundable.  Cancellations less than 30 days are non-refundable (100% of booking cost).  For this reason, we recommend you consider purchasing travelers insurance, (try World Nomads) which will cover the cost of your trip in extenuating circumstances.

What is the single occupancy supplemental fee?

It may be possible for a single person to have their own room if available. The cost for having your own room is an additional $800.

Our team

Aaron Schorsch

Owner- Saveur the Journey

Aaron Schorsch is the owner of Saveur the Journey where he combines his passions of food, travel, outdoor adventures, and culture. He grew up in rural New Hampshire and has lived and traveled extensively in the US and abroad. Aaron is a student of food who has worked throughout the food system from growing seed and farming of vegetables, fruits, and livestock to cooking in high end restaurants and managing farmer’s markets. He loves to talk about, think about, dream about and especially, cook and eat food. He is a member of Slow Food international and has been a US delegate at Terra Madre in Turin, Italy.

Rachele Ellena

Tour Leader

Rachele is a native of Piemonte, growing up in Turin and studying at the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences in nearby Pollenzo. She comes from a family of restaurateurs and chefs and has food connections throughout the region and beyond. Rachele is an Anthropologist and Ethnobotanist who works as a food researcher fellow at Slow Foods’ University of Gastronomic Sciences where she runs projects focusing on socio-cultural factors affecting dietary habits and shaping food systems. Her current projects are in Kenya and
Tanzania on internal migration and informal food networks. Rachele is passionate about her work and is excited to show off her Piemonte.