With its seductive blend of alpine peaks, isolated wild valleys, medieval castle-topped villages, sumptuous cuisine, and fertile vineyards giving rise to some of the finest wines in Italy, the Langhe region of Piemonte is an enchanting arena for our hiking and cultural adventure with Trip Leader Stefano Baldi. Stefano is known to appreciate a thing or two about fine wines and cuisine, and on this adventure, we’ll savor the region’s gastronomic pleasures and hike through its verdant countryside. Special “insider” experiences are featured throughout: we’ll taste fantastic Barolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto wines in ancient underground cellars, sample outstanding cuisine—Piemonte is, after all, the home of the Slow Food movement—and search for truffles with a trifolao (truffle hunter) and his faithful dogs. We’ve planned our trip for harvest time, when the vineyards are at their most beautiful in tones of russet and gold, and truffle festivals are in full swing. Expect to become a truffle connoisseur by trip’s end!
Days 1-2, Oct 22-23, 2018
Saluzzo / Valley Hike
From the picturesque medieval hilltown of Saluzzo, we explore the 12th century Castello della Manta, with its exquisite 15th century frescoes depicting scenes of rural and courtly life, and hike amid the mountain meadows and deep forests of the southern Alps. A visit to a local beekeeper ends our day on a sweet note!
Days 3-4, Oct 24-25, 2018
Vineyard Hikes / Dogliani
Enchanting villages dot the countryside, and our hikes bring us along trails leading through fertile vineyards and along high ridges with far-reaching views of the entire countryside. We overnight at the Poderi Einaudi, where we visit the cellar and taste their wines, including Dolcetto and the famous, full-bodied Barolo, respectfully known as the “King of Wines.”
Days 5-6, Oct 26-27, 2018
Barolo / Cooking Class / Truffle Hunting / “Library of Wine”
Our hike traverses rolling countryside and brings us to the wine town of Barolo, which gave its name to this kingly wine, and we'll taste wines at the local Museum of Wine. We’ll enjoy a cooking class, savor our efforts at lunch, then go truffle hunting with a trifolao (truffle hunter) and his dogs. One of our dinners is in Bra at the Osteria Boccondivino, the small local trattoria where the Slow Food movement was born in 1986. Before dinner, we taste wines in our hotel’s 19th century cellars, where its Banca del Vino collects, like a library, the best wines of Italy.
Days 7-8, Oct 28-29, 2018
Hike to Alba / White Truffles
From the tiny town of Barbaresco, we hike to Alba, famous for its white truffles. First settled in Neolithic times and once a powerful city-state that rivaled nearby Asti, Alba is best explored on foot. In October, there are many wonderful festivals and markets celebrating the truffle, and we’ll enjoy a truffle-based lunch here. Depart on Day 8 via Milan.