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      our holidays > Journeys in SlowMotion > Italy > Piedmont > Flavours of Piedmont

Flavours of Piedmont

Home of Slow Food & exceptional wine
Holiday information
Nights: 7
Accommodation: two 4 star hotels; one 5-star hotel
Meals: 7 breakfasts, 2 dinners
Included extras: self-guided walking tour of Turin; guided visit & wine tasting in Bra; chocolate tasting in Cherasco; Barolo visit and tasting
Starting point:

You begin with three nights at the elegant Grand Hotel Sitea in the heart of the splendid city of Turin.

Days 1 & 2

Besides our self-guided walking tour, you are spoiled for choice as to what to do in Turin, given the city’s wealth of museums, galleries and royal palaces, plus its delightful coffee houses and restaurants.

Elegant, tasteful Turin

Torino and its wily president, the Count of Cavour, instigated the Italian state – no less – back in the latter half of the 19th century, and although no longer the country’s capital, the Risorgimento (‘resurgence’) of this elegant and stylish city, home to Fiat and football fanatics alike, has continued to this day. Wander the tree-lined boulevards, and choose a stately, Art Nouveau café for a Bicerin – this traditional, layered combination of espresso, drinking chocolate and hot milk is served in the small, rounded glass that gives the drink its name, and is older than Italy itself.

Day 3

A short train ride brings you to Bra, where the Slow Food movement began, and to the Albergo Cantine Ascheri, your hotel for the next two nights. Arrive in time for a guided visit of your hosts’ wine-producing area and a tasting before dinner in the vaulted cellar restaurant.

L’Albergo Cantine Ascheri

In such a highly gastronomic region, the energetic little town of Bra is something of a foodie hotspot – having kick-started the Slow Food movement, it also holds a massive, biennial festival of formaggio artigianale, aptly entitled “Cheese”. But if the town has a culinary heart, then Cantine Ascheri, close to its centre, is close to heaven. The hotel sits right on top of its historic winery, with a glass floor in the lobby so you can see the barrels below. A stylish marriage of wood and chrome, brick and marble, it contains a fine osteria in the vaulted cellar and is a 4-star, wine-lover’s paradise.

Slow Food

Close to the Albergo Ascheri in Bra is Osteria Boccondivino, the traditional Piedmontese restaurant that occupies the same building as the Slow Food HQ, and where the movement’s founder, Carlo Petrini, sketched out his Slow Food manifesto in the late-1980s. Although it began as a protest movement, specifically against the opening of a new branch of McDonalds opposite Rome’s Spanish Steps, Slow Food has a vital, positive energy; and with pleasure, enjoyment, conviviality and richness as its watchwords, its ever-growing band of followers remains firmly committed to la dolce vita.

Day 4

We suggest a short bus ride (pay locally) – or by taxi (pay locally) on Saturday and Sunday – to charming Cherasco for a chocolate tasting, an optional wine seminar and tasting, and perhaps a tasty lunch.

Day 5

Leaving Bra, you are transferred to your final hotel the, Villa Beccaris, a magnificent villa with a pool, at the top of the village of Monforte d’Alba on the edge of the important wine-producing Le Langhe region.

Barolo & the Langhe

Piedmont’s full-bodied, velvety Barolo wines fully deserve their plaudits, but less well-known are the eleven idyllic medieval villages (Barolo among them) where they are produced. Add the surrounding, wave-shaped hills of Le Langhe, and an outstanding gastronomy based on white truffles, hazelnuts and flavoursome cheeses, and you have a part of the world that you will wish you had discovered sooner. Walk, sip, explore and then pause to admire the view. And repeat.

Day 6

On your final day, we suggest a stroll to the cellars of the prestigious Marchesi di Barolo wine estate where we include a visit and tasting. Barolo has other wine establishments and restaurants for lunch so stroll back to your hotel only if you wish – otherwise, take a taxi!

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