Tantalise your taste buds and awaken your senses
Tantalise your taste buds and awaken your senses to the delightful scenery and revered gastronomy of the Italian Piedmont region. We take in the delights of attractive Cuneo, marvel at the delicacies and verdant vistas of the Langhe region, and experience all the class and architectural aplomb of tremendous Turin.
Our holiday begins this morning as we meet in our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras International station and take the Eurostar in Standard Premier Class direct to Lyon. We arrive in the afternoon and after time to settle in to our hotel we head out into the city for a walking tour. Lyon is seen by many to be the gastronomic capital of France. The city is renowned for its variety of traditional French food options, with multitudes of establishments offering Haute, nouvelle and bouchon cuisine.
Our guided tour takes us through the delightfully charming streets of the city's Old Town district, complete with its Renaissance painted houses. This quarter of Lyon is brimming with small corner cafés, and quaint restaurants line the cobbled streets. After taking in the city's main sights we enjoy an evening meal at a 'bouchon', a Lyonnaise restaurant serving traditional, local food.
Please Note: For departure PTS1801 you will travel by Eurostar to Lille and then continue on the TGV train to Lyon.
This morning we travel to Turin on the high-speed TGV in First Class. On arrival in Turin we transfer by coach to Cuneo, arriving mid-afternoon. We have time before dinner to explore the town, which is nestled amongst a stunning backdrop of the snow-capped mountains of the Alps.
Cuneo is the regional capital of its namesake province, and like many of the small towns and villages of the area, its devotion to high-quality food and drink is renowned. Cheese and wine are some of the staples of Cuneo's culinary exports, though with its scenic setting, many gourmets choose to visit themselves, and experience Cuneo's delicious offerings surrounded by the full context of the town's history and beauty.
Whilst here you may like to stroll through the picturesque Via Roma, in the city's Old Quarter. Perhaps you could stop at the famous Café Arione. The traditional café, first established in 1923, is the creator of the delicious Cuneesi al Rhum; a regional famous chocolate treat stuffed with a rum filling. Author Ernest Hemingway is said to have held the café amongst his favourites and was a regular visitor here - look out for his photograph in the window as proof of his patronage. As well as these delightful alcoholic chocolates, Cuneo is known for its rich history, which has led to a variety of architectural and culinary styles mingling in the area.
We return to the hotel this afternoon,where you have a little free time to settle in, before heading out this evening to enjoy a traditional Italian dinner at a local restaurant.
Today we enjoy an excursion to the village of Barolo, situated deep amongst the vineyards of Piedmont. We travel into the rolling hills of Le Langhe, a sub-region of Piedmont revered for its fantastic wine and truffles. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the area is brimming with verdant vineyards, quaint walled towns and farmhouses. Next, we enjoy a tasting of acclaimed Barolo, a hearty red wine that is produced in this area. Created with nebbiolo grapes, which are often used in vintages produced in the Piedmont region, Barolo is one of Italy's best-loved wines.
We then continue to La Morra, known as the 'Balcony of Le Langhe', the incredibly poised town affords spectacular views over the undulating green landscapes stretching as far as the eye can see. Here we enjoy a light lunch paired with delicious local wines, at Agricola Marrone, a family-run wine estate which has produced a broad selection of fantastic wines for almost three decades.
Later, we continue to Grinzane Cavour, where we visit the small village's imposing medieval castle. Recently awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, the castle is thought to originate back as far as the 13th century. We make our way around the fort's very own museum, which houses exhibits recounting life in the local area through the ages. Many of the rooms are still furnished in the fashions of previous centuries the castle has witnessed.
Today we travel by coach to the pretty town of Saluzzo. Situated atop a hill, the picturesque town offers fantastic views over the surrounding countryside. We enjoy a guided tour, strolling through the historic streets, discovering the main sights, including the 15th century Cathedral, which boasts vivid rose-tinted windows and a magnifi cent Baroque altar.
The Casa Cavassa, now a museum, once was home to the royal marquis' of Saluzzo and is still decorated in beautiful Renaissance style. We then enjoy lunch in a local Saluzzo restaurant before continuing on to a wine tasting at a local vineyard, sampling the delicious Pelaverga grape.
Today we enjoy the many wonderful sights and sounds of Cuneo's bustling market. We take a guided tour through the hub of the market stalls before continuing through the narrow streets of the city, discovering, imposing churches and traditional Italian architecture.
We stop for a coffee at a local café, where you may like to try some of the delicious chocolate and cakes on offer. Your afternoon is free to continue exploring Cuneo, before we dine together this evening in a local restaurant.
We leave Cuneo today and head for Turin by coach. On arrival we check into the NH Piazza Carlina for a two-night stay. We enjoy a guided tour of the many sights this beautiful and charming location has to offer.
Our walking tour takes in the Mole Antonelliana. This incredible structure challenges the sky with its ivory tinged dome and spire and dominates the city's skyline. Originally designed as a synagogue it was eventually re-designed as a monument to the unification of Italy. We continue to the Piazza Castello, or Castle Square, this attractive and expansive square is a popular meeting place for locals.
The highlight of any tour of Turin is the Duomo, our next stop. This magnificent cathedral is one of the biggest draws in Turin. During our tour we enjoy a couple of local specialties. We sample a Gianduiotto, a Piedmontese chocolate shaped like an upturned boat, and the famous bicerin drink. A traditional drink in Turin, it is made from espresso, drinking chocolate and whole milk, and served layered in a small rounded glass. The word bicerin itself is Piedmontese for 'small glass'.
Today you have a full-day to enjoy the charms of Turin under your own steam. One of the city's most famous features is the Turin Shroud, which was also a major reason for the city's growth. Believed to be an imprint of Christ's face after being crucified, the shroud has been displayed at the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, in Turin, since 1578 - and the city became a popular pilgrimage site from that time. The collection of busy piazzas and iconic Baroque buildings are a delight to discover: be sure to visit one of Turin's famous coffee shops and watch the crowds go by before we dine in a local restaurant for the evening. On Day 8 we leave Turin, bound for London via Paris on the Eurostar.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
Tantalise your taste buds and awaken your senses