Taste of Italy - Wines, Confections, and Delicacies

There are few places in the world as associated with fine dining as Italy. It is a nationality defined by its love of the gourmet and lovingly prepared, with its culinary contributions tied to generations of tradition, heritage, and culture. Explore some of the cornerstones of Italian flavor sensibility on this mouth-watering tour of Italia. Visit some of the most important vineyards in the world, sipping their wares along the way. Learn the proper way to test a wheel of cheese and hand-roll fresh pasta. Savor the sweet perfection of desserts prepared with ancient techniques. Learn what it truly means to have great taste in travel.

Days 1/2

USA/MILAN/GAVI

Depart on your overnight flight to Milan, Italy, where you’ll be met by your guide and escorted to your hotel, an 18th century farmhouse complex in the Gavi countryside. Enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travelers tonight. VILLA SPARINA RESORT. (Meals Aloft, D)

 

Day 3

GAVI/GABIANO/COSTIGLIOLE D’ASTI/MOMBARUZZO/GAVI

After breakfast, depart to one of the oldest wineries in Italy, the Castello Gabiano winery. The Marquises Cattaneo Adorno Giustiniani have winefor four centuries. You will tour the lands and visit the cellars, enjoying a tasting of this famous regional wine along with gourmet pairings. Continue to Costigliole D’Asti and the Boeri Alfonso winery, which specializes in Barbera d'Asti Superiore. Taste some of the finest Italian Barbera and learn about the family that has produced it for over 100 years. In the late afternoon, stop by the 18th centuryamarettibakery Moriondo Virginio in Mombaruzzo, where you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of the bakery’s most popular specialities.  VILLA SPARINA RESORT.  (B,L,D)

 

Day 4

GAVI/BAROLO/ASTI/GAVI

Start the day at the Azienda Agricola Brezza. The Brezzas believe that the best way to maintain the unique characteristics oftheir wines is to be in constant harmony with the land, which is why they pick their grapes by hand and are currently developing organically-farmed vineyards. In the afternoon, stop in Asti, to visitone of the most famous manufacturers of Torrone (nougat), Torrone Barbero 1808. Tour the factory, learning about historical confectionary methods, and of course tasting the sweets produced here. The remainder of your evening will be at leisure. VILLA SPARINA RESORT. (B,L)

 

Day 5

GAVI/POLESINE PARMENSE/SORBARA/REGGIO EMILIA

Travel to Polesine Parmense, one of the most famous farmsteads for the production of Culatello, a cured ham similar to prosciutto. The Antica Corte Pallavicina was built in the beginning of the fifteenth century andoffers fabulous cellars in whichmeats are cured, cheeses are aged, and wines are stored.  Visit the kitchen garden, the Corte, the frescoed rooms, and the old cellars before indulging in a tasting of all this farmstead has to offer. Next, continue to La Cantina Paltrinieri, a winery steeped in the old methods, known for their production of Lambrusco di Sorbara.  Spend the evening in the commune of Reggio Emilia at the historic Hotel PostaHOTEL POSTA.  (B,L,D)

 

Day 6

REGGIO EMILIA/GUASTALLA/MODENA/CHIANTI AREA

Tourthe areas that produce two of the most famous products of Italy, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Aceto Balsamico vinegar. First, visit the dairy farm of the Consorzio Vacche Rosse (red cows), where the famous Parmigiano-Reggiano di Vacche Rosse is produced.  Learn the different steps that make this cheese unique, participate in an evaluation of some cheese wheels with the customary small hammer, and of course, enjoy a tasting of the cheeses produced here. Then, travel to the nearby village of Guastalla, where you’ll indulge in a cooking lesson taught by Cristina Boschi, the niece of the Countess Casanova. While you learn to make pasta, you will be regaled by stories of this place and the people who lived here. Emilia Romagna is the main region in Italy where Pasta is still home-made on a daily basis. Enjoy the fruits of your labor and explore the farmhouse, meeting the friendly livestock. After lunch, you’ll head to the balsamic vinegar producerAcetaia Valeriwhere you’ll view the "batterie" of small barrels filled with this sublime product. Continue to Chianti and your charming hotel.  BORGO SCOPETO RELAIS.  (B,L,D)

 

Day 7

RADDA/GAIOLE IN CHIANTI

Pass through the rolling hills of Chianti en route to Radda and the historic Castelvecchivineyard, known for both its cellars and the castle on the premises. The majority of the vines here are over 50 years old, twining through the heart-shaped vineyard. Explore the thousand-year-old wine cellar of Borgo Castelvecchi and enjoy a tasting of some of the incredible wines produced here. Next up is the Castello Brolio, the palatial home of the Barone Ricasoli family. Enjoy a private tour of the estate and gardens, followed by a tasting in a private room. The tour concludes with dinner at the family’s esteemed restaurant, with views of the grounds around you. BORGO SCOPETO RELAIS.  (B,L,D)

 

Day 8

GREVE IN CHIANTI

Today indulge in the sumptuous surroundings of one of Tuscany’s oldest agricultural estates, the Renaissance-era winery of Vignamaggio. The estate overlooks a countryside panorama of forests, vineyards, and ancient villages on the surrounding hills.  At the core of the vineyard is the Renaissance villa, surrounded by Italian gardens in between rows of cypresses, vines, and olive trees. Visit the winery, followed by a four-coursedinner and paired wine tasting.  Everything on the menu is seasonal and freshly harvested from the estate’s own vegetable garden.  BORGO SCOPETO RELAIS. (B,L,D)

 

Day 9

MONTEPULCIANO/MONTALCINO

Enjoy a walking tour of Montepulciano terminating at the De Ricciwinery in the historic city center, which boasts the “most beautiful wine cellar in the world.”  After a tour and tasting, you will have some free time to explore Montepulciano and have lunch at one of its charming cafes. In the afternoon, continue to Montalcino and one of the most historically significant wineries in the world, Cinelli Colombini, which produces the highly sought-after Brunello di Montalcino wine. Taste the top rated Brunello. Next is Casato Prime Donne, the only winery in Italy with a staff comprised solely of women.  It has received awards and prizes for its wines and for having contributed to a greater presence of women in the world of wine. Tour the winery and enjoy the outdoor art collection by some impressive names in the art world, before settling into the cozy tasting hall to soak up the Tuscan ambience. Tonight, enjoy a special farewell dinner with your fellow travelers. BORGO SCOPETO RELAIS.  (B,L,D)

 

Day 10

FLORENCE/USA

Time to say arriverderci to Italy as you transfer to Florence airport for your flight home.

 

Extension to Florence:

 

Extend your taste of Italy in the birthplace of the Renaissance – Florence. Tour some of the landmarks built by the greatest thinkers, artists, and patrons the world has ever known, including the notorious Florence Duomo. Discover iconic art like the Fountain of Neptune and the Sculpture of David as you walk streets brimming with history, beauty, and inspiration. Let yourself be swept away by a city that became a muse in Florence.

Prices starting at $5,995. For further booking, date, and pricing info please contact info@classicescapes.

 

Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.