Alive with an enticing mix of architectural wonders, fascinating heritage, Italian charm and beautiful natural scenery, Piedmont is the perfect place to spend a week’s holiday. The spectacular capital, Turin presents one of the world’s largest palaces, the UNESCO-listed Reggia di Venaria Reale; and Langhe showcases two spectacular Italian castles - Castello di Grinzane and Castello di Serralunga d’Alba - set among fertile wine-growing hills. From the comfort of a relaxing 19th century hotel we embark on superb excursions to Barolo, for the 10th century Castello di Barolo and Cherasco Chocolate Museum; and the key seaport city of Genoa, with its UNESCO-listed Old Town displaying grand Renaissance and Baroque structures that reveal the city’s legendary seafaring heritage.
6 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
Fly from London Gatwick Airport on a direct, scheduled British Airways flight to Turin Airport. On arrival we transfer to Acqui Terme in Italy’s Piedmont region and our base for the next six nights, the Hotel Roma Imperiale (4T). Dinner is included this evening.
Day 2 Turin
We begin our discovery of the region of Piedmont in its elegant capital, Turin. This city near the Alps is a collection of magnificent baroque buildings, charming art-nouveau cafes, many galleries, grand squares and tree-lined boulevards. Home to Italy’s iconic car, the Fiat, fans of ‘The Italian Job’ film will recall the three Mini Coopers being chased across the Fiat factory’s roof. With many historic palaces, we visit Palazzo Madama and Casaforte, Palazzo Reale and the UNESCO-listed Reggia di Venaria Reale - one of the world’s largest palaces with 6,000 hectares of lush parkland and 80 hectares of exquisite gardens, built in the 17th century for Charles Emmanuel II’s hunting trips in the countryside. There will be free time to explore at your own pace, before returning to our hotel for dinner.
Day 3 Langhe Region
Today’s excursion blends historic treasures with culinary experiences, as we explore the Langhe area. First we enjoy a guided tour of two spectacular castles in the Langhe: Castello di Grinzane and Castello di Serralunga d’Alba. The former dates back to the 13th century and since 1967, has housed the Cavour Regional Enoteca, showcasing the most prestigious Piedmontese wines. The dominating structure of Castello di Serralunga d’Alba is most distinctive among these beautiful hills renowned for their great wine-growing qualities and is considered one of the best-preserved castles of 14th century Piedmont and a true reflection of Italy’s past. As an interlude between our castle visits, we enjoy a wine tasting in a local winery, to illustrate why the Langhe area is listed by UNESCO, partly for its winemaking traditions. We’ll also have time to discover La Morra, set in the beautiful lush-green hillside.
Day 4 Barolo - Cherasco
Castello di Barolo dates back to the 10th century when King Berengar I granted its construction, to defend against the threat of Hungarian and Saracen attacks. Today we’ll discover this magnificent complex and the WIMU wine museum also hosted here. Barolo is renowned for its wines, so it seemed unfit the region was lacking a museum to explain the extensive wine traditions, culture and history; therefore the designer François Confino created the Barolo Wine Museum - which opened in September 2010 - to express the role wine plays here - and there was nowhere more suited than this 1,000-year old fortress to play host. From wine, we move to chocolate, with a tasting at the Cherasco Chocolate Museum, an interactive way to discover chocolate-making traditions, methods and stages of creation. After some free time, we return to the hotel.
Day 5 Genoa
One of Italy’s largest cities, Genoa is rich in culture and history having remained a key port of the Mediterranean over the centuries, due to its location in the Ligurian Sea. It is Italy’s largest seaport and the UNESCO Old Town is a maze of tangling narrow alleyways, which represent Genoa’s 16th and 17th century powerful financial and seafaring age with its Renaissance and Baroque palaces. Today, our full day guided tour reveals the city’s glorious heritage, wealth of architectural masterpieces and artistic treasures. For a light lunch we visit a local restaurant, with a menu based around ‘pesto alla genovese’.
Day 6 Acqui Terme
Today is free to spend as you please. Perhaps take advantage of the hotel’s facilities: take a dip in the tranquil outdoor pool or wander in the peaceful private park.
• Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service is not included.
• In many cities in Italy, a room tax of between €1-5 is applicable, per person per night, payable directly to the hotel on check-out.