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WINE, FOOD AND CULTURE TOURS OF PIEDMONT AND N.W. ITALY

At VILLA SAMPAGUITA we are always more then happy to assist our guests in planning their local touring agendas of wineries, places to visit and historic towns.

In response to many requests we have made arrangements with a local driver who has his own mini-bus and lots of experience of taking groups around the area. With the assistance of the Asti Tourism office we have worked out a number of tours which we think will be of most interest to our guests.

The mini-bus can hold 6 people comfortably (and 8 for shorter rides) and we think is a great way for to visit wineries and restaurants, without worrying about getting lost or "influence driving". Naturally the economics favour a group, as the cost of the van stays the same, and of course you can drive yourself if you prefer, we can make the bookings and show you the routes. We can also make customized tour agendas such as hiking or biking.

Our driver does not speak much English, but most places we have selected have someone who speaks some English and we think that its part of the experience of being in a new country. He is very flexible and will stop anywhere you like to take photos, drink the view or unscheduled stops. We also can provide an interpreter guide if you like.

For all of the tours we have selected one or two great restaurants for lunch, many taken from the Slow Food's Osterie D'Italia guide, and others based on our own knowledge or high recommendations from our guests. The prices are normally quite reasonable in the 20-30 euro per head range, although we have included a few upmarket ones if you like to splurge. We have also included options for dinner, or you may prefer to have a quite dinner at Villa Sampaguita after a full days touring.

This is a summary of the tours with the transport costs. If you want the full detailed tour sheet please e-mail and ask us to send it to you.

Medieval Asti

A guided tour of medieval Asti, the palazzi, historic towers, old churches, and shopping in fine boutiques or bargains at the market. 130 € inc guide.

The Holy Grail , Wine & Chocolate
in Monferatto Hills

 

Up to the Northern Monferrato hills and visit Cocconato, the Bava Winery and chocolate centre, shop at nearby Conbipel factory outlet, stop at the hauntingly beautiful Abbazia Di Vezzolano, then Castelnouvo Don Bosco and the Freisa co-operative winery. 250 €
Turin, the Royal City
Visit Italy’s best-kept secret, Turin. Check out the Martini Wine Museum, the Superga, browse the old baroque centre and a wide choice of many museums and galleries, including the famous Shroud of Turin, the automobile or cinema museums, or the Galleria Sabaudo. 250 €
A night at the Opera

Opera or Ballet at Teatro Regio in Turin - program and tickets at www.teatroregio.torino.it

or the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa - program and tickets at www.carlofelice.it

 

220 € or add 50€ to Turin or Genoa tour
Barolo, King of Wines and Wine of Kings

Visit Barolo town and vine museum followed by a visit to a small traditional cantina in the heart of town. After lunch take tour of the Barolo district, including another winery (or two) and then stop and browse in the town of Alba. 250 €
Queen Barbera, Piedmont’s favourite wine

Tour the scenic hills of the Barbera heartland with stops at Rochetta Tanaro, Vinchio-Vaglio, Nizza, Costigliole D’Asti. Tasting at 2 wineries. 250 €
The Prince and the Princess, Barberesco and Moscato D’Asti.

Tour the incredible panorama of the high Langhe hills, with stops at Barberesco, with a winery tasting followed by lunch, then a spectacular drive via Mango over the Moscato hills to Canelli, centre of Asti Spumante wine, with a visit to one of the “cathedrals of wine” huge underground cellars carved into the limestone hill (and more tasting of course). 250 € (+ wine tasting)
Roman Baths in Acqui Terme
A day in Acqui Terme, take in a spa treatment, and boutique shopping, and return either via scenic vine hills around Ovada OR visit Roccaverano, famous for traditional goat cheese and Loazallo, home of Moscato Passito 250 €
Novara, Gorgonzola, and Magic Maggiore
Visit Novara and a nearby Gorgonzola cheese casaficio, then to beautiful Lago Maggiore. Stop in Stresa and take a boat-ride to Isola Bella followed by a cable car trip to Monte Mattarone, overlooking the lake and the Alps. 250 €
Alpine Splendour, Val D’Aosta and the Canavese
Drive into the mountains to the beautiful Aosta valley (two hours). Visit Aosta city, the Fontina Cheese Centre, and an alpine valley. Return through the old Roman terraced pergola vineyards of the Canavese. 350 €
Pesto al Genovese

Visit the old maritime republic of Genoa, with its palazzi, old port, aquarium, maritime museum, old villa gardens, and great seafood. 250 €
Wines and Olive Oil in Liguria.
A Scenic drive to the Mediterranean Riveira (two hours) and then into the hills to visit an olive oil frontaio and a local winery. Lunch at Albenga, then drive back along ocean front road with beach time at Noli, and a stop in Savona 320 €
Cliff-Hanging Vineyards of Cinque Terre
Drive to Cinque Terre (2.5 hours) and then explore this world-heritage site by walking, boat-ride or train between the 5 cliff-side villages and . Visit Portofino on the return trip. 370 €
Milan, Power and Fashion
Visit the Duomo, the Galleria, Da Vinci’s Last Supper, Castle Sforza, Brera Gallery and browse the designer shops 250 €
Piedmontese Cooking Class
Your hostess gives you a hands-on introduction to Piedmontese cooking at Villa Sampaguita 35€ each (4-6 people)
Piedmont Wine Tasting
Your host conducts an evening tasting seminar of some lesser known Piedmont wines at Villa Sampaguita 10 € each for minimum 4 persons
Feste Time
Enjoy one of our many local festivals around our area. 250 € for full day

Truffle Hunting

 

During the tartufo season October-November, we can make arrangements to visit a family "trifulau" house for a discourse (in English) about truffles and join the trifulau as he hunts for tartufi with his faithful hounds followed by aperitif and snacks. Also tours for summer black truffles from May-September. around 30€ per person, minimum 5 people, not including transport.

Of course we can also arrange custom tours as well. For a detailed brochure with all tours and costs for small groups please send e-mail request to stay@villasampaguita.com

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