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SUGGESTED WINE, FOOD AND CULTURAL ITINERARIES AROUND 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.

One of the reasons we chose Asti as a place to locate our B&B was the convenience and central location to all of Piedmont as well as to Liguria and the mountains.

In order to provide some ideas we have put together some of the more popular itineraries for touring in this area. These are all easy to drive and we provide complete and detailed directions and maps, as well as making reservations for wienries, restaurants and museums on request. Of course this is only a representative sampling and there are many other places "off the beaten track" for those who want to explore this region.

Also 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 who can drive

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,about 200 euro per day for local trips and a bit more to Liguria or the Alps. Please ask us for pricing if you are interested in this option.

We can also make customized tour agendas such as hiking or biking.

This is a summary of the tours with the approximate driving distance and time (round trip). If you want the full detailed tour sheet please e-mail and ask us to send it to you.

Medieval Asti

Asti is the provincial capital of one of most important wine areas in Italy and lends its name to some illustrious wines. From the 10-13th Centuries Asti was a powerful independent city in Italy, built on trading and banking. Visit the medieval section of Asti city, old historic towers, palazzo’s and crypts, 13th C cathedral and many ancient churches, shopping in boutiques or at Asti biweekly market. Guided tour available

16 km - 20 minutes driving time

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 Vezzolana,one of the best preserved old Romanesque churches, built by Emperor Charlemagne then return via Castelnouvo Don Bosco and the Freisa co-operative winery. Or visit the Sacro Monte di Crea, one of Piedmonts sacred mountains 100 km - 2.5 hours driving time
Turin, the Royal City
Visit Italy’s best-kept secret, Turin. Check out the Martini Wine Museum; the Basilica Superga, with its stunning views of Turin and the Alps; browse the old baroque centre and a wide choice of many museums and galleries, including the famous Shroud of Turin, the Egyptian, automobile or cinema museums, or the Galleria Sabaudo. Take a chocolate tour too! 110 km - 1.5 hours driving time (or take a train)
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

 

 

The dragon's gate; Sacra San Michele

The Sacra di San Michele according to legend is built on a dragons lair, and is a truly remarkable abbey built on top of a mountain commanding the entrance to the Val di Susa near to Turin. Its dedicated to St Michael, slayer of the dragon and was the setting for the novel Name of the Rose. Also you can visit the nearby Val di Chisone and take in the weekly cheese market at Giaveno.

 

165 km - 2.5 hours driving time.
Barolo, King of Wines and Wine of Kings

Tour the Barolo valley home to Italy's best red wines. Visit wineries and castles with enoteca's (Barolo and Grinzane Cavour), check out the stunning views at Serralunga and La Morra and lunch at one of the incredibly good trattorie in the area. 120 km - 2 hours driving time
Queen Barbera, Piedmont’s favourite wine

Tour the scenic hills of the Barbera heartland with stops at Vinchio-Vaglio, Nizza, &, Costigliole D’Asti. Tasting at wineries, wine museums, more incredible trattorie! Check out the underground wine cathedrals in Canelli 100 km - 2 hours driving time
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). 100 km - 2.5 hours driving time
The Roero Rocks; Wine, Honey & Castles.
Our neighbouring Roero hills produce not only wine (Red Nebbiolo and white Arneis) but also honey and peaches as well as being home to many castles. The Roero trail is a hiking route following the ancient red rocks which gives Roero its name and also you can hike on a beekeeping trail around Monta. Take the Tanaro castle ridge route with 6 castles or visit the castle museum at Cisterna d'Asti with stunning views. Or visit Bra home of Slow Food movement. More wineries and restaurants of course. 60 km - 1.5 hours driving time.
Roman Baths in Acqui Terme
A day in the resort town of 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 Loazzolo, home of late harvest Moscato Passito 150 km (return via Ovada) - 2 hours 15 minutes driving time
Magic Lake Maggiore
Our nearest alpine lake is beautiful Lago Maggiore. Stop in Stresa and take the cable car trip to Monte Mattarone, overlooking the lake and the Alps, then a boat-ride to Isola Bella with its huge palace and ornate terraced gardens resembling a ship at sail. 310 km - 3 hours 20 minutes driving time.
Alpine Splendour, Val D’Aosta and the Canavese
Drive into the mountains to the beautiful Aosta valley . Visit Aosta city for lunch and exploring the roman ruins. Then choices of the nearny Fontina Cheese Centre, or up to Courmayer in the shadow of Mt Blanc or up an alpine valley to the Breuil at the foot of the Matterhorn. . Return through the old Roman terraced pergola vineyards of the Canavese and stop and visit Fenis Castle. . (Aosta) 400 km - 4hours driving time.
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 km - 3 hours driving time or take a train
Wines and Olive Oil in Liguria.
A Scenic drive to the Mediterranean Riveira 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 350 km - 4 hours driving time
Cliff-Hanging Vineyards of Cinque Terre
Drive to resort town of Levanto (or take the train) next to the Cinque Terre and then explore this world-heritage site by walking, boat-ride or train between the 5 cliff-side villages. 400 km - 4.5 hours driving time or take a train.
Milan, Power and Fashion
Visit the Duomo, the Galleria, Da Vinci’s Last Supper Fresco, Castle Sforza, Brera Gallery and browse the designer shops 250 km - 3 hours driving time
Hey, Hey, Feste Time

Enjoy one of our many local festivals around our area.

Wine, food, truffles, historical events, music, donkey racing, wine barrel racing and many more

 

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. 45 km - 50 minutes driving time

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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