Piedmont lies in north west Italy, bordering France to the west and Switzerland to the north. Perfect if you’re in France or Switzerland and want a taste of Italy!
In the wine country south of its capital, Turin, the panoramas awe you–magnificent hills falling at all angles, blanketed in vineyards and crowned with quaint little towns and imposing medieval castles. As you walk beautiful pathways in the hills, tranquility seeps into your soul.
Wine and food lovers flock to this countryside, famous for some of Italy’s top red wines like robust Barolo and elegant Barbaresco, aromatic white truffles, hazelnuts, mushrooms, peaches, sweet peppers and chocolate.
Barolo ranks with Tuscany’s Brunello. You’ll discover a wonderful hierarchy of great reds from Barolo and Barbaresco to mid range, full bodied Barbera and Nebbiolo to fruity Dolcetto. Hospitable winery owners love telling you about their wines and lives, as you drink together so you feel like friends when you leave.
Piedmont offers an incredible array of appetizers like roasted peppers with tuna stuffing and parsley sauce. Other divine dishes: Castelmagno cheese risotto, Brasato al Barolo — a veal roll simmered in vegetables, herbs and Barolo, hazelnut chocolate cake with Moscato zabaglione. Typical dishes in local Italian cooking school tours.
Stroll in the wine country hub, Alba, past medieval towers in its historic centre, high quality clothing shops, gastronomy shops like “Sins of the Throat” and outdoor markets.
September sees wine festivals on weekends in many smaller towns throughout Piedmont’s wine country.
Alba’s white truffle fair happens every weekend in October. The first weekend features a colourful medieval parade of performers in costume and a hilarious donkey race. The truffle fair, where you can buy white truffles and food products, is in a big tent in Alba’s centre. Truffle season continues to November.
Weather in Turin Area, When To Go, What To Wear
Winter 6 to -3 C (43 F – 27 F). Too cold.
Spring March, April: 16 C – 6 C (61-43 F). Wear light coats and sweaters. Good for winery visits, staff has more time for you.
Early Summer Starts about late May, 21 – 9 C (70 – 48 F). June: 24-13 C (75 – 55 F). Wear long shorts or casual summer slacks in the day, light sweaters or jackets later. Also good for winery visits.
Late Summer July & August: 27- 16 C (81 – 61 F). Many businesses close for holidays—poor time.
Fall September: 23 C – 12 C (73 – 54 F) mid-October, 17 – 7 C (63 – 45 F). Wear warm jackets, sweaters. Best to visit wineries before or after the busy grape harvest (about mid September to mid October.)
Getting There & Away
Best airport is Turin, a one hour drive from the Barolo wine country. Milan is about 90 minutes by train or car from Turin.
If you’re traveling elsewhere in Italy from the Barolo wine country, take the train in Alba to Turin or Asti. Florence is a six hour train ride and Venice and Rome seven.
If you’re traveling a long distance in Italy, like to Palermo, fly out of Turin airport.
Mama Margaret’s Piedmont cooking, wine and walking tours:
Want to experience authentic Piedmont life? Cook, drink and laugh with a cast of warm, local people from home cooks, to restaurant chefs, to an artisan cheese maker, to owners of big and smaller wineries. Would you love to explore this lovely wine country by walking paths through vineyards and towns? This Italy cooking school and wine tour is for you!
The four day Italy cooking school tour gives you a taste that’s sure to make you long to return. The six day Italy cooking school tour lets you immerse yourself in the Barolo wine country so you leave feeling part of it.
In the exquisite Barolo wine hills covered with vineyards, fields and forests, on this special Italy cooking school tour for women only, let us take care of you for a change.
Drink some of Italy’s top red wines as you meet four quite different women who own Barolo and Barbaresco wineries. Listen to their inspiring stories, exchange stories. Fun, truly unique experiences that take you into their worlds and them into yours.
Savour delectable dishes like chocolate hazelnut cake with Moscato zabaglione or a veal roll simmered in herbs and Barolo.
Get to know an amazing variety of other warm, fun loving local people like cooks, cheese makers, soon new local friends, in a wide range of places, many off the tourist track. Authentic, local Italian life experiences!
4 nights or we can custom design
Do you love Barolo and Barbaresco wines and want to meet the wine makers or winery owners right where they make them? And chat with them about your favourite wines? Just give us a list of the wineries you’ve always wanted to experience and we’ll do everything possible to make sure you get in to them and talk with the wine makers or owners on your Italian wine tour.
Do you want to explore Piedmont’s Barolo & Barbaresco wine country AND Tuscany’s Brunello & Vino Nobile wine country? On this Italy cooking school tour, you can experience both in a short time. With a refreshing break with white wine by the sea in Cinque Terre too! Three different cuisines, wines and landscapes in three different and beautiful regions. Four Italian cooking school classes too.
Discover all three regions in eight days or two regions in five days: Piedmont & Cinque Terre or Tuscany & Cinque Terre.
Call or email us today for more information or to reserve an Italy cooking school tour.