The international festival of cheese which takes place in a little village of Bra just next to the famous Barolo wine zone in Piedmont every two years. In 2019 the festival will be held will be held from the 20th to 23rd of September. This is the biggest artisanal cheese festival in the world and once again Taste of Life Tours will be offering a bespoke week long tour experience where we will show you the food and wine wonders of this amazing gastronomic capitol of Italy with more of a cheese flavoured focus and of course include a visit to this most amazing of cheese festivals.
Monday 16th of Septemebr:
Arrival and check-in to our accommodation. We will rendezvous together at the hotel in the early evening before heading out into the centro storico of Turin apperitivo and the first of our all inclusive meals together at an amazing Torinese restaurant.
Tuesday 17th-Thursday 19th of September:
We will begin the morning we plan to visit one of Turin’s most famous artisan chocolatiers so don’t overdo breakfast. You will both hear the story of Turin’s unique involvement in the development of chocolate as we know it today, as well as taste a selection of both the traditional and famed chocolate of Piemonte and some of the truly unique creations which this producer alone makes.
From the chocolate tasting we will make our way on fopt to the Porto Palazzo markets –Europe’s largest open air market. We will focus on the fresh produce area of the market. Walk the stores of amazing fruit and vegetables, se the amazing array of seafood on offer delivered fresh daily from the coast only an hour away and the incredible meats, cheeses, salumi, prosciutto and the list goes on. This will all get the juices flowing in preparation for a final meal in the city before we head for the Alps.
After this visit we will head south out of Turin along the French/Italian Alps and for the Valle Grana and the Castelmagno area. This is a really picturesque drive, especially once we start heading up into the valley.
We will be staying in a tiny mountain hamlet at around 1200m in some stunningly renovated apartments right on the mountainside. During our time here we will have the opportunity to experience the on-mountain milking of the special alpine breed of cows, see the making of the famed and rare Castelmagno d’Alpeggio Cheese (known as ‘The King of Cheeses), do some alpine hikes if you wish and of course enjoy some amazing food and fine wines.
If you do not feel up to the hikes, feel free to relax back at the apartment, take a coffee or a drink down at the Rifugio, have a look around the village, or just relax in the mountain air and do nothing.
At the end of our time in Castelmagno we will descend out of the Alps and make our way into the rolling Langhe hills and the world famous Barolo wine zone where we will base for the remainder of the trip.
Friday 20th of September:
Our time in the Langhe will start with a visit to one of Italy’s most famous cheese producers and their aging cellars up in the nearby Maritime Alps. You will have a guided tour of the cellars which are built under an old alpine village and then taste a range of their famed cheeses.
For the afternoon we will immerse ourselves in the famed wines of this finest of the fine wine regions of Italy. You will experience wine tasting Italian style which means we will have an appointment tasting with a top producer. These tastings are not just a quick tasting of a couple of wines then arrivaderci but typically involve a tour of the cellar, maybe even a walk in the vineyards, a talk about the history of the cantina and the family behind the wines, then a guided tasting.
Dinner this evening will be at an amazing local wine bar/restaurant with an incredible cellar. It will be a great opportunity to eat, drink and be merry fuelled by the best of Barolo.
Saturday 21st of September:
Enjoy an hour or two free time in the morning to check out the local village where we will be based before we make our way to another appointment wine tasting. We will most likely visit the nearby Barbaresco wine area as this allows you to experience both of these famous wine zones which are geographically so close together, use the same varieties of grapes, vineyard and wine production techniques, yet produce quite distinctly different style of wine.
Following our tasting we will have lunch together before heading to Bra and the famed Slow Food Cheese festival.
At the festival we will spend some time walking around together tasting and talking with various vendors and generally getting a feel for the festival and its layout. Following this you will be set loose to walk, taste and tour the festival to your heart’s content.
We do not have a diner planned for this evening (you probably wont feel like eating any more) but should you want something you can satiate yourself at the festival or back in our town base should you desire.
Sunday 22nd of September:
After checking out of the accommodation we will go to one final cheese tasting with a small, local artisan producer before our final lunch together. This lunch will be the typical Italian long Sunday lunch, with no menu, just fresh, seasonal plates from an ever changing menu. For your own tour planning I would expect this lunch to wrap up around 14:00 in the afternoon.
From here we will transport you on to your next point of travel – either a local hotel or train station, or back to Turin city, Turin Airport or major rail station in the city.
Single Supplement €390
As with all Taste of Life Tours bespoke offerings we operate exclusively with small groups and thus have limited numbers so you are going to have to register your interest fast as we don’t expect these places to last long. For more information please do not hesitate to contact us.
Aosta Valley Extension
For the 2019 For the Love of Cheese Tour Taste of Life Tours are offering a unique 4 day add-on which will focus on the Aosta Valley.
The Aosta Valley is an incredible place to visit both in terms of the abundant natural beauty as well as its unique cultural and gastronomic offerings. Being wedged in the furthest Northwest corner of Italy, where the Swiss Alps meet the French Alps, it is home to Italy’s largest national park – Gran Paradiso and is also home to Europe’s highest peak – Mt Blanc. The region displays obvious French and German characteristics in its architecture, language and food.
Beginning with a first ‘meet-up’ night in Turin where we can rendezvous at our hotel, we will then make our way up to the Aosta Valley and immerse ourselves in this wonderful area which is well off the beaten tourist path for Western visitors to Italy.
Our extension tour will include appointment wine tastings with the top producers of
Aosta, a walk in the Gran Paradiso National Park which includes a visit to an alpine Fontina Cheese producer, a trip up the Mt Blanc Skyway cable car to Punta Helbroner
(3462m) with unrivalled views of Aosta Valley below and a guaranteed lunch with a view, a visit to the Forte di Barde – the commanding castle in the heart of Aosta Valley including the changing modern art exhibition there as well as a visit to the famed Pre St Didier thermal springs at the foot of Mt Blanc for an evening spa session.
This tour extension includes all accommodation, transport, entrances and appointments and all meals.
Single Supplement €210