Italy Tour 2017


Molto Buono 10-Day Cheese + Food + Wine Culinary Adventure in Italy
​May 28 - June 6, 2017

$3990 per person double-occupancy (air not included)
​$595 single occupancy up-charge

Up to 16 adventurers are invited on this culinary journey through the back door of Italy that only an Italian can open.
Italian guides who live in the villages will give us behind-the-scenes access & insight to the best of each stop.
​Includes pre-adventure meet-&-greet at Venissimo’s Academy of Cheese, gift basket & more.
​Excludes airfare to/from Italy (tour starts in Milan, ends in Florence).

DAY 1: ​Sunday, May 28 - Welcome to The Boot

Meet driver at Malpensa Airport (MXP) in Milan, Italy.
​Ride on a private bus through the rolling countryside to the Langhe area.
​Check in for a 4-night stay at Hotel Corte Gondina in the village of La Morra.
​Relax before our welcome dinner at local family restaurant in the village.

DAY 2: Monday, May 29 - Savor Slow Foods in Alba

Breakfast at hotel.
Depart for Cherasco to see & learn about meat production at a famous butcher.
Ride to Bra, the birth place of the Slow Food movement.
Visit famed affinatore di formaggio Fiorenzo Giolito who has dedicated himself to locating, aging & introducing the world to the rarest cheeses from the region that have been made for centuries.
Devour formaggi at a bountiful tasting, followed by a picnic lunch among vineyards.
Snooze on the bus as we ride to Casa del Tajarin in Alba.
Learn all about artisanal pasta production from Mauro Musso who is passionate about pasta & fine ingredients.
Take an introductory walking tour through Alba, after which you have free time to stroll, shop or sip an aperitivo.
Head back to the hotel for free evening & dinner on your own.

DAY 3: Tuesday, May 30 - From Flour to Pasta to Grissini & More

Breakfast at hotel.
​Hop on the bus for a panoramic tour of the Langhe Hills, from La Morra to Barolo.
​Stop at Sobrino to see an ancient mill still producing flours the traditional way.
​Take an introductory walking tour of Barolo.
​Visit a local bakery to see how local bread & famous grissini are made.
​Partake in a wine tasting at a family-run winery.
​Indulge in a sublime lunch at La Vite Turchese where you’ll experience all the local specialties in a friendly atmosphere.
​Roll up your sleeves for a cooking class to make fresh pasta.
​Savor dinner in a farmhouse paired with local wines, where you’ll meet the locals who will share their knowledge & passion for food & wine.
​Rub your belly & snooze on the bus on the ride back to the hotel.

DAY 4: Wednesday, May 31 - Nuts for Hazelnuts

Breakfast at hotel.
​Visit Cascina Langa to see the production of the famed local hazelnut cakes & learn about the area’s precious hazelnuts.
Venture to the Alta Langa area to meet organic cheese maker Silvio Pistone on his farm.
Enjoy a light lunch while savoring Silvio’s sheep toma, paired with local wine & other specialties from the area.
Head back to La Morra where the rest of the day & evening are yours to spend at your leisure.

DAY 5: Thursday, June 1 - Prosciutto & Parma
Breakfast at hotel & check out.
Depart for Parma region.
Stop at Antica Corte Pallavicina to see culatello production & aging, Italy's rarest & most acclaimed ham.
Savor a tasting of culatello & other cured meats with an aperitivo, followed by a delicious light lunch.
Check in at Castle Relais (Castello di Tabiano) in the hills of Parma.
Enjoy a special dinner at Castle Relais.

DAY 6: Friday, June 2 - Why Parmigiano is Not Parmesan
Breakfast at hotel.
Depart early to witness all the magical stages of production of the world’s most popular cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, at a farm in Parma.
Partake in fresh samples of this famous formaggio.
Transfer to Langhirano to see the production of prosciutto di Parma ham.
Indulge in a lunch filled with cured meats paired with local wines in the hills around Parma.
Transfer to a balsamico producer in the Reggio Emilia area where you’ll taste & learn.
Evening & dinner are yours to spend at your leisure.

​DAY 7: Saturday, June 3 - Vino e Formaggio

Breakfast at hotel & check out.
Depart early toward Tuscany.
Visit Caseificio Busti, a family that has created all types of cheeses for four generations, from fresh ricotta to aged pecorino.
Tour their immense new production facility & learn their history of dedication to the art & science of cheese making.
Partake in a superb cheese tasting (naturally).
Stop in a nice village in the Chianti area where you are free to grab lunch & explore on your own.
Head off toward Siena & check in to a local farmhouse bed & breakfast.
Spend the evening relaxing under the Tuscan moon.

​DAY 8: Sunday, June 4 - Cooking in Tuscany

Breakfast at the inn.
Work with an acclaimed Tuscan chef who will take you to a local market & through his private garden to collect ingredients for a hands-on cooking class in his home.
Stop for an olive oil tasting before cooking & eating a traditional Tuscan meal, accompanied by good friends, good wine & good laughs, of course.
Walk off your meal with a 3-hour guided tour of the medieval city of Siena, starting at the 13th century Piazza del Campo, the square where the famous Palio horse race is still held twice each summer, & ending at the Duomo, one of the most impressive examples of Italian gothic architecture, built between 1180-1370.
Enjoy an aperitivo or dinner on your own & explore at your leisure before heading back to the inn.

DAY 9: Monday, June 5 - Tuscan Farm to Table

Breakfast at the inn.
Visit organic pecorino producer Fratelli Sanna for a tour of the dairy & creamery, plus a delicious cheese tasting.
Stop for an organic Cinta Senese farm tour & taste the bounty of the region with samples plus a lovely lunch.
Relax the afternoon away back at the inn.
Partake in a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 10: Tuesday, June 6 - Farewell in Florence

Breakfast & check out of inn.
Ride the bus to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, where it’s up to you where to explore from here!


Professor McCheese Rob Graff:  RobbyG is the inspiration behind Venissimo’s Academy of Cheese educational & event group. He has traveled the world to meet cheese makers & learn everything he can about what makes cheese so incredible & loved.


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“I was born and raised in Italy, and have lived in San Diego since 1992. This has allowed me to share my Italian culture and heritage in great detail with my American friends and family in a way that has made them excited to experience the environment I grew up in. After working in the travel industry for over two decades, I realized that I wanted to get back to my roots. So I made the decision to concentrate only on Italy. It was only after making this decision that I realized how much I loved sharing my homeland with clients.” — Laura Massoni​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​