Food N' Wine Vacations Blog

The best places to visit in the Piedmont region

Posted by smadar Palace on Wed, Feb, 03, 2016


Gently cupped by the Swiss Alps, Piedmont, Italy is known for it’s breathtaking hill country, fertile farms and vineyards, and historic landscape, which borders Switzerland and France. This second largest region is somewhat influenced by her neighbors, but, be assured, Piemonte, as it is known in Italian, has a rich pedigree, all her own. This beloved region of Italy emanates a distinct and remarkable flavor, which can’t be duplicated.

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/discover-piedmont-italyIf there were but one word to describe Piedmont, Italy, it would be “harmonious’. From the seamless way lush, verdant hills roll between the sweeping Alps and picturesque valleys, to the centuries-old techniques, adapted and used by winemakers today, and flawless mixture of both urban and rural cultures throughout Piemonte, voices, old and new, blend in a timeless melody.

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Foodies and wine connoisseurs alike will delight in the easy pace of Piemonte. Food is savored and memories made on the palate. The growing, grassroots Slow Food Movement began in Piedmont, where geographic diversity allows for farm-to-table foods to be enjoyed year-round. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of slow-food, be ready to feed your senses, while enjoying food and wine to the fullest.

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The white truffle of Alba, a delight of gastronomes everywhere, is rare and specific to the region of Piemonte. These delectable beauties are the most expensive truffles in the world, selling for about $200.00 US per oz. To unearth a white truffle of Alba is to discover a treasure.

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The wines of the Piemonte region are as diversified as the landscape. When the ice-cold temperatures combine with the warmth of the Mediterranean, the result is an excellent grape. One of the grape varieties specific to the region is the Nebbiolo, used to produce both the full-bodied Barolo and Barbaresco reds, also known as the king and queen of Italian wines.

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The wine-growing region of Langhe, Roero, and Monferrato has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beautiful landscape covers five distinct wine-growing areas. In fact, the Piedmont region has been considered the “most favorable” for growing vines and producing wine, since the Roman Empire.

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Turin is the crown-jewel of Northern Italy. The medieval architecture, 18th century castle, elegant gardens and public squares grace much of the Left Bank of the Po River. In addition to the historic and elegant cafes, which served as a meeting place for such literary royalty as Puccini, and Neitzche, Dumas and Cavour, Turin has gifted the world with the Fiat sports car, and has been known as the chocolate heart of Europe since the 1600’s. Hot chocolate and chocolate-hazelnut spread were both invented here.


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Wish to see a sample itinerary to Piedmont, Italy? Read Discover Piemonte


Topics: Italy, Piedmont, Northwest Italy

The most magical and beautiful hill towns of Umbria

Posted by smadar Palace on Fri, Nov, 15, 2013

Umbria is located in the heart of Italy, easily within reach of major cities like Rome or Florence. Umbria's towns aren't packed with tourists and tour buses like its Tuscan sister, allowing visitors who are looking for off-the beaten path to experience and discover a true gem. There are many charming perched towns in Umbria but here we'll outline the must-see ones.

Spoleto

Spoleto's known by Spoleto Summer Festival, Europe's leading cultural event that includes music, opera, dance and visual arts preformances. The rest of the year, it is a lively, romantic, and charming town, a town that by simply walking you will discover boutiques, hand-crafted ceramic shops,  an excellent selection of restaurants, and cafes. You will see the residents, not tourists, go about thier daily life: picking something at the local delicatessen, sitting down for lunch with friends, and children going home to have lunch and siesta. 

Spoleto Castle, Umbria (Rocca)

Spoleto has a castle on the hilltop, Rocca, that is the center piece of this beautiful area. The countryside around it absolutely stunning. Nearby, there's the Tower Brigde (Ponte delle Torri), a 14th century bridge built over the foundation of a Roman aqueduct. The bridge is about 750 feet long and at the highest point it's 262 feet above the gorge. You can usually walk on the bridge for breathtaking views of the valley and gorge below.

Spello  

Spello has some of Italy's best preserved city walls, many of them Roman, some medieval. Spello's main point of interest is the town itself: its hundreds of steep medieval streets and stairways, arches and angles, decorated by coloroful seasonal flowers.

Spello, Umbria,Italy

The most important annual event is the Infiorata flower festival, on Corpus Domini Sunday. For months, the residence of Spello and other participants collect flowers in the mountains to cover the entire streets of Spello with intricate flower images. Some of the pictures are so refined and detailed that it is almost impossible to notice the flowers- they look like paintings. The event has grown over the years and now attracts tens of thousands of visitors during the night from Saturday to Sunday. While more than 50 flower artist groups assemble their competing images, the visitors walk around and look on in awe. 

Spello flower festival, Umbria, Italy

Bevagna 

The walled city of Bevagna is different from other hill towns in Umbria simply because it's not on a hill but sits on the banks  of the Topino river. Nevertheless, it feels like a perfect medieval, stone-constructed hilltop village.
Bevagna, Umbria, Italy

This cute, tiny village has a fairytale feel to it. Every June, Bevagna recreates its medieval past with set of events called the "Mercato delle Gaite". The inhabitants dress in 14th-century costumes, and each quarter of the city creates a tavern, which is open in the evening and serves dishes made from medieval recipes. One of the most popular events is the large market, where goods made according to 12th and 13th-century techniques are sold. Artisan workshops are also recreated, and some are often in operation all year around, providing schoolchildren with a lesson in the skills of the past. This is a truly unique experience.

Bevagna, Umbria medieval festival

Montefalco 

Montefalco is one of Umbria's most interesting wine zones, famous for its Sagrantino di Montefalco wine, Umbria's flagship wine. The walled town is perched at a uniquely strategic point which makes many call Montefalco the "Balcony of Umbria". 

Montefalco Vineyard, wine tasting umbria 

Assisi

The first sight of Assisi, perched halfway up the slope of Mount Subasio, is extraordinary. Virtually untouched by modern architecture, with the soft pink of its medieval buildings shimmering against the greenery of the mountain, Assisi is an experience for the eye and the soul. Famous as the birthplace of St. Francis, Assisi holds religious, historical, and artistic significance. Despite the many tourists visiting it every day, it does not loose its charm.

Assisi, Umbria, Italy

Orvieto 

Umbria's grand hill town sits majestically on a large volcanic rock. Orvieto'a famous Duomo is visible for miles around. The Duomo, called the Golden Lily of Cathedrals, is famous for its mosaics that decorate its incomparable facade.

Orvieto, umbria, italy

Saint Patrick's Well is another architectural marvel that was built for Pope Clement VII  in case of siege or conflict. It is 175 feet  deep and inside are two double-spiralled stairwells, planned for easier transportation of water. St. Patrick well Orvieto, Umbria,Italy

Underground Orvieto is a facinating journey through time. There's a real underground city made up of a large number of caves and tunnels that cross and overlap underneath the urban fabric, where Orvieto’s inhabitants have carried out a multitude of daily activities since the city’s origins back in Etruscan times.  

underground passage Orvieto, resized 600 

Want to see a magical itinerary in Umbria: Check out Culinary Paradise 

                                       

Topics: Italy, Assisi, Spoleto, Spello, Bevagna, Montefalco, Orvieto, Norcia, Towns of Umbria, flower festival, Medieval festival

The most famous places to visit in Umbria, Italy

Posted by smadar Palace on Fri, Apr, 12, 2013


Umbria Tour

Italy is rich with historical significance and there exist infinite possibilities for those on a Food Vacation to experience Italy. To engage in an adventure for all the senses, immerse yourself in a region known for it's fabled history, stunning local artistry, breathtaking vistas, true artisan cheeses, wines which embody the very sunshine dappling the vineyards, and local culinary examples with flavors that dance on the palate. That region is Umbria.


Norcia, Umbria, Italy

For those on a Food Vacation, Umbria offers an intimate perspective of all things essentially Italian. Stroll Spoleto's cobbled streets, as saints and majesties before you, and imagine the walled settlement as it was centuries ago. Climb the hills of Todi, where legend has it Hercules faced down his fire-breathing foe, Caucus, and witness vistas of heart-tugging beauty.


Spoleto, Umbria, Italy

Assisi, rich in Christian history, is the birthplace of much-venerated saint, Francis of Assisi. The Basilica of Saint Francis D’Assisi houses stunning frescos, and galleries along humble streets showcase the areas celebrated art. Breathtaking views abound as you wind along the lofty streets of Assisi on your Food Vacation in  Umbria,Italy.


Todi, umbria,Italy

The fanciful town of Bevagna beckons you within it’s city walls.If the timing is right, you’ll be treated to a taste of medieval Italy by way of one of the famed street festivals. In Montefalco, those on a food and wine tour Italy will sample wines from the oldest, and still operational, winery in Umbria. A sumptuous luncheon proffers celebrated local fare, along with wine made from grapes grown under the Umbrian sun.

 

Bevagna, Umbria, Italy

On a Food Vacation in Italy you'll meet Umbrian cheese makers, artisans who craft local treasures which evoke images of rolling hillsides and long lazy days. Famed Umbrian truffle farms offer a chance to discover these precious culinary gems for yourself. The chocolate of Perugia is a work of art. Once you taste this sensuous repaste, perhaps one you’ve created yourself, under the tutelage of a master chocolatier, your deepest chocolate desires will be sated.


Black Truffle, Umbria,.Italy

Umbria opens it’s arms in welcome, enfolding you into a region whose history and pride spans bloodlines and borders. Your Food Vacation in Italy becomes your own unique experience, foretold by the ages, philosophers, statesmen and majesties alike, and one you will cherish for a lifetime. Your enchantment cannot be bound by a single visit as you relive your experience again and again.

Want to see a sample itinerary in Umbria?

Culinary Paradise
 

Topics: Cooking Tours, Culinary Tours, Italy, Wine Tours in Italy, Food And Wine Tours, Culinary Travel, Cooking travel Tours, Italy culinary tours, cooking in Tuscany, Small Group Tours, Tuscan wineries, culinary tour tuscany, Italy cooking class, Cooking in Italy, Tour cooking, Cooking in Italy vacations, Tours to Tuscany, Cooking class in Italy, cooking classes in Umbria

A tour of the best places to visit in Tuscany, Italy

Posted by smadar Palace on Mon, Mar, 18, 2013

Travelers embarking on a tour to Tuscany have varied reasons and expectations for taking such a trip. Some go for the exquisite food and to experience another culture, some venture to these storied and fabled hills and valleys to learn more of the history surrounding this ancient region. At the end of the day, however, the joy of a tour of Tuscany comes when the traveler allowing himself to be like local for a day or a week,

Cappuccino

Such an experience starts from the moment you arrive to Florence. Your tour to Tuscany will feel much like visiting family. Quite at home in a villa, tucked into the hills of Chianti, the grounds alive with native fruit and flora. Birdsong will greet you as you relax and get to know your hosts. 

Tuscany winery visit

You’ll be enchanted from the start. Tour a local winery and sample the heady and rich wine for which Chianti is widely known, taste true artisan cheeses made for centuries by a succession of simple cheese crafters. Stroll the quaint villages where you’ll meet the local residents, who are only too eager to offer an anecdote, a story, or a hand in friendship. Enjoy lunch in a sun-drenched café and know a moment in time, unique to your own experience in your tour to Tuscany. 


Florence by night

A visit to the region of Tuscany is to be cradled in the arms of the Renaissance. Art and architecture abound and, even those who don’t wear the mantle of art-enthusiast will come away with a deep appreciation for the ancient and authentic works of the masters, further accenting your tour to Tuscany. 

Val d'orcia, Tuscany Italy

An excursion into the Tuscan countryside will fill you with anticipation as you drink in all with which mother nature has blessed this beautiful region. The breathtaking views of the Val D’Orcia provide a backdrop for a garden of earthly delights. Stroll the organic farms, sampling the pride of generations in the ricotta and pecorino, famed cheese of Tuscany. Honey, olive oil and, of course, wine are all rendered from the lush hills of the Tuscan countryside. Enjoy a repast in this gorgeous setting, creating a memory for the rest of your life. 

Siena, tuscany

From the medieval villages of Siena, and Montepuliciano, you’ll gain a unique perspective. You can walk the path journeyed by residents for hundreds of years. Enjoy an afternoon getting lost in another time, and be forever changed by it.  Another experience in your tour to Tuscany. 

Buthcher in Chianti

The Tuscan markets are a unique experience in your tour to Tuscany. You can trust the locals to assist you in choosing the most flavorful herbs, freshest produce, and exquisite accoutrements for your cooking class. Once again, the intimate experience will be yours and yours alone. Call upon all of your senses to create-then lock in-the memories. Learn a new dish from a local chef, an artist revered and renown for creations so sublime. 

Cinque Terre, tuscany

Amidst the grandeur of Toscana, you’ll thrill at the beauty which is Cinque Terre. Translated to mean The Five Lands, this rugged and unspoiled coastline, peppered with villages, is only accessible by boat or train. A true adventure in your tour to Tuscany. 

Montefioralle, tuscany

Very few vacations can provide most everything a traveler could want to experience, but a tour to Tuscany, this authentic, humble, and breathtaking region, can offer what matters most-a soul-satisfying journey and an opportunity to create memories for a lifetime.

Want to see a sample itinerary to a tour to Tuscany? Check out Secrets of Tuscany
 
Or
Download  a Free Guide:  How to find   YOUR  Tour to Tuscany

Topics: Italy, Trip to Tuscany, Tour to tuscany, Tour of Tuscany, Tuscany tour, Tuscany Italy Tours, Tours of Tuscany, tour Tuscany, Best of Tuscany tours, culinary trip Tuscany, food and wine Tour, Wine Tour Tuscany

Culinary Paradise In Italy

Posted by smadar Palace on Thu, Jul, 26, 2012

 


Assisi, Umbria, Italy
We are so excited to share with you the latest addition to our Culinary Tours.

A week-long culinary tour in Umbria will provide you full immersion in the local culture. We'll stay at a private palazzo in the medieval town of Spoleto, and from there we will explore classic charming towns like Assisi, Perugia, Norcia, Spello, Montefalco and Todi. We will enjoy cooking lessons with a chef, wine tastings at the oldest winery, visit a family farm and go truffle hunting, taste the best and famous cured meats, and get our hands “dirty” in a chocolate making class.
Consider?joining us on this unique Experience!

Click on the link to read the brochure
Culinary Paradise Brochure

Topics: Culinary Tours, Italy, Culinary Tour, Food And Wine Tours, Culinary Travel, Italy culinary tours, Small Group Tours, Umbria, Cooking tours in Italy, Gourmet Tours, Cooking Tour Italy, Italian cooking Trips, Italy food tours

Food and wine tours in Tuscany you're going to love

Posted by smadar Palace on Sat, May, 12, 2012

If you are a world traveler and just happen to travel to Italy for business or pleasure, make sure to check out the wines of Tuscany. There are several different types of wines that are produced in this region that many wine connoisseurs have come to enjoy.


Wine Tour Tuscany

These are either red or white, however, the red ones are more prominent. Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile. Each one of these have their own unique tastes and have been masterfully aged to perfection.


Neri- Wine Tour Tuscany

There are special tours for you to partake in. Each tour will highlight a specific region and when make your choice, you will be given an in-depth tour in which you will interact with the region locals, and taste the wines from many family owned wineries, which makes it a unique experience. Wine connoisseurs will be delighted by this epicurean experience.


Antinori, Chianti, wine Tour Tuscany

 

Tours to various cheese farms in the region is also something that everyone enjoys. Here you will get a first hand look at how the cheese is made and enjoy sampling them as well.


Cheese, Tuscany, Italy

Members of wine clubs will enjoy tasting the different wines, meet the wine makers, and enhance their studies about the wines of Tuscany. This region is known for producing some of the best wines in the world.


Villa Mangiacane- Private wine Tour Tuscany

Why not enjoy the sights and flavors?of Italy and taste the wines of Tuscany through a small group tour while you are visiting Italy?

 

Wine Tours Italy

Topics: Italy, Wine Tours in Italy, Food And Wine Tours, Tuscany winery Tour, Tuscan wineries, Winery tours Tuscany, Wine Tour Italy, Wine Tour Tuscany, Tuscan wine Tour

The traditional food and wine of Tuscany, Italy

Posted by smadar Palace on Mon, May, 07, 2012

Rolling hills dotted with centuries-old homes, sit amidst sun-drenched olive groves and grapevines laden with promise. Cafes beckon the traveler and offer a bit of respite, along with an excellent glass of regional wine and dishes of local fare. Tours in Tuscany provide memories which will last a lifetime.

chainti Tuscany



    1. The Tuscan region, renown for it’s fine contributions to the world, is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. It’s easy to see where the inspiration came from for Tuscany’s art and culture, which impacts the world to this day. Medieval towns and cultural strongholds such as Florence and Siena are rich with art, music and history.


Siena, Tuscany


From seaside towns to rich river valleys, Tuscany provides diverse farming opportunities which have, for centuries been recognized as some of the best areas in which to grow olives, varietal grapes, premium grasses on which dairy cows graze, and many of the fruits and vegetables of the region. Gifted home cooks and skilled chefs alike find many ways to entice the tourist in the true Italian tradition.

Food and wine Tour Tuscany
Local Food Specialties

Cinque Terre Tuscany Italy
Traditional Tuscan foods are very simple. Herbs and produce hale from well-planted kitchen gardens. Tours in Tuscany provide visits to family dairy farms which produce some of the world’s finest cheese like pecorino Toscana, a sweet and mild cousin of the pungent pecorino Romano.?Marzolino, a creamy variety, made from sheep’s milk, is used in many local dishes.


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Crusty bread would likely be offered accompanied by local olive oil. Beans are a staple and the region’s most popular export, besides Chianti, is surely Pasta Fagioli. Honey is a local favorite and mushrooms, and truffles, abundant. You’ll just as likely be served wild boar as local livestock from small family farms. You’ll experience a cooking lesson from a local chef, and probably be pulled into a kitchen or two in the name of Italian hospitality.

One of a Kind Wineries

Food and wine Tour
Most recognized for superior reds produced in Chianti and Montalcino, wines such as Luce, Brunellos, Campo ai sassi, and Seansanos, along with Chianti are equally impressive. Tours in Tuscany family wineries offer a kinship which grows with each sip.

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Don’t by-pass the lovely regional white wines seen on tours of Tuscany. Verniccia di San Gimignano may be the most famous bianco, or white, of the region, however any of the whites will stand up on their own.

A Lifetime of Memories

Food and wine Tour Tuscany
Joining in tours of Tuscany offers a chance to truly live the Tuscan lifestyle. Get to know the locals and you’ll become one with the region, returning home knowing how to live la dolce vida. Or, perhaps you’ll extend your tours in Tuscany indefinitely.

Download  a Free Guide:  How to find   YOUR  Tour to Tuscany

 

Topics: Culinary Tours, Italy, Food And Wine Tours, Trip to Tuscany, Italy culinary tours, cooking in Tuscany, Tuscany vacation, culinary tour tuscany, Tours to Tuscany, Tour to tuscany, vacation in Tuscany, Tuscany wine Tour