Authentic Experience in Piedmont

Travel to the very north of Italy, and you’ll discover Piedmont, a majestic land of pastures, mountain fortresses, vineyards where Nebbiolo grapes for Barolo wines are grown, and stunning views of the Alps. This northern region is also home to Turin, a unique and thriving city that is known both for its stunning architecture, including baroque palazzos, as well as its shopping, what with the city’s many charming boutiques. It’s also a place where culinary traditions thrive; pair the region’s famous Barolo wines with everything from starters like grissini, to entrees of agnolotti, and desserts of gianduja chocolates and biscotti, and you’ll be living like the locals do.

Just forty minutes outside of Turin is the quaint medieval town of Casalborgone. Situated among the hills, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, which you can experience and see from your accommodations, the bed and breakfast ViaVai, a top-rated hotel on TripAdvisor. Once a family home, today this B&B is run by Francesca and her husband Albert, who treat their guests like family.


Latest Review

We gave this trip 5 stars
Sandra & Tracy
Queensland
Trip taken May 2017
Francesca certainly went above and beyond for my sister and I. Unfortunately, we were ill on our first day and we were well looked after. Due to being sick, Francesca changed our programme quite a lot so that we could fit in what we could. The programme and network of local shops, artisans and activities surpassed what we thought we would get. We cannot speak highly enough of Francesca. She is a very friendly lovely woman who welcomed us into her house and family. My sister and I have travelled considerably and we feel that this is definitely one of the best experiences we have had. We think what Francesca has created is very special indeed.

Trip Details

Your 2 cooking classes with your hostess Francesca are very much made to order! Your first class will normally focus on local antipasti, while the second will focus on pasta, but in all cases the classes will follow the seasonal ingredients.


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Itinerary

Soggiorno at your B&B in Piedmont, home to your culinary vacationDay One

  • Arrive at Turin airport or Chivasso train station and transfer to your bed and breakfast accommodations.
  • After checking in, take some time to settle in and relax by the pool.
  • In the early evening, Francesca will you show you around the charming village of Casalborgone with its shops and historical center.
  • Return to the property for your first cooking class in which you’ll prepare a delicious aperitif, perhaps salatini, torte salute, or sage focaccia.
  • Enjoy dinner out on the terrace with some local wine.
  • Overnight.

Day Two

  • Breakfast buffet, which includes fresh fruits, omelets, handmade cakes, bread and butter, local cheese and ham, and cold mint tea, between 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
  • In the morning, return to the kitchen for your second hands-on class, which will focus on the basics of all Italian cuisine: fresh pasta. You’ll also make a dessert, such as a delicious tiramisu. You might start your class collecting vegetables from the garden, or by visiting the local flour mill. The menu will be based on what is available seasonally.
  • Lunch to follow based on your efforts, drinks included.
  • In the afternoon, some time on your own.
  • In the early afternoon, Francesca can transfer you to the Abbey of Vezzolano (10 minutes away) and Cocconato, a lively local village, to explore on your own.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day Three

  • A light breakfast out on the terrace.
  • Around 10:30 a.m., depart for Turin. Francesca (or a close friend who is also a food expert) will accompany you to this extraordinary town, as a guide, architect, and personal shopper. You’ll stop in one of the biggest European markets, “Porta Palazzo,” to see its monuments and shops. If you’re still hungry, break for a second breakfast (on your own) in one of the city’s famous bars, and then continue the tour based on what you’d like to see.
  • Stop at a special place for your lunch on your own, depending on your preferences (with suggestions). Perhaps dine in an Egyptian museum, or a cinema and art gallery. (Museum tickets and lunch not included)
  • In the afternoon, return to the property for a wine tasting of 4 regional wines with a professional and famous sommelier, Ezio Cravero.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day Four

  • Breakfast followed by check out.
  • If you have time before your flight, visit a local biscotti producer.
  • Return transfer to Turin airport.

Trip Details

Included in the 3-Night Trip

Accommodations

3 nights accommodations at B&B

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 1 lunch
  • 1 dinner
  • Local wine, water and coffee with included meals

Classes & Instructors

Your 2 cooking classes with your hostess Francesca are very much made to order! Your first class will normally focus on local antipasti, while the second will focus on pasta, but in all cases the classes will follow the seasonal ingredients.

Excursions

  • Tour of Casalborgone with your hostess
  • Seasonal food visit when possible (to pick vegetables, to gather nuts, to the local mill)
  • Excursion to Turin
  • Wine tasting with Ezio Cravero
  • Visit to biscotti producer (if time allows)

Transfer Details

  • Group arrival and departure transfers to/from Turin airport or train station, or the Chivasso train station

Not Included

* Museum tickets

Accommodation Information

Stay in the charming ViaVai bed and breakfast, which is adjacent to a castle, in the historic center of the medieval town Casalborgone. Renovated in 2007, the family-owned property offers six rooms, all with double beds and ensuite bathrooms, that are decorated with antique furniture but in different styles. All rooms have WiFi. The property also features a lovely garden, terrace, and swimming pool that overlooks the hills of Turin.

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Pricing & Tour Dates

Looking for tour date information?


Year-Round Pricing:

3-night Program
US$850 per person based on double occupancy
  • Add US$125 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.
Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

Cost to run for 1 person: please inquire.


Tour Dates

Available the following dates for a minimum of 2 people. Other start dates also possible, please inquire.
†Join dates others have confirmed.

2019
January 27-30
January 30-February 2
February 3-6
February 6-9
February 10-13
February 13-16
February 16-19
February 17-20
February 20-23
February 24-27
February 27-March 2
March 3-6
March 6-9
March 10-13
March 13-16
March 17-20
March 20-23
March 24-27
March 27-30
March 31-April 3
April 3-6
April 7-10
April 10-13
April 14-17
April 17-20
April 21-24
April 24-27
April 28-May 1
May 1-4
May 5-8
May 8-11
May 12-15
May 15-18
May 19-22
May 22-25
May 26-29
May 29-June 1
June 2-5
June 7-10†
June 12-15
June 16-19
June 19-22
June 23-26
June 26-29
June 30-July 3
July 3-6
July 7-10
July 10-13
July 14-17
July 17-20
July 21-24
July 24-27
July 28-31
July 31-August 3
August 4-7
August 7-10
August 11-14
August 14-17
August 18-21
August 21-24
August 25-28
August 28-31
September 1-4
September 4-7
September 8-11
September 11-14
September 15-18
September 18-21
September 22-25
September 25-28
September 29-October 2
October 2-5
October 6-9
October 9-12
October 13-16
October 16-19
October 20-23
October 23-26
October 27-30
October 30-November 2
November 3-6
November 6-9
November 10-13
November 13-16
November 17-20
November 20-23
November 24-27
November 27-30
December 1-4
December 4-7
December 8-11
December 11-14
December 15-18
December 18-21

Pricing & Dates

Class Pricing

Reviews

We gave this trip 5 stars
Sandra & Tracy
Queensland
Trip taken May 2017
Francesca certainly went above and beyond for my sister and I. Unfortunately, we were ill on our first day and we were well looked after. Due to being sick, Francesca changed our programme quite a lot so that we could fit in what we could. The programme and network of local shops, artisans and activities surpassed what we thought we would get. We cannot speak highly enough of Francesca. She is a very friendly lovely woman who welcomed us into her house and family. My sister and I have travelled considerably and we feel that this is definitely one of the best experiences we have had. We think what Francesca has created is very special indeed.
No rating given with this review
Every second of this program was perfect. From the moment Francesca met us at the train station in Torino until we said goodbye 4 days later it was clear that Francesca was a wonderful chef, teacher and host. The home, kitchen and accommodations were excellent. The good taste extended, not only to the kitchen, but to the decor and thoughtful design of the home. Every Italian delicacy that I had wanted to learn to cook was included in the curriculum that Francesca had planned. She is a great teacher with lots of tips to help me succeed with recipes I have found challenging in the past, such as gnocchi and fresh pasta. I can't wait to get home to make the recipes for my family and friends. My friend and I were lucky to be the only cooking students at the time, which made the class time comfortable created the feeling of three friends cooking together in the kitchen. Francesca has arranged for English friends to take us to the market, winery tour and visit to a nearby abbey. They were wonderful people, not only informative about the places visited, but great fun. I can not recommend this program highly enough. It is very lucky people who find their way to this program. I can guarantee they will leave very happy, well fed, and as better cooks. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] The Chicago staff responded quickly with answers to my questions. Carol M., NM
No rating given with this review
Francesca was an incredible host, chef, instructor, and guide. Her arrangements for the cooking menu were exactly what we were hoping to learn and she accommodated all additional requests for certain dishes we were interested to learn. Her kitchen was clean, convenient and comfortable. Her room accommodations were very comfortable, had fantastic views and plenty of space. Her additional space in the dining area provided a great area to not only eat, but to use the tables, the computer and to just relax. Her additional terrace for private meals that enjoyed the countryside views again provided that unique and spectacular scenery and tranquility that we hoped for. Francesca also made personal arrangements for us to visit other local growers, markets and sights with local experts that joined with her to make the entire experience incredible. My friend and I have remarked how fortunate we feel to have had this experience with Francesca. She is a warm and lovely host who constantly looked out for our comfort, safety and to fulfill our requests. She also provided transportation and that helped with our ability to see more of the area. I would sign up again and highly recommend her services to your clients. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] Yes, there was plenty of information provided. Caroline F., CA
No rating given with this review
The experience was excellent! We were accepted as part of the family, a real authentic experience! The food we made was fabulous and surprisingly easy to make! Thanks so much for being part of our honeymoon! Michael and Miccah K., MA
No rating given with this review
We loved our experience with Francesca and our stay at her B&B. Francesca is warm, caring, flexible, and very focused on making sure everything goes the way you as a guest hope it will go. We loved the cooking classes, and Francesca gave us more knowledge and special experiences around the regional food and wine than we could have expected. While we received a general itinerary for the four days, Francesca tailored our time there based on what our interests were, and also our cooking skill level. She exceeded our expectations in every way, and we would go back again in a heartbeat. Mark & Lisa E., ME
No rating given with this review
Francesca and Alberto were the best! [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] Perfect. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] Very helpful. Will use again next year. Please send any updates. James S. & Vickie B., FL
No rating given with this review
This was an unexpected pleasure. While we had anticipated a good time, the actual experience was much better. We were welcomed into Francesca's home as family guests and not just clients of the B & B, including having dinner with her family one evening using the meal we had helped cook. She was about as gracious as anyone could possibly have been, constantly offering to take us places as our guide or making excellent recommendations for things to do when we struck out on our own in Turino. Dante R., NJ
No rating given with this review
I enjoyed a lot the time I’ve spent with Francesca. She is very friendly, willing to share and teach, and just like a friend to us. Her place is so clean and beautiful, and she treated us just like her family. She is also very flexible to fit our requirements in terms of time and cooking request. I’m amazed how much she can handle, she is just like a superwoman! The view from her B&B is stunning and we took pictures everyday to capture difference moments of the scenery. We learned to cook and eat many Italian home dishes. Jacqueline T., Hong Kong
No rating given with this review
We so enjoyed our very relaxed and individual experience with our hostess Francesca and her family. It truly was an "authentic" experience, as the trip is titled. Francesca couldn't have been more gracious, and we enjoyed having meals with her family, eating the food of the region we prepared in her kitchen. Being in the small town of Casalborgone for 4 days/3 nights was the most enjoyable time of our two weeks in Italy. The area is picturesque, and Francesca introduced us to many local vendors, as well as a sommelier who arranged a wine tour for us. My husband and I cook a lot at home, and have taken several cooking classes, and we wanted an experience that was not a formal cooking class, but one that would immerse us in the local culture, and that is what we got. We couldn't have been more pleased with the experience. [Regarding the cooking vacation packet:] Yes, it was very well put together, and provided helpful tips that I might not have thought to ask about. [Regarding The International Kitchen staff:] The staff was very responsive when I emailed with questions. They were very courteous and timely in their responses. David and Anne D., WA