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Overview

Cooking Vacations Northern Italy

Beautiful hills and vineyards surrounding Barbaresco village in the Langhe region of Piedmont, Italy.This trip is eligible as a Worry-Free Booking. 

Spend a week in the north of Italy on this authentic Northern Italy culinary tour, and discover the amazing foods and wines of Piedmont and Liguria.

Piedmont and Liguria, despite being adjacent, have very different cuisines, wines, and landscapes. Piedmont is a land of rich pastas, hearty meats, creamy risottos, and of ingredients such as truffles, hazelnuts, and rich cheeses. Its wines – Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Barbera – are famed throughout the world. Its topography goes from its mountainous borders to the rolling vineyards and plains along the Po and Tanaro Rivers.  It borders France and Switzerland to the north, and its cuisine is influenced by these other nations. 

Traditional Piedmontese salami.Visiting the many hilltop villages of the Langhe area of Piedmont is like stepping back in time, and you will explore the narrow alleyways, cobblestoned streets, and beautiful vistas onto the hazy vineyards that spread out as far as the eye can see.

To the south of Piedmont, separated from it by the Appennines, is the second stop on your northern Italy culinary tour, the region of Liguria. Visually, it could not be more different, with its vibrantly colored houses and miles of sunny Mediterranean coastline.

Visiting the Cinque Terre on a northern Italy cooking vacation.Liguria is a narrow region that hugs the coast, and its gastronomy bears these influences. Seafood, olives, olive oil, Mediterranean fruits and vegetables, and wines bearing the salty aromas of the sea are all hallmarks of Liguria, as are the nuts – pine nuts, walnuts, and almonds – used in its pesto and many other dishes. Liguria, besides being the home to the famed Cinque Terre villages, is a land of stunning cliffs and seaside towns seemingly carved into the rock.

Fried seafood in cones on the street of Riomaggiore, ItalyOur northern Italy culinary vacation combines the best of these two diverse regions into one incredible week. You will learn their secrets in the company of our expert local guides, and will leave feeling like a local!


Northern Italy Culinary Tour Trip Highlights

Highlights of your northern Italy culinary vacation will be the explorations of the diverse gastronomy of these two regions. Piedmont is a land of mountains, valleys, and rolling vineyards, while Liguria is a land of stunning cliffs and  seaside villages. This results in two distinct cuisines, and very different types of wines, all of which you will explore during your cooking vacation in northern Italy. 

Itinerary

The beautiful village of La Morra and its vineyards in the Langhe region of Piedmont, Italy.Please note that depending on the specific dates booked, the order of activities for our northern Italy culinary tour is subject to change.

Day One

  • Arrival in Milan Malpensa and private transfer to the Langhe area of Piedmont.
  • Check-in and time to relax before your tasting dinner that will immerse you in the flavors of Piedmont.
  • Overnight.

Day Two

  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Meet your driver for a panoramic tour of the Barbaresco wine region and its Unesco World Heritage vineyards. During the tour,  you will visit a prestigious wine cellar for a tasting.
  • Next, meet an artisanal cheese producer and enjoy a tasting lunch of local products.
  • In the afternoon, transfer to a local cooking school for a hands-on cooking class. You will prepare traditional Piedmontese dishes to discover the roots of the region’s food and wine. After the class, dinner to prepare based on your efforts.
  • Transfer back to you hotel, and overnight. 

The town of Santa Margherita Ligure, home for your northern Italy cooking vacation with The International Kitchen.Day Three

  • Morning free to enjoy you last hours in Piedmont enjoying the beautiful landscape.
  • Late morning check out and transfer to Liguria.
  • Check in to your accommodations in the beautiful village of Santa Margherita. Time in the afternoon to get settled and perhaps explore the beautiful Portofino Gulf.
  • This evening, you will have a delicious dinner that will introduce you to Ligurian cuisine, which is very different than what you had in Piedmont.
  • Overnight. 

The town of Vernazza, one of the famed Cinque Terre.Day Four 

  • Meet your guide at the hotel and take the train to the famed Cinque Terre (about an hour trip). The Cinque Terre are five picturesque linked fishing villages which are now a National Park and Unesco World Heritage site. You will explore the authentic side of the Cinque Terre with an expert insider! Visit the tiny squares and alleys and enjoy the stunning panoramas and have time on your own for lunch. Travel to the terraced vineyards that overlook the sea and form the backdrop of this remarkable area. Visit a local producer and learn the story behind his wine, then visit the cellar and enjoy a tasting of traditional Cinque Terre wines, including the rare Sciacchetrà, paired with appetizers.
  • Return by train to Santa Margherita. Rest of day at leisure and dinner on your own.
  • Overnight. 

A picturesque view of Genoa, Italy.Day Five

  • After breakfast, take the short train ride (tickets included) to Genoa, where you will meet your guide. Explore this vibrant port city from market to market. Start at the large and picturesque Mercato Orientale, a real food lover’s paradise and a favorite of the locals. Then explore the historical center of Genoa and its ancient food shops.
  • Genoa has the largest medieval old town center in Europe, and you will explore its authentic medieval alleys, squares, and Renaissance streets during your tour. You will also discover the traditional food shops, such as the “friggitorie,” which serve “friscieu,” or fried fish croquettes with herbs, as well as “farinata,” a chickpea pancake, and fried fresh seafood. Head to the old pastry café where the famous composer Giuseppe Verdi used to spend his time, and then to the Pietro Romanengofu Stefano confectionary shop, which dates back some three hundred years.
  • At the end of the tour, you will head to the gorgeous salons of a private Renaissance palace where you will have a class on the most traditional pasta of Liguria, Pansotti,” a hand-made pasta stuffed with wild herbs and served with a walnut sauce traditionally prepared with mortar and pestle. Lunch to follow based on your efforts along with other Ligurian specialties.
  • In the afternoon, time to wander around Genoa on your own before taking the return train to Santa Margherita (tickets included).
  • Dinner on your own and overnight. 

The town of Portofino visited during your culinary vacation in ItalyDay Six 

  • After breakfast, head for the public ferry to take the boat to Portofino (tickets included). You will be welcomed there and transferred to an old mill surrounded by olive groves, vineyards, and Mediterranean vegetation. Meet a local culinary expert who will show you the traditional method of preparing Liguria’s most famous produce – pesto – with a mortar and pestle. Afterwards, enjoy your pesto with typical Trofie pasta and other local specialties.
  • Head back to Portofino, where you will have free time in what is considered one of the most beautiful villages of Italy.
  • Return ferry to Santa Margherita (tickets included).
  • Dinner on your own and overnight. 

Famed church of San Pietro on the beautiful Ligurian Coast.Day Seven 

  • Breakfast and check out. (Your departure transfer is not included, but will be arranged based on your travels following the tour.)

Northern Italy Culinary Tour Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Northern Italy Cooking Vacations

Accommodations

6 nights in boutique 4* hotels

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 lunches
  • 3 dinners
  • Food & Wine tastings as per the itinerary

Classes & Instructors

Your 3 cooking classes during your Northern Italy cooking vacation will introduce you to the amazing and diverse flavors of Piedmont and Liguria. In Piedmont you will explore traditional dishes, including rich pastas, risottos, meats, and desserts. While in Liguria, you will explore different local pasta varieties, seafood, and of course the famed mortar-and-pestle sauces for which the region is most known. 

Excursions

  • Barbaresco winery tour
  • Cheese producer visit
  • Private guided tour of the Cinque Terre, including winery visit
  • Private guided tour of Genoa
  • Olive mill visit in near Portofino

Transfer Details

Arrival transfer included from the Milan Malpensa airport. (Departure transfer not included, but can be arranged based on your travels following the tour.)

Miscellaneous

  • Round trip train tickets to the Cinque Terre (you will be accompanied for this train ride)
  • Round trip train tickets to Genoa (you will take this train on your own)
  • Round trip ferry tickets to Portofino (you will take the ferry on your own)

 

Not Included

  • Nightly city tax, paid locally
  • Entrance fees, paid locally
  • Gratuities

Accommodation Information

Your Northern Italy culinary tour will start with 2 nights in Piedmont in the area of the Langhe, at Corte Gondina, a small boutique hotel of just 14 rooms. The hotel also has a pool, garden, and spa. (If unavailable a comparable property will be proposed.)

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Your Northern Italy culinary tour will continue with 4 nights in Santa Margherita Ligure at the 4* Mediterraneo Emotional Spa. This new boutique hotel is located in an elegant palazzo that dates to the end of the Eighteenth Century. Each room has its own characteristic decor, and the hotel is surrounded by a garden and park. The hotel has a spa with headed swimming pool. (If unavailable a comparable property will be proposed.)

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Northern Italy Culinary Tour Pricing & Tour Dates

Find pricing and dates for our northern Italy cooking vacations below, and contact us for availability or to customize your trip.



High Season Pricing:
April 15-18, May 27-September 24

6-Night Italy Culinary Tour

US$4900 per person based on double occupancy

  • Add US$360 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.

Departure transfer to Malpensa airport: 470 Euros per car.
Transfer to Santa Margherita or Genoa airport: Please inquire.

Mid Season Pricing:
April 19-May 26, September 25-October 31

6-Night Italy Culinary Tour

US$4525 per person based on double occupancy

  • Add US$360 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.

Departure transfer to Malpensa airport: 470 Euros per car.
Transfer to Santa Margherita or Genoa airport: Please inquire.

Low Season Pricing:
March 1-April 14, November 1-30

6-Night Italy Culinary Tour

US$4370 per person based on double occupancy

  • Add US$360 for single occupancy (use of a double room by 1 person)

30% deposit due to confirm booking.

This trip is eligible for our “Worry-Free Booking” promotion*, which means your deposit is fully refundable up to 31 days prior to the trip start date. Questions? Please contact us!

*See our terms & conditions for details and exclusions.

Departure transfer to Malpensa airport: 470 Euros per car.
Transfer to Santa Margherita or Genoa airport: Please inquire.


Northern Italy Culinary Tour Dates

Our week-long northern Italy culinary tours are available most weeks March through November. Sample weeks follow, but please inquire for availability.

Sunday start dates are posted, but other start dates are possible. Please note it is not advised to have the Genoa visit on Sunday, and the Portofino class is not available on Mondays.

2022
March 6-12
March 13-19
March 20-26
March 27-April 2
April 3-9
April 10-16
April 17-23
April 24-30
May 1-7
May 8-14
May 15-21
May 22-28
May 29-June 4
June 5-11
June 12-18
June 19-25
June 26-July 2
July 3-9
July 10-16
July 17-23
July 24-30
July 31-August 6
August 7-13
August 14-20
August 21-27
August 28-September 3
September 4-10
September 11-17
September 18-24
September 25-October 1
October 2-8
October 19-15
October 16-22
October 23-29
October 30-November 5
November 6-12
November 13-19
November 20-26

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We can help plan the best Italy food and wine tours!

Visiting a Camogli on a northern Italy cooking vacation.

Whether you need assistance with flights, additional nights, wine tastings, or more, we are here to help you plan the perfect northern Italy culinary vacation.

We can also design a completely customized tour to suit your tastes - just contact us to get started!

Contact us for more information, or you can indicate your interest during check out and we will follow up directly! Contact Us
 

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