a mountain tour of northern italy
from the Dolomites to the Alps
There are hundreds, if not thousands of food and wine trips to choose from in Italy. What makes ours unique? Well, our aim is to get you out of the guidebook and deep into the countryside. (We really should rename this trip "Italy's dirt roads.")
Over the years, we've realized that Italy offers great rewards to the off-the-beaten path traveler. If you'd rather visit Roman ruins and wait in line with thousands of tourists to see frescoes and sculptures, well... have at it. But this probably isn't your trip.
However, if a working dairy and vineyard, an olive oil maker, a small village butcher, and the best tortellini in Italy light your fire, then this is the adventure for you.
Where we'll go:
Our trip begins in Bologna, then turns north toward Lake Garda, where we'll enjoy housemade Salami, a family-style meal, and perfect espresso. Then off to Bolzano where the hills are alive with the sounds of apples, wine, and speck. We'll traverse the Dolomites, take a slow drive to Tirano, then hang out near the Swiss border near Valtellina.
After a stop in Novarra, the tour concludes near Casale Monferrato, where we'll visit the famous "infernots" and drink some tasty Barbera. Just outside Milan, we'll bid you "Ciao!"
Who we'll meet:
Along the way we'll meet a master Parmigiano maker, raconteur and balsamic vinegar guy Boni Luigi, and a the Motta family, who grows the highest-altitude Pinot Noir we've yet to encounter.
Our best meal will be with Matteo and his mother Esther at their small trattoria in Custoza. But Marco Triacca and his father will give them a run for their money. And the view from their dining room window is molto fantastico!
What we'll eat and drink:
It's Italy. So by definition, we're out of typing room already. Look, this is going to be something of a hedonistic trip. We'll imbibe in a range of beverages, from Prosecco to Pinot Noir to Amarone to Nebbiolo and Barbera Monferrato. Maybe some Lambrusco too.
We'll eat fresh sheep's milk cheese, taste olive oil right off the spoon, watch some grandmas make tortellini, and enjoy some vitello crudo straight outta the butcher's case.
There will be cooking, too - two hands-on classes featuring cuisine from Northern Italy. It's a safe bet we'll test the theory that there's not a bad meal to be had in Italy. Let' go!