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and Regional Cuisine of Northern Italy
Next Departure: September 12 - 22, 2012
The mention of Northern Italy conjures up visions of vineyard covered
hills, rocky coastline, blue sea, grand cathedrals, fantastic food,
great art, and wanderlust. Add BEER and friendly Italian brewers
and you have a truly special way to experience a classic destination.
Italy's northern provinces - Piemonte, Liguria and Lombardia - and
their principle cities - Torino, Genova, and Milano - are rich in
culture and culinary tradition, with distinct histories, landscapes,
and flavors. The three provinces are also home to almost 100 small
breweries, as well as famous wineries, mountain dairies, family-run
salumeri, age old olive groves, and traditional aceteri (vinegar
producers). On this trip we will gain delicious insights into each
as we focus on visits and tastings throughout the tour. Enjoy guided
city tours, spectactular scenery, small italian hotels, and exceptionally
friendly hosts, on this unique culinary beer tour in Italy. Many
included meals, a variety of interesting visits, travel by rail
and private coach, and Cinque Terre park passes are included.
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See Trip Pictures
Day 1, Wednesday– Travel Day
There are a variety of gateways to Northern Italy, including Milan,
Genoa, Pisa, or even Rome. Monterosso Al Mare is easily accessible
by rail, and the hotel is a 3 minute walk from the station.
Day 2, Thursday - Arrive in Monterosso Al Mare , Welcome Dinner,
Drinks by the Sea
The Cinque Terre, including Monterosso al Mare, are 5 villages
built into the rocky cliffs along the Ligurian Coast. They entire
area is a national park and the long- isolated villages are connected
by ancient foot paths and walkable in a few hours. Upon arrival
at our hotel (a short walk from the train station,) in Monterosso,
we'll gather for a welcome drink and short introduction to the area
and the activities during our first two days. We'll enjoy a Welcome
Dinner this evening. Overnight in Monterosso Al Mare.
Day 3, Friday - Exlpore Cinque Terre
Today is completely open to explore any or all of the 5 villages.
Visits can be made via rail, ferry or foot, or any combination as
part of the included park pass. Bands of like minded merry makers
will be sighted, here and there. Local seafood and white wines are
outstanding! There are a handful of places with good beer, and many
places offering spectacular views and excellent local specialties.
Overnight in Monterosso Al Mare.
Day 4, Saturday - Morning Free in CT, Train to Genoa, Montegioco
The morning is free to shop, take pictures, or explore more of
this beautiful area until we head North to Genoa and beyond. After
time to check-in to our hotel in the heart of Genoa, we'll board
our coach to travel further north. Our first stop is Birrificio
Busalla for a sampling of beers, local salumi and foccacia. Continue
to the country-tavern Locanda del Grue, where the chef will create
an inspired regional menu just for us, using the award winning beers
of Montegioco as a base. The Mastro Birraio from Birrificio Montegioco,
Riccardo Franzosi, will likely join us for dinner, and select the
beer pairings for the evening. We may even enjoy a late night brewery
tour. Late return to Genoa. Overnight in Genoa.
Day 5, Sunday - Guided morning walking tour, Harborside Lunch
at Bicu, Free afternoon in Genoa
This morning we'll have guided walk around Genoa, followed by a
harborside lunch at Bicu, with their interesting beers (including
one with basil) and fine Genovese fare. The remainder of the day
is free to explore and beer hunt. There is a lot to do and see,
including one of the worlds best aquariums, a huge medieval center,
churches, piazzas, and many a fine place to sit and sip. Overnight
Day 6, Monday – Olive Oil Museum, Chevalier, Pizza, Vernante,
Today we'll drive along of the Ligurian coast to Imperia for a
visit to their Olive Oil Museum. After some time to explore the
rich history of olives in the region, we'll continue the short way
to Diano Marina, home of Birrificio Chevalier. We will have a short
brewmaster hosted tour of the compact brewery, and then visit a
local reataurant for a beer lunch along the Italian Riviera. We
will also learn a little about pizza making (and eating) from a
world champion pizza maker, who happens to be the father of the
brewer. Next it is on to the mountain town of Vernante, where we
will spend the night. After time to check-in to the hotel we will
make the short trip up the valley to Birra Troll -- to eat, drink
and be merry in their brewpub in the mountains. Overnight in Pinocchio-land,
the town of Vernante.
Day 7, Tuesday – Mountain Dairy, to Alba, Baladin Beer Dinner
This morning we will travel up into the mountains to a visit family-owned
Piemontese cheese maker. We will learn about the age old practice
and taste the fruits of the labor in the beautiful Maritime Alps.
The afternoon is free to explore the small town of Vernante, with
its ruined castle, river walk, and Pinocchoi murals that tell the
true story of the famous puppet. This afternoon we'll travel to
Piozzo and Le Baladin for a thorough tasting and dinner in their
pub. After dinner, we continue to Alba, our home for the night.
Overnight in the truffle capital and home of Nutella (it smells
like chocolate if the wind is right) -- Alba.
Day 8, Wednesday - Free morning in Alba, Fontanafredda Lunch,
Vinegar Producer Visit, Evening Free in Torino
This morning is free to explore the beautiful city of Alba, gateway
to the Langhe. At midday, we'll travel by coach to nearby winery,
Fontanafredda, whose barrels are aged in a former castle. We'll
have a lunch of local specialities and a tour or their impressive
cellars before traveling on to discover the secrets of vinegar at
a nearby aceteri. Coninue to Torino after the visit. The evening
is free to explore the capital of Piedmont. Overnight Torino.
Day 9, Thursday – Morning guided tour, Eataly, Free day
This morning, we'll start with a local guide for tour of Torino's
main attractions and historic center. The tour will end at Eataly,
where lovers of all things gourmet can indulge in just about anything
edible. The afternoon and evening are free to explore and enjoy
the city and its many offerings. Plenty of food and culture to keep
us busy until through the evening. A Brewpub dinner perhaps... Overnight
Day 10, Friday – Milano
This morning, bright and early, we move on to Milan for a full
day to eat, shop and explore. Milan boasts its famed cathedral,
the view from the top is impressive, and there are all sorts of
high end Italian merchandise to ogle. Some brewpubs are open for
lunch, but the day is free until this evening when we'll meet in
the hotel and head over to Birrificio Lambrate cucina for our casual
brewpub dinner with the locals. Overnight Milan
Day 11, Saturday – Farewell Italy! Travel home.
There are multiple transportation options to both Milan airports.
Regular coach shuttles depart from Milan Cantral Station. The hotel
desk can help. Cheers!
& Brewery Visits
Italian Cuisine and Beer - Creative brewers are taking food
and beer (and you) to delicious places.
Brewpub/Brewery Visits to Busalla, Montegioco, Bicu, Chevalier,
Troll, Baladin, Lambrate.
Discover a wide variety of excellent interpretations of
classic beer styles.
Great coffee, wine and food are simply the norm in Northern
Good folks to travel with who will share your ecclectic
taste for anti pasti, gelato, wine and excellent beer!
Cinque Terre - Five lovely, Italian, seaside villages perched
on the rocky Ligurian coast are literally carved into the
cliff offering stunnigly beautiful testiment to the efforts
those who built them. Eat, travel from village to village,
marvel at spectacular scenry, a great start to our trip.
Genoa - Home to a famous, historic, harbor, one the best
aquariums anywhere and the larget medieval quarter in Europe,
Genoa has become a great visitors city. Beautiful architecture,
grand placaes, and pesto!
Vernante - A mountain town, home to ski lodges, Pinocchio
fame, and one of the best brewpubs anywhere - Birra Troll
Alba - A medieval gem at the gateway to the famed Langhe
wine region. The truffle capital of Piedmont, and a true epicurian
paradise of local specialties
Torino - Grand squares, Rococo architecture, chocolate,
laid back but upscale, Torino is the commercial and cultural
hub of Piedmont. Home to the famed Shroud of Turin, famous
art galleries, and the automotive industry
Park and Train ticket in Cinque Terre
City Tours in Genoa and Torino
Olive Oil Museum in Imperia
(Land-only, Based on double occupancy)
$2995 per person
Single Room add $635
Arrival & Departure
Trip Begins in Monterosso al Mare
Trip Ends in Milan
The overall style of the trip is best suited for somewhat adventurous,
beer-loving travelers who want the camaraderie and structure of
a tour, as well as the opportunity to explore independently. Planned
events and excursions will, for the most part, be informal. Guided
touring is generally the exception, though travelers can always
rely on the support and assistance of the trip leader.
* Please note also:
This itinerary is subject to change based on brewery or hotel
availability, force majeur, acts of dieties, common sense or bad
weather, etc. Smaller breweries, as well as the Trappists, are often
unable to commit to hosting groups until a couple of weeks before
we arrive. Substitutions, when necessary, will be as good or better
than what we replaced. And, don't worry, the beer is always good!