Itinerary - Wine, Cooking and Castles in Barolo & Roero

Places Milano Malpensa Airport, Canale
Classes & Experiences

Afternoon Cocktails (included)

Meals Dinner: Welcome dinner at the villa (Included)

Your vacation week begins when you meet your host and the rest of the group at the Milan Malpensa (MXP) Airport. Our scheduled shuttle will be leaving by 1:30 PM and heading to our home for the week - The beautiful Roero Valley and the private Villa Cornarea estate.

If you are flying in this day, please arrange for your flight to arrive prior to 12:00 PM. If you are coming from Milan or other areas in Italy, there is convenient metro or taxi service to the Milan Malpensa Airport, where you can meet up with the rest of the group.

Upon arrival, each party will have a randomly assigned room at the villa. If you would like to reserve one of the suites, you can do so for a slightly higher charge if they are still available.

The rooms are spacious and very accommodating in comfortable settings with lovely appointments. IIt is a splendid display of classic Italian style with modern amenities. All the rooms have their own, in-suite bathrooms, WIFI and air conditioning. There are common areas for relaxing or socializing. There are gorgeous views of the surrounding hills and valleys from just about everywhere on the property.

After a warm welcome and reception, we’ll have some time to get settled in to our rooms and have a bit of time to freshen up. We’ll meet up for our first get-together in the beautiful garden for wine, or other refreshments and local appetizers. We will have a certified sommelier on hand to give us an introduction into the complexities and nuances of the local wines. We’ll get to know one another and talk about the week ahead, as well as answering any questions you might have.

After our wonderful aperitivi, we can take some time to stroll the grounds before we move right into our Welcome Dinner. We will be treated to a private, catered affair at the villa. Our full-course meal will include local dishes, paired with local wines.

Places Canale, Castellinaldo d’ Alba, Barolo, La Morra & Magliano Alfieri
Classes & Experiences

Cooking Class (included) resulting in lunch
App: Chef Selection - Bruschetta, Cheeses and Salumi
Pasta: Traditional Ragu Lasagna
Side: Stuffed Tomatoes
Dessert: Piemontese Meliga pastry cookies with Zabaione cream
Experience: Marsaglia Winery
Experience: Grolla - Traditional Grappa and Coffee Drink


Breakfast: Buffet at Villa (included)
Lunch: The meal we prepare in cooking class (included)
Dinner: Pizza Dinner with Appetizers and Salads (included)

Breakfast each day will be in the atrium at the villa, which overlooks the garden, vineyards and sweeping views of the mountains that create this majestic backdrop. The friendly hotel staff will have prepared a self-serve buffet consisting of traditional Italian breakfast choices, such as pastries, breads, cheeses, yogurts and cereals, sliced meats, hard-boiled, or other prepared eggs. There are many varieties of drinks, including coffee, espresso, cappuccino, juices and milk.

After breakfast today, we will take the short drive to the Cantina Marsaglia to meet Marina and her family for our first cooking class. Marina and her family have been a dear friends of ours for years. She and her daughter, Monica, will greet us with a warm welcome and instantly make us feel very comfortable. Our class conveniently takes place in Marina's spacious home. Her classes are super fun and we will make possibly the best lasagna you have ever had! No offense to your own nonna, of course!

Each guest will get their own Culture Discovery Apron and recipe book that is yours to take home at the end of the week. Since this is 100% hands-on, we’ll get familiarized with the kitchen and Marina's teaching style, and then get right into our class instruction as we start making our first lunch together!

Today we start off with making the ragu for the amazing lasagna, as we'll want that sauce to simmer and simmer. We'll also be making a delicious complimentary side dish, a vine-ripened tomato stuffed with a tuna salad that has been delightufully seasoned with fresh herbs, spices and breadcrumbs. Of course, we'll make the pasta from scratch and hand-crank it into perfectly proportioned pieces for the base of our lasagna. We also make some fabulous dessert cookies that get dipped into everyone’s favorite, Italian zabaione egg-cream, that you will make from scratch.

For those that would rather not cook, that’s no problem, Marina's home has beautiful grounds, a veranda - a view, wine and just being there is an experience of its own!

As always, there will be wine and other beverages and refreshments available throughout the class, with plenty of breaks for some singing, dancing and relaxation! During a little break in the cooking, Marina and Monica will give us a tour of the cantina, which sits conveniently below their home!

Yes, while we have our cooking classes here, it should also be known that the family of her husband, Emilio Marsaglia, have been making world-class Roero wines for generations! They have some very beautiful red Roero wines that are made exclusively from the Nebiolo grape, as are their Barolo counterparts. You will also find some very fine Barbera d'Alba, which is also a local varietal. The white wines are of the Arneis, variety, a fabulous "rediscovered" local grape, as well as some Rose and some fantastic sparkling wine. Lucky for us that we are in the thick of it and will be treated to some really amazing wines here throughout the week!

When we’re finished with class, just like a classic Sunday family-meal, we’ll all sit down together, toast over some wine, and enjoy this fabulous meal that we have all had a share in making. Traditionally, in this area, the meal ends with some grappa or with a drink from a Grolla - The intricately carved wooden Friendship Cup!

We’ll head back to the villa for some time to rest or freshen up before heading out for our afternoon excursion, where we will head over to the namesake town of Barolo. We will get some history of the town, the castle, along with some shopping and strolling! For those interested, there is also a wine museum inside the castle. We'll also stop in the historical center of La Morra. A hilltop town that has sweeping views in a wonderful and quaint setting. Meet up with your tour host for some aperitivi before we head out to dinner.

Dinner tonight will be a at a restaurant in Magliano Alfieri, where we'll be treated to some appetizers, salads and many different types of their fabulous pizza that will be made-to-order. The views from the restaurant in this hilltop hamlet couldn't be more spectacular!

Places Pradleves, Villa San Pietro, Monterosso Grana, Savigliano , Canale
Classes & Experiences

Experience: Castelmagno Cheese Producer
Experience: Babaciu Living Museum
Experience: Foothills of the Italian Alps
Experience: Sensory Museum and Perfume-Making


Breakfast: Buffet at Villa (included)
Lunch: Lovely lunch with cheesemakers (included)
Dinner: Pizza at the villa (included)

Today we board our luxury van and head to the Italian Alps towards the border of neighboring France for a full day out.

Our first stop will be at a producer of, arguably, some of the best cheese made in all of Italy. That may be a lofty claim, however, you will soon become a fan of Castelmagno cheese as we will not only have some here today, but, we'll be picking some up for tomorrow's cooking class! If you like gorgonzola, it has a vague similarity, but is much richer and very flavorful. It is protected under the auspices of the consortium that governs the production of this certain type of cheese and the makers must adhere to strict rules of its production to insure its authenticity. To begin with, the milk used must come from a certain breed of Piemontese cows from the area. We will tour the caseificio, see how it is made, then, of course, have a tasting of this fabulous and full-bodied cheese.

Our friend, Roberto will be joining us today as knows all about this area at the base of the Italian Alps. He will take us to a small village that will surely leave a lasting impression! This small alpine town of Villa San Pietro has become somewhat of a living museum in that there are recreations of townspeople that are representative of what the town was like in days gone by. These recreations, or babaciu as they are called in the local dialect, are made of straw, and are! It's quite an interesting story of something that started out as a bit of an "art installation", yet, have now taken on...well... A life of their own!

After this most interesting morning, we'll have lunch at a wonderful little family-run cafe that serves some fabulous local delicacies. We'll have an array of specially-prepared dishes that will fill the table, and our bellies, until there's just no more room! Except for their home-made gelato!

We'll say, arrividerci to Roberto after lunch as we'll be heading out of this are to our next stop in the city of Savigliano. This city is mostly unknown to tourists and travelers, however it was once one of the most important cities in all of Piemonte and the House of Savoy. You will be pleasantly surprised at the beauty and elegance of this city of around 20,000 residents. The buildings and architecture are a splendid combination of late-mannerist and Baroque styles, with origins dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

We’ll head to the Muses Sensory Museum, which is housed in the magnificent 17th century Palazzo Taffini, once home to an important nobleman during the rule of the House of Savoy. Besides the historical significance of the palazzo and its own magnificent artwork, along with a section honoring Giovanni Maria Farina, the father of Italian perfume, the palazzo is now home to a unique museum that challenges one to use senses other than vision and sound to experience the “art” presented before you. There are several stations and areas where you will be exposed to and surrounded by fragrances and essences that spark the imagination and bring your sense of smell into a realm not often used in this type of setting. We’re sure that you will come away with a new appreciation for this interactive art-form and experience.

Afterwards, we’ll make our way to the “laboratory” workshop where each of us will sit at special work-stations where we will begin our perfume-making class! Making perfume is part art and part science as we are instructed by a professional, nose, that will teach us about the use of certain essential oils made from herbs, spices and plants and how they are combined to make unique blends of fragrances. Everyone will make their own blend and personalized fragrance, whether a perfume or cologne, that you will be able to take home with you at the end of the class! This is an amazingly personal experience in a casual group setting that will have you talking about it for years to come. Especially when one of your friends says to you, “Oh my, that is such a wonderful perfume you are wearing…Where did you get it?” To which, you can reply, “Oh, just something I picked up in Italy.” With a wink and a smile, of course!

We’ll take some time afterward to stroll the historic streets of Savigliano and meet up for aperitivi, before heading back to our villa. After a full day out, we’ll have a some time to relax before meeting up for very special Italian-Style BBQ dinner at our villa.

Places Castellinaldo d' Alba, Montà d' Alba, Canale
Classes & Experiences

Cooking Class (included) resulting in lunch:
App: Piemontese-Style Seasonal Vegetables and Sauces
1st: Gnocchi di patate al Castelmagno
2nd: Vitello Involtini - Stuffed and Roasted Beef
Dessert: Salame del Papa Chocolate Roll
Experience: Truffle Hunting
Experience: Private Home Dining


Breakfast: Buffet at Villa (included)
Lunch: The meal we prepare in cooking class (included)
Dinner: Truffle-Inspired and Tapas-Style Meal with the Truffle-Hunting Family (included)

After our breakfast at the villa, we'll head back to Marina's house and winery for our second cooking class. Make yourself comfortable and settle back into Marina and Emilo's house. Have an espresso or open some wines before, and during today's class.

Today’s recipes includes a savory pasta dish, Gnocchi di patate al Castelmagno. This is a classic potato gnocchi, but instead of parmesan cheese, we’ll use the cheese we purchased yesterday! This is a semi-hard, but strong and flavorful cheese from the Italian Alps, is made from the milk of the local breed of Piemontese cows and produced under the protection of a national consortium. For the main course, we'll make a stuffed and rolled beef dish that is roasted to perfection! Then, for dessert, we'll be making a chocolate roll called, Salame del Papa. It has several elements and ingredients such as nuts and almond biscotti, themn rolled and cut like salami! This will pair nicely with the full-bodied Roero wines.

Throughout the cooking class, we'll take some breaks for some wine-tasting with one of your tour hosts, Alessandro. He is a certified sommelier that has an extensive knowledge of the many Piemontese wines that barely get distributed outside of the region. He'll introduce us to these scarce varietals that will open up the senses and give you a deeper understanding of how local wines really are a reflection of the land and the strong connection between the seasonal ingredients grown here and the recipes that end up in the regional cuisine...And ultimately, on your plate!

After lunch, Marina will prepare a unique coffee-grappa drink in a "Grolla," a tradition of the local Alps. The "Grolla" is a friendship cup, or vessel, with many spouts on it. The drink made with coffee, grappa, sugar and some spices made inside an intricately-carved wooden cup, from which each person drinks from their own spout in the cup.

It wont take you long to see why spending time with Marina, Monica and the family has long been a favorite stop for all our guests that have come here and made Marina and her warm and inviting family a part of our family as well.

After this delightful morning and lunch, we’ll head back to the hotel for a little "down-time" before we head out on our next excursion...A truffle hunt!

We'll meet with our truffle-hunting guide and get some interesting information about the different types of truffles from the area, and then head out with her faithful and well-trained companion up into the nearby hills in search of the prized treasure. Dogs are amazing at finding truffles that grow in wooded areas near certain trees and shrubs. Depending on what we can dig up, we’ll take them back to our host's house where the family will be preparing us a truffle-inspired dinner, including appetizers such as salami’s, cheeses and other local favorites as well as a delicious homemade family recipe pasta! Of course, local wines will be served as well!

This is always a fun and informative excursion, along with a nice walk after a filling lunch-time meal. An important note about this experience: There are many truffle hunting experiences offered in Italy, in which you always find beautiful truffles. Unfortunately, truffle hunting does not work like that. We often do find them, but we cannot guarantee it, as we want an authentic experience. In other words, we prefer to come up empty handed rather than having someone bury tuffles in the ground before we arrive in order to turn something authentically difficult into a "show."

Since this has been a very full day, after our truffle hunt and dinner, we’ll head back to our villa for the remainder of the evening. One of the wonderful things about the villa is that, when we are there, it is just our group, and for those that want to continue the evening, there is always wine, and other beverages, along with some light snacks available at all times. So, don't feel like you need to just head to your rooms and "turn-in" for the night. The villa is for us to enjoy and get the full use of.

Places Torino, Canale
Classes & Experiences

Experience: Torino Cafe Crawl / Food Tour
Experience: Gelato Experience
Experience: Apericena


Breakfast: Buffet at Villa (included)
Lunch: Our walking cafe crawl and food tour will be our lunch (included)
Dinner: Apericena (included)

Today starts out as another special day as we visit the historical center of Torino, or Turin, as many people will recognize it as. Torino could be considered as “The Rome of Northern Italy”, as it was nearly as instrumental in shaping the country from the middle ages and on through the Risorgimento, or the period of unification of Italy in the mid 1800’s.

Once, the Italian seat of the House of Savoy, Torino was at the center of wealth, nobility and financial growth for centuries. Even to this day, Torino is at the helm of industry and the hub of culture, entertainment and other businesses that resonate throughout the country.

The heart of Torino is the historical center that has a fabulous mix of architectural styles, from the Renaissance, Rococo, and Baroque to the Neo-Classical. These elements are blended in a splendid beauty of buildings, roads and walkways, many of which feature the many portici, that wind their way through town giving pedestrians shade from the sun or inclement weather.

We’ll walk under the portici as we start our “Caffé Crawl”. We will be visiting one of Torino’s famous cafés that are as beautiful as they are steeped in tradition. From the birthplace of a popular beverage, or the birthplace of the Risorgimento and the Unification of Italy, the café’s themselves are rich in history and culture.

Our first stop will be at a fantastic pasticceria with an incredibel assortment of locally-sourced and made "in-house" assortment of pastries, breads, cookies and the popular grissini or breadsticks that are known world-wide, however, few know that they were created right here in Torino! We'll have some cafe, grissini, pastries and other treats that are absolutely delicious!

Next, we'll have an exclusive visit to a famous chocolatier where we have a "flight" tasting and will learn the history and importance of this incredible import from foreign lands centuries ago. The local versions were made famous by local artisan producers that refined the art and ingredients to arrive at the scene with the current rendition of this wonderful gem in the culinary world.

We’ll stop at the café that began it all and start with the traditional Piedmontese breakfast, the “Bicerin”. This is a tradition that started in Torino in the 1800’s as Torino was quickly becoming the chocolate manufacturing center of Europe. With the bicerin, espresso, chocolate and milk were layered in a small glass creating a delicious and satisfying morning beverage. This tradition carries on to this day, where the drink is often accompanied by some small cookies or pieces of chocolate.

Our walk contiues through many of Torino's beautiful and majestic piazzas. Including the Palazzo Reale. This is the palace where the King of Italy once lived! We’ll have some personal choice beverages before moving on to another historical cafe or osteria for a little relaxation, good wines and local fare.

You will have some time to take in Torino on your own. Whether you want to just stroll the streets, shop or relax somewhere, there is no shortage of things to do, including many places of interest such as the Egyptian Archeological Museum, or the National Cinema Museum at the Mole Antonelliana tower.**

After exploring Torino, we’ll have a unique behind the scenes at one of Torino's most famed gelato producers, where we will have a behind the scenes experience, as well as some of the best gelato the planet has to offer!

Finally we will have a very casual dinner in an informal and very local establishment. This is another CDV experience and slight departure from the typical fare that we have throughout the week. It's a different look at living-like-a-local and part of a fantastic way to end our day before returning to our villa.

Places La Morra, Cossano Belbo, Montaldo di Cerrina, Canale
Classes & Experiences

Experience: Barolo Winery Visit with lunch in the vineyard
Experience: Barbera Winery Visit
Experience: Organic Flour Mill Tour
Experience: Dinner and Party with Friends and Family at their Private Villa


Breakfast: Buffet at Villa (included)
Lunch: At the Ballarin Winery (included)
Dinner: Dinner in a private villa (included)

Today we cross back over into Langhe Valley again amidst the fabulous and picturesque vineyards of some of the best wines produced in Italy. We’ll have an exclusive visit with Giorgio and Alberto at their family-run winery where they specialize in making small production organic Barolo wines. Besides Barolo, they make other varieties such as Barbaresco and Barbera. They will share their first-hand knowledge and passion for wine as we tour the grounds and wine cellar before we all have lunch together next to the vineyards! It is very likely that some of their friends will stop by to join us. At the end of a full week, it will be most welcome to have some casual time with each other in this beautiful setting.

Giorgio is a rare find in this area, as he truly brings us into his life. Don't be surprised if he breaks out some bottles of some of his private "projects" with hand-written labels!

Something that we recently added to this itinerary is a visit to a local, all organic, flour and grain mill. This mill is family-run and has been serving the local community for generations, whereby farmers bring their harvest to the mill and pick up their finished product a day or two later. It was about fifteen years ago, as more industrial mills became available, along with higher operating costs, the owner and family of the mill did a complete transition and decided to process organic-only grown wheat and other grains. Much to the dismay of several of their long-standing customers, it turned out to be a brilliant move, given the current shift to organics have become increasingly popular, the mill has never been busier!

We'll have a guided visit of the mill and see how the wheat gets processesd in several different ways, including their several Stone-Mills that truly embody what their finely crafted products are all about. They supply numerous restaurants, pizzeria, and locals with products, the results of which, the ones that end up on the plate, truly make a difference in taste and quality.

After the mill visit, we will head to the hometown of our friend Alessandro and have a casual afternoon and evening with his family and friends. We will visit his neighbor, Fabrizio, a very interesting and knowledgeable man, who just happens to be an incredible artisan wine-maker too! We will try his wonderful Barbera wines and discover his passion and craft for making his award-winning wines.

The winery visit and tasting will spill right in to our evening at Alessandro’s villa. We will be making all sorts of delicious fare for our farewell dinner. Feel free to lend a hand rolling out the pizza dough and adding the toppings, or help with the barbecue and cooking up some locally-sourced products, including beef, pork, chicken and sausages with one of the most beautiful views in the world. It is a friends and family experience all the way and has something for everyone.

The music will be playing, we’ll be singing and dancing as we revel in the amazing week we're having! Another moment where we really are invited friends, and doing what the locals do.

Places Canale, Alba, Castellinaldo d' Alba
Classes & Experiences

Light Cooking Class (included) resulting in dinner
Tonight's meal will be based on seasonal, local fare...
Faro Salad and Local Charcuterie
Torte Salad and Seasonal Vegetables
Risotto with Sausages
And more!


Breakfast: Buffet at Villa (included)
Lunch: Casual Buffet at the Villa
Dinner: From our class with Marina and what she has us helping her with! (included)

We have found that by the end of each of our vacation weeks, our guests could use a little down time... If they want it! For those of you that want to keep on keeping on, then we have a couple of options available. Note, that it's one or the other, not both.

Breakfast will be as usual. The morning buffet at the villa until about 10 am or so. After that is when the options come in to play...

Option One is for those of you that would prefer to stay at the villa for the better part of the day and just relax and take it all in. You can lay out by the pool, walk through the vineyards, walk into the town of Canale, sit and read a book, have some coffee, tea, or wine and do absolutely nothing. It is a vacation, after all! A buffet lunch will be served at the villa and dining is at your leisure, especially if you are waiting for a friend or loved one that opted for the excursion to Alba. Which leads to the second option!

Option Two is for those of you that would like to go visit the nearby, pictureque town of Alba. Only about a 30 minute drive from the villa, we'll have the opportunity to explore the historical center with its great shops, bars, cafes and street scene. Alba is home to one of the largest confectioners in the world, Ferraro. You will know them from the Ferraro- Roche chocolates, Nutella, the Kinder Eggs and Tic Tacs! These are all manufactured in Alba, where you shouldn’t be surprised if you smell the sweet scent of chocolate or mint in the air. You'll have time to stroll through town, do some shopping and meet up with your CDV host for a beverage or gelato before heading back to the villa to meet up with those that may have stayed back so that we can enjoy lunch together.

After lunch, you'll still have some down time before we head back to Marina's for our evening and farewell dinner.

Tonight's cooking class is a bit less conventional and much less structured than our previous classes this week. This will really be exactly like cooking with nonna as Marina will just say, "This is what I found fresh in the markets today, so this is what we're making!" Helping Marina and Monica is completely at your own discretion and you're more than welcome to sit back and enjoy while others get into the mix. So, those of you that want to, put your aprons on and ask Marina what she needs done!

Marina did tell us that she has some staples from which we'll be building everything else around. One of which is a local-style farro salad. Another is a Risotto with Sausages. Everything else will be a little more freestyle. Including dessert! In any case, her wonderful wines will be flowing and we'll be having a "funtastic" time!

As with all our cooking experiences, our goal is to give you a variety of regional and national dishes that you can enjoy wherever you are. The classes are designed for everyone to be involved and have a great time during their vacation. You will have your own recipe booklet that you will take home with you so you can show off your new culinary skills with your family and friends. For this last night, you may need to take some notes, is all! But, we have no doubt that your family and friends will want you to plan a meal to share with everyone!

After the "class" all that's left to do is sit at the table and enjoy this incredible dinner together! It has been an amazing week with many experiences. A gastronomic and wine adventure that is rarely found elsewhere. But, most of all, and more importantly, are the new friends and "family" you have made and have shared these memories-to-last-a-lifetime with.

Places Canale , Milano Malpensa Airport
Classes & Experiences n/a

Breakfast: Buffet at Villa (included)

Sadly, our week has come to an end. We hope that you had a Vacation-of-a-Lifetime and we will see you another time! We will have one shuttle leaving for the Milan Malpensa (MXP) Airport in the early morning. Time, TBD based on departing flights.

The Not So Fine Print:

Last Sunday of August

If you are coming on a week that includes the last Sunday of August, The cooking class and visit to Barolo on Sunday will replace the day in the alps, and on Sunday we will instead take part in the world-famous "Mangialonga" wine walk, which is a festive event that has us (and thousands of others) walking through the Barolo vineyards, tasting wines, and having various courses of our meal at different stops along the way. This also adds about 3 miles of walking.

Itinerary Subject to Change

This is a base itinerary, which is subject to minor changes before the vacation begins. Changes may be reorganization of days due to closure and festivals, changes due to weather, or seasonal changes. Additionally, these itineraries are prepared well in advance, and at times there are unexpected closures for various reasons that require us to alter the plans. In the end, our goal is always to make it better for our guests, and when substitutions happen, they are always wonderful.

Menu Variations

The menus listed on the itineraries are subject to change depending on season. We use only fresh ingredients wherever possible, so if we are unable to prepare a certain dish, it will be substituted. Occasionally we make changes to some items as certain dishes prove to be very popular.


Some places on our itineraries don't work well with cold weather or rain. We may have to have some of our meals indoors that were scheduled to be outside. When we do expect rain, we try to rearrange the schedule to make the best of it, but substitutions may be made.

**Museum Visits or other Sites not included on the Itinerary

Due to time constraints or otherwise, visits to museums or other sites and places of interest may be limited. If you are planning on visitng one or more of these places of interest, please contact your tour host or email us at to help you best plan your visit.