La Dolce Vita
Northern Italy | Piemonte + Lake Como September 17-25, 2019
Nine days in Northern Italy at its most glorious time of year. We begin with the unparalleled vineyards and kitchens of Piemonte and end with the breathtaking beauty of Lake Como where
“la dolce far niente” (the Italian art of doing nothing) is a way of life.
Continue your holiday with a 4-day extension trip to Venice for the acclaimed Biennale and a "deep dive" into this historic floating city. Click for details
Join Travel Sister founder, Carmel Scopelliti, for a decadent nine day exploration of the bucolic hills of Piedmont and the sun-kissed serenity of Lake Como. This trip will be a food, wine, and relaxation focused foray into Northern Italy designed to inspire personal connection and delight the senses. In order to make this experience as meaningful as possible this trip is limited to 7 guests.
Piemonte (or Piedmont) in the Langhe Valley literally means “the foot of the mountain.” This under-the-radar region, dating back to the 10th century, is one of Italy’s best kept secrets only fully known to gastronomes and oenophiles. It is the true epi-center of Italian gastronomy boasting lush vineyards that produce the some of the world’s finest wines, numerous Michelin starred restaurants, and a slower more present way of living that allows space for joy, pleasure, and deep fulfillment to penetrate every cell of your being.
Everything about Piemonte revolves around food, wine, connection, and the sensual enjoyment of life. It makes sense that the Slow Food movement started here honoring regional cuisine, sustainably grown ingredients, traditional cookery, and shared meals that prioritize slowing down to savor and linger. Each day you will be wrapped in the exquisite embrace of autumn sunlight, sample silky Dolcettos, Barolos, or Barbarescos, create your own culinary creations alongside local chefs, stroll the vineyards, dine in extraordinary cucinas, shop artisanal boutiques, and truly feel the history of this ancient region. If that is not enough, in 2014, Piedmont wine landscapes: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If food and wine are your thing, then this is THE place for you.
From Piemonte, we continue our journey north to the pristine waters of Lake Como. Here we will relax, restore, spa and explore. Our time in Como will allow you to continue to cultivate your inner connection with time to reflect and re-center. Our resort on the first basin places us in the perfect spot to experience the grandeur and elegance of Lake Como, its art, architecture, and culture while also making it easy for us to day-trip to Milan where we will art, shop, sip and stroll our way through this epic cosmopolitan city.
A Peek at Your Week +
Tuesday, Sept. 17 - Buongiorno Italia
After arriving in Turin (home to the infamous Shroud of Turin, the 2006 Olympics, and most importantly the birthplace of Nutella), meet our driver and feel yourself relax as stress falls away and the languid northern Italian countryside beckons. We will make our way in style toward the lush Langhe Valley to the ancient village of Isola d'Asti about an hour away.
Our luxurious hotel is a stylishly restored Baroque manor house from the 17th century nestled on a sunny, quiet hillside offering fantastic panoramic views over the surrounding Montferrat vineyards and the Alps. The castle contains awe-inspiring fresco ceilings and elegant furnishings. The essence of the original Castello has been preserved by maintaining the original structure and a rich history beginning with the medieval Marchesi Natta dynasty can be felt within its walls .
Take some time to settle in, soak up your serene new surroundings, and begin to feel the pace and vibe of this magical region. Early evening we will meet on the idyllic sun terrace for a cool glass of Moscato – a perfect spot for us to get to know one another and spend some time reflecting on personal intentions before moving on to dinner together at the hotel’s highly acclaimed restaurant for your first taste of Piemontese cuisine.
Wednesday, Sept. 18 - The Wines of Piedmont
Our day begins after a leisurely breakfast where we will be whisked away to the historic Marchesi Alfieri vineyard to start our immersion in the wines of Piedmont. This historic wine estate dates back to 1692 and is located in the San Martino Alfieri castle in the hills between Asti and Alba. We will tour the historic cellars and the castle grounds tasting the estate’s most representative wines. We will continue to the famous Barolo district in the Langhe region and enjoy lunch at a local osteria and then enjoy our second winery visit and tasting. Early evening finds us back at our hotel for a little R&R before departing for dinner later at one of Isola d’Asti’s most popular restaurants.
Thursday, Sept. 19 - La Cucina Piemonte
Today we will try our hand at preparing authentic Piemontese dishes with a seasoned chef of the region. The morning will be spent flexing our culinary muscles and laughing a lot! We will discover the classical cuisine of Piedmont through a hands-on cooking class at a local family-owned restaurant in Montferrato. Following class, we will relax with a glass of wine and enjoy a lunch of the food we prepared. After lunch, we depart for the city of Asti for a short guided tour and time for a bit of shopping. Dinner tonight is at famed I Bologna; a Mario Batali fave.
Friday, Sept. 20 - Say Formaggio, Alba + Bra Cheese Festival
The charming and rich town of Alba tops our agenda for a morning of shopping and wandering. Alba is the epicenter of Le Langhe teeming with gorgeous boutiques, bottegas and several tasting rooms for wines of the region. We will begin with an espresso at the Antico Café Calisssano and then leave you to your own devices to explore this lovely city.
After lunch, we descend upon the sweet town of Bra to take part in the incredible Bra Cheese Festival that happens only once every two years. This is a landmark event for foodie types. The festival attracts cheese makers from across the globe and gives local wineries ample space to showcase their elixirs. Walk, taste, shop, sip and smell to your heart’s content Dinner tonight is on your own, but you may be too full to indulge after a long day of nibbling and sipping.
Saturday, Sept. 21 - Arrivederci Asti | Benvenuto Como
Sadly, we bid farewell to Piemonte today but continue our quest of la dolce far niente ( the art of doing nothing) in glorious Lake Como for the second half of our adventure. Post breakfast, we will make the scenic two hour drive to the picturesque village of Moltrasio where breath-taking azure waters will soothe you soul and renew your spirit.
An early afternoon arrival will allow ample time to decompress or discover the grounds of our elegant resort and spa. Our hotel was designed for leisure and lounging and is beautifully situated for easy access to Moltrasio and the cities beyond. Your deluxe suite, in our ornately restored liberty-era manor, is adjacent to its world class spa, just in case you want to take your relaxation to the next level.
Dinner together tonight over-looking the largo (lake).
Sunday, Sept. 22 - A Day To Yourself
Italians take their days of rest very seriously, so why not spend today pampering yourself and creating an ideal day of self-care, centeredness, and restoration. Choose to spa, meditate, rest, read, hike or explore. Dinner tonight is on your own.
Monday, Sept. 23- Como, Como, Como
Gear up for a full day of exploring, bella donnas, as we embark on an immersive morning-to-night tour of Lake Como, its villas, gardens, shops and restaurants. We will be guided by a lovely Como native, photographer, and experienced art historian who will reveal the area’s the most intriguing locales, dazzle us with rich stories of the region and teach us a little Italian if we are lucky. Dinner on your own tonight.
Tuesday, Sept. 24 - Magnifico Milano
What would our trip be without ending our time together with a full-on art+fashion blowout of Milan. We will end the morning awestruck with a rare viewing of Da Vinci’s Last Supper. After lunch, we will make our way to the luxe Armani Hotel to begin a walking tour of Milan’s ultra-chic fashion district; ducking into private ateliers and shopping the best streets. We return to Moltrasio early in the evening for our very own ”last supper” and a final grappa before saying “alla prossima” (until next time!)
Wednesday, Sept. 25 - Ciao Bellas - Onward To Venezia!
Depart if you must, but why not continue La Dolce Vita and join us in Venice for a four day trip extension? You are already so close, right? We have a sultry, art focused tour designed around the famous Venice Biennale and enhanced with hush hush dining spots and pop-up experiences. Click here to see the magic and mysteries we have in store for you in this historic floating city.
La Dolce Vita
September 17 - 25, 2019
Maximum Guests: 7
Every Travel Sister tour is planned down to the most thoughtful detail, from meals to private tours and excursions. You will want for nothing. By the time you get home, you’ll feel like you have been away for a month.
Pre-trip planning: conference call “meet and greet” with fellow travelers 1-2 weeks to review trip checklist and answer any questions
Airport transfer from Turin to our hotel in Isola d'Asti
Luxury ground transportation: private driver + Mercedes Sprinter to take us to and from all Travel Sister activities in Piedmont
Local ground transportation: ferries and taxis in Lake Como / Milan
Accommodations: four nights in an exquisite Baroque villa hotel in Isola d’Asti overlooking the vineyards of the Monferrat countryside. Four nights in an elegant and serene five star resort and spa on Lake Como.
Activities: all activities described above and included in detailed itinerary
Meals: daily breakfast, plus drinks, lunches, and dinners listed above
Passport or visa fees
Travel or health insurance
Airport transfers not otherwise listed in inclusions
Local transportation outside of planned activities and not listed in final itinerary
Services/meals/alcohol not listed in final itinerary
All items of a personal nature
See our Terms of Service page for details on deposits, refunds, and more.
Most questions you may have about this trip can be found here or on our general FAQ’s page.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Get in touch!
Will I need to learn how to speak Italian?
It can’t hurt, but it’s not necessary! Most of the people we’ll meet along the way will speak English.
Where should I fly in?
We recommend flying into Turin. It is an hour by car or train to the town of Asti. Travel Sister will have transportation arranged to transfer us to our hotel in Isola D’Asti once the majority of guests have landed at Turin. If you flight is delayed, arrives outside a reasonable window, or you choose to fly into another airport (Milan) you will be required to arrange transport to the hotel at your own cost.
Where should I fly out?
If you choose to end your trip after Lake Como, we recommend flying out of the Milan airport. We will help you arrange for an airport transfer from our hotel in Moltrasio. Cost is not included in tour price.
Will Travel Sister help me with arranging independent activities and related ground transportation?Absolutely. Let us know your fancy and we will do our best to help you.
When do I get a full itinerary?
Please get in touch with us directly to learn the details about this trip. Once you submit your deposit, you’ll receive a full outline of the itinerary and we’ll get you scheduled for our pre-trip informational conference call for the entire group.
How much does the trip cost? Are refunds permitted?
Travels are priced based on meals, accommodations, activities, and can vary by location. See the pricing page and terms of service for all the details you need about prices, fees, deposits, and refunds.
What happens if there’s an incident on this trip? Do you provide insurance?
Our sisters in travel should read our liability waiver to have a full understanding of what every traveler is responsible for and what is/isn’t covered by Travel Sister.
Who will be my roomate? Can I get a private room?
Tour prices are based on double occupancy. If you are travelling with a companion , we will ask you to provide their name so we can place you together. If you are travelling solo we will place you with another travel sister. Alternatively, you may request your own room for a supplemental fee.
I have some dietary restrictions. Will I still be able to enjoy the culinary experiences?
We take your health and well-being very seriously. If you have any hesitations at all, please review our itinerary or get in touch and allow us to help you decide whether this is the trip for you.
Is it safe to travel to Italy?
We understand your concern, and suggest reading the following International Travel Advisory to have the latest information on where you’ll be going, and steps you can take to help you feel confident in departing for your upcoming adventure!
International Travel Advisory
Traveler is responsible for ensuring they have all the proper documents for transit or entry. All names on documents must match the legal name on your photo I.D., and travel document information must match transportation tickets. Please check the State Department website at http://travel.state.gov for further information.
Immunizations may also be required. Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list
Failure to comply with any of these regulations may result in denied boarding, denied entry, and/or government-imposed fines. If you are a citizen of another country, there may be additional requirements. Check with the nearest consulate or embassy of the destination you are traveling to and find out the entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens. Finally, U.S. Citizens should register all travels with the U.S. Embassy via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step/.