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  • Gourmet food and wine tasting holiday in Franciacorta

    Hotel L'Albereta

    VistaLago Bistro Terrace

    Hotel L'Albereta exteriors

    Chef's table at LeoneFelice Restaurant

    Views over Lake Iseo

    LeoneFelice Restaurant

    LeoneFelice Restaurant's Executive Chef

    Wine at Hotel L'Albereta

    Cuisine at Hotel L'Albereta

    Superior Room at Hotel L'Albereta

    Gourmet food and wine tasting holiday in Franciacorta

    This five night food and wine holiday in Northern Italy is based at Hotel L’Albereta, a charming and luxurious hotel near the shores of Lake Iseo in Lombardy. Sample the sparkling wines of the Franciacorta wine district against the dramatic backdrop of the Italian Alps, taste locally produced olive oil, and learn the methods for cooking traditional Italian pasta from professional chefs. This holiday is available throughout the year and includes flights to Milan and a hire-car, allowing visitors to explore the surrounding region and the nearby Italian Lakes at leisure.

    Highlights of this food and wine holiday

    This five-night food and wine holiday in the Franciacorta wine region of northern Italy is available on the dates of your choice and includes the following experiences, all of which take place at or near Hotel L’Albereta
    • One 4-course seasonal dinner with wine, water and coffee included
    • 45 minute tasting session of 3 Franciacorta sparkling wines (Bellavista Satén, Pas Operé, Almaterra) at the hotel, served with finger food.
    • Tasting session of 3 Curtefranca still wines at the Bellavista winery (Convento della Santissima Annunciata, Uccellanda, Almaterra) The winery is located only 1.5km from Hotel L’Albereta, and is easily accessible by car or on foot.
    • Ninety minute cookery lesson where guests learn to cook two Italian dishes (Pasta Cacio e Pepe and Pizzaiola Fassona Beef fillet) followed by lunch of dishes they have created, dessert, water, bottle of wine and coffee.
    Prices from £1445 per person including flights, car-hire, bed and breakfast accommodation and the experiences mentioned above.

    Your food and wine holiday

    Begin your culinary retreat in Milan, where your flight from London arrives. From here, collect your hire car and drive east towards the Italian Lakes and the Hotel L’Albereta near Erbusco. The charm of the property is evident upon approach, with its Juliet balconies, leaf-covered façade, and terracotta roof. Its verdant exterior reflects the cosy sophistication of the suites and public rooms.

    Your five-night stay at Hotel L’Albereta will ensure you leave with the delicate flavours of Northern Italy still on your tongue.
    There is plenty of time to discover the local produce found in the surrounding area, such as the sardines caught on the island of Monte Isola in Lake Iseo, which can be bought in the Soardi family shop. Dine in the garden or on the veranda of the island town's La Foresta Restaurant, and taste the variety of fresh fish caught in the lake before sailing back to the mainland on one of the regular ferries.
    Plan your visit to Lake Iseo for after the olive harvest in October to make the most of a visit to Azienda Agricola Leonardo, a farm around 30 minutes' drive from Hotel L'Albereta. Take a sample of the oil made from the hand-picked olives, or a selection of the oil-based cosmetic products as a memento.
    Wander just under a mile to the abundant vineyards of the Bellavista Winery, where you taste three still Curtefranca wines which are all made with Chardonnay grapes. The winery boasts 190 hectares of vineyards, all located within the Franciacorta wine region, and produces a variety of still and sparkling wines. Franciacorta sparkling wines are known as being comparable to Champagne, and are produced from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes using traditional methods.
    At the end of your day, the Henri Chenot Spa facility is at your disposal, as well as the contemporary and traditional blend of flavours at the Leonefelice restaurant, served up by Chef Fabbio Abbattista. On the evening of your choice, enjoy a four-course dinner which consists of seasonal dishes from the local area and includes a bottle of Franciacorta sparkling wine as well as coffee.
    At the hotel, indulge yourself in a tasting experience of three of the best Franciacorta sparkling wines which are accompanied by finger food. A number of local wines are available to buy at the hotel's shop, including a Chardonnay that is produced using the Albereta's own grapes.
    Also included at the hotel is a cookery lesson, where guests learn to cook two popular dishes: Pasta Cacio e Pepe and Pizzaiola Fassona Beef fillet. This ninety minute lesson is led by an experienced chef and is followed by lunch including dessert, wine and coffee.

    On your last few days by Lake Iseo, drive out into the varied and imposing scenery that has provided a glorious setting for your exploration so far, to discover what historical and cultural secrets await. The old town of Iseo beckons, with its medieval town centre and outlying ancient ruins of a pile-dwelling civilisation in the peat bogs. Explore the austere 12th century Pieve di Sant’ Andrea, with its Romanesque bell tower and beautifully painted interior, or the 11th century Castello Oldofredi, now converted into a cultural centre. The church of Santa Maria del Mercato houses important frescoes from the 14th to 18th centuries, while the church of San Silvestro and the baptistery of San Giovanni are also both worth a visit. Iseo’s own gastronomic tradition has been built around the exquisite local freshwater fish. The Clusane quarter in particular specialises in the Tench, or ‘doctor fish,’ which even has an annual festival dedicated to it.
    Erbusco, the nearest settlement to the Hotel L’Albereta is one of the main centres of Franciacorta wine production, being as it is the headquarters of the Consortium for the Protection of Franciacorta Wines. Alongside its reputation for excellent wine, Erbusco, though small, is rich with its own personal history, and its more modern streets are contrasted wonderfully with a number of prehistoric and Roman ruins. The Villa Lechi, built between the 16th and 17th centuries, is reputedly one of the most spectacular villas in the region, though Erbusco has been popular with Brescian nobility since the 15th century. The distinctive silhouette of the villa and its ample loggias have become somewhat iconic for the town, as unique and recognisable as they are. The picturesque old town centre is the site of the old castle, now the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta. This church is one of the finest examples of the Lombard Romanesque style, notably decorated with 15th century frescoes.
    Spend time exploring the ruins, churches, and monasteries that line the banks of Lake Iseo, as well as enjoying the countryside, by bike, on foot, or perhaps on a caving expedition. Your short stay in Lombardy can be extended to allow more time for the avid explorer to get in touch with the lifestyle and history. This holiday, however, aims to tantalise the taste-buds as well as the imagination, scratching the surface of the culture of the northern Italian lakes.

    Recommendations for visits in the local area:
    • Azienda Agricola Leonardo for olive oil tasting
    • Bellavista winery for Curtefranca tasting
    • Pieve di Sant’ Andrea, Iseo
    • Castello Oldofredi, Iseo
    • The Church of Santa Maria del Mercato, Iseo
    • The Church of San Silvestro, Iseo
    • Villa Lechi, Erbusco
    • Roman ruins, Erbusco
    • The Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Erbusco
    Entrance fees not included in the price of the holiday.

    What’s included:
    • British Airways flights from London Heathrow to Milan Linate
    • Group A hire-car for the duration of stay
    • 5 nights' bed and breakfast at the Hotel L’Albereta, based on two people sharing a Classic Double room 
    • One 4-course seasonal dinner with wine, water and coffee included
    • 45 minute tasting session of 3 Franciacorta sparkling wines (Bellavista Satén, Pas Operé, Almaterra) at the hotel, served with finger food.
    • Tasting session of 3 Curtefranca still wines at the Bellavista winery (Convento della Santissima Annunciata, Uccellanda, Almaterra) The winery is located only 1.5km from Hotel L’Albereta, and is easily accessible by car or on foot.
    • Ninety minute cookery lesson where guests learn to cook two Italian dishes (Pasta Cacio e Pepe and Pizzaiola Fassona Beef fillet) followed by lunch of dishes they have created, dessert, water, bottle of wine and coffee.

    Dates for this holiday
    This holiday operates on any date of your choice, subject to hotel/flight availability at the time of booking. Additional nights here and at any of our other hotels can be arranged.

    Prices
    £1445 per person when sharing a Classic Double Room with hire car for stays from 17 January to 17 March and from 2 November to 26 December. Price includes special offer for 5 night stays.
    Supplements: £55 per person for a Superior Double Room, £160 per person for a Deluxe Double Room.

    £1520 per person when sharing a Classic Double Room with hire car for stays from 18 March to 24 April and from 1 July to 31 August. Price includes special offer for 5 night stays.
    Supplements: £80 per person for a Superior Double Room, £195 per person for a Deluxe Double Room.

    £1570 per person when sharing a Classic Double Room with hire car for stays from 25 April to 30 June and from 1 September to 1 November.
    Supplements: £205 per person for a Superior Double Room, £360 per person for a Deluxe Double Room.

    Supplement for private transfers instead of hire car: £280 for all dates
    Upgrades for Club Europe available on request.

    Special offers
    The hotel offers a 25% reduction off 5-nights stays between 17 January - 24 April, 1 July - 31 August, and 2 November and 26 December 2016.

    To book this holiday
    Deposit payment of £300 per person. Please call us on 01392 441275.


    Where you stay

    Hotel L'Albereta, Lake Iseo
    An enchanting hotel set amongst the rolling hills of Franciacorta, the Hotel L’Albereta is the perfect setting for a stay of pure indulgence. The building’s charm and history is evident in the terracotta roofing, Juliet balconies, and leaf-covered façade. The ambient grounds and manicured lawns exude the air of authentic Italy, while the countryside that extends beyond is characterised by a glacier-formed valley and the dynamic peaks around Lake Iseo. The hotel has two restaurants, the VistaLago Bistro and the LeoneFelice Restaurant. In the latter, Chef Fabio Abbattista combines traditional and contemporary flavours using the hotel’s own produce. The 38 rooms all achieve effortless elegance and boutique distinction, and open-fireplaces forge intimacy, while quality furnishing promote excellent sleep. The Henri Chenot Spa ensures that relaxation and luxury is this hotel’s top priority.
    Find out more about Hotel L'Albereta


    Travel arrangements

    Flights
    British Airways flies direct from London Heathrow to Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate several times a day. We include economy but can offer you advantageous upgrade fares for Club Europe.
    There are direct flights from regional airports with Easyjet (from Edinburgh, Glasgow, London Gatwick, Luton and Manchester for example), with Flybe (from Birmingham, Cardiff and Manchester) and with BMI from Bristol. Connecting flights can be organised with British Airways through London Heathrow.
    Local transport
    We recommend the use of a hire-car for this holiday because of the flexibility it gives you to get out and about and explore the region. We include a basic group A car with Avis, for example a Peugeot 107, but a variety of upgraded cars are possible at a supplement of about £30 a day for an Alfa Giulietta 2.0, about £35 a day for a VW Golf automatic or about £45 a day for an Audi A4.
    If you do not want to use a hire-car, it will restrict what you can do from the hotel, but if you prefer we can arrange for you to have a private car transfer whereby you are met at the airport and taken to the hotel in a Mercedes car.
    Other means of getting to Italy
    This holiday can be reached by car from the UK with a night or two in France en route if you want and we can suggest and make those overnight arrangements for you. This holiday can also be done by train from the UK: Eurostar to Paris and then either overnight sleeper train to Milan Central or a daytime train, perhaps with a stop in Paris or the Swiss cities of Geneva, Lausanne or Lucerne for a few examples. From Milan we would recommend a hire-car.


    Hotel L Albereta food and wine holiday
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