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  • Vineyards of Barolo and Brunello Touring Holiday

    Piemonte

    Castello di Velona

    Villa d'Amelia

    Villa d'Amelia

    Castello di Velona

    Vineyards of Barolo and Brunello Touring Holiday

    8 nights and 9 days
    This fly-drive tour of the Barolo and Brunello vineyards takes you through two of Italy’s most famous wine regions. Beginning in the verdant landscape of Piemonte between the blue waters of the Ligurian Riviera and the dramatic horizon of the Alps, and ending amidst the hilltop villages and warm climate of Tuscany, this holiday is one of vast diversity, drawn together by the exquisite taste of Italian wine.

    Click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Arrive in the Metropolitan City of Turin and begin this luxury touring holiday by collecting your hire car. Drive south to the small comune of Benevello in Piemonte, set just a short distance from the city of Alba, and the hilltop wine villages of La Morra, Barolo, and Monforte d’Alba. Your first hotel is the magenta Relais Villa d’Amelia overlooking the Monviso Alps. Spend three days exploring the fertile hills of Le Langhe, and sampling some of Italy’s finest red wines, Barolo included. Small villages cluster around the peaks of these hills, each with their own quaint castles that speak back to medieval Italy. The journey between these two hotels takes you first through Asti, past its austere cathedral, then through Alessandria, and its magnificent central citadel and surrounding flower-shaped gardens. You meet the Ligurian Coast at Genoa, where you might wish to stop off to buy some of the famous Genoan lace, and then continue down through the quaint seaside fishing village of Rapallo. Stop off at Pisa to visit the famous Torre Pendente, before continuing south and turning inland at Follonica. The Castello Banfi il Borgo, your second hotel, sits just outside Montalcino, the home of Brunello di Montalcino, another of Italy’s most famous red wines. Spend your final days in Italy exploring the legacy of the Brunello, or ‘little dark grape’, and the picturesque historic Tuscan villages. Navigate the winding streets of stone houses with terracotta roofs and bask in the beautiful views and eternal sunshine. Catch your return flight on your ninth day from Pisa to London Gatwick, after returning your hire car.

    if you are particularly interested in exploring the wines of these regions, why not join one of our wine tours for small groups of up to 14 people? We offer you wine tours of Tuscany, Piemonte and Sicily.

    PRICES
    Prices start at about £2,570 per person.

    What’s Included in this Touring Holiday:

    • 4 nights bed and breakfast in a Superior Room at the Villa d’Amelia, Benevello
    • 4 nights bed and breakfast in a Castle Junior Suite at the Castello Banfi il Borgo, Montalcino
    • Group B car hire for the duration of the holiday
    • British Airways flights from Gatwick to Turin, and Pisa to Gatwick.

    Click the tabs above to view our suggested day-by-day touring itinerary and to find out more about the hotels featured.
    Click here to find out more about how our touring holidays work or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Vineyard of Barolo and Brunello touring holiday

    Day-by-day itinerary

    DAYS ONE TO FOUR
    Arrive in Turin and drive to Benevello, where you will spend four nights

    After your arrival, collect your hire car and drive south to Benevello. You may wish to spend a few hours in Turin before driving on, strolling around the historic streets, climbing the Mole Antonelliana, or visiting the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, home of the Shroud of Turin. The rural getaway of Villa d’Amelia awaits you on its enviable hilltop position over the undulating countryside below, that sometimes, in the morning and evenings, is cloaked with an atmospheric mist. The rooms and suites are tastefully decorated in minimalist colours, providing the perfect place for quiet relaxation at the end of the day. In the evenings, dine in one of the two restaurants: either the more informal venue, or the Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves the best Piedmontese dishes prepared by Chef Damiano Nigro. During the day, drive out into the surrounding countryside to track down some of the famous wine villages. Montegrosso is the prime producer of Barbera wine, while Costigliole d’Asti and Canelli are famous for Asti Spumante. Hilltop La Morra is the home of the Abbey of the Annunciation, now converted into the brilliant Ratti Wine Museum. The villages of Barbaresco, Verduno, and Serralunga d’Alba are also worth visiting for their ambience and architectural heritage. Barolo, the focus of this tour stop, produces some of Italy’s most sought-after red wines, recognisable for being particularly full-bodied and dark in colour. The 16th century Castello Falletti has been converted into a wine museum and enoteca from which the Barolo wine can be tasted. The large town of Alba is also worth a visit, characterised by its austere medieval feel, narrow winding alleyways and tall red brick towers. The work of the Alba-born painter, Macrino’s ‘Vergine Incoronata’ hangs in the council chamber of the Palazzo Comunale. South of Alba is the Grinzane di Cavour castle. Still a meeting point for the ‘Order of the Knights of the Truffles and Wines of Alba’, it also holds a restaurant and museum with exhibits about wine-making, folk traditions, and its most famous former resident, Count Camillo Cavour. Finally, visit the small medieval hilltop town of Monforte d’Alba, with its neo-Gothic church, Scarampi Palace that utilises the walls of the old medieval castle, and open-air auditorium which doubles as a central square. Monforte d’Alba is also recognised as an ideal place to try some more of the Barolo wines, the locally harvested white truffles, or other wines specific to the area, such as Barbera d’Alba, Dolcetto d’Alba, and Nebbiolo d’Alba. At the end of each day, return to the Villa d’Amelia, with its delicious food and welcoming hospitality.

    DAYS FIVE TO EIGHT
    Drive south along the coast to Montalcino, where you will spend four nights
    A longer route than that which is suggested above takes you inland through Bologna and Florence on your way to Montalcino. You may wish to take this route in order to stop off at these cultural cities, for a light lunch under the arcades of Bologna’s central square, or to visit Michelangelo’s ‘David’ in the Accademia in Florence. Your destination, Montalcino, will be visible for miles upon your approach, rising high on the hilly landscape in true Tuscan fashion. Its fortified external walls ensure that the town retains its regal impression, with a turreted castle that forms the peak of the comune. Montalcino gets most of its modern-day fame from its production of Brunello di Montalcino wine, which will play a key part in your enjoyment of the area. Known for its depth and range of flavour, this wine subtly mingles spice with raisins, cedar, earth, leather, and a hint of cherry from its Sangiovese grape origins. Possibly the best place to taste this wine is at the Fortezza di Montalcino, a fortress with steep steps that lead up to the most magnificent views over the medieval settlement and its extensive surrounding countryside, that also houses an excellent wine bar and shop. Other vineyards and estates smatter the landscape, with many small wine-tours and tasting experiences available in establishments such as the traditional Podere il Cocco, the quaint Mate Winery, the chic Agricola Tenuta Poggio Rubino, or the secluded Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona, with its resident Czechoslovakian wolves. Many of these wineries also have restaurants that serve exquisite food; perhaps dine in the glass-walled room at the Agricola Tenuta Poggio Rubino that accompanies the wine cellar and vineyards. Break up your exploration of the Brunello wines by visiting a few places of historical interest in the area. The Abbazia di Sant’Antimo, for example, still hosts a traditional Gregorian Chant Mass on a Sunday morning, which promises to be a very atmospheric and moving event, as well as regular prayer twice a day. Stay in the monastery after the service has finished to appreciate the historic buildings at their most peaceful. The Castello Romitorio, though also available for a vineyard tour and wine-tasting session, is also a highly interesting art gallery. All of this is housed in a restored 12th century farmhouse and fortress, giving the whole combined experience a dramatic twist. Walk up to the Chiesa della Madonna’s looming white façade to see its beautiful views across Tuscany. Consider also visiting Siena, long-standing rival of Florence. Siena’s winding streets and many squares bear testament to its competitive ambition. The archway in the Piazza del Duomo, for example, is the only section of the cathedral expansion that was built; the square itself was initially intended to be the cathedral’s interior. Or drive out to see the many towers of San Gimignano, the dark narrow alleyways of Volterra, or the hilltop walled hamlet of Monteriggioni. In the evenings, return to your hotel, the Castello Banfi il Borgo, situated within a prestigious 7,100- acre estate with pretty gardens and a swimming pool that enjoys views over the nearby countryside.

    DAY NINE
    Return to the UK from Pisa
    On your final day in Italy, make the most of the comforts of your hotel and its facilities, before driving into Pisa for your return flight. You may wish to spend an hour or so looking round Pisa before heading to the airport, just to make the most of this opportunity.

    Driving times for this touring holiday:
    Turin to Benevello: 1 hour 30 minutes
    Benevello to Montalcino: 5 hours 15 minutes
    Montalcino to Pisa: 2 hours 20 minutes

    Click the 'Hotel Information' tab to find out more about the hotels featured in this touring itinerary or click here to download a pdf with information about some of our suggested Italian touring holidays.

    Barolo and Brunello

    Hotel Information

    These are the charming and historic hotels that are featured in this touring holiday of the Barolo and Brunello vineyards. Alternative hotels are available in some destinations - please contact us for full details.

    Villa d’Amelia
    Benevello, Piemonte
    Nestled amongst 7 acres of Piemonte’s hazelnut groves and parkland, the four-star Relais Villa d’Amelia is a charming renovation of an 18th Century estate. The hotel’s traditional magenta exterior is typical of the region and, although situated less than a kilometre from the quaint village of Benevello, Relais Villa d’Amelia offers a sense of seclusion and tranquillity with its breath-taking views of the Monviso Alps. In its transformation from estate to hotel, the hotel has not lost its traditional features with exposed beams and tiled floors in communal areas, blended with contemporary furnishings and amenities. The hotel’s 37 rooms and suites have marble bathrooms and are individually decorated maintaining warm, yet neutral colours with charcoal accents throughout. Four-poster king beds in a stylised design can be found in most suites offering perfect accommodation for couples, whilst family sleeping solutions may be found with superior rooms which interconnect and offer a choice of king or twin beds. The hotel creates an inviting balance between the old and new, bringing wellbeing to the forefront of its design. The hotel’s Wellness Centre has a fitness area, Turkish bath, Finnish Sauna and whirlpool where guests can see views of the Alps. The outdoor swimming pool is heated, making it available for use later in the year and walking paths and mountain bike routes surround. Having built up an appetite, guests will find gastronomic bliss in the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant which serves modern interpretations of local cuisine, from seafood to locally grown vegetables and herbs. The bistro restaurant alternately offers a light and refreshing menu and the bar offers a taste of the region through local wines and cocktails. From the boarders of Relais Villa d’Amelia’s extensive gardens, guests can easily reach the nearby town of Alba, known for its mediaeval towers, museums and art galleries, search for white truffles in autumn, or wander through Piemonte’s wine cellars.
    Find out more here.

    Castello Banfi il Borgo
    Near Montalcino, Tuscany
    Situated just south of the lovely Tuscan town of Montalcino, near the Val D’Orcia Natural Park, the Castello Banfi il Borgo is situated amidst the gently-rolling Siennese hills. Comprising of houses built outside the walls of medieval Castello Banfi, the hotel offers spacious and characterful accommodation. The buildings themselves date back to the 17th and 18th centuries and offer just 14 rooms, which give the hotel a real sense of intimacy and paint the picture of a classic private estate. All rooms have been individually appointed and maintain traditional features such as vaulted ceilings, terracotta floors and draped headboards. The unique colour schemes are used to compliment the curated art work that features on the walls in the rooms. Guests can enjoy cookery classes and the hotel’s own winery which reflect the influence of fresh local produce at Castello Banfi il Borgo. This is something that is also exemplified in the traditional cuisine produced at the hotels two restaurants, La Taverna and Sala dei Grappoli, which offer elegant and refined dining experiences. Set within a 7,100- acre estate with its own private gardens that include a pergola, courtyard and river guests can truly enjoy the tranquillity of the Tuscan landscape. The swimming pool, on the west-side of the castle claims striking views over the rolling hills, perfect for enjoying sunset drinks. If you can tear yourself away from this beautiful hotel, then there are numerous places to visit nearby; from Montalcino and Montepulciano to Siena and San Gimignano. Brunello di Montalcino wine and olive oil are produced nearby and it is possible to indulge in a tasting experience.
    Find out more here.

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