From: July 19, 2020
To: July 25, 2020
Day 1, July 19, Sunday
A private coach will meet you at Malpensa Airport – it is scheduled with the arrivals of Norwegian and SAS respectively. The coach will depart from the airport around 14.00. A pleasant drive takes you through Lombardia into Piemonte – to Asti. Here you check into Cascina Desderi, wonderfully located on a hilltop just outside the wine capital of Asti. The farm offers sweeping vistas of mountains, valleys and vineyards. An arrival snack with Desderi wines is served this afternoon.
Enjoy the lush surroundings; the garden, terraces and the pool. This evening, a Welcome to Desderi-dinner is served under the portico – all dishes accompanied by the farm’s own wines.
Arrival snack & Welcome dinner
Day 2, July 20, Monday
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast outside – with a mixture of delicacies from Italia and Norway. Make this first day at Cascina Desderi “un giorno non fare niente” – a day where you do not do anything, as there is no program planned. What is planned, however, is a sumptuous lunch buffet with Italian coldcuts and various warm dishes. Enjoy the garden, terraces and the pool or take a walk between the vines in the vineyard. No dinner is included today, but the chef at the farm is always ready to prepare some small or large dishes.
Breakfast & Lunch Buffet
Day 3, July 21, Tuesday
Today offers an excursion in the region of Piemonte “a journey in the realm of Wine and Savoia”. First we cross through Asti from east to west. On small country roads we drive alongside the river Po, through rolling hills and rustic villages towards Torino. This majestic city is the former capital of Italia – from where the Savoia dynasty ruled Italia for hundreds of years.
The mountain range Alpes Maritimes is visible west of the city, while the summit of Superga is towering above the city center. The summit offers fantastic vistas of Torino. We pay a visit to the chapel and its famous bar (!) – this is also holy ground for the Savoia family as most of their royal ancestors have their sepulchres here.
After a refreshment in the «Chapel Bar» we start our descent to Torino. We cross the Po River – and drive along the embankments to the elegant centro of the city, to “Via Roma”. From here most major sights are within walking distance: Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Madama and the famous Torino Duomo. Lunch is served in one of the sophisticated arcades, in a restaurant appropriately called Ristorante Arcadia. Time for shopping along Via Roma after lunch, then we return to Cascina Desderi. As the lunch today is a sumptuous one, no dinner is planned for this evening.
Breakfast & Lunch
Day 4 July 22, Wednesday
If you are in dire need of a cup of coffee early in the morning, this will be served on the terrace today – as brunch is being served somewhat later. The brunch of course includes a Mimosa… It is time for relaxation, reflections and carpe diem before we head into the countryside to experience a “Journey in the realm of Wine and Savoias”. Our first visit is to the impressive Gothic cathedral of Asti; Santa Maria Assunta. We proceed on narrow country roads to the hilltop village of Govone – boasting a proud palazzo, once the property of the Savoia family. From here we descend to the Valley of Tanaro and start a new ascent to the village of Barbaresco – resting on the edge of a cliff with sweeping vistas of the Tanaro Valley. Before entering the enchanting Barolo wine district, we make a stop in Alba – conveniently located in an enclave between Barolo, Barbaresco and Langhe. On our way to Barolo, we are in the heart of the wine
country with the famous 11 Barolo wine villages surrounding us. After a tour of the cantina of Marchesi di Barolo, we are invited into the dining room where dinner is served – five dishes accompanied with four excellent wines. While relishing this five courses “cena” we taste a white Arneis wine, a red Barbera d’Alba and to top it off; a vintage Barolo made from Nebbiolo. The dolce is of course served with Asti Spumante. On our way back to the farm, we listen to the smooth voice of Andrea Bocelli. Buona notte!
Brunch & Barolo-dinner.
Day 5, July 23, Thursday
After a leisurely breakfast al fresco, enjoy another “giorno non fare niente” – of if you prefer to fill the day with something, take a tour to Asti – only a short taxi ride away.
As you have already experienced the old town and the cathedral, maybe now is the time
to do some serious shopping along Corso Alfieri? Lunch in town – but not too much…
This evening a wine maker’s dinner is served at the farm. There will be starters, appetizers and soup followed by pasta, main course and dolce. And the vintners will find some spectacular vintages for this last dinner at Cascina Desderi.
Breakfast & Wine maker’s dinner.
Day 6, July 24, Friday
Today we are heading south. If the group is small, we travel to Pisa by train and taxi – if the group is sufficiently large – we will travel by coach all the way to Pisa. Regardless if bus or train will be our means of transportation, we will experience a scenic ride through Liguria into Tuscany. We drive along the serene Mediterranean Sea before turning inland to Pisa on the Arno river. Here we check into our conveniently located hotel, just across the piazza from the railway station. We grab a pizza at the railway station, before walking the 20 minutes it takes us to reach the Tower of Pisa – the leaning one! We return to the hotel to freshen up as we are leaving for Lajatico around six o’clock. Like so many other Tuscan villages, Lajatico is a hilltop village, this village has, however, a world-famous citizen; Andrea Bocelli – whom we are here to experience in a unique concert this evening. The venue is Teatro del Silenzio where Andrea will host only one concerts the summer of 2020; on this Friday July 24!
In the rustic village of Peccioli we enjoy dinner at Pasticceria Ferritti, before attending the concert at 20.30. Here we enjoy a typical Tuscan dinner before driving the short distance to Teatro del Silencio to get seated for the concert with the world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli. We inhale the sweet scent of the Tuscan night while listening to the smooth voice of Andrea – and maybe also of one of his sons. The concert is over before midnight, then we head back to Pisa where we estimate to arrive somewhat after midnight. Sweet dreams while the alluring tones of Andrea still is humming in our heads. Buona notte!
Breakfast & Dinner.
Day 7, July 25, Saturday
After breakfast at the hotel, it is up to each guest to choose the remains of the day – if you want to explore Tuscany or see more of the country, as we really are in the very heart of Italia. If you plan to fly back to Norway, Norwegian flies from Pisa airport this afternoon. The airport shuttle departs conveniently from our hotel. If you wish to see more of Piemonte and relax at Cascina Desderi, then you can return to Asti with Roald and Trond. Whatever you do; make it a “carpe diem” experience!
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