Visit 3 of the best Food Regions in Italy when you go on Wine Lovers Travel Circle of Flavors trip. We know the Italians love their food because it represents their culture as a way to socialize. We totally get that at Wine Lovers Travel. The goal of our unique tour through the Best Food Regions in Italy is to bring together great people, food and wine!
We offer a custom itinerary through the Circle of Flavors to delight your culinary senses.

The tour through The Circle of Flavors takes you to three “off the beaten path” food regions in Italy, all rich in culinary tradition. Piemonte (or Piedmont, as we Americans have re-named it), Liguria, and Emilia Romagna regions have their own flavor and style. Each delicious dish you try will bring new meaning to your concept of Italian food.

In addition to food that will delight your senses, these regions produce a wide array of tasty wines that pair well with their culinary creations. After you have traveled the Circle of Flavors, you will have a new understanding of Italian culture.

What’s better than getting to experience 3 of the Best food regions in Italy? We think it’s best experienced with amazing wine and beautiful countryside. All in all, this is a trip worthy of a wine loving curious traveler.

In other words, YOU!

In this blog post, you’ll find an answer to many questions you may have about a trip to the 3 of the Best Food Regions in Italy. Our goal is to share the most authentic aspects of the region, using the lens of wine and food. We want you to feel like a welcomed guest on each tour. If you want to feel like a welcomed guest while enjoying amazing food and wine, then read on.

What To Expect From Circle of Flavors
A food and wine tour of Piedmont, Liguria, and Emilia-Romagna will take you off the beaten path. You will discover remarkable places in these three best food regions in Italy you would not likely find on your own. This tour was created by the team at Wine Lovers Travel to showcase authentic Italian dishes paired with local wine.

Wine and Food Travel Specifics
Our 12- day/11- night journey starts and ends in Milan. Milan’s Malpensa Airport is easily accessed from almost everywhere. As soon as you land at Milano Malpensa, you can leave all your worries behind because all of your other details have been arranged!

You’ll be met at the airport by one of Wine Lovers Travel’s drivers who will take you to the area of the Langhe hills in the Piedmont region. Upon arrival, you’ll check into the charming accommodation chosen by Wine Lovers Travel and have some free time to relax and settle in. Then, get ready for your first Italian dinner at one of our favorite Osterias.

The next 11 days will be filled with unique and personal experiences. In addition to all the food and wine you’ll enjoy cooking, hiking, and even some foraging!

At the end of the tour, you will return to Malpensa with a private transfer. All you have to do is relax, have fun, and be open to new experiences.

What is Piemonte Known For?
If you’ve been to Italy before, you are likely to have focused on the Big 3—Rome, Florence, and Venice. Maybe you’ve been to Tuscany for your “Under the Tuscan Sun” moment. But did you know that there are 17 other regions, each with its own personality?

To truly appreciate the diversity of Italy, it is ideal to spend time in the lesser-known regions, and that’s why starting in Piemonte is ideal. You may not be aware of the cultural importance of Piemonte, although you probably know its wines.

Bubbles and boldness
Piemonte has a long history of producing wine, especially reds and “spumante,” which is a sparkling wine somewhat similar to Champagne. That said, one of the most iconic Piedmontese wines comes from the Nebbiolo grape, which is indigenous to the region. The Nebbiolo vines produce Barolo and Barbaresco, both dry reds known for their intense aroma and bold taste. They are two of the most popular and most loved wines around the globe.

As you journey through the vineyards, you’ll notice how most of Piemonte vines are all on the hillsides within a 9- mile radius from the city of Alba. On your Italian trip, you’ll have the unique opportunity to view the breathtaking landscape and learn about the history of Barolo and winemaking.

Wine and Food in Piemonte
On your tour you will taste wine from a family-run wine cellar in the Barbaresco area, comparing it to Barolo. Is there a better combo than wine and cheese? You will also visit a traditional cheese producer and learn about all processes involved with non-industrial cheese production. This excursion will give you a pure sense of rural life in Italy.

While you are in Piemonte, you’ll also enjoy a cooking class in the hills with a spectacular view. Bonus, you get to eat what you cook. Even if you’re a novice cook, we promise you’ll be delighted with your creation.

We also promised you a foraging experience, and what better to forage than truffles? You may know and love the delicious and precious truffle, but probably not how to find it in the woods. While in Piemonte, you will go on a truffle-hunting excursion with truffle-hunters and their dogs. The specially-trained hounds will sniff out the truffles, and then you get to carefully pull them from the earth. We will return to the truffle hunter’s house and enjoy lunch with our finds, accompanied by another local wine, Roero.

Liguria: a tiny region full of discoveries
After three gratifying days in Piemonte, you’ll transfer to Liguria, which is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive away. This region, known as the Italian Riviera. It is centered around fishing and beautiful scenery and is home to some of the most iconic places in Italy. Portofino, Cinque Terre, and Santa Margherita Ligure are all in the Liguria region. On the tour you get to visit Liguria like a local.

Colorful Villages in Liguria
Throughout Liguria you’ll see the typical villages, with the traditional colorful houses, often clinging to the hillsides. Just past the houses are the pebble beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. The food in Liguria is just as different as the change in landscape.

In Rapallo, you’ll sample unique aperitivos among the narrow alleys of the old town. If you are not familiar with the cultural ritual of the aperitivo, a before-dinner drink, you’ll wonder why you never tried these before. At five stops around the town, you’ll taste diverse Ligurian delicacies paired with artisanal wines.

Another highlight of your trip will be the visit to Portofino. It is the bay-hugging town known as being a magnet for the rich and famous. You’ll arrive at this charming town by boat giving you the opportunity to fully view the panorama. Take time to explore the slopes of the Portofino Mountain and visit a local olive farm in a breathtaking location where you can see the whole Gulf of Portofino.

After Portofino, you’ll visit Cinque Terre, which houses five unique villages set in the most dramatic coastal scenery in the world. Cinque Terre is only accessible by boat, train or a footpath that connects all five. In these villages you will find pristine beaches, perfectly conserved traditional architecture, labyrinthian alleyways, and stunning views. It is likely that you will never want to leave this unique group of Italian villages.

Our private guide will take you to Monterosso (the largest village), where you’ll enter a beautiful wine estate for lunch with local specialties and wines. After lunch you can continue walking the path to Vernazza and Manarola.

The City of Pesto
Your trip to Liguria wouldn’t be complete without a visit to its main city of Genova (or Genoa, as we know it), where a local guide will explain the fascinating medieval history of this Italian harbor. Since walking is sure to make you hungry, Genova is the perfect place to try the region’s most famous sauce.

Your experience begins with an apron, because you’re going to cook. You will learn how to combine basil leaves with local olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese in the traditional way to create an emerald green wonder. Even if you think you’ve had amazing pesto at home, there is absolutely nothing that compares to the pesto in Liguria. Who knows? Maybe it’s the water? Whatever the case, you’ll enjoy your creation with a pasta lunch and local wine.

On your last day in Liguria, you’ll visit Sestri Levante, another splendid village on the Italian Riviera. You’ll enjoy a guided tour of the town, led by a local. After you put your apron back on it will be time to learn how to make focaccia bread. Accompanying your fresh focaccia will be a special spumante wine that has been aged underwater.

The Amazing Flavors of Emilia-Romagna
By now, you surely realize how different each region of Italy is. But wait, there’s more!

Emilia-Romagna awaits!

Your accommodations in Emilia-Romagna are in an ancient castle built on the ruins of an old Roman settlement and nested in the hills of Parma. If the town name is familiar, it’s because this is the home of Parmesan cheese, not to mention Prosciutto di Parma. In Emilia Romagna, you’ll enjoy a delicious cooking class where you’ll learn to prepare some of the most iconic recipes of the region.

There are reasons why Emilia-Romagna is known as the Italian Food Valley and you’ll soon find out why. You’ll be visiting a cheese producer to find out what is so special about Parmiggiano Reggiano. You’ll see the dairy where milk transforms into Parmiggiano without chemical additives, but you’ll also learn to distinguish the various maturations with a parmigiano cheese tasting guided by an expert.

You’ll also visit the farm where Prosciutto di Parma was born and find out why it is the gold standard of cured Italian meats. This food tour includes local wine tasting and a local guide to explain the history of this region.

Your day in Emilia-Romagna will end with a visit to a traditional acetaia, a vintage factory that produces the “black nectar” of balsamic vinegar. You’ll learn how to make Aceto Balsamico (balsamic vinegar) and the importance of aging it.

After a day full of eating and drinking, we’ll dedicate your last day in Emilia Romagna to history and art. A local guide will share some fascinating anecdotes, such as why the violet is the flower symbol of Parma. Lest you get hungry, you’ll be stopping at a shop to taste candied violets, the local delicacy. During the day, you’ll also visit the hidden gem of Fontanellato and its enchanting Rocca di San Vitale, a castle complete with a moat.

Ciao…but not without making plans to return
On the final day of your trip, you’ll leave Parma for Belgirate (a lovely town on Lake Maggiore and close to Malpensa airport) After completing your tour of the 3 Best Food Regions in Italy, you will be enthralled with all the flavors of Italy. Wine Lovers Travel takes pride in making each tour an exceptional experience for our small groups as well as the winery owners.If you love wine and travel, connect with us to learn about upcoming trips. We would love to work with you in creating an exceptional wine tour! Check out current trips booking now for all the trips coming up in 2022 and beyond.