picnic

In the area around Villa La Madonna, there is a lot to discover and visit. We would be happy to help arrange a programme with destinations suited to your particular taste and interest. Here you can find fantastic small villages where time has stood still as well as roads that meander among the wine hills with enchanting views. On a clear day, you can see the Alps on the horizon, strikingly beautiful! There are many restaurants in the region that have been kept in the family for generations. Most offer great culinary experiences and have Slow Food as their leading light. Here you can eat dish after dish as the hours pass by. We would be pleased to give you tips about our favourites. Or, why not order a picnic basket from us to enjoy the italian countryside.

Vineyards in Barolo

Most people who come to Piedmont are interested in the world-famous wine district of Barolo, which is only a few miles away. A visit to a vineyard there is usually a wonderful experience (these must be booked in advance). We tour various successful vineyards such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, Gavi and Asti Spumanti. A visit starts with a tour of the estate with an English speaking guide who will talk about the production of their particular wine and its history, often stretching back many generations. Afterwards, we are given the enjoyable opportunity of tasting the house’s various wines. We can then purchase any wines we particularly like and order some bottles for home delivery. Visits to vineyards can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and it is perfectly possible to drive around and discover the area on your own (although you will need to pre-book any vineyard tours, we will be happy to make the necessary arrangements on your behalf). We can recommend local restaurants and some of the charming villages in the region that we feel you should not miss. One option is to go on a private tour with your own guide and driver who will take you around and give you the opportunity to experience the vineyards and Piedmont as a whole in a very special way (full day or half-day trips).

The Alba truffle market

In season, we also recommend a visit to the truffle market in Alba, a fantastic experience with the aroma of truffles lying like a blanket over the whole town! Excursions to the truffle market are made during the season in October/November. White truffles are one of the world’s most expensive delicacies and they can only be found in a few places around the world. In Italy, it is primarily found in Alba, which is known worldwide for the white truffle. The white truffle is very rare and Piedmont is one of the few places in the world where it can be found. White truffles are cleaned carefully with a small brush and are then enjoyed sliced into thin, thin slices on a fresh pasta, or accompanied by a lightly fried egg, or together with steak tartare. We would be happy to help book a table at one of the acknowledged restaurants in Alba to enjoy a real truffle meal accompanied by exquisite Barolo wine. There are also many small producers in the district who manufacture cheese, honey and hazelnuts, for example, who are worth a visit.

Gourmet centre

If you have a genuine gourmet interest, you must not miss a visit to “Eataly”, the largest and most talked about commercial centre. Eataly specialises in excellent quality food and accompaniments, and the fresh, local produced, ingredients are unbeatable! You can find a store just outside Alba, but the large centre is in Turin. It could well be your food experience for the day when you discover this beautiful city.

FOOD MARKETS

Allow yourself to be inspired by the local food markets that take place every day in the towns and villages of the region. These markets have a long tradition and by seven o’clock in the morning most are in full swing. In Italy, people shop every day to ensure they have the freshest ingredients to make the best food possible, as does our chef at Villa La Madonna. Throughout the year, Italians celebrate each of the food and wine seasons with enormous enthusiasm, such as the asparagus festival in the spring and the famous truffle market in the autumn.

Close to the Mediterranean

Sun, sea and beach by the Mediterranean are only a hour away. There are many, many genuine small pearls to discover here, along with the aroma of sea and pine trees. Small towns with sea front promenades and gorgeous old alleys for enjoying cafés, restaurants and shopping. We recommend several fantastic small Mediterranean villages such as Alassio,  the exclusive Portofino, or a boat tour to the most unique place in Liguria - San Fruttuoso .

Alassio

Alassio is known for its many elegant shops and for its beautiful location on the Italian Riviera. The town was founded during the 900s and by the end of the 19th century, Alassio was a spa that attracted many Englishmen who placed their mark on the town. Some houses were built in English architecture, and here is to be found a very famous tennis club, Hanbury Tennis Club, an English library and church. The Muretto di Alassio wall is covered by more than 500 plaques that have been signed by the many famous celebrities who have visited the town over the years. The first plaque was placed on the wall in 1951 by the American author, Ernest Hemingway. Italy’s largest outlet. If shopping is your interest, it may be worth knowing that Europe’s largest outlet, "Serravalle Designer Outlet", is located in Piedmont, only an hour by car from Villa La Madonna! Here, you can find 180 boutiques selling most of the known fashion brands – a totally fantastic shopping excursion for the fashion interested looking to find a real bargain!

Discover more

As said, there is an enormous number of things to experience and see around Villa La Madonna, for all dispositions and interests. All that remains to do is plan ahead, enjoy Italy and everything it has to offer, from the rolling wine hills to glittery sea, interspersed by fantastic culinary experiences. We can help you to make your own scheduele during your stay here.