Piedmont with Mark Estee

November 21 - 27, 2022 | One Exclusive Departure

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Savor the Slow Life

Join chef Mark Estee for a culinary adventure in the birthplace of Slow Food

November 21 - 27, 2022

One departure only—reserve your spot today

7 days, 6 nights

Heart of Piedmont from Turin to Bra, Gavi, Langhe and Asti

Price from

$7,500

per person, based on double occupancy

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

The flavors linger in your mouth. You’ve tasted a perfectly crafted glass of Barolo in its birthplace, and tasted rare regional cheese made the old-fashioned way, with hard work and a passion for tradition. Now, you step onto a terrace and look out at the expanse of vineyards, noting the shades of green that paint the hillsides and Alps in the distance. You’ve met local producers and tasted sparkling wines harvested from nearby vineyards, truffles sniffed out by dogs as you cheered them on. Despite the endless array of food and incredible company, this trip has been a lesson in slowing down. For as much as the Piedmont way is to preserve the local ecosystem, flavor and tradition it also keeps the memories alive.

With you on this seven-day Piedmont adventure is chef Mark Estee. He’s the Food Network star of “Undercover Chef,” and the local-food pioneer transforming Nevada’s food scene with award-winning restaurants that showcase what’s fresh from local farmers and ranchers. It is Mark’s nod to his own Italian heritage—he travels frequently to Italy—and to the simple pleasure of his grandmother’s cooking.

If you crave good food, beautiful scenery and a fresh take on food culture, this trip is for you. We’ll go deep in the birthplace of the Slow Food movement. We’ll meet the producers keeping centuries-old traditions alive and, at every turn, savoring Piedmont’s unforgettable flavors.

Honor

The ethos of Slow Food in its birthplace, the centuries of care for producers and the land working in harmony

Savor

The flavors of Piedmont: white truffles, agnolotti pasta and aged Gorgonzola, rich Barolos and crisp Cortese di Gavi

Feast

Your eyes on northern Italy’s rolling hills and ancient vineyards, as much a fixture of the region as the mighty Alps

Connect

With Mark and his unwavering commitment to local food and producers, alongside a group of like-minded travelers

3 Reasons to Travel with Mark Estee

With a larger-than-life personality, it’s only fitting that Mark Estee is celebrity chef to “The Biggest Little City in the World,” as well as the newest Food Network star. A staple of Nevada's culinary scene, Mark is also a passionate pioneer in the local food movement: “Our job is to buy great products and not eff them up!” He sources ingredients for his award-winning restaurants from area farmers, ranchers, butchers and vendors. Fresh. Local. Simple. And the perfect companion to explore Piedmont and the birthplace of Slow Food.

Italia, La Mia Patria

Mark has started a handful of successful Italian restaurants. He's a frequent visitor to Italy, and he can't wait to share it. “It's an adventure, you know, we're going on an adventure together.”

In the Family

Mark was born and raised Italian-Greek just outside Boston, and he perfected his red sauce at an early age. From cooking Sunday dinner with his dad to simmering huge batches of sauce for his high school football team, Italian food is in his blood.

Local Food Pioneer

Mark is one of the first chefs in Nevada to source his ingredients from local farmers and ranchers. “I used to call and say 'I'd like 10 pounds of green asparagus and 10 pounds of white asparagus and 10 pounds of purple asparagus.' Now I call and say, 'What do you have? And they send me what they have.”

Your Experience

“I love Italian cooking. I love Italian cuisine. I love Italian people. I love how small, and how big, Italy feels at the same time.”
Mark Estee

Turin, Bra, Gavi, Langhe, Alba, Asti

“My passion for local food is something I hang my hat on. I will be involved with it until the day I die.”
Mark Estee

Day by Day

Day 1

Benvenuto a Torino! We’ll meet up with Mark at our hotel, and head out to take in the beauty of the Piedmont region here in Turin, with its Baroque buildings, cobbled streets and towering Alps backdrop. Turin’s city market—Europe’s largest open-air fruit and vegetable market—is alive and bustling, and our first taste of the city is a literal one: a food tour led by a local expert. We’ll sample regional flavors, including the stracchino, toma and robiola cheeses for which Turin is known, and lunch on seasonal delicacies.

Besides cheese and truffles, Turin is obsessed with chocolate (produced locally since 1560). So, of course, we’ll taste an array of chocolates from legendary local chocolatiers including Gobino, Domori and D. Barbero, perhaps washed down with one of the city’s proudest inventions, a steaming Bicerin made of espresso, drinking chocolate, and milk.

We’ll reconvene in the evening for a pre-dinner aperitif and introduction to Turin’s Slow Food movement—a theme we’ll be exploring deliciously during the week ahead—followed by a welcome dinner as the sun dissolves behind the Alps, a truly epic first day.

Day 1 Highlights

  • Food tour led by local expert
  • Artisanal coffee & chocolate tastings
  • Welcome dinner
  • Stay at Turin Palace Hotel in Turin

Day 2

Hold your morning cup of joe. Today, we’ll journey just outside Turin to the small town of Chieri to experience Piedmont’s coffee culture at Accademia Vergnano. Here, we’ll take an expert lesson in coffee cupping and roasting the slow and flavorful Piedmont way at Italy’s oldest coffee roaster.

Once back in the city center, the afternoon and evening are ours to spend exploring. Visit art galleries and museums, or relish city views from the observation deck of the National Cinema Museum. Or, if you’re craving a green escape from the city, snag some fresh fixings from a local market and have yourself a picnic along the River Po. Lie in the grass and let the sun lull you further into this Italian paradise. Just be sure to wake in time for dinner, perhaps at one of Turin’s seven Michelin-starred restaurants (Del Cambio, Condividere, Cannavacciuolo Bistrot, Carignano, Casa Vicina…).

Day 2 Highlights

  • Coffee tasting at Caffè Vergnano Accademia
  • Explore Turin 
  • Stay at Turin Palace Hotel

Day 3

Today, it’s best you arrive hungry for some Slow Food knowledge. After breakfast, our destination is the University of Gastronomic Sciences, birthplace of the Slow Food movement, and the first university of its kind offering a holistic approach to food studies anchored in slow food’s mission to defend biodiversity and to achieve a clean and fair food system for all. After, Mark will prepare a lunch for us to remember on the university grounds, sourced from local meats and produce in a delicious showcase of Mark’s own culinary passion.

In the afternoon back in Bra, we’ll explore local bakeries, macelleria and salumeria and savor all the flavors of Piedmont like a true native. In the evening we’ll reconvene for a visit to the ancient cellars of Villa Sparina before sitting down together for a delicious three-course meal with wine pairings.

Day 3 Highlights

  • Visit University of Gastronomic Sciences 
  • Lunch prepared by Mark Estee
  • Explore Bra
  • Stay at Villa Sparina in Gavi

Day 4

It’s time to head to Canelli, the birthplace of Italian sparkling wine. Vineyards stretch in all directions across the area’s gently rolling land, and it’s our mission to explore its flavors. Our first stop is at BioBruni, to meet husband-and-wife team Osvaldo and Rita. He’s a beekeeper who needed some goats to look after the land; fast forward to today, and the couples’ organic farm supplies goats’ milk, yogurt, kefir (fermented milk) and cheese across northern Italy. We’ll have the privilege of meeting Osvaldo and Rita and experiencing the heart and soul of slow food production.

We’ll cap the day at Contratto and wander through the caves at Giuseppe Contratto’s 150-year-old masterpiece of a winery. Italy’s first bottles of Italian-method champenoise were produced here in 1919. The cellars are a UNESCO World Heritage site, dating from 1867 and more than 100 feet underground. Unlike most other sparkling wines in Italy, the focus at Contratto is on Pinot noir. We’ll tour the winery and have a private tasting, before returning to Villa Sparina for an evening on our own.

Day 4 Highlights

  • Organic farm visit
  • Winery tour and tasting at Contratto
  • Stay at Villa Sparina in Gavi

Day 5

The hunt is on for truffles! Led by a judge from the local Truffle Fair, we’ll retreat to the forest with specially trained dogs and a trifulau (truffle hunter) for a guided experience on locating, identifying and cooking up these flavorful fungi—truffles are underground mushrooms that grow in symbiosis with oak, beech, poplar and hazelnut trees—and are the centerpiece of our lunch today. After, you’ll have some time to unwind and relax, perhaps take a walk through the city or recline in Valentino Park along the River Po.

And because great food deserves a great pairing, in the afternoon we’ll taste some of the region’s classic Barolos, one of the world’s great red wines and arguably the most famous DOCG in Italy. Barolo is made entirely from Nebbiolo, an indigenous grape that’s often the first to bud and last to ripen, resulting in full-bodied wines with delicate aromas. We’ll taste some of the region’s finest at Ettore Germano, where winemaker Sergio Germano’s produces his first-rate Prapò and Lazzarito Riserva.

Day 5 Highlights

  • Guided truffle hunt
  • Truffle hands-on cooking and lunch
  • Barolo wine tasting at Ettore Germano
  • Stay at Relais Sant’Uffizio in Asti

Day 6

Yesterday was your truffle primer—today is the main event. The Internazionale Tartufo Bianco (White Truffle Fair), for 90 years held each October and November in nearby Alba, is a gathering of people from around the world who appreciate flavorful food sourced ethically and locally. A local expert will guide us through the fair, explaining the many local flavors on display. The white truffles come from all over Piedmont—from the local woods a stone’s throw away from Ferrero chocolate factory, and the remote Monferrato in Piedmont’s southeast corner. The truffle is one of the world’s most expensive foods, fetching thousands of dollars per kilogram; and the market here in Alba is the heart of the white truffle world.

Later this evening, Mark will cook a farewell meal for us that incorporates the ethos of flavor we’ve experienced on our journey. Saluti to locally sourced food, bountiful wine, tasting truffles and the true Piedmont experience!

Day 6 Highlights

  • White Truffle Fair
  • Farewell dinner by Mark Estee
  • Stay at Relais Sant’Uffizio in Asti

Day 7

All good things must come to an end. We’ll soak up the last of our time together over a big farewell breakfast before bidding goodbyes. We’ll pack our bags and try our best to take one last mental picture of the magical Turin before heading out on afternoon flights. Until next time: Ciao!

Day 7 Highlights

  • Transfer to Turin airport

Where We Sleep

Natural beauty and luxurious comfort. Our accommodations capture the essence, ethos and hospitality of Piedmont.

Turin Palace Hotel

Turin

Wide windows and spacious balconies make it easy to enjoy Turin from afar. Light-filled rooms and all the modern comforts make it the perfect base to explore the city.

Villa Sparina

Gavi

Set near lush woods and the sprawling vineyards of Monterotondo, our boutique villa hotel is the perfect nature-meets-luxury experience, set in a beautifully restored 18th-century farmhouse manor with all the modern comforts. It's also a working vineyard, producing acclaimed Gavi and Barbera wines stored on the grounds in historic cellars you can visit in between visits to the spa or simply wandering the expansive grounds.

Relais Sant’Uffizio

Asti

Once upon a time, parts of what is now Relais Sant’Uffizio operated as a monastery used for producing wine. Today, the luxurious Sant’Uffizio is surrounded by peaceful green vineyards and is the ideal place to unwind after a day exploring the region’s wineries.

Everything was done superbly.
Kelly S.
I was blown away by how flawlessly Modern Adventure fulfilled and exceeded my expectations.
Josh S.
I loved the warmth, sincerity and caring of the Modern Adventure team.
Bob Z.

Book Piedmont with Mark Estee

Number of Travelers

Payment

$7,500

per person, based on double occupancy

Can't travel on these dates?
Call us at

+1 (855) 219-8018

Questions?

That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.

  1. What does the price include?

    Six nights at four- and five-star accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; departure airport transfer; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.

  2. What does the price not include?

    International roundtrip airfare to Italy; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.

  3. Where does this trip start and end?

    Our adventure begins at the Turin Palace Hotel in Turin, Italy. The closest airport is the Torino International Airport (TRN). We recommend arriving one day early in Turin to ensure you’re at our starting point on time. Our adventure ends in the small town of Cioccaro, Italy. The closest airport is Torino International Airport (TRN), about 75 minutes away. Your flight home should be scheduled to depart at 2pm or later from TRN.

  4. What travel documents are needed?

    US citizens are not required to have a visa for stays in Italy of under 90 days. Just bring a valid US passport. For citizens of other countries, please check with the Italian embassy or consulate for information and requirements.

  5. Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?

    For solo travelers, there is an $2,000 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. These spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    Our adventures typically have between 10 and 20 guests, and our Modern Adventure Team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.

  7. Who is leading this trip?

    This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure trip leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.

  8. Do I need Travel Insurance?

    We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement for your trip costs; if your trip plans change for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to get medical help, emergency transport, and for theft, loss or damage of items while traveling. For best coverage, always insure the full trip cost within two weeks of your initial trip deposit and note that most ‘Cancel For Any Reason’ policies must be purchased on the date of your initial deposit.

  9. What is the cancellation policy?

    You may cancel before July 24, 2022 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after July 25, 2022, there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after September 22, 2022 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being canceled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details).

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