CASTLES TOUR: Turin and Langhe
7 days / 6 nights
Day 1 (Tuesday): TURIN
Free arrival time to Turin
In the late afternoon, meeting with our assistant to have some important tips about your tour and city night life. Free dinner. Overnight
Day 2 (Wednesday): TURIN
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, Gay Walking Tour of Turin “Tuttaltrastoria” escorted by English speaking certified guide (2-3 hours). A bizarre journey through those places in Turin marked by the passage of illustrious people, somehow connected to the gay life; visit to the historical centre including San Carlo Square, the Royal Palace and the Mole Antonelliana. At the end of the walk free time for shopping or for individual excursions (We suggest Excursion to The Palace of Venaria). We’ll meet altogether in a typical restaurant to have dinner. Back to the hotel for overnight
Day 3 (Thursday): TURIN – CASTLES TRAIL – LA MORRA
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure by minibus to discover the wonderful landscape of Langhe and Roero, stopping at the most beautiful and historical castles of the area.
Itinerary may have variation depending from the castle opening time and seasonality.
Arrival to Pralorno castle and English guided tour
The building originally dates back to the 13th century, when it was a square-shaped fortress built to defend the area. From medieval times until the early 19th century the building was surrounded by a moat, with access via a drawbridge. The manor's history is naturally linked to that of the families that have owned it through the centuries.
It was founded by the Anterisio family and then passed to the Biandrates and Roeros. In 1680 it was acquired by Barcellonette Giacomo Beraudo, from whom the current owners, the counts Beraudo of Pralormo, descend. His heirs were extremely fond of this residence and carried out some major alterations: in 1730 they commissioned the architect Galletti to build the lovely chapel and later had frescoed halls and rooms added above it. They removed the drawbridge, built the portico entrance and a grand staircase and covered the central courtyard, which became a three storey-tall great hall. Count Charles also summoned the famous landscape architect Xaver Kurten to design the magnificent English-style gardens.
The lavish interior furnishings re-create the atmosphere of life in the castle, especially that of the period to which the present layout refers, from the mid-19th century to the early decades of the 20th century. The wine-cellar full of grape-harvesting and wine-making equipment, the large room nearby with its arches and brickwork, housing a display of simple furnishings used by the people who lived at the manor, with the earliest systems for heating, washing and lighting the rooms at night. The Office with its huge cupboards and chests of drawers for the porcelain and ceramic dinner services, the servants' quarters with their belongings, the kitchen, the bathroom, the great hall. Then the dining room, the Minister's room (Charles Beraudo Count of Pralormo, 1784-1855 was Ambassador to Vienna and Paris), the blue drawing room, where the ladies and children would gather to partake in the womanly arts of embroidery, music and conversation
In the afternoon we’ll proceed to Monticello Castle for the English guided tour
HISTORY: Just a short distance from Alba, this is one of the best-preserved medieval buildings in the area, also thanks to the fact that ever since 1376 it has always belonged to the Roeros of Monticello. The castle was built by the Bishops of Asti to defend the boundaries of the surrounding countryside after the Saracens wreaked havoc on Alba in 920. However, the building we see today is not the original construction, which was severely damaged in 1187 during a siege lasting almost three years. This typical example of a fortified Monticello residence has a unique architectural feature: three towers each of a different shape and size: one square, one round and one octagonal. In 1787 the interior of the castle underwent some radical renovations, but without altering the medieval exterior. These major works were carried out to mark the marriage between Francesco Gennaro, Viceroy of Sardinia, and Paola del Carretto of Gorzegno.
THE BUILDING: The castle was transformed into an elegant noble country residence; some defensive elements were removed, the drawbridge was replaced with a stone staircase and the moats were filled in. Inside the castle was decorated with new paintings in the refined 18th-century style. The castle is built on three floors. The great staircase leads to the armoury hall and the adjacent chapel dedicated to St. Barbara. On the second floor is the picture gallery with portraits and coats of arms of the Roero family. Next is the billiard room, followed by the gallery of Diana the Hunter. The ancient 14th-century structure of the courtyard, situated at the mezzanine floor level, has been preserved.
Local sights: Natività di Maria Vergine, Immacolata Concezione, SS. Antonio e Lorenzo, S. Grato, Maria Ausiliatrice, San Bernardino, San Ponzio frescoes, ethnographic museum
Departure to La Morra and dinner in a typical restaurant to taste the wonderful Langhe cuisine
Day 4 (Friday): TURIN – CASTLES TRAIL – LA MORRA
Breakfast at the hotel. Another day to discover some other historic beauties of the Langhe and Roero Castles.
First step, English guided tour of the famous Grinzane Cavour Castle
The small village is named after the statesman of the Risorgimento who was mayor of Grinzane for seventeen years. He was elected in 1832, at the age of 22, and held office until February 1849. Upon his death the castle passed to his favourite niece Giuseppina, who married Carlo Alfieri Count of Sostegno. The last descendent in this line of the family, the Marquise Adele Alfieri, donated the castle to the municipality of Alba, to which Grinzane belonged. One municipality, two centres: Gallo and Grinzane Cavour. Gallo is home to a multitude of craft and industrial activities, while Grinzane Cavour is the historic centre, its few houses packed tightly together around the austere profile of the castle. Built in the first half of the 13th century, the castle has undergone several architectural changes. The most recent renovations were carried out in 1961, to mark the centenary of Italian unification. The imposing redbrick building is based on a trapezoidal plan, with four sections arranged irregularly around the small main courtyard. It was extended in the 16th century with the addition of two picturesque round turrets; the coffered ceiling with 157 painted panels in the Hall of Masks dates back to the same period. Today the castle houses the "Cavour" Regional Enoteca, a restaurant and an Ethnographic museum of rural life. The latter features exhibits on a variety of themes: Cavourian relics, wines from Alba in the Roman world, 17th and 19th-century local kitchen settings, wine glasses, objects relating to Albas food and wine traditions, the workshops of a blacksmith and a cooper, an 18th-century distillery, farmyard implements, weights and measures, information about truffles. The old parish church, built by Count Camillo of Cavour, dedicated to Our Lady of the Carmine, is also worthy of mention.
At the end of the visit, lunch at famous AL CASTELLO RESTAURANT (owned by starred chef Marc Lantera) with its menu of the traditions!
After lunch departure to Barolo, where we’ll have a free audio guides tour of the important Wine Museum.
This area is home to some of the world's most valued vineyards: perhaps that's why the castle appears to keep watch over the endless rows of vines stretching out below. The castle now houses the Enoteca Regionale del Barolo and the Museo del Vino (Wine Museum) dedicated to Barolo, one of the finest wines in the world.
The area: Besides being home to the excellent wine of the same name, Barolo is also the name of the medieval village that is regarded as the region's capital: while Alba is the commercial hub of the Langhe, both for its size and the importance of the white truffle, Barolo is its second nucleus. All around, atop the surrounding hills, stand other magnificent and important medieval villages like La Morra, Serralunga, Castiglione Falletto and Roddi. Barolo is a land steeped in history: a history echoed in its wonderful monuments, the wrinkled faces of the old men and women who still farm this land and the gently rolling hills that cradle the village. The castle of Barolo embodies and amplifies this heritage.
The Barolo regional Enoteca: Strengthening the link between history, culture and tradition, the famous Barolo regional Enoteca, housed in the castle's wine cellars, represents the eleven municipalities in the Barolo wine district. The enoteca holds all the secrets associated with the production of one of the world's best wines, documenting its history and accomplishments. Barolo became famous at the end of the last century, when the Marquise Juliette Colber sent 320 cart-loads as a surprise for King Charles Albert and his Court. Its fame has gone from strength to strength ever since.
The Wine Museum: WIMU, the Wine Museum was inaugurated in September 2010. This innovative museum housed in the castle is a far cry from the traditional museum setting. The idea is to get visitors involved and accompany them on a journey through the production, culture and traditions of wine.
The museum's designer and curator, François Confino, has conceived an exhibition that combines science and poetry.
The museum is structured as a descent into the depths of the culture of wine: it combines an evocative journey to explore the mysteries and legends associated with the 'fruit of Bacchus' with the physical sensation of entering the heart of the castle (also known as Falletti castle), as the museum tour starts on the third floor and leads into the basement.
Dinner in a typical restaurant
Day 5 (Saturday): TURIN – CASTLES TRAIL – LA MORRA
Breakfast at the hotel.
Another entire day dedicated to discover the countless castles of the Langhe and Barolo area.
For this day we can propose tailor made itineraries for visiting the best open castles of the area depending from seasonality and opening time
We can propose
MAGLIANO ALFIERI CASTLE
The castle only re-opened a few years ago. This was made possible thanks to the interest and dedication of the "Amici del Museo" (Friends of the Museum), who are working to bring the old frescoes back to light after these were covered in the 1960s when the castle was turned into housing apartments.
The east wing on the first floor houses the Museum of Art and Folk Traditions with exhibits relating to the culture, art and folklore of Piemonte. In 1994 a particularly original and important section dedicated to the traditional plaster ceilings of local farmhouses in the past was inaugurated
(enjoy the castle especially during Christmas time where you can find Santa’s village)
The Royal Castle of Govone is one of the Piedmontese Savoy residences, which UNESCO designated as World Heritage Sites in December 1997
Today the castle is Mango's show-piece. For centuries it was the summer residence of the marquises of Busca, with its luxurious furnishings and gardens renowned for their ornamental plants and flower beds. The "Colline del Moscato" Regional Enoteca is housed on the ground floor of the castle.
Conceived as a military fortress and not to serve as a residence, the manor was originally surrounded by a moat and accessible via a drawbridge. This was later removed and replaced with a stone and brick ramp. The remains of a small frescoed chapel are still visible in the lovely inner courtyard. The rooms inside have recently been refurbished and feature a cycle of late 19th-century/early 20th-century Liberty-style frescoes. In the autumn of 2010 these rooms will be enriched with some of the original furnishings.
Back to the hotel and special dinner in a local restaurant to taste the Piedmont cuisine
Day 6 (Sunday): LA MORRA - TURIN
Breakfast at the hotel.
Return to Turin. Free day at your disposal
In the late evening altogether to QUEEVER for “apericena” (buffet dinner) and disco night
Overnight in hotel
Day 7 (Monday): TURIN
Breakfast at the hotel
End of services
OUR SELECTED GAY FRIENDLY HOTELS:
Milan: BB HOTEL SANT’AMBROGIO**sup
Turin: HOTEL SITEA**** standard room
Langhe: CORTE GONDINA BOUTIQUE HOTEL
The program may change for various reasons, beyond our responsibility.
According to the number of participants, RainbowItaly can propose this itinerary in self-drive, minibus, GT bus, luxury car with private driver and everything can be personalized, starting from a basic package that includes:
- Meet & Greet with our Assistant in hotel the first day;
- 3 nights accommodation in double room in Turin at HOTEL SITEA or similar in bed&breakfast
- 3 nights accommodation in double room at La Morra at CORTE GONDINA BOUTIQUE HOTEL or similar in bed&breakfast
- 1 typical dinner in restaurant in Turin
- Walking Tours and Excursions as per program escorted by licensed private tour guides;
- Entrance to the castle (Pralormo, Monticello d’Alba, Grinzane Cavour, Wimu)
- Entrance and buffet dinner at disco gay night “QUEEVER”
- 1 lunch at Al Castello Restaurant
- 2 typical dinners in restaurant in Langhe area
- Private GT minibus for all the mentioned transfers and tours with private driver or car rent for individuals
PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE:
- Airfare or train tickets to reach Italy;
- Meals and drinks not mentioned in the program;
- Entrance fees to monuments not mentioned in the program (most of walking tours include outside visits);
- Everything which is not included in “Prices Include”