Ultimate Itinerary in Italy: Autumn in Piemonte and Tuscany
Photography Copyright Christian Mushenko ©
How do you experience the best of the Mediterranean’s most alluring country and what it has to offer both culturally and gastronomically? By joining the ultimate itinerary created by our expert Nicola Sinclair. We have devised two perfect itineraries for the world's finest destinations: Piemonte and Tuscany.
In the Mediterranean, as autumn arrives, and the temperatures slowly cool down, the rhythm of life becomes calmer and one is able to visit beautiful places without the hustle and bustle. This is the season where one shall leave everything behind and experience this magnificent region in all its glory - both physically and spiritually. This rarely disappoints. As no other Mediterranean country, Italy always nourishes a spectrum of expectations during autumn. The sensual promise of the warmth, the light and the drinking of wine surrounded by beautiful landscapes… this is la dolce vita!
Those who enjoy sweeping Italian Cypress tree landscapes and kilometres long vineyards… you are not alone. As an established food stylist and lover of all things Italian, Nicola Sinclair had discovered her passion for Italy long ago, when she au-paired for a Florentine family, thousands of kilometres away from what is home for her, Sydney, Australia.
Years later, her destiny brought her to researching and producing three episodes of “Cheese Slices” in Campania, Piemonte and Sicily with Will Studd, a renowned fromager, where she was introduced to not only the wonderful world of artisans but the Slow Food Movement.
She now transforms this unique bond with Italian art,culture and gastronomy, which increased over the years, into a hobby and business. This allows others to discover one of the most magical locations in the world, experience it truly and have an unforgettable journey.
Try the boot on for size with a boutique, exclusively curated tour. We spoke with Nicola Sinclair about the story behind each tour and detailed information on what it entails. Disappointment is not an option here.
Northwest Italy: Autumn in Piemonte
After producing one of several episodes of an international lifestyle TV programme in Piemonte, Nicola fell in love with this heavenly and relatively unknown region in far northwest Italy. “This inspired me to create my very own exclusive experience in Piemonte this past September with my lovely friend, art historian Contessa Francesca Galleani d’Agliano,” Nicola says.
To get a feel for the geographical diversity and exceptional variety of experiences this region has to offer, this tour begins in Turin, the majestic city that presides over all this abundance. Known for its magnificent baroque architecture, established café lined boulevards and most famously for the aperitivo, refined cuisine and wines.
“We then travel south, about 10 minutes out of Cuneo, where my friends Francesca and Andrea Galleani d'Agliano and family have generously opened their 16th century palazzo exclusively to us for 5 magical nights” says Nicola. This magnificent family estate is immersed in the alp-fringed Grana and Maira Valleys. Together with their cousin Andreina d’Agliano, a leading art historian, curator and lecturer in Italian porcelain, the tour then continues to visit unforgettable places. Cooking, eating and sharing stories while sampling the culinary and cultural delights that this region has to offer.
This is followed by an intimate tour of the family’s unique silk museum, a lecture on porcelain design and ceramics, exploring local markets,artisans and of course, hunting for truffles. Nicola says that the guests will also experience cheese making and tasting some of the most rare and exotic Alpine cheeses. “We will participate in a traditional cooking class and wine tasting and we shall explore local historical museums, castles, sanctuaries and architectural wonders whilst indulging in the sublime local cuisine.” Not to mention a few surprises along the way.
This world heritage region produces some of the most exquisite produce in the world, including Gavi, Barolo and Barbaresco wines of the Langhe Roero region, artisan cheeses, the famous white truffles of Alba, porcini mushrooms, hazelnuts and Gianduja chocolate just to name a few. Autumn is the season to visit.
Bear in mind that these tours are designed to suit all needs.. Nicola Sinclair is an excellent guide catering to the individual to make sure it is a relaxing getaway as much as a great discovery. There will be plenty of opportunities to relax and immerse yourself in the beautiful parkland surrounding the estate which has an impressive collection of rare and historical plants.
Dates and Prices
When: First tour - 14-20th September 2023
Second tour - 23rd-29th September 2023
Cost: AUD $6,000 - Shared Room, AUD $6,500 - Single/Double Room
Cost includes: Transportation from Turin hotel to Palazzasso, accommodation, all meals (including aperitif and wine), activities and guided explorations.
Cost does not include: Flights, transportation upon departure to the airport/train station on the 20th, which is roughly 1.5 hours to Turin airport, 3 hours to Milan Malpensa airport.
Guests: Maximum 12
For the full itinerary, please get in touch with Nicola Sinclair.
Tuscany Through the Senses: Autumn in Tuscany
Just as the saying goes “it is always 5 o’clock somewhere,” there is always someone wanting a good excuse to visit Tuscany.. Perhaps after watching Under the Tuscan Sun, perhaps after hearing the fame of olive oil and wine production… Whatever the reason , this region is magical in the way that despite having prepared, it will manage to surprise you with a feeling that time stands still.
This is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, known for its aristocracy, landscapes, history, artistic legacy, and its influence on high culture.
Tuscany offers a multitude of places for exploration, from ancient cities to quaint settlements and museums, as well as the more intimate areas with slow living, an authentic way of life. A completely new trend in tourism has emerged in this region in the last ten years, focusing on the promotion of the food and wine produced there, while honouring the country's natural heritage and ancient traditions.
A lifelong friendship was formed between Nicola Sinclair and the Screti family during her time as an au pair in Florence, Tuscany. Contessa Nina Giusti de Marle, the eldest daughter of the family, is a passionate art historian. Today, they have collectively curated this unique 5-night guided experience of Florentine art, architecture, culture, and history offered by Contessa and Nicola.
They welcome visitors to stay in a magnificent 16th century villa just minutes from the historic city centre, surrounded by the most exquisite and tranquil gardens with views of Florence and the soft, gentle, rolling hills of Tuscany. Together over 4 full days and 5 nights you indulge in the ultimate sensory experience; opening eyes,ears, hearts and appetites to all the delights this region has to offer.
Curated experiences will be shared behind closed doors, with aperitivo on the terrace of a private palazzo overlooking Florence’s most defined landmarks. Nicola says that throughout the tour visitors will view personal art and antique collections, enjoy an intimate music concert, visit unique artisan workshops, attend an olive oil tasting and hands on cooking class with Eleonora, a lovely Contessa. “We will participate in a truffle hunt followed by wine tasting in the Tuscan Hills whilst sharing stories over lunch with noble families. There will of course be some surprises along the way.”
The final days of summer flowing into the gentle autumn climate is the perfect season to visit. It seems almost impossible for one not to create a moment of Eat, Pray, Love and immerse yourself in the beauty of Italy, simply by participating in one of these tours.
Dates and Prices
When: 4th - 9th September 2023
Cost: AUD $6,500.00
Cost Includes: Accommodation, welcome aperitivo, all meals and wine, activities and guided explorations.
Cost does not include: Flights to Florence and individual transportation to the villa, which is roughly a 20 minute taxi from Florence airport and a 15 minute taxi from Santa Maria Novella train station.
Guests: Maximum 12