Piedmont & Cinque Terre Trails
A wine & hiking tour, from the Langhe Hills to the Italian Riviera
- Hike in two distinctive regions of Italy: Piedmont and Liguria
- Enjoy private sit-down tastings of Barolo, Gavi, and Ligurian wine
- See the Cinque Terre and Portofino
- Feast on artisan cheese and salumi during a buffet lunch at a cheese farm in the Alte Langhe
This hiking & wine tour is our surf ’n’ turf Italian style! It combines woodland and seacoast, Piedmont and Liguria, in one neat package. You’ll have a hard time deciding which is more beautiful.
First up is Piedmont, a preeminent wine zone famous for its regal Barolo and Barbaresco. The cuisine of this landlocked region testifies to its woodland character, with truffles, mushrooms, wild game, and hazelnut desserts on the menu.
In contrast, the Cinque Terre is a maritime environment, with quaint fishing villages, sea cliffs, and beaches spouting colorful umbrellas. Typical dishes are Mediterranean sea bass (branzino) with cherry tomatoes, sea lobster (aragosta) with pasta, and piquant (pesto alla Genovese), made from Liguria’s fragrant, tiny-leafed pesto. Their perfect accompaniment is the local white wine—Vermentino and Pigato, fresh as an ocean breeze.
When we’re in Piedmont, we’ll combine morning hikes with afternoon tastings. Each hike takes between 3 to 5 hours (see Trip Notes). On most days, the walk is structured so that we finish by lunch. Every day, hikers will be accompanied by a support van. In the afternoon, we’ll head by van to a winery for a private, sit-down tasting of Barolo or Gavi wine. Wineries range from historic estates like Marchesi di Barolo, where Barolo wine was “invented” in the 1800s, to boutique, family-run properties where a family member will be our host.
When we’re in Liguria, we travel by train to our trailheads and devote most of the day to our hiking excursions. The hikes themselves are 3 to 4 hours, plus we break for lunch and some sightseeing en route. On the Cinque Terre day, we’ll stop for lunch in the village of Corniglia between the most challenging section and the two easy legs (which include the Via del Amore, or Lovers Lane). On our Portofino day, we’ll either lunch in the cove of San Fruttuoso or in Portofino, where we stop for a visit. On both of these days, we’ll convene on the terrace of our hotel before dinner, where we’ll enjoy an informal wine tasting while watching dusk fall over the secluded bay.