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Exploring Italy Food & Wine Tours

Getting around Italy

Piedmont & Liguria

Due to the hilly terrain of Piedmont, we strongly recommend that our guests rent a car. Alba itself is great for pedestrians and cycling excursions, but in order to visit some of the spectacular vineyards, restaurants and historical sites that make Piedmont famous, a car is essential. We would also advise hiring a sat nav with your car… saving yourself from spending all your data on Google Maps! We would also advise bringing a back-up map just incase. Please note that even though Barolo and Barbaresco areas are only separated by about 20 km, journey times can take much longer than you’d think, due to the hilly and winding roads. We can of course arrange private transfers, but due to the rural location, these tend to be very expensive and do push up the cost of a trip quickly. It you are staying in the centre of Alba, then it is definitely possible to avoid hiring a car. But if you want to explore the surrounding UNESCO countryside, then having your own set of wheels gives you a wonderful freedom. Car hire in Italy is also generally good value.

Both Turin and Milan have an abundance of car rental companies, the majority of which are based a short shuttle from the airport terminals.

In Liguria it’s certainly easier to avoid hiring a car, as the majority to the colourful seaside fishing villages have their own train station, making the crescent-shaped coastline a great train-hopping journey. With flights and trains into Genoa, this is a great place to start your trip of Liguria and there are frequent trains from Genoa out to the coastal towns and the famous Cinque Terre! If you do intend to hire a rental car, then be mindful that the majority of the hotels will charge extra for parking, normally around €20-30 extra per night. This is because these little villages are pretty dinky and there are not ample parking spaces. The road along the Ligurian coastline can be quite narrow and windy, so best suited to a confident driver. If you are visiting inland parts of Liguria, which are not accessible by train, then a car is certainly recommended and will enable you to get-off-the-beaten-track. Likewise, if you are combining Piedmont with Liguria, then it is relatively easy to drive between the two; it takes circa 2 hours. Alternatively, you could drop your car off in Genoa, spend a couple of nights here, before heading out to the beach by train. There are lots of options for getting around here – including boats between the fishing villages!


Depending on where you are staying in this region, car hire may be suitable. If you are visiting for a city break, then we would advise getting the train and taxis, as parking can be difficult in the city centres and you will likely have to pay extra. If you are staying in town then you will likely get around mostly by foot, but there are also many taxis if you are tired of walking! If you are combining towns, such as Bologna, Modena and Parma, then there are very efficient and great value trains between these foodie spots. If however, you are staying in a more rural location or planning to head out to the Adriatic coast, then hiring a car may be sensible, although we can always arrange private transfers should you wish.


Puglia is largely a rural and agricultural area, with long dusty roads and olive groves which stretch for miles. Things are relatively spread-out here, which means that it tends to be best accessed by car. In most parts of Italy, public transport is pretty good and you can generally reach things by bus or train, but Puglia is a bit of an exception to this rule.  Whilst there are many train stations, if you want to stay in a traditional masseria (which can be in the middle of nowhere!) or one of the tiny hilltop villages, then you may find access by public transport a little tricky. The good thing is that car hire is generally pretty cheap here and most places have parking. If you are staying in the historic centres of towns however, parking is usually off-site and for an additional charge. We can advise you on this. Likewise, we can arrange private transfers, but please note that these can be expensive. If you are just visiting Puglia for a short city break, for example to Lecce, then we would definitely suggest getting the train straight from the airport, as parking is expensive and you can access everything by foot anyway. However, if you’re planning a longer trip, taking in different areas, towns and villages, having a car is almost essential, unless you have a big budget for transfers.

Please note the following points when booking car hire (independently or through us):

  • You must have credit card to present at check-in for car hire. The (refundable) security deposit will be pre-authorised against your credit card. If you use debit card, you will incur additional charges for ‘additional protection’ circa €30 per day.
  • If you drop off your car at a different airport from the one you collected it from, an additional ‘one way’ fee is normally charged when you return the car at its final destination. This is in addition to the car hire cost paid in full at the time of booking and can be quite costly, so always best to check first.
  • Make sure you have taken out comprehensive travel insurance and that it covers your rental car and listed drivers
  • They drive on the other side of the road in Italy (to the UK). Advice on driving in Italy here.

Some suggested rental companies below. Or, you can use a website such as

      • Alamo
      • Argus Car Hire
      • EasyCar
      • Enterprise
      • Europcar
      • Hert
      • Enterprise
      • Holiday Autos
      • Argus Car Hire

This is by no means an exhaustive list – please let us know if you would like us to arrange car on your behalf. Please contact us for extra information on trains and buses, and if you would like us to book extra transfers.

Piedmont, Italy
Piedmont, a region of Italy bordering France and Switzerland, sits at the foot of the Alps. It’s known for sophisticated cuisine and wines such as Barolo and Barbaresco.
Alba, Piedmont
Alba is a town and comune of Piedmont, Italy, in the province of Cuneo. It is considered the capital of the UNESCO Human Heritage hilly area of Langhe, and is famous for its white truffle, peach and wine production.
Turin Airport
The drive from Turin Airport to Alba, takes a little over an hour and relatively scenic route. We can either arrange car hire at the airport or a private transfer.
Milan–Malpensa Airport
Milan–Malpensa Airport is the largest international airport for the Milan metropolitan area in northern Italy. The drive from Milan Malpensa airport to Alba, takes just under two hours. There are regular flights from the UK with a number of budget airlines.
Milan Bergamo Airport
Milan Bergamo airport offers another option in the area, with regular flights departing from London with Ryan Air. More
Milan Linate Airport
Milan Linate Airport is the secondary international airport of Milan, the second-largest city of Italy, behind Malpensa Airport. It takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to drive from Linate airport to Alba. We reccomend you flights to this airport with Easy Jet and British Airways. More
Villa d'Amelia
A C19th converted farmhouse, with affable staff, Michelin-starred food and laid-back atmosphere Located in Piedmont's wine producing region and a Fleewinter go-to option! More
La Villa Hotel
This impeccably restored C17th B&B boasts beautiful gardens and pool, a wonderfully seasonal restaurant "La Vie" and exceptional hospitality from Chris, Nicola and their team. A perfect off-the-beaten-track spot to unwind and enjoy all that the Langhe has to offer. More
Tenuta Bricchi
An incredibly unique B&B nestled in 11-hectares of hazelnuts groves and vineyards. This small, family-run farmhouse, with its indoor heated pool and all the little luxuries that the hosts Danilo and Sara offer, is certainly the place from which to explore the Langhe region year-round. More
Corte Gondina
Hidden behind a humble doorway in the heart of La Morra, you will find this beautifully restored guesthouse, with sprawling gardens and peaceful pool area. La Morra is home to several superb restaurants, making Corte Gondina a perfect base for culinary delights and ample exploration! More
Palazzo Finati
A small B&B, conveniently nestled in the heart of the popular Alba, Palazzo Finati is a wonderful option for those looking to explore the rich art and culture of the region. About a 10-minute walk from the train station, this 9-bedroom B&B ensures a hassle-free stay. More
Nice Airport
Flying into Nice airport is a good option for those wanting to explore the Ligurian coastline...
Genoa Aiport
Genoa airport is a good option for those wanting to exploring parts of Piedmont and Liguria.
Brindisi Airport
The most convenient airport for those wanting to explore the southern Salento region of Puglia. With frequent direct flights from the UK.
Bari airport
Bari airport is a great option for those wanting to explore Puglia, with frequent, direct flights from the UK.
This baroque splendour of a city, pack a real punch! Otherwise know as 'the Florence of the South'...
A pretty seaside town on the Adriatic coast.
A famous white-washed walled city on Puglia's dazzling coastline.
A picturesque historic town with plenty of bars and restaurants.
An iconic Puglian town know for its trulli, whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs.
A town in the province of Brindisi.
An ancient island city in the southern part of Puglia.
A medieval hilltop town, offering visitors a unique view.
Gargano National Park
Occupying more than 120,000 hectares, the Gargano National Park is as beautiful as it is fascinating with its ancient forests and islands bathed in crystal-clear waters.
It is a sub-peninsula of the Italian Peninsula, sometimes described as the "heel" of the Italian "boot".
Polignano a mare
Overlooking the azure waters of the Adriatic Sea, little Polignano a Mare is home to some of Puglia's loveliest beaches.
Santa Maria di Leuca
Santa Maria di Leuca is famous for its iconic lighthouse and stunning coastline.
This lush and rugged part of Italy is known for its medieval hill towns, dense forests and local cuisine, particularly foraged truffles and wines.
Quintessential romantic Italy; rolling vineyards, olive groves, medieval villages and hamlets and grand cities.
Lazio is a central Italian region bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its principal city, Rome, is Italy’s capital and was at the heart of the ancient Roman Empire.
Home to the oldest university in Europe and a thriving food and wine scene, Bologna is a characterful and fascinating city to explore.
Perhaps best known for its 'Black Gold' (Balsamic Vinegar of Modena), Modena also offers pretty pastel-coloured streets, fantastic restaurants and the 'motor valley' (home to super cars including Ferrari and Lamborghini).
Along with parma ham and Parmigiano Reggiano, the charming city of Parma is also well known for its exciting arts and music scene and striking historic architecture.
This lovely little town is an important part of the region's food heritage. Casa Artusi is a wonderful cookery school offering various classes and courses, and the annual Festa Artusiana is a must-see!
Home to the 'food and motor valley', this beautiful region stretches from the Adriatic sea up through peaceful countryside and rolling hills, with Bologna as its lively capital city.
The 'Italian Riviera' is a narrow crescent-shaped region hugging the coast to the north-west of Italy. The port city of Genoa is its capital, whose medieval centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Genoa, the historical capital city of Liguria, is the largest historical centre in Europe. Its painted palaces on Via Garibaldi date back to the 15th Century.
Borgomaro is the main town at the bottom of the Maro valley, in the north-west region of Liguria. The mountain setting and surrounding landscape is a must for keen hikers.
Sestri Levante
The pretty coastal town consists of two bays, named Bay of Silence and Bay of Fairy Tales (so named after writer Hans Christian Andersen).
Glitzy Portofino has a slightly more exclusive feel then some of the region's other more rustic neighbours. High-end boutiques and seafood restaurants overlook the harbour.
Santa Margherita
Portofino's next door neighbour, this pretty fishing village is a great spot for hiking as well as relaxing by the sea.
Bologna Airport (BLQ)
Journey in to Bologna city from the airport in under 30 minutes.
Genoa Airport (GOA)
Located more or less in the centre of the region, the beautiful towns and villages of Liguria can be reached in less than 2 hours from Genoa airport.
A bustling colourful coastal town with wonderful scenic views.

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