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Exploring Italy Food & Wine Tours

Travel Essentials

Before you go:

  • Visas & Passports – Passports must be valid for at least 6 months. Visas are not necessary for EU passport holders. Other nationalities should check with their local Italian embassy.
  • Insurance – We strongly recommend that you take out a policy to cover theft, loss, and medical issues. Please visit our page on travel insurance for further information. It is a good idea to photocopy and scan all relevant documents – passport, travel insurance policy, etc. – and leave one copy at home. Carry another copy with you, separate from the originals and digital versions on your smartphone.
  • Electricity – 220v. You will need UK-European Plug adaptors.
  • Health – Whilst insects aren’t a big problem it’s worth taking mosquito repellents as they can occasionally make an appearance in the evening. Italy is currently Zika-Free.
  • Currency – Euros are easy to get in the UK and it’s worth shopping around to avoid airport rates. If you are very organised you can get a pre-paid currency card, which you can use in a similar way to a debit card. We recommend Revolut and Monzo.
  • Clothing – The temperature varies enormously depending on the time of year. The evenings during spring and autumn tend to be a little cooler, but the weather has the potential to be a little unpredictable even in mid-summer, so it is worth taking an extra layer. Sun-cream is also a must!
  • WiFi – The majority of hotels and restaurants have free unlimited WiFi.
  • Language – Whilst english is widely spoken throughout Italy, you may find in more remote areas and small villages, that people don’t speak english, and therefore we recommend taking a pocket book of key phrases to help you get by! We always recommend learning some of the basics to help you get into the swing of local life and meet new people. Most importantly, remember that ‘please’ is per favore, ‘thank you’ is grazie, and ‘you’re welcome’ is prego.
  • Customs & Etiquette – Italians who are friends greet each other with a kiss, usually first on the left cheek, then on the right. When you meet a new person, shake hands. If you are visiting places of worship, please dress respectfully. Smoking is not permitted in any public premises. Blatant public drunkenness is frowned upon, this is not a culture of binge drinking, instead wine is enjoyed as part of a meal. Cappuccino or caffè lattes are for the morning, after midday most Italians drink espresso or macchiato.
  • Festivals & Public Holidays – Consult your destination specialist when you have the dates for your trip and they can advise. Please note as Italy is a Catholic country, may things will be closed on Sundays and religious holidays.
  • Parking –  Some hotels, especially in historic town centres, charge extra for parking. Please check this with us in advance.
  • Driving Licence – Taxis and private transfers in Italy can be very expensive and in more rural areas, taxis can be difficult to book. In view of this we strongly recommend hiring a car, as this is the most efficient and cost effective way of travelling around Italy during your holiday. Depending on your country of residence, you may require an International Driving Permit in order to hire a car in Italy, and we advise that you check your country’s travel guidelines in advance of your trip to allow time to apply for this if necessary. The UK photo driving licence is accepted by all car rental companies. Although not all companies require a Driving License Code, we would recommend obtaining one before you collect your car. This can be done through the DVLA website (https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence) and you will need:
  • US Customers – If you are coming from the United States, you should obtain an International Driving Permit before leaving the US

While you are there:

  • Time difference – 1 hour ahead of UK time.
  • Telephone – Dial 0044 or +44 for a UK number. The Italian international code is +39
  • Dining out – There are fantastic restaurants for all budgets and generally enormous portions (except at some of the very swish Michelin restaurants). Make sure you have checked out all the places listed on your personal Vamoos App!
  • Vegetarian food – Well catered for!
  • Buying wine – If you want to bring back some delicious wine, then we can advise you on good places to buy and have bottles shipped home.
  • Tipping – It is standard procedure to tip around 10% for meals at restaurants (just check that service isn’t already included). It is not necessary to tip taxis in Italy. We recommend the following amounts for local guides based on your experience:
    • €10 per person for a half day tour
    • €15-€20 per person for a full day tour.
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.
Lecce
This baroque splendour of a city, pack a real punch! Otherwise know as 'the Florence of the South'...
Monopoli
A pretty seaside town on the Adriatic coast.
Ostuni
A famous white-washed walled city on Puglia's dazzling coastline.
Ortranto
A picturesque historic town with plenty of bars and restaurants.
Alberobello
An iconic Puglian town know for its trulli, whitewashed stone huts with conical roofs.
Fasano
A town in the province of Brindisi.
Gallipoli
An ancient island city in the southern part of Puglia.
Oria
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.
Umbria
This lush and rugged part of Italy is known for its medieval hill towns, dense forests and local cuisine, particularly foraged truffles and wines.
Tuscany
Quintessential romantic Italy; rolling vineyards, olive groves, medieval villages and hamlets and grand cities.
Lazio
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.
Bologna
Home to the oldest university in Europe and a thriving food and wine scene, Bologna is a characterful and fascinating city to explore.
Modena
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).
Parma
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.
Forlimpopoli
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!
Emilia-Romagna
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.
Liguria
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
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
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).
Portofino
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.
Alassio
A bustling colourful coastal town with wonderful scenic views.

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