Gastronomic Piedmont

Markets, Wine and Cucina

15 – 21 October 2024

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A special programme to explore the cooking, wines and fabulous local markets of this rich agricultural region of northern Italy, with most afternoons dedicated to practical sessions in the kitchen under the guidance of an expert professional chef.

The attractive village of Cannero lies on the shores of Lake Maggiore, an area well-known for its delicious food and excellent wines. The welcoming Hotel Cannero is situated on the lakeside with views across the lake to the mountains.

We have chosen October as the best month to discover irresistible local, seasonal dishes, while also visiting colourful markets and wine producers.

Head chef Giuseppe Saglio-Ponci joined Hotel Cannero after training under Hans Nussbaumer at the Kulm Hotel, St Moritz, and in Tuscany and Japan. Now back in his native Piedmont, he is keen to develop his style, a fusion of the traditional and local with the contemporary. He will demonstrate during several practical sessions with a chance for you to assist and he will join us on a visit to the Luino market.

Participation in the kitchen is encouraged but not essential and recipe sheets are provided. The group is small, with a maximum 10 participants.

We enjoy dinner each evening in the hotel or a local restaurant.


Morning flight to Milan Malpensa airport where you will be met, followed by transfer to the hotel. Time to relax before an introduction to the kitchen by head chef Giuseppe, followed by a short talk on the week’s programme while enjoying an aperitivo in the wine cellar.


After breakfast we leave by private boat to Luino, accompanied by Giuseppe, to explore the impressive weekly market with its mouth-watering food section. The chef will guide us through the seasonal produce, encourage us to taste the cheeses, hams and salami, and purchase ingredients for the afternoon’s course. Free time over lunch to discover the market in greater depth. Return to Cannero by ferry for part one of the cookery course, with the emphasis on antipasti: Dishes prepared are then enjoyed for dinner.


Morning walk in the chestnut forest from Cannero to the village of Carmine Superiore with its historic church featuring beautiful frescoes. On our return we collect sweet chestnuts which are used in the preparation of typical local dishes. For this afternoon’s session, Giuseppe will explain the secrets of preparing risotto in different ways – it is noteworthy that this is the season for porcini and various funghi.


After breakfast, we take the private boat to the delightful village of Cannobio and visit the local fisherman’s shop. Walking along the lakeside through the village we arrive at Casa Bava for wine tasting at the vaulted Bava family cantina. We enjoy a light lunch of local specialities before returning to Cannero by boat. This is followed by a demonstration by Giuseppe of creating pasta dishes, with their accompanying sauces and/or fillings, before we turn our hand to preparing them under his supervision – to be enjoyed later at dinner!


We leave Cannero to visit the Rovellotti wine growers near Novara in the hills above the town. Antonello Rovellotti will show us his vineyards, taking us through the different varieties of grapes and how they are cultivated, before we visit the family cantina in the historic centre of Ghemme. A tasting of their wines is accompanied with local cold meats and cheeses. Free time to discover the historic centre of the town. Return to Cannero late afternoon.


We begin the day by heading up to the mountain village of Trarego, surrounded by chestnut woods. Here, we have selected a local restaurant where the chef will show us how to start preparing the polenta which we will later enjoy for lunch – polenta con spezzatino e formaggio, a mountain speciality. While the polenta is in preparation – and it takes time – we visit a local cheese producer and explore Trarego before walking down to Viggiona and to Ristorante Usignolo for our now completed polenta dish. Nearby is a local artisanal grappa distiller who offers us a tasting.
Return to the hotel in Cannero where we are invited to join head pastry chef Michelle to learn the art of making amaretti, and local desserts that feature sweet chestnuts – we gathered some on our walk in the woods a few days earlier.


After breakfast, depart for Milan Malpensa airport for the return flights.

Hotel Cannero, Cannero Riviera, Verbania, Italy
Activity Level

On and off boats, participation (voluntary) of chef’s demonstration.


£3,200 per person sharing

(single occupation of double room)

£500 reduction per room for 2 people sharing

What's included

Flights, all transport (private boats and minibus), ensuite accommodation in lake view room, All delicious meals as indicated, all visits and hotel tips.

What's NOT included

Alcoholic and soft drinks except the first evening aperitif and mineral water. Travel insurance to include full Covid cover and to be taken out on payment of the deposit. Driver’s tip.


The climate in October should be pleasantly warm with the possibility of occasional showers. Layered clothing is recommended, with a waterproof jacket in case of a shower and good shoes especially for the walk in the chestnut woods and for the polenta day in the mountain villages. Smart casual for the evening.

Meals included are shown as B breakfast. L lunch. D dinner.

Guests often meet for drinks before dinner (optional).

Wifi is available in the hotel.

What to do next...

Step 1

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Step 2

To discuss an itinerary, along with your requirements and proposed dates, please contact us or call us on +44 (0)1423 326 300.

Step 3

Once your programme has been decided, we will take you through the booking and confirmation processes in detail.

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