Hedonistic Hiking has all the ingredients for the perfect walking holiday in Italy. Food, wine and hiking are impeccably blended to give guests a real taste of la dolce vita – and there is no one better placed to divulge the gastronomic secrets of Italy. From chic restaurants to cosy hidden gems, the staff at Hedonistic Hiking have eaten their way across Italy (all in the name of work, of course!) to bring their clients the definitive guide to very best places to eat on their tours.

For the delectation and delight of gastronomic explorers…


Top six places to eat in Italy this summer recommended by Hedonistic Hiking’s guides:


  1. La Louye su la Goumba Restaurant, Pontboset (Champorcher Valley – Val d’Aosta The Best of the Italian Alps )This restaurant is a real adventure to get to – winding mountain passes and series of hairpin bends – but once you sample the food, you’ll be glad you made the trip! Situated quite literally at the end of the road, this isn’t the sort of place you may accidentally stumble upon, so it really is hidden. Owners Lucia and Bruno serve up mouth-watering dishes, including Zuppa Valdostana (cabbage and fontina soup), Carbonade (beef stew with buckwheat polenta) and Semifreddo al pane nero – all washed down with the finest of wines, naturally!


  1. La Subida, Cormons, Friuli Slovenia and Friuli A firm fixture on the Slovenia and Friuli tour, La Subida is a stylish restaurant just a stone’s throw away from the Slovenian border, close to the wine town of Cormons. With a cosy fire burning in the autumn and a garden to enjoy an aperitif in the spring, this restaurant offers diners fabulously refined food in a warm and homely environment. Menu highlights include Briciole di Pasta Buttata con Le Verdure di Campo – pasta “crumbs” tossed with wild vegetables and a refreshing sorbet made with their own wine vinegar. The wines are all carefully selected from the Collio hills or from Goriska Brda, which is the neighbouring Slovene wine region. If you like your wine local, then this is the place. Nothing comes from more than 10kms away.


  1. Terra Antica Agriturismo, Borgo Val di Taro, Emilia Romagna  Parma, Tuscany and the Cinque Terre  Yet another restaurant where the journey is almost as memorable as the food! Situated in the hills above Borgotaro, Terra Antica Agriturismo is a real labour of love for Milanese owners Fabrizio and Laura, who bought this place when it was a run-down farmhouse. It’s a real highlight on the tours, with seasonal produce cooked to perfection by both Fabrizio and Laura. From mushrooms (porcini season is a must!) to tender beef done on the outside oven, you’re guaranteed to taste the passion in their food.


  1. Il Sigillo, Staffarda Abbey, Saluzzo, Piedmont The Jewels of Piedmont  Since he took the helm in 2007, Alberto Demaria has taken this restaurant – in a richly historical location – from strength to strength. Classic regional recipes are given a  new lease of life, and expertly paired with the fabulous wines from Piedmont – world famous for its grapes. Il Sigillo is a real family affair – so expect to see his wife and sister welcoming guests with charm, grace and ever-present smiles.


  1. Osteria Della Bietola, Pontremoli, Tuscany Parma, Tuscany and the Cinque Terre Tucked away down the narrowest of streets in the labyrinthine maze of medieval Pontremoli, this charming Tuscan Osteria is run by husband and wife team Alfonso and Giuliana – whose exceptional service keeps customers coming back time and time again. Carved into the arches, this tiny restaurant serves one of Pontremoli’s most classic dishes, testaroli. A bit like an oversized pancake, testaroli is traditionally served roughly chopped and laced with fresh pesto. Given that Pontremoli sits on the border of Liguria – reputed for its pesto and home to the sweetest green basil in Italy – there’s no doubt that this classic dish is made to perfection. Carnivores may want to sample their delicious rabbit dishes, and Giuliana’s panna cotta is a must-eat for sweet toothed patrons.


  1. La Torre, Siena, Tuscany Tuscan Harvest Siena is home to The Piazza del Campo – undoubtedly one of the most beautiful piazzas in Italy. Stylish bars and restaurants reign supreme here – but take a walk away from the bright lights of the piazza and you’ll discover this tiny, one-roomed gem, tucked in a side street behind the bell tower. La Torre is a memorable experience – from charismatic owners to the melt-in-your-mouth fresh pasta – arguably some of the best in Tuscany! The ravioli con burro e salvia is to die for, and the whole menu is composed to perfection. Pair your food with the plentiful Chianti served up, and make sure to save room at the end of your meal for coffee and ice-cream…carried in from the bar next door.


Hedonistic Hiking Italian Tours to pair with the gastronomic experience:


1.    The Best of the Italian Alps: Hiking in the shadow of Europe’s highest mountains

Experience the Italian Alps in their very best season with this tour, which starts and finishes in Turin. Enjoy fabulous hiking surrounded by spectacular views of the Gran Paradiso, Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc mountain ranges. New for 2014: Stay three nights in exquisite Courmayeur and take a cable car to the “rooftop of Europe” at 3335 m for unbeatable views of Mont Blanc – plus hike a section of the Tour of Mont Blanc. Visit ancient castles and follow the routes of the Roman armies, medieval pilgrims and Napoleon Bonaparte. Prices for this 9 day trip start at £2,215 per person, based on two people sharing or with a single supplement of £225. This includes 8 nights’ accommodation, all meals, and a support vehicle on hikes, 2 experienced guides, and transfers from Turin, luggage transportation, museum visits and tastings. Return flights from London Heathrow to Turin start at £70. For more information, visit, or call +44 (0)1858 565148.

2.    Slovenia and Friuli: Lakes and Mountains, Waterfalls and Wine A 9-day hiking holiday in Slovenia and North East Italy, which starts in Ljubljana and finishes in Venice. From Lake Bohinj, the Julian Alps and Kobarid, we cross the mountains into Italy to explore Friuli where we walk in the vineyards of Collio and visit the Unesco World Heritage town of Cividale. Prices start at £2,175 per person, based on two people sharing or a single supplement is an additional £150. This includes 8 nights accommodation in 3* and 4* hotels, 2 experienced guides, all meals, a support vehicle, transport in air conditioned minibus, pre-trip information and museum visits and tastings. Return flights from London Heathrow start at £105. For further information, visit or call +44 (0)1858 565148.


3 + 5Parma, Tuscany and the Cinque Terre Prosciutto and Parmesan, Pilgrims and Poets Starting in Parma and finishing in Pisa, this tour takes in the splendour of Emilia Romagna. Experience the Sagra del Fungo Porcino (Porcini Mushroom fair) at the “Slow Food” town of Borgotaro. Walk one of the most beautiful sections of the Via Francigena pilgrim route and discover an untouched area of Tuscany before descending to the Gulf of Poets on the Ligurian coast to explore the quaint villages of the Cinque Terre. Prices start at £2,005 per person, based on two people sharing, with a £145 single supplement fee. This includes 7 nights accommodation, all meals and wine, a support vehicle on hikes, 2 experienced guides, transport both from Parma and to Pisa, pre-trip information, luggage transport and museum visits and tastings. Return flights from the UK start at £80. For more information, visit, or call +44 (0)1858 565148.

4.    The Jewels of Piedmont A Celebration of Slow Food: Starting and finishing in Turin, this is a real foodies tour. Let your taste buds do the walking as you are immersed in the gastronomic wonders of north west Italy. Barolo wine, the legendary white truffle of Alba, porcini mushrooms, hand crafted cheeses and cured meats. Beautiful hotels, stunning walks, fascinating history and culture plus exceptional food and wines. Accommodation will be in a former farm on the edge of medieval Saluzzo with a peaceful courtyard and in a boutique hotel in the village La Morra complete with swimming pool. Prices start from £2,100 per person, based on two people sharing, with a single supplement of £160. Return flights from London to Turin start at £70. This includes 7 nights accommodation, 2 guides, all meals and wine, support vehicle, return transfers from Turin, luggage transfers, museum visits and tastings. For more information, visit, or call +44 (0)1858 565148.


6.    Tuscan Harvest– Chianti, Castles and Tuscan Cooking Starting and ending in Pisa, this guided walking holiday in Tuscany brings you the best of central Tuscany. Experience superb guided hikes taking you off the beaten track. Visit Tuscan gardens and castles, drop in to wine estates, chat to the winemakers and taste their wines and olive oil. Have fun making fresh pasta with a celebrated local chef in the sixteenth century kitchen of a private country villa. The accommodation consists of a 4* and 5* hotel; La Suvera is a former Papal villa with spa and an attractive outdoor pool, and Palazzo Leopoldo is a converted noble residence in the heart of the delightful village, Radda-in-Chianti. Prices start at £2,280 per person, based on two people sharing, with a single supplement of £240. This includes 7 nights accommodation, all meals with wine, a support vehicle on hikes, experienced guides, return transport from Florence, pre-trip information, luggage transport and museum visits. Return flights from the UK to Pisa start at £60. For more information, visit, or call +44 (0)1858 565148.



Monday, 09 June 2014


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