Review: EF Go Ahead’s Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany with America’s Test Kitchen

Truffles take center stage on this Italy food and wine tour from EF Go Ahead and America's Test Kitchen.

person holding freshly made pasta on a knife on EF Go Ahead's tour Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany with America's Test Kitchen
(Photo: EF Go Ahead)
  • I joined EF Go Ahead Tour’s Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany tour, a tour to Italy it co-hosts with America’s Test Kitchen.
  • The culinary tour includes hands-on cooking classes, meals at noteworthy restaurants, and visits to wineries, cheesemakers, and local producers.
  • The tours are times to coincide with truffle season and the Alba White Truffle Fair.

EF Go Ahead Tour’s Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany itinerary—in partnership with America’s Test Kitchen (ATK)—offers an 11-day in-depth culinary and wine adventure through three culturally and historically-rich regions of Northern Italy. EF Go Ahead‘s thoughtfully curated and unique itinerary provides privileged access to top-notch restaurants, small family wineries, cheesemakers, balsamic vinegar producers, and more. Guests will also meet local truffle hunters, attend the Alba White Truffle Fair, participate in several hands-on cooking classes, and enjoy sightseeing and tasting tours in Turin, Bologna, and Florence. You don’t have to be an America’s Test Kitchen fan to enjoy the tour—any culinary and wine enthusiasts will enjoy the intensive culinary program, stunning scenery, delicious wine and food—and all led by a knowledgeable local tour guide.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Expert Review of EF Go Ahead Tours

Things to Know About: Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany with America’s Test Kitchen

chef in a field harvesting on EF Go Ahead's Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany with America's Test Kitchen
Learning from chefs about locally grown specialties is part of the fun on this tour (Photo: EF Go Ahead)
  • This culinary and wine tour is offered four times in late fall in 2024 and six times in 2025. Tours are timed for October and mid-November to coordinate with the Alba White Truffle Fair—and the prime season for harvesting the prized white truffles in Northern Italy. It’s a perfect time to travel to these regions with warm, sunny afternoons, cooler evenings, and fewer tourists.
  • The tour stops at three hotels over nine evenings, with four nights in Turin, two nights in Bologna, and three nights in a picturesque agriturismo in Tuscany. Breakfast is included every morning. Guests will also have three lunches and five dinners with beer or wine, but there are also tastings where generous snacks are provided. Guests on my tour were sociable and open to sharing lunch or grabbing dinner out when it was not part the itinerary. And the tour director was always happy to recommend places to dine.

CULINARY ADVENTURES: Best Tour Companies for Culinary Tours

  • Most guests on the tour were older couples or pairs of friends in search of culinary and wine experiences in Northern Italy. The itinerary is for between 10 to 22 travelers; there were 20 people in my group. Some guests were more knowledgeable than others about the food and wine, but all were eager to learn and asked many questions of the hosts, winemakers, and culinary artisans. Solo travelers will also feel very comfortable traveling with the group.
  • Almost every day is jam-packed and orchestrated for guests, so the tour is perfect for travelers who want this experience but aren’t interested in planning an intensive trip. Full days—and some early mornings—also mean that there’s a limited amount of free time. But ultimately, you’re in charge of your time: For instance, I opted out of part of the culinary walking tour in Florence to have time on my own to explore the city.
  • Due to the intensive schedule, the company recommends that travelers be able to walk three and a half hours each day across moderately uneven terrain (think ancient cobblestone streets) and be able to navigate hills and stairs—including the steep streets in the hillside town of San Gimignano.
  • The group travels together by bus—and some travel days are long. The tour director on my tour (Sabra) was outstanding. She commands a wealth of knowledge about everything Italy, and she offered insight and information on our destinations (and more) while we were on the bus.

Important Details About Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany with America’s Test Kitchen

Truffle dog and truffle hunters on Go Ahead Tour's Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany with America's Test Kitchen
Truffle hunting dogs help their owners find the best truffles during the short season (Photo: EF Go Ahead Tours)


This Italy tour itinerary begins in Turin, where you’ll begin your 11-day culinary and wine adventure with a group welcome dinner. The first full day is spent in Alba and includes a truffle hunt, lunch with truffles (lots of truffles), and a visit to the Alba White Truffle Fair. On Day four, there’s a sightseeing tour in Turin with tastings and a chocolate workshop.

On Day five, you’re off to Barolo for a lovely wine tasting and lunch. You’ll head to the beautiful town of Bologna on Day six, with two stops along the way. First, there’s a visit to a local Parmigiano Reggiano cheesemaker. Afterward, the group enjoys a tasting and lunch at a centuries-old, family-run balsamic vinegar estate. The following day is spent with a tour of Bologna. In the evening, you’ll enjoy a cooking class and dinner at an agriturismo in the countryside.

SOLO TRAVEL TOGETHER: 10 Best Tour Companies for Solo Travel

The last three evenings are spent at a picturesque agriturismo set in the Tuscan hills. From here, you’ll visit San Gimignano and the Chianti region and set off on a culinary walking tour of Florence. The final day’s highlights include a cooking class and lunch at the property, followed by a memorable farewell dinner at a winery.

Route Notes

There are some long days on the bus, especially when transferring between hotels and towns/regions on the tour. There are stops en route, so it’s not uncomfortable. It’s an excellent time to catch a nap if you’re sleepy—or you can listen as the tour director offers insight on the next destination.


Wine tastings, cooking classes, and culinary and history tours are the focus of this immersive food and wine lover’s adventure to Northern Italy. You’ll visit small winemakers, food artisans, the renowned truffle festival in Alba, Mercato Centrale in Florence, and tour three cities between Piedmont and Tuscany: Turin, Bologna and Florence. There’s a nice mix of food, wine, and history throughout the 11 days.


Nine breakfasts, three lunches, and five dinners with beer or wine are included. There are also three wine and eight food tastings, so it’s nearly impossible to be hungry throughout the trip. There are also three cooking classes: a chocolate-making class in Turin, a pasta-making class in the countryside near Bologna, and a lunch at the agriturismo in Tuscany.

 Tour Highlights

cooking class in Italy on EF Go Ahead Tours' Food & Wine: Piedmont & Tuscany with America's Test Kitchen
Hands-on activities include cooking classes (Photo: EF Go Ahead Tours)
  • A private dinner for our group at an upscale restaurant in Turin. A Michelin star chef and his brigade came from another town in Italy to prepare the meal for us. This was one of the most memorable evenings.
  • A delicious alfresco lunch with truffle pasta and other bites (with more truffles) prepared at the truffle hunter’s home in Alba.
  • The visit to the charming town of Alba and the Alba White Truffle Fair.
  • A visit to Barolo along with the wine tasting and lunch at a small family-owned winery.
  • A stop at a Modena balsamic vinegar producer in Bologna where we tasted its prized vinegar, learned about the family’s small-batch production and had a light lunch.
  • The cooking class and dinner at an agriturismo outside Bologna. Everyone had fun preparing the pasta for dinner and enjoying appetizers and aperitifs in the garden before our meal.
  • Visits to Bologna, Florence, and the medieval hill town of San Gimignano.
  • The farewell dinner at a beautiful winery in Chianti. The food and wine were impressive. It was a late evening, but a fantastic way to end the tour.

Hotel Ratings

Turin:  The NH Torino Lingotto Congress in Turin receives an average of 8.8 out of 10 on Kayak. I loved how much history there was in this building, since it’s where the Italian car industry was born. Guests also enjoy the large, modern rooms and convenient location. I wandered through the mall one evening before grabbing dinner at Eataly.

Bologna: The Hotel Porta San Mamolo is rated 8.6 out of 10 on Kayak. Reviewers like the spacious rooms that are “lovely and clean” as well as the central location.

Chianti: My Villa la Palagina gets a rating of 8.3 out of 10 on Kayak. Guests praise the vineyard views and its convenient location for exploring Tuscany.

Best for/Worst for

This tour is ideal for the curious culinary traveler who doesn’t want to deal with the details of planning an immersive trip. Almost everything—including airport transfers, bus transportation, meals and wine, sightseeing tours, cooking classes – and a few added surprises—are included in the tour fare. It’s a very comprehensive experience and offers a wonderful overview of the best of the Piedmont and Tuscany regions in 11 days. Airfare is additional.

BEST OF THE BEST: Best Tour Companies for Guided Tours

It would not be for the traveler who likes to control everything and plan out where they’ll dine, what they’ll do and when they’ll do it. Everything is prearranged—and you’re on a tight schedule. There’s also little room for flexibility, so if you’re the opposite of a planner and are the kind of traveler who likes to “wing it” and not be on a set schedule, then the tour would not be a fit for you either. I would also not recommend the tour for families with younger children.

More from TourScoop:

Gwen Pratesi is an award-winning food and travel writer. Her work has appeared in U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Cruise Critic, Reader's Digest, Smarter Travel, and Her work has also been featured on MSN, Yahoo!, and Business Insider. Follow her travels on and Instagram @pratesiliving.