Tour of wonders: discovering caves and the art of ceramics

13/07/2022 - 31/12/2023
Travel ideas


Have you ever tried climbing a 70-metre dome with helmet and harness? Don't take off your helmet because you will need it to explore the bowels of the earth between caves, tunnels, underground lakes… and aperitifs in the cave. There are more wonders to come on this tour which will make you acquainted with the art of ceramics interpreted according to the local uses and techniques and often on display in museums of the magnificent villages between Piedmont and Ligura.


Day 1

• Late morning arrival in Vicoforte by own means. • Magnificat: a one-off experience to visit the Sanctuary with the world’s largest elliptical dome. Equipped with helmet and harness you will climb to the 70 m high dome and experience a unique cultural activity of a strong emotional impact. Spiral stairs, ancient passages reserved for the workers, panoramic views of the outside and spectacular views inside the magnificent painted vault. Among walkways, buttresses and cornices, step after step, it will be possible to go back over the history of a centuries-old construction site, admire more than 6000 m2 of fresco and disco- ver the sophisticated technologies that currently allow constant monitoring of the structural con- ditions of the building.
• Lunch at leisure.
• Transfer by own means to Mondovì for an in- dependent walk in the city: a fascinating village halfway between the medieval and the baroque period.
• Admission to the Museum of Ceramics.
• The walk continues to “Torre dei Bressani”, a reference point of the town, with its somewhat irregular and unique single-hand clock. All round is the Park of Belvedere, designed for the Flo- ral Exhibition in 1903. Today, besides offering a spectacular view of the territory it is also the seat of the Park of Tempo: three horizontal sundials in stone are installed.
• Dinner at leisure.
• Overnight accommodation in 3* hotel in Villa- nova Mondovi.

Day 2

• Breakfast in hotel.
• Transfer by own means to Valcasotto and visit the cheese aging facility with more than 15,000 cheese wheels. Thanks to the ongoing care of master agers, mountain cheese rests and ages at length on wooden planks that develop its taste and enrich its structure.
• To follow, Cooking course: “Learn to make gnocchi with Fonduta”. An immersion into the local tradition with hands-on experience and di- scovery of a few secrets in the kitchen.
• Lunch inclusive of first course and cheese tasting session in small hotel.
• In the afternoon, transfer by own means to Pamparato, a delightful village of Valle Casotto. • Visit to the production laboratory and Biscuit factory of Pamparato and visit to the Museum of Uses and Customs of Mountain People. Situated in a fascinating former 17th century convent, it collects the tools and utensils typical of working and domestic life, the faithful reconstruction of a primary school with adjoining refectory, a room dedicated to weaving and one to chestnut pro- cessing.
• Meeting with Andrea Giaccone, an artisan who works the most varied local woods in his work- shop and skilfully transforms them into furniture and everyday objects, a visit to discover the world of craftsmanship where wood becomes art.
• Dinner at leisure.
• Overnight accommodation.

Day 3

• Breakfast in Hotel and check-out.
• Morning dedicated to the discovery of a “Top- sy-turvy World”: Visit the Caves of Bossea, in Val Corsaglia. Dug in the bowels of the earth or inside the mountains, there are immense halls, abysses that seem never-ending, underground crystal- clear rivers, lakes. They are evidence of a prehi- storic life that evokes an enchanting world where there is room for fairy tales and legends.
• Aperitif in a Cave: 1 glass of wine with salami and cheese.
• Lunch at leisure.
• Transfer to Albissola Marina in Liguria and check-in to 3* hotel or B&B.
• Afternoon dedicated to discovering the tradi- tions of this area with a visit to the MuDA “Museo Diffuso Albissola”, an open-air museum in which to experience and discover the winning combina- tion of ceramic craftsmanship, territory, modern and contemporary art.
• In particular:
- Guided tour of “Casa Museo Asger Jorn”, which offers the most incredible and amazing experien- ce of a natural and architectural environment cre- ated by the free imagination of one of the most important artists of the 20th century: Asger Jorn; - Independent visit of “Centro Esposizioni”, the real centre of the cultural activity of the village. The Centro Esposizioni del MuDA is a multi-purpose space that includes the public art gallery;
- Independent visit of the “Fornace Alba Docilia”, an extraordinary historic museum of art and ce- ramic technology. An authentic ceramics factory perfectly preserved;
- Independent visit of the historic centre of Al- bissola Marina.
• Dinner at leisure.
• Overnight accommodation in B&B or 3* hotel.

Day 4

• Breakfast in hotel.
• Transfer by own means to Sassello, the first village to have been selected and certified by the Touring Club with the Orange Flag, awarded to small excellent villages of the Italian hinterland. • A short distance from the centre of the town is BeiguaDocks, a new reference point for hikers and lovers of gourmet food, where you can find all the “Gustosi per Natura” products of Beigua Park.
• Delivery of O-km lunch box for packed lunch.
• Independent hike to discover the trails of Fo- resta della Deiva, one of the most interesting natural sites of the Park. For those who wish do so, upon payment, it is also possible to rent an e-Bike for the trip.
• In the afternoon, independent visit of the village. • O-km aperitif at Beigua Docks.
• Return to Albissola Marina.
• Dinner at leisure and overnight accommodation.

Day 5

• Breakfast and check-out.
• Transfer by own means to Borgio Verezzi.
• Admission and independent visit of the Caves of Borgio Verezzi, also called “The most colourful tourist cave in Italy” with a visitable route of ap- proximately 800 metres inside large rooms.
• Inside there are numerous lakes, characteri- sed by still and transparent waters, concretions of different shapes including cannulae, drapes, columns and eccentric stalactites, and colours everywhere: all shades of white, yellow and red!
• Return.

Rates / Supplements

Price per person from:

€ 599,00 (groups of 2 pax)

The price includes:

• 2 overnight stays in a double room with brea- kfast in 3* hotel in Villanova Mondovì
• 2 overnight stays in a double room with brea- kfast in 3* hotel or B&B in Albissola Marina
• admission to the Magnificat experience in Vicoforte
• admission to the Museum of Ceramics
• visit to Pamparato biscuit factory and small tasting session
• visit to Artisan workshop
• visit cheese ageing facility
• Cooking course (2 hrs of practical lesson, handout with explanation of recipe, Certificate of participation, Souvenir apron, wine glass) + lunch in small hotel (beverages excluded).
• Visit Caves of Bossea and aperitif
• Admission to MuDA and guided tour of Casa Jorn Museum (1 hr)
• 0 km lunch box
• aperitif at Beigua Docks
• admission to caves of Borgio Verezzi

The price does not include:

• Transfers, tourist tax (if any), extras, personal expenses and anything not listed under The estimate includes
• Medical baggage/insurance
• Cancellation insurance


Holiday formula:


Guided tour:

No, on request (with supplement)