We landed in Munich, drove to Dolomites staying in val badia. Did Cinque torri open air museum hike and puez odle alotpiano in val gardina. Lucked out with some great weather but snow skirting sides of the roads, blown away by how pretty this area is. Ate at our hotel restaurants all three nights, as my wife was pretty tired (and not too pleased with me ) after second hike. Restaurant St Hubertous impressively demonstrated the Tyrol cuisine, the more casual restaurant was quite pleasant as well.
We then drove down beside lake garda stopped for a few photos, stopped and sampled some wine in Valpolicella (Fratelli vogadori was luckily open on a Sunday with an advanced phone call) and picked up a great bottle of Amarone. We stayed in a small town near our restaurant that night, Del Pascatore. Called Hotel Palazzo Quaranta. People were friendly, good breakfast, cute little village square. Del Pascatore was great, best meal of trip, lived up to expectations and then some. The tortelli with pumpkin will not be forgotten any time soon.
Next day we drove to Cremona, walked around the town, really pretty piazza. Then went to Pavia, had lunch in Antica Osteria del Previ. Was decent local food, nothing spectacular. Neither Pavia or Cremona felt overly touristy at all glad we stopped. Drove on to Piedmonte, we stayed in a really eccentric but beautiful bed and breakfast villa althea near Mango. We ate at Trattoria Coccinella, Osteria Veglio, Il centro (lots of truffle classics) for dinner, all recommendations from chowhound. For lunch L’aromatario, first taste of tajarin with truffles in Nieve after wine tasting, matteo morra which we just stumbled open after barolo tasting, was empty a bit upscale ,very good, more truffles. Had lunch at Piazza Duomo, heard mixed reviews but wanted to try a modern place with all our traditional meals, went a la carte to avoid disappointment. Really enjoyed the meal start to finish and would recommend. Interestingly truffles here were the cheapest of all restaurants contrary to what I’ve read elsewhere.
Visited Ca’ Del Baio, lovely wine and people; Paolo Manzone, similar great people and wine, enoteca regionale del Barolo and Barbaresco worth a stop to sample at your own pace.
Last stop was Milan. Explored the city, went to Pasticceria Marchesi, luni panzerotti, had an apertivo at Ceresio 7, great vibe and spot; grabbed some breakfast food at Peck. Did some shopping in zona solari, checked out corso como. Duomo rooftop. We ate dinner at Seta, very solid cooking, had too much wine to remember much more but was a good spot. Last night we went to Teatro Scala, wonderful opera.
We both really loved this holiday, best trip in a long time. Dolomites are spectacular, would love to go back skiing some day. The food of piedmonte blew me away, every meal was really solid, friendly people. Loved the cuisine of this region much more than Almafi or especially Tuscany. I typically prefer French food over Italian but Piedmonte/Del Pescatore may have me rethinking this. The aged Barolo/barberessco that we could afford particularly in the traditional restaurants vs back home in Canada was also unbelievable. My new favourite wine. Would go back to this region in a heartbeat.
Sorry a bit limited on details of meals, and thanks to everyone here who as posted so much valuable info about PIedmont