Viaggio in Piemonte 2015

For the third Total Immersion Trip in October 2015, percorsoItaliano returned to the beautiful region of Piemonte.

Our travels took us through the beautiful countryside of the Langhe where we were able to taste some of Italy’s most lauded and sought after red wines—Barbaresco and Barolo. The trip even included a day trip by train to Expo Milano 2015. 

We ended the trip in Roberta's hometown of Torino, a city which has reinvented itself as a mecca for food, wine, and fashion.


I took the trip with the objective of testing and improving my Italian language skills, and in this regard the trip was great. My vocabulary expanded and for the first time I felt as if I was swimming in the language. Italian became real for me in a way that it never has before; you could try to live in Italian. Certainly, my competence level is very low and it was always apparent that trying to be functional in Italian was in essence making a demand on those with whom you interacted to be especially patient and tolerant. But if you set aside all concerns about embarrassment, you could try to inhabit the language and thus become almost a new self. And there is a lot to be said about discovering that with another language you can become a better self.

Language usage and comprehension was always the priority for me, but the touring would have justified the cost on its own. Beautiful countryside, a stimulating, cosmopolitan city, terrific wine, and most especially interesting people from whom you could learn a lot and with whom you could interact productively and very happily.

Roberta T. deserves the credit for creating this experience. She made us feel as if we belonged. She introduced us to her wonderful family and friends and she was endlessly patient, reassuring, and fully in command without ever seeming to be. She has the most important of a teacher’s skills — the power to make you feel as if you as a student are the center of her attention.

I only have good things to say about this trip.
— Michael M.
The exposure to MANY opportunities to listen to and speak Italian increased my confidence in both receptive and spoken language. Hearing about and tasting vino, formaggio, tartufi, cibo Piemontese, l’arte, l’archittetura, il cinema, i palazzi, la storia e i musei…from and with patient native speakers was an experience for which there is no equivalent in a classroom. Even when I review the 11 pages (!!) of vocabolario relevant to the trip I am amazed that I understand the words; I am transported BACK to each environment and each day’s experience.

I appreciated throughout our “percorso italiano” the attention to detail in organization and planning throughout. There was balance in the pacing of physical and intellectual demand for our attention. There was enough time, and so many, many opportunities to see and learn about various aspects of the region. I understand how very difficult it is to strike the balance, and I think you got it RIGHT!

Besides language skills, I learned that I would like to travel with a congenial group like ours AGAIN. In the past, I have only traveled with family or a couple of friends, never with a group. I learned more about the many area that guides focused on than I could have traveling “alone”. I was glad for the small size of the group, too; it wasn’t cumbersome, and it was stimulating and fun.

Three experiences stand out among many: (Lady and the Truffle hunt), pranzo con Roberta’s family and friends in Spinasse, and my independent experience on Friday answering questions in Italian with two middle school classes. These were once-in-a-lifetime experiences because they gave me a small but wonderful peek into “real” Italian life. I will cherish these among my all-time favorite memories. I would most certainly recommend this trip to other students of Italian; it exceeded my expectations, and I hope we can go back next year!
— Dale L.
The visit to Cantina VIETTI in La Morra was a wonderful experience! I loved hearing the stories of the history of their winemaking experiences and the winery itself! Seeing the old city walls and the tunnels where the Resistance Fighters hid during the war and hearing the stories was really amazing. Great wines too! And the owner was very fun and gracious.

The day spent at Spinasse, including the meal was one of the highlights of the trip. What a lovely setting and your family and friends and the food were all fabulous. The walk to the village after pranzo was a perfect way to end the afternoon, as well. It was great of you to share your world with us and it will always be a fond memory from this trip. Thanks to you and everyone involved!

Il Lingotto with Pinacoteca Agnelli were very interesting and it was like our own private showing at the gallery! Great view of Torino and the Alps from the top as well.

I spent the day with two of Roberta’s friends and local torinese, Luisa and Piergiorgio, who were absolutely wonderful! It was one of my favorite afternoons. They were warm, generous, gracious and very interesting. This was a great idea and your friends were wonderful to do this for us!

Grazie mille!

Thank YOU!!! It was FABULOUS!
— Toni C.