The train from Milan takes you to Vercelli in only 50 minutes; at the train station in Vercelli you will meet your tour leader who will accompany you throughout the day. Reach the rice farm by private minivan in only 15 minutes driving through the flatness of the rice fields; you are close to the farm when the minivan leaves the paved road and takes a dirt one. The farm stands in the middle of the rice fields that are flooded in April and May and turned into the so-called “squared sea”. You will learn from the people at the farm how the ears of rice are grown and harvested, and you will visit the laboratory where the rice grains are transformed into the final product that you find in stores. You will have the opportunity to see a room furnished the way it used to be when the “mondine”, young girls coming from all areas in Northern Italy, spent their days working in the fields pulling weeds with their feet in the water and singing merry songs which filled the countryside. A famous saying states: “rice is born in water and dies in wine” meaning that rice has to be cooked with wine. The lady of the farm will show you how the typical dish, the “panissa” is prepared and then it is about time to taste it.
After lunch you will travel by minivan to the wine area beyond the Po River to visit a winery, the vineyards and to taste the local wines. Enjoy your visit and admire the gentle landscape of hills and vineyards extending as far as the eye can see.
You will stop at a very small village to visit the public “Infernot”, of which the village inhabitants are deservedly proud. The Infernot is a small underground room entirely dug in the “Pietra da Cantoni”, that for its almost constant temperature and humidity characteristics is the perfect place for the preservation of the finest wines. Most houses in the area have their private Infernot, there are also some public ones open on specific occasions.
At the end of these visits you will be taken back by minivan to Vercelli train station where you will say arrivederci to your tour leader and take the 05.49pm train that arrives in Milan at 06.46pm