Explore the life of rural Italian farmers with a unusual rice field safari and farm visit from Milan. Visit the Vercelli area, roughly one hour from Milan by train, to see the local rice fields. Meet a rice farmer to learn about farming techniques. Enjoy a lunch break midday to feast on typical rice dishes of northern Italy in a former Neo-Gothic mansion. Wandering through the countryside, your local guide will reveal hidden art treasures of Italy, known only to experts or local people. See a completely different side of Italy that most visitors never find.
Daytrip to Vercelli rice fields from Milan
Learnabout hidden art treasures in the countryside
Visita typical rice farm and meet a rice farmer
Dineon a variety of traditional rice dishes for lunch (included)
Follow the changing colours throughout the seasons, resist tiredness, trust nature and respect it, learn to look “further ahead”, appreciate the silence, the mist, and “stay together”: this is the philosophy of Mr Quirino, a farmer who will open for you the doors of his estate located in the “grange” of low Vercellese.
Departing from Milan, you reach Vercelli in less than one hour by train. A short 20 minute transfer by private minibus will take you to discover secluded treasures of these lands which look at first sight plain and inconspicuous but they hide exceptional works of art, known only to experts or local people.
Surrounded by cypresses and immersed in silence, the Romanesque church of S. Michele in Insula is of very ancient origins and it owes its name to the Po River which encircled it.
The church of S. Caterina d'Alessandria has a remarkable cloister, painted interiors and frescoes that will take your breath away. You are in Trino Vercellese, a small village which dares challenging Germany on the invention of printing.
A well-known proverb says that rice is born in water and dies in wine which means that rice grows in water but it has to be cooked with wine. Lunch will be a celebration of rice, with a traditional dish which comes into the menu with different flavours, in accordance with the season. You will enjoy it at Borgo Ramezzana, one of the oldest mansions in the area, which offers his guests unique views and an exclusive service in a very relaxing atmosphere.
After lunch, you will reach a typical farm; you are in the land of water, a thick network of drains that from April to May turns the territory into the “squared sea”, the presence of water, kept at the right level by wise manual control, maintains a suitable temperature thus allowing rice seedlings to take root and to grow. Discover this fascinating irrigation system related to the Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, Prime Minister of the young Italian State, who gave his name to the major water channel, the Cavour Channel. Its building is an intriguing story of power, deceit and conflicts among men: a story that you will enjoy being told.
On board of a farm tractor, listen to tales which will bring the quiet countryside back to life, at the times when young girls, the famous “mondine”, pulled weeds and filled the air with their merry songs. It is not unusual to hear local people bragging about having a “mondina” in the history of their family. Going further back in time, you will learn that the genius of Leonardo da Vinci reached these lands, it is another curiosity that will be unveiled today.
Enjoy an unusual safari and feel like a farmer for a day, before going back to Milan.