EXPLORE: Milan, Bellagio, Como, Menaggio, Varenna, St. Moritz, Alba, Monforte, Turin, Barolo.
Indulge in glorious Italian cuisine at its best in the historical hills of the Piedmont region, home to the "Slowfood" movement, where the treasured white truffle of Alba and the king of Italian wines, Barolo, reign supreme.
Continue your trip at a private luxury villa in the heart of the Piedmont region, "Le Langhe", where you'll be able to walk through romantic hilltop towns and world-renown vineyards of northern Italy, take part in fun cooking classes, go truffle hunting with a local "Trifulau", explore medieval Castles, visit local cheese farms, and much more.
(Itinerary is subject to change with or without notice. The sequence of day trips may vary. The final itinerary will be given on the first day of the tour. Included meals are indicated at the bottom of each day's description.)
Friday | Benvenuto : Welcome!
Welcome to Italia! Tonight you will rest in a beautifully restored historic hotel in the heart of Milan, and relax after a long trip overseas. Regain your energies tonight to start the trip of a lifetime in one of the world’s most amazing countries! Located just a few steps away from amazing restaurants and Milan's major sites, this hotel will offer a warm welcome as you enjoy your first night in the capital of Italian fashion.
Saturday | Day 1 | Buongiorno! Riflessi sul Lago : Reflections on the Lake
After check-out, a local guide will take the group through Milan's famous streets and sites, including the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, full of upscale shops and liberty-style cafe's, then into one of Europe's most stunning Gothic Cathedrals: the Duomo. After the panoramic walk through Milan's historical center, you'll have some free time for lunch on your own. Then be ready as the group will be picked up in the hotel lobby and we'll make our way north towards Lake Como, located in a distinctive area tucked between the Alps, Switzerland, and the Po Valley to the south. Enjoy breath-taking views of the lake from the boutique hotel our groups stay in, near the village of Menaggio. Before dinner, you could take a "passeggiata", a leisure walk along the shore of this amazing northern Italian lake. Check-in for the following 4 nights, unpack and relax. Group dinner and introductions at the hotel.
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Sunday | Day 2 | La Bellezza del Nord : Northern Beauty
A leisure late-morning departure to explore some surrounding villages around Lake Como by boat. Meet our local tour guide to explore the gardens of Villa Melzi in Bellagio before enjoying some free time, maybe some shopping and lunch on your own in this charming village. In the afternoon transfer with our private boat Varenna and Menaggio, where a plethora of shops, cafe's, restaurants, and art galleries offer plenty of chances to savor the local flare. Group dinner in a local restaurant near our hotel with regional specialties.
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Monday | Day 3 | In Cima al Mondo : On Top of the World
Make sure to bring your passport as we'll be crossing the Swiss border! An exciting morning departure as we venture to see some of the highest peaks in the Alps. We'll make our way to the northern part of the Lake, then continue to lovely Chiavenna , the last Italian town before the border, where we stretch our legs along the cozy and quiet main street. We continue on a scenic drive all the way up to the Maloja pass with many picture opportunities of the breathtaking Engandin valley. We will spend a few hours in St. Moritz, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, an international ski resort ideal for chocolate shopping and for a stroll along the fairytale-like lake. Now, are you ready to experience one of the most spectacular ways to cross the Alps? Here we'll board a small train, the Bernina Express, across Europe’s highest railway Alpine pass. You can enjoy one panoramic view after another, as the train passes by waterfalls, mighty glaciers such as the Morteratsch, climbing all the way up to view the 7,300+ ft high Bernina peak. This extraordinary itinerary is sure to take your breath away! From Tirano, back on the Italian soil, we board again our vans and on our way back towards lake Como, we'll stop for dinner in a restaurant close to the hotel.
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Tuesday | Day 4 | Sogni, Amore e Passione : Dreams, Love, and Passion
We'll cruise by some of the most magnificent Villas that were built around the lake by prominent families, who enjoyed luxurious and secluded retreats among peaceful gardens and hidden coves. For centuries, this territory has been an area of intense activity from people transporting merchandise between Central Europe and the Mediterranean. The characteristics of different cultures have highly influenced the local history, creating a fascinating artistic traditions that are still carried on today. Arrive to Como by private boat where our local tour guide will take us to discover some hidden gems of this wealthy city with a suggestive medieval district. Today for lunch we partake in a pizza feast, after all we are in Italy! Some free time walking by many lovely shops and café’s before boarding our boat toward Villa Balbianello. Here we will visit the exclusive rooms and apartment where one of the wealthiest man of Italy lived in the past decades, collecting works of art and memoabilia from all over the world. Dinner on your own.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Wednesday | Day 5 | Il Cuore e L’Anima del Gusto : The Heart and Soul of Flavor
We leave the hotel on Lake Como today and take a scenic drive South, towards the Piemonte region. We’ll stop at a traditional rice farm near Vercelli, for lunch and a visit of its ancient "risaia", where some of the most high-quality rice varietals (arborio, carnaroli, vialone nano) are grown to be made into the tastiest risotto from northern Italy! We continue then to "Le Langhe", a magical valley where time seems to have stopped and traditions still are carried out in the most authentic way. Arrival at our boutique hotel, perched on a scenic point with views over the region's rolling hills, covered with rows of vineyards and dotted with small hilltop villages. Check-in for the following 4 nights, unpack and relax. Group dinner with local specialties.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Thursday | Day 6 | Cucina & Sapori Regionali : Flavors of Regional Cuisine
Aaaah!! A great day to just BE! We'll take a drive through the heart of the Langhe hills, where Barolo wine is produced and patiently aged. Stop by fairytale-like medieval villages such as La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Barolo, Monforte, Serralunga d'Alba. Take a stroll and see the beautiful view of the UNESCO World Heritage site over the vineyards. After lunch on your own there will be the possibility for a group hike (if you prefer not to walk, we'll have a van take you) through the vineyards leading all the way to the Barolo winery where we'll enjoy a private tour and wine tasting. Take a trip back in time and learn about family traditions and a solid heritage that makes this winery an absolute must-see spot. Tonight a traditional dinner will be served in a local agriturismo: the culinary tradition of Piemonte is one of the finest in the world and your tour leader will introduce you to each recipe, revealing secrets and stories about some of the ingredients.
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Friday | Day 7 | Dalla Tradizione alla Tavola : From Tradition to the Table
Today is a special day (well, every day is a special day!) because it's about discovering local cuisine and getting to know local people. To start this lovely day in nature and culinary delights, we'll visit a family owned farm where we'll take a fun group cooking class, followed by a tasty group lunch with what we worked so hard on! Then take the afternoon to enjoy some free time to relax, distress, read a book, meditate, walk in nature, and lay out on a chair by the hotel’s private patio. Tonight we visit another family, producing Barbera wine and we will sit at the table with them partaking in a traditional "dinner farm" pairing wines with local salami, cheese and other specialties.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch and light dinner
Saturday | Day 8 | L’Arte del Vivere Bene : The Art of Fine Living
This morning we'll drive to Alba, a lovely town made famous for its culinary delights, including just about anything truffle-related, chocolate, wine and Nutella! Our local tour guide will take us to discover the Cathedral boasting a precious wooden choir of the XVI century and the market which take place on Saturday morning! Enjoy time on your own to explore. Then we can work off some of that delicious food we had in the past days during a group walk through the woods. But keep in mind that this is not an ordinary leisurely walk, this is a walk with a mission! We'll be joined by a local gentleman "trifulau", a "truffle hunter" who will show us the techniques he uses with his dog to find the sought-after, highly esteemed white truffle of Alba. Then return to the hotel and enjoy dinner in a famous restaurant of the area where locals are common guests.
Meals included: breakfast, dinner
Sunday | Day 9 | Incantevole Piemonte : Enchanting Piemonte
Check-out from Hotel and drive up towards Torino (about a 2-hour drive with break). Check-in Turin hotel for final night stay. We'll meet a local guide in the hotel lobby to go on a leisure walking tour of the city's most prominent sites and attractions. Then we'll enjoy a tasty group lunch in one of Torino's typical gourmet eateries. This is the final night of the itinerary...make it a special one! Please let us know if you’d like to add extra days in Torino, guided tours, transfers, etc.
Meals included: breakfast, lunch
Monday | Day 10 | Arrivederci! ’Til we meet... and eat, again!
Check-out from Hotel and ... Arrivederci! As hard as it may be to leave these beautiful sites, we hope to see you again very soon in lovely Italy!
Meals included: breakfast
What's included in the Northern Delights Tour:
- 1 Night in centrally located historical Hotel in Milan + 4 Nights in Boutique Hotel on Lake Como + 4 Nights in Boutique Hotel in Le Langhe (Piemonte) + 1 Night in luxury hotel in Torino, for a trip totaling 11 Days/10 Nights. The first day of the tour is Friday, starting in Milan (departure from U.S. on Thursday for an overnight flight). Last day of the tour is Monday, ending in Torino (arrival in the U.S. is the same day of departure).
- Small group travel! Maximum of 12 travelers per group.
- Full-time service of Italian-born, English-speaking Nada's Italy Tour Leader (in some cases, it's Nada herself!).
- Complimentary Travel Materials: Italian Phrasebook, Luggage Tags, Maps for towns visited, and much more!
- Destinations include: Milan, Lake Como and the villages of Menaggio, Varenna, Bellagio, the Swiss Alps and Chiavenna, the villages of Le Langhe (La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba), Alba, Turin (itinerary and destinations may vary depending on time of year and are subject to weather conditions).
- Unique Experiences: Wine Tour in Piemonte vineyard (Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, and Barbera), Cooking Class in family farm (including souvenir apron), Boat trip around Lake Como, guided tour of historical Villas on Lake Como, Private visit of cheese farm, hike through vineyards, Truffle hunting excursion with local "trifulau" (truffle hunter & dog), visit of a traditional rice farm in Vercelli, train ride through the Italian & Swiss Alps, and fond memories that will light up your smile for years to come!
- Meals included: All Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners (included meals are shown at bottom of the description for each day as B for breakfast, L for lunch, and D for dinner). Beverages with meals: bottled water, soft drinks (in limited amounts), coffee drinks, and 2 glasses of wine per person (choice of red or white) with included lunches and dinners.
- Private luxury transportation throughout the stay in comfortable luxury air-conditioned vans with professional licensed drivers (not included: transfers from and to the airport, airfare, or any other personal travel expenses not associated with tour package).
- Complimentary pre-trip assistance with tips on making the best of your trip.
- Local VAT taxes and government fees, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees, staff tips (voluntary tips to restaurant staff, your driver and Tour Leader are at your own discretion). The City Tax is not included and must be paid by guests at time of check-out at the hotel’s front desk.
- Tips to staff and restaurants. (Additional gratuities can be given at the sole discretion of each individual traveler and are not required for participation on the tour.)
For more information, please call our office Mon.-Fri. 10am-6pm at 704.877.2003. Price listed is subject to change with or without notice.
What's Not Included in Tour Package
Trip price does not include airfare and anything that is not specified to be included. Price does not include any personal related expenses or travel-related expenses outside of the scheduled itineraries. The food & wine that is included is what is presented during meals, all other items ordered by traveler including wine and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are not included in tour price. Trip price includes tips for drivers and other tour staff. It does not include optional additional tips to restaurants nor to tour personnel such as maids, etc. These gratuities are given at the sole discretion of each individual traveler and are not required for participation on the tour.
Before you sign up you should note the following:
The first day of the tour is Friday in Milan (departure from the U.S.A. on Thursday for an overnight flight to Italy). Last day of the tour is Monday in Turin (arrival in the U.S. is the same day of departure from Italy). Airfare is not included and booking is traveler's responsibility.
This tour starts in Milan (Milano) and ends in Turin (Torino). Please plan your flight accordingly.
There are no activities scheduled on your arrival day, Friday. Pick up at the hotel in Milan is at 10:00am on Saturday for a guided city tour, which is the first scheduled activity after your first night's stay. Notifications, hotel information, and exact instructions will be emailed prior to the trip.
- It is your responsibility to get to the city where the tour begins.
- Reminders, hotel information, and arrival instructions will be sent by email roughly 60 days before the start of the trip (please make sure we have your current email address).
- Transfers to and from the airport are not included in the tour rate. Please contact us if you'd like to add transfers to your tour package.
- Add extra nights in Milan or Turin before or after the tour and extend your stay in this amazing country. Contact us for a quote on additional nights (subject to availability).
- You must be in good physical condition to sign-up for this trip. This is not considered a physically challenging trip, nonetheless, there will be a lot of walking uphill, downhill, walking over uneven pavement, and standing for extended periods of time.
- Please be aware that the territory we are covering is full of windy roads, so bring motion sickness pills if necessary.
- Even though basic tips to staff and restaurants are included, it is highly recommended that you put aside approximately $100 (US) in combined gratuities for your driver & Tour Director for your entire stay (and any voluntary additional restaurant gratuities are at your discretion).
- The earliest activity on this tour starts at 8:30am and the latest activity starts at 12:00pm.
- Nada's Italy highly recommends that you purchase Travel Insurance for your trip. For suggestions on policies, please contact us.
- Transportation for this tour is with two luxury vans that are licensed to access small hilltop towns, which larger vehicles cannot access.
- You should know that air conditioning in Italy, as well as wifi connections, are not as reliable as they are in the United States.
- The hotel staff assigns rooms to guests, some rooms may include stairs. A view is not guaranteed. Rooms differ in size and layout, in general, Italian rooms are smaller compared to US standards. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom with shower and/or tub, hair-dryer, and toiletries.
- It is your responsibility to obtain the required documents to travel to Italy. Your passport should be valid for 6 months after your return date. Verify with your own country's travel laws and government agencies.
- In the unlikely event
your tour does not reach the minimum participation requirement, we will
work with you to choose another available tour or tour date. We will do
our best to make the transition as smooth as possible.