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 Day 1 | Benvenuto in Italia : Welcome to Italy
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 2 | Dalla Citta' al Lago : From the City to 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.
Sunday Day 3 | Riflessi di Serenita' : Reflections of Serenity
We'll cruise by some of the most magnificent Villas, such as Villa Carlotta and Villa Balbianello, 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 and cuisine, creating a fascinating culinary mix and artistic traditions that are still carried on today. Enjoy a little free time for photos and lunch on your own in this charming area. Group dinner in a local restaurant near our hotel with regional specialties.
Monday Day 4 | 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 all the way to the northern part of the Lake, then to Tirano, a small village near the Italian/Swiss border. 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, that will take us all the way up to St. Moritz, in the heart of the Swiss Alps, 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! Then we continue back by car towards Italy - passing the border - then a stop in lovely Chiavenna for free time to shop, explore, and take photos of a classic Alpine village. On our way back towards the lake, we'll stop at a family family-owned farm that produces alpine cheeses and natural, homemade products, which we'll enjoy for dinner. The view alone from this place "above the clouds" is sure to make an impression, as you will be able to see most of the lake from above! Dinner includes fresh local produce and traditional dishes of the area.
Tuesday Day 5 | Paesaggio da Sogno : An Italian Dreamscape
A leisure late-morning departure to explore some surrounding villages
around Lake Como by boat, such as Varenna, Bellagio, and Menaggio, where
a plethora of shops, cafe's, restaurants, and art galleries offer
plenty of chances to savor the local flare. In the afternoon, we’ll have a guided visit of one of the famous historical villas and its gardens. Then, why not a nice stroll in the center of Como, walking by lively wine bars and gelaterias? There are many lovely shops and café’s in the village to stop for drinks and savor the little magic moments of life. Enjoy dinner on your own before returning to the hotel.
Wednesday Day 6 | Il Cuore & L'Anima del Gusto : The Heart & Soul of Taste
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 over 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.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Thursday Day 7 | Panorami Meravigliosi : Views of Wonder
Aaaah!! A great day to just BE! We'll take 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 lunch. Take a trip back in time and learn about family traditions and a solid heritage that make this winery an absolute must-see spot. Then take the afternoon to enjoy some free time to relax, destress, read a book, meditate, walk in nature, and lay out on a chair by the hotel’s private patio. In the late afternoon, we'll take a drive through the heart of the Langhe area, stopping 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 hills and sunset over the vineyards before a magical group dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Friday Day 8 | Dalla Tradizione alla Tavola : From Tradition to your 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! Our second stop will be at an organic cheese farm that raises its own sheep, goats, and cows. We'll learn about the passion that keeps this family's tradition being passed from generation to generation. Then we can work off some of that delicious food 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 on your own in the village within walking distance.
Saturday Day 9 | Sorrisi e Memorie : Smiles and Memories
After spending the morning and lunch at your leisure, in the afternoon we’ll visit an amazing Medieval Castle, the Castello Grinzane-Cavour, home to one of the most important wine collections of Piemonte wines, as well as the seat of the International White Truffle Auction. You'll learn about life during the 17th and 18th centuries as each room is filled with historical memorabilia. Then we'll drive to nearby Alba, a lovely town made famous for its culinary delights, including just about anything truffle-related, chocolate, and wine! Enjoy time on your own to explore, and then dinner on your own.
Sunday Day 10 | 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.
Monday Day 11 | Arrivederci!
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!
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, government fees*, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees. *Accommodation taxes not included and must be paid by guest directly to the hotel.
- 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 does not include the accommodation tax imposed by local municipalities - to be paid in cash by guests directly to the hotel.
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.
- After you register, you will receive a "Benvenuto Box" by mail within approximately 10-15 business days. It will include reminders and important materials for your trip. The content may vary based on availability and by tour date/itinerary.
- 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.