Exclusive VIP Gourmet and Cultural tour Departs 4 June 2019
Northern and Central Italy – 18 Days -One Departure small group ( max 16) Fully hosted and Escorted.
Day 1. Arrival Venice
Own arrival in Venice, make your way to your First Class Hotel located on Venice Island. Time at leisure. Meet the Group participants at 7.30 for an aperitif and light dinner at a local Trattoria
Day 2. Venice
After breakfast at the hotel we will meet our local guide for a walking tour see Piazza San Marco the Doge Palace, the Grand Canal, walk in the maize of Calle, marvel at the sights of this extraordinary beautiful city with its Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance marble buildings. In the evening, we will visit a Bacaro’- an historic Venetian wine bar, where you will be served ‘Spuncioti’, an array of delicious regional finger food with fresh wine. Later, you will have time for an optional regular sight-seeing tour; such as a Gondola serenade, touring the mysterious Venice canals with songs and music.
Day 3. Veneto Region
Transfer to Piazzale Roma where you will be transferred to your hotel Villa Ca Zane, a striking historic residence, dating back to 15th century. The Villa is in a small town in the Veneto region, 26 km from Venice. Veneto is among the wealthiest, most developed regions of Italy, well known for its wine productions. Prosecco and Grappa are produced in this region, the area is renowned for its many Palladian Villas. This evening we will meet for a“Welcome” drink and dine at the Villa ‘s elegant restaurant.
Day 4. Veneto region
Brenta River Cruise- Palladian Villas After breakfast, we will board our private boat and tour the Riviera del Brenta. From the 16th to the 18th centuries, this was an exclusive area, preferred by Venetian Aristocratic Families. Some of the magnificent, opulent Villas built here are opened to the public to explore. We will visit the magnificent Villa Pisani built in 1540, considered the “Queen of the Palladian Villas”. The afternoon is at leisure.
Day 5. Veneto to Emilia Romagna Region
Departure to the Emilia Romagna region Driving through the Veneto region and entering, briefly into the Lombardy region, we will stop at the splendid medieval city of Mantua. View the Palazzo Ducale and church of St. Andrea, continue cross the River Po to reach the Emilia Romagna region, one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. We will stay in the Parma Province – a highly fertile area known as the food valley of Italy; we will spend our night in a characteristic country residence, (Agriturismo).After a welcome drink you will be introduced to the locally made DOC products such as, the world-famous Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma, Salame di Felino and Culatello di Zibello. Famous DOC wines include Lambrusco and Malvasia, original Parmens cuisine.
Day 6. Parma
Early morning departure for a day full of rare experiences. First, we visit a Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese factory to learn how the cheese is made and cared for in the two years before it is consumed then continue to Torrechiara to see its magnificent medieval castle which dominates the charming Val Parma, proceed to Langhirano to see how the famous Parma Prosciutto is cured. Lunch at a trattoria with local produces. In the afternoon, drive to the City of Parma where you will have leisure time; we recommend a visit to S.M. della Steccata – the magnificent Renaissance church containing frescoes by Parmigianino or to the Romanesque Cathedral, with frescos by Correggio and to the pink hexagonal. Baptistery considered to be one of most important monuments in Europe. Tonight, dinner is at the famous Trattoria Corrieri, serving only original Parmens cuisine.
Day 7. Parma Verdi Country – Royal Palace Colorno
Drive to Roncole, a village where the most famous Italian Opera composer was born. Through his genius and his music, we can feel the culture and spirit of his homeland. After a visit with a local guide, continue to nearby Busseto, learn about Giuseppe Verdi’s early life and about his benefactor. Later, visit Villa Agata, Verdi’s last residence. Drive to the small town of Fontanellato, Rocca Sanvitale – a historical masterpiece of 15th century, visit to the Reggia Di Colorno named “The Petit Versaille” by the Parma beloved Duchess Maria Luisa Augsburg Lorraine, Napoleon’s wife, who ruled the Ducato di Parma. Return to our country residence for dinner and overnight.
Day 8. Modena Bologna
Breakfast and departure for the Modena area, visit an Aceto Balsamico cellar. Learn how the authentic artisan balsamic vinegar is made and aged from 12 to 25 years; a tasting is included. After the visit we will drive to the small town of Maranello home town of Enzo Ferrari founder of the iconic ‘Ferrari’ automotive company. In Maranello, we visit Museo Ferrari where you will have some leisure time and then we will continue onto Bologna, check in your First Class hotel in the historic centre. Dinner in a typical Trattoria, serving a feast of regional dishes.
Day 9. Bologna – Florence
Guided tour of Bologna visit the old University and view the historic centre of Bologna; we will go to a local delicatessen and taste the delicious Mortadella and other local foods. Bologna is affectionately known by Italians; as “La Dotta – the learned one” a reference to its University, one of the oldest in Europe, ‘the fat” (la grassa) – for its renowned rich food; such as, Tagliatelle, Bolognese sauce, Lasagne; and “the red” (la rossa) refererring to its political socialist orientation. Afternoon departure to the Chianti area in Tuscany; Check in to your Villa where we will spend the next 2 nights
Day 10 Florence Morning departure to Florence where we will spend the entire day. We will visit the historic center of Florence, discover the San Lorenzo market, see “il Duomo” with its imposing Brunelleschi Cupola, Giotto’s Bell tower, Piazza della Signoria, and Ponte Vecchio. You will have some time at leisure. In the afternoon we will take you to a famous “Gelateria” where we will enjoy one of the best gelato in Italy. Dinner at local restaurant in central Florence. Transfer to our Villa accommodation overnight.
Day 11 Pisa – Lucca – Portovenere Early morning departure to Pisa to view its historic leaning tower, time at leisure to see Piazza dei Miracoli and the Duomo. Continue to Lucca, jewel of medieval architecture. Lucca’s current defensive walls were designed by Leonardo Da Vinci and were never breached. Time for lunch in Lucca and then, proceed to the Liguria region to reach La Spezia or Portovenere in the evening. Typical Ligurian food includes: Pesto, fish and several types of focaccie baked daily. Dinner is at a local restaurant serving delicious fish specialities of the region. Day 12. Portovenere & Cinque Terre Breakfast at the hotel and short visit to the charming Village of Portovenere. From Portovenere we will board the local ferry to the Cinque Terre – a portion of thecoast that consists of 5 small villages. We will have a ferry pass and walking enthusiasts will be able to stop in Riomaggiore and walk on the “Via Dell’amore to Vernazza; from there you can take a Boat to Monterosso where the group will reassemble before departing to Sestri Levante We will stay at the beach fronted first class hotel Miramare, located on the picturesque “Bay of Silence” Dinner at the elegant hotel restaurant, will include dishes, typical of the region. We will stay at Hotel Miramare for two nights.
Day 13. Sestri Levante – Optional Portofino
Breakfast at the hotel and leisure time to explore the fascinating village of Sestri Levante or to relax on the beach; or if you prefer, we could take a drive to the charming jetsetters town of Portofino and the delightful sea resorts of Santa Margherita & Rapallo. Tonight’s dinner will be at a local restaurant in the area, serving Ligurian specialities.
Day 14. Genova – Grinzane Cavour Piemonte Early departure for Genoa, the capital of Liguria. Genoa has been nicknamed la Superba (“the Proud one”) due to its glorious past and impressive landmarks. One of Genoa’s most famous sons is Cristoforo Columbus born in the Republic of Genoa in 1450. Free time for lunch and departure to the Piemonte region. We’ll stop at Grinzane Castle, a massive medieval castle, located in the town of Grinzane Cavour renamed in honor of Camillo Benso, Count Cavour, who was mayor of the city for 17 years. Cavour was a leading figure in the movement for the Italian Unification in the19th century. In the Castle, you’ll see the “Enoteca Regionale Piemontese Cavour”, with the finest range of local wine produced from 105 wineries and 12 distillers. Overnight in a country residence in the area.
Day 15. Piemonte Langhe vineyards, Barolo – Alba
This morning, we will discover the beauty of the Langhe, an un-spoilt area of the Piemonte region. This locality is famous for its wines, cheeses, and truffles. The most famous wines include Barolo, Barbaresco, Asti and Dogliani. In the morning we will taste wines with local cheeses and local products and then free lunch. At 13:00, we will depart for La Morra municipality, we will visit the Montezemolo winery and taste their world – famous wines. We will continue to the town of Alba and taste the world-famous white truffles also called “trifola d’Alba”. Return to the country inn for dinner and overnight.
Day 16. Lake Maggiore Stresa
Travel to Stresa – a splendid resort town on Lake Maggiore. After you check into your hotel, free time for lunch. In the afternoon we will take a boat ride to the Borromees Islands – a group of three small islands and two islets facing Stresa. Visit Isola Bella with its magnificent gardens and exotic plants or stop at the charming Fishermen Island. Return to Stresa where we will dine in a local restaurant.
Day 17. Milan
After breakfast at the hotel transfer to Milan. Check in to your hotel time at leisure in Milan . Optional tour of Milan Or shopping tour of Milan. tonight we will discover the Navigli Area farewell dinner in a typical restaurant in Milan
Breakfast at the hotel with this, your tour ends. Optional extension” Discover Milan packages” with additional nights in Milan sightseeing and activities tours available on an individual basis