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Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, Lake Garda, Piedmonte, Milan
April 23 - May 3, 2020
Northwest Italy is truly filled with so many treasures.   You find crystal clear lakes, castles, lush vineyards, religious relics, famous art and architecture, just to name a few.  Join me in 2020 to experience some of these amazing places.  The regions of Lombardy and Piedmonte are also known for their delicious cuisine and wines.  There will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy the "tastes" of these areas.  We will spend several days lazing on Lago Maggiore and visit nearby Lago Como and Lago Garda.  We will spend time in beautiful Bergamo, which has a Citta Alta (upper town) and a Citta Bassa (lower town).  Did anyone say "wine"?  Near Bergamo you find the hills of Franciacorta, known for one of Italy's best sparkling wines.  Then we will travel into the Piedmonte region to visit the romantic wine villages of La Morra and Barolo.  In Piedmonte, we also explore charming Torino.  Here you find the famous "Shroud of Turin".  Finally we will end our adventures in Milano and see all its dazzling delights.  We will dine like kings and enjoy delicious wines throughout our trek through Northwest Italy.   This will be a wonderful tour filled with memorable experiences.  Join me next April for 11 days to savor the "tastes and treasures" of these regions.  This would be a perfect way to start making those memories of a lifetime.  
Airfare NOT Included

Tour begins and ends in Milan.  
Tour is for 11days/10nights.

 The total cost per person is $3699
with double occupancy.  
(Does not include local city hotel tax)

Traveling solo?  Sadly, most hotels only have a few single rooms, so many times they provide what they term "double for single use".  They do however, charge a premium for the luxury of staying alone.  I am faced with this all the time.   If you cannot find a partner, I will be glad to match up single travelers if at all possible.  Otherwise, the single supplement for this tour is $875.00 extra per person.

  • Relax on Lago Maggiore.
  • Ride a ferry on Lago Como with a visit to Bellagio.
  • Discover Bella Bergamo.
  • Explore the wine roads of Franciacorta and visit several wineries along the way.
  • Visit the lakeside village of Sirmione on Lago Garda.
  • Immerse yourself in the vineyards  of La Morra and Barolo.
  • See the wonders of Torino and visit the "Shroud of Turin".
  • Discover the delights of Milano.
  • Savor Delicious Italian Cuisine and local wines throughout the tour.

**( Itinerary is subject to change and variations with and/or without notice.  Definite itinerary will be given prior to trip )

Day 0 - Depart USA – Wednesday, April 22, 2020  

You will fly into Milan's Malpensa airport.  (Remember you will arrive in Europe the day after you depart the USA.)  

Day 1 - Arrival Day - Benvenuto! - Welcome to Italy - Thursday, April 23, 2020

Welcome to Italy and the region of Lombardy! Arrive into Milan Malpensa Airport for pickup and transfer by 2PM to the town of Stresa, which sits on the banks of Lake Maggiore, one of the most beautiful spots in Italy.  Lake Maggiore is ringed by mountains and dotted with the Borromeo islands.  Here you will have time to relax and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you from your hotel balcony or from the wonderful rooftop terrace of Hotel La Palma.  We will explore the small town of Stresa and enjoy a fun and tasty welcome dinner.  (D) Light

Day 2 - Lago Maggiore and the Lakeside Village of Stresa - Friday, April 24, 2020

You will have the whole day to enjoy this magical setting.  We will start our day with a ride on the lake to visit the Borromeo Island, Isola Bella. Here you find the amazing 17th century Palazzo Borremeo.  You will have a private tour inside the palazzo to learn all the history of the Borromeo family who still own the palace today.  Then you can stroll the grounds of the magnificent Italianate garden, maybe even see the white peacocks strut their stuff.  In April the azaleas are in full bloom in the garden and the vivid pinks and reds will take your breath away.  We will take some time for lunch together in the tiny village of Isola Bella.  

Then you will have the rest of the day to explore on your own.  There are several lovely places to visit on the lake including Isola Madre and Isola del Pescatori (Fisherman’s Island).  The public ferrys run throughout the day.  You could also ride a cable car up into the mountains for amazing views of Lake Maggiore and nearby Lago d’ Orta.  (B) (L) Light

Day 3 - Cruising on Lago Como & Bella Bergamo - Saturday, April 25, 2020

Today we start with an excursion to nearby Lake Como.  Lake Como is a hazy, lazy lake lined with lovely villas, and crowned with snowcapped mountains.  It has been the home to the rich and famous and a major holiday destination for centuries.  We will visit the town of Como, known for its silk production.  From here we will hop a ferry for a ride on the lake passing pretty lakeside villages, George Clooney’s Villa and stunning mountain vistas.  Our destination is Bellagio, self-proclaimed "Pearl of the Lake".  You will have plenty of time to immerse yourself in this beautiful setting.  

Then we head east to Lombardy’s Glacial Valley and the town of Bergamo.  Set in the foothills of the Alps, prosperous Bergamo has an attractive Citta Alta (Upper Town) whose Renaissance buildings and medieval lanes are encircled by impressive 17th century Venetian walls.  The medieval neighborhoods and elegant avenues of the Citta Bassa (Lower Town) are good for shopping and viewing fine art.  We will stay in the lower town for the next 3 nights.  After time to settle into our hotel we will enjoy dinner together. (B) (D) Moderate

Day 4 – Exploring the Citta Alta of Bergamo - Sunday, April 26, 2020

Bergamo and nearby Brescia have a long history of Roman, medieval and even Venetian strongholds.  There is however, evidence of much older human occupation up in the surrounding hills where the rocks and caves are peppered with extraordinary prehistoric petroglyphs.  We will focus on the medieval and Renaissance history found in the Upper Town.  We will ride a funiculare up to the Citta Alta.  Since this region is also known for wonderful food like its hearty pastas and risottos, polenta, salamis and cheeses we will combine our sightseeing with local food tasting during the Bergamo Food Tour.  This will be a fun way to learn all about this area and Bergamo.  (B) (L) Moderate

Day 5 – Sparkling Wine from the Hills of Franciacorta - Monday, April 27, 2020

Today you will take a little excursion where you will discover the luscious landscapes of Franciacorta on a wine tour.  Your wine tasting adventure begins with a drive along hilly roads and through picturesque countryside while your guide shares engaging insight into the history and peculiarities of the region.

Franciacorta is one of Italy’s best-known winemaking regions, and its delicious namesake sparkling wine is fast gaining popularity throughout the world.  Unlike Prosecco, which is made in large vats, Franciacorta is produced in a similar way to Champagne, with secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle.  Like Champagne, Franciacorta is made using chardonnay or pinot noir grapes, but thanks to the region’s warmer climate, the end result is a complex, more refined flavor.  

You will visit a small family-run winery nestled in the heart of the sprawling green hills.  Accompanied by the winemaker, you will explore the vineyards and cellar rooms as you learn about the method of wine production.  Afterwards, enjoy a tasting session of three different Franciacorta wines along with some fresh local products including cheese and salami.

The tour continues on to a nearby traditional farmhouse for a tasty lunch.  After lunch, you will head to one of the region’s most renowned wineries, steeped with a rich-history and world-wide envied wines.  Following a guided tour of the cellar, enjoy another tasting session of superb Franciacorta wines.  We will return to Bergamo for the evening.  (B) (L) Light 

Day 6 - Lago Garda’s Sirmione & Piedmonte’s Langhe Hills - Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Today we are off to the largest of the northern Italian lakes, Lago Garda.  The town of Sirmione sits on a tiny peninsula jutting out into the lake.  This medieval village is fun to explore and a visit to the Scaliger Castle is a must.  

After some time to enjoy Sirmione, we will say farewell to Lombardy and travel to the region of Piedmonte.  We will pass through the fertile plains of this region where you will see many fields of rice.  We will take time to visit some of the famous wine villages in the area known as the Langhe hills.  La Morra and Barolo are both picturesque villages serving up some of the most famous wines in the hills.  This area is not only famous for its wines but is also known as a the “gourmet corner” of the country with its white truffles, mushrooms and hazelnuts.  They are also very proud of their salami, cheese and artisan bread.  

We will settle in for the night at the lovely country hotel, Tota Virginia.  The magnificent view of Serralunga d’Alba from your balcony will bring tears to your eyes.  We will enjoy a dinner of the local cuisine with some of that famous Langhe Hill’s wine.  (B) (D) Moderate

Day 7 – Piedmonte Villages of La Morra and Barolo - Wednesday, April 29, 2020

We will spend the day exploring two of the UNESCO World Heritage villages in this area.  They received this honor thanks to unique winemaking traditions that combine historical methods with modern machinery.  The views from both La Morra and Barolo are amazing.  There will be time for some wine tasting in La Morra at the Cantina Communale.  Here you can learn all about the local wines such as Barbera d’Alba and Barolo.  Later, we will enjoy dinner together in La Morra. (B) (D) Moderate

Day 8 – Charming Torino - Thursday, April 30, 2020

With the Alps as a glorious backdrop, Torino (Turin), today an economic powerhouse is also a town of grace and charm.  It has squares, museums, castles, palaces and boulevards fit for a king.  Indeed, it was the first capital of the kingdom of Italy in 1861.  It is also home to the famous Shroud of Turin, the Fiat car company and the birthplace of Italian cinema.  We will take time to discover all the most famous sights on a walking tour.  Also, did you know that this was where the first chocolate bar was created in the 16th century, so how could we not take time for a “Chocolate Lover’s Tour”?  

We will settle in to our hotel and enjoy dinner in this city known for its innovative cuisine.  (B) (D) Moderate 

Day 9 - Milano, Powerhouses of Prosperity and Grace - Friday, May 1, 2020 

After exploring Torino to the max, we will make our way to another powerhouse, the wonderful and vibrant city of Milan.  We will settle into the Hotel Berna located in the heart of the city near the Stazione Centrale.  We will hop on the Hop-on-Hop-off bus for a leisurely sightseeing tour of the city.  Later we will enjoy an “Appertivo” Walking Tour.  (B) Light

Day 10 - Marvelous Milano - Saturday, May 2, 2020

Today will be busy as you enjoy a full day in Milan.  You will visit the main sights on a guided tour.  The Milan Duomo is one of the most ornate in Italy.  You can even walk on top of the roof.  The highlight to any visit of Milan is seeing Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper.  Later in the evening, we will enjoy a farewell dinner together.  (B) (D) Moderate

Day 11 - Arrivederci Italia! – Sunday, May 3, 2020

It is time to say "arrivederci".  Parting will be such sweet sorrow, but I know you will take along wonderful memories of time spent enjoying the Tastes and Treasures of Northwest Italy with old and new friends.  (B)

(Included meals are designated each day with (B) for breakfast, (L) for lunch, and (D) for dinner.)

The Magical Gardens of Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore.
Sirmione on Lake Garda.
Wines of  the Langhe Hills.
Beautiful scenery in Piedmonte.
Veal Milanese.  YUM!
Milan's Stunning Duomo.
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Note on Physical Activity

You must be in good physical condition to sign-up for this trip.  This is not a "walking or hiking" tour, but there will be plenty of walking, some uphill and on uneven cobblestones.  You will need to be on your feet for extended periods of time. You will also have to handle your own luggage most of the time.  If for some reason you are unable to take part in all scheduled activities, you can stay at the hotel and relax. I will be glad to work with you on possible alternative activities if they are possible, but cannot guarantee it and you will not be compensated for this time on your own.  I will plan time for you to relax, but have found that most people want to see as much as possible while in Italy.   Most towns are made for walking and this is how we get around. 

  • LIGHT = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking (some cobblestones) throughout the day.
  • MODERATE = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • STRENUOUS = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, or uneven terrain.
Click for printable copy of Itinerary
Reservations, Deposits and Payments:

A $500.00 non-refundable deposit will hold your place on the tour.  Remember the tours are limited in size from 4 - 14.  Payment is accepted by check or credit card through PayPal. (5% fee if using PayPal) If you are a Bank Of America customer, then you could also do a direct bank transfer to me.  I can get you that information if you are interested.  Your deposit is credited against the total tour cost.  Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure.  

Contact me for information on paying with PayPal or Bank Transfer.


  • 10 nights accommodation in 3-4 star, centrally located hotels with private bath or shower.
  • An extensive meal plan:  10 breakfasts (B), 3 lunches (L), 6 dinners (D)  Bottled water, tea or coffee are included with all meals.  Wine is included with all dinner only.  (2 glass limit per person, either red or white LOL).
  • Does include pickup from Milan Malpensa Airport and transfer to Stresa during specified hours.  (If you choose to arrive early or stay a few days, all transfers to and from airport or train stations will be at our own expense.)
  • All ground transportation for tour while in Italy.  
  • Guided sightseeing and entrance fees to select sights and museums as described in itinerary.
  • Wine tasting of Barolo, Barbera d'Alba, Nebbiola, Franciacorta, just to name a few.
  • Plenty of memories to last a lifetime.
  • Surprises along the way.


  • Airfare is not included.  
  • Transportation to the Milan airport on departure day is not included.
  • Does not include remaining meals, alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages at included meals.
  • Does not include travel insurance.
  • New local city taxes imposed on hotels are not included and must be paid by guest in Euro directly to hotel at checkout.  (These range anywhere from 2 - 6 Euro per person, per night, depending on city)

Click for printable copy of Itinerary
Pretty Sinalunga d'Alba.
Fun in the Langhe Hills Vineyards.
Piazza Duomo in Milan.
Inside the Galleria in Milan.
Wine and more wine in Piedmonte.
Pretty Bellagio on Lake Como.