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Originally from Toronto but now living in Italy, I’ve always been a traveler at heart. When I’m not planning your luxury European trip, you’ll find me hiking the Italian Alps or enjoying a lemon Spritz in Amalfi.
- from $4,181 PP
- 8 Nights
- Apr - Oct
- 2hrs from London / 9hrs from NYC
Discover authentic Northern Italy on this 8-night tour that brings you from Milan to the verdant landscapes of Benevello and spectacular Lake Como. It’s the ideal mix of city attractions and stunning nature, with everything from the opportunity to see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper to Michelangelo’s last unfinished masterpiece. You’ll get to savor the flavors of the area’s fine wines and delicious foods, complete with unique tastings and a cooking class so that you can make some of your favorite dishes back home. Enjoy intriguing tours with expert local guides through some of the most magnificent lakeside villages too, including Como and Bellagio.
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- 8 nights upscale accommodation in 4- and 5-star hotels
- Customizable itinerary
- Personal staff support 24/7
- Milan City Tour, including The Last Supper
- Wine Tour with lunch from Benevello
- Cooking class at a farmhouse and winery
- Private Como walking tour
- Private transfers as noted on itinerary
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Milan: Arrival into Milan, Italy
Your Authentic Northern Italy getaway begins with your arrival into Milan Malpensa Airport. Your private driver will be there to welcome you and provide transfer to your hotel in the city, an international capital of fashion, architecture, and industrial design as well as Italy’s hub for commerce and finance. It’s a mix of 21st-century modern and Renaissance, home to everything from Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper to a treasure trove of contemporary works. After settling in you might head to Milan’s grandest square, Piazza del Duomo which hosts its largest gothic cathedral to soak up the scene while unwinding at one of the enticing cafes. For an amazing view over it all, head to one of the rooftop terraces at the Duomo.
Day 2 Milan: Milan City Tour with Last Supper
Today you’ll be met by an expert guide for a tour of the city, including a visit to Santa Maria Delle Grazie church where you’ll see da Vinci’s famous mural, The Last Supper. Delve into Renaissance times, the city’s golden era, when the powerful Sforza family hoped to turn it into northern Italy’s artistic capital, inviting some of the greatest artists of the period, including da Vinci and Bramante. When you marvel at da Vinci’s remarkable mural, you might look for hidden messages in the painting as so many others do, having been inspired by the thriller novel/film, The Da Vinci Code. Your tour also includes a visit to Castello Sforzesco which holds da Vinci’s Sala delle Assi and the last unfinished masterpiece by Michelangelo, Rondanini Pietà. Conclude at Milan’s horse racetrack to see the highly celebrated Horse of Leonardo with free time to shop, enjoy lunch or just wander around afterward.
Day 3 Benevello: Transfer from Milan
This morning you’ll head out into the Piemonte countryside, a region that offers natural beauty similar to Tuscany but without the crowds. You’ll be met by your private transfer for transfer to your hotel, located just outside of the small village of Benevello. Enjoy the atmosphere of the converted 19th-century farmhouse tucked among rolling vineyard landscapes. You might want to relax at the poolside, enjoy the views while sipping a glass of Barolo, and then take the relaxation up a notch in the wellness area which includes a Finnish sauna, whirlpool, and steam room. While there are many outstanding restaurants throughout the area, a gourmet feast at the Michelin-starred eatery on-site is highly recommended. You might want to request a peek inside the wine cellar, located in the former chapel of the farmhouse.
Day 4 Benevello: The Monferrato Immaterial UNESCO Heritage
Journey to Canelli, a bustling town in the heart of Monferrato Wine territory with your private sommelier driver/guide. It’s best known for its network of galleries and tunnels that were dug out between the 16th and 19th centuries. The UNESCO-listed Underground Cathedrals are where the top sparkling wines and Champagnes are produced using the Méthode Champenoise which requires a secondary fermentation in the bottle instead of a tank. You’ll learn all about how the wine is made and enjoy a tasting of local wines, sparkling wines, a typical Vermouth, and dessert wine. At that point, you’re bound to have worked up an appetite, so it’s the perfect time for a light lunch in a rural estate. Afterward, you’ll visit the village of Barbaresco and stop at a wine bar that sits within the deconsecrated church of San Donato. Conclude with a tasting at a Barbaresco-producing winery in NEive, Treiso, or Barbaresco.
Day 5 Benevello: Cooking Class at Farmhouse & Winery in La Morra
A highlight on any authentic Northern Italy tour, today you’ll head to a farmhouse and winery to learn some new cooking skills. Your private driver will transfer you from your Benevello hotel to La Morra, a medieval hilltop village with centuries-old buildings nestled among picturesque vineyards, about a half hour’s drive away. Once you’re there, you’ll put on an apron and get a recipe book so that you can prepare a full meal with a little help from the talented chef. It includes two courses and a dessert, plus plenty of tips from the farmhouse matriarch you’ll be able to take back home and put to use, perhaps showing off your new skills to family and friends. Once your delicious dishes are finished, you’ll get to sit down and taste the results.
Day 6 Como: Transfer from Benevello
The final leg of your Northern Italy escape takes you to Lake Como. Your private driver will transfer you to the town of Como which sits right on the most famous of Italy’s lakes with its sparkling waters and the Italian Alps backdrop spotlighted in many films, such as James Bond’s “Casino Royale.” After settling into your Como hotel, you might enjoy a walk around the city with its many important museums, historical buildings, and fine restaurants. The archaeological museum is well worth a look with various finds and artifacts dating as far back as ancient Greek times. It’s a fascinating look at the history of the town and its inhabitants over the centuries with stonework, pottery, jewelry, and more. There are plenty of shops to browse if you want to give your wallet a workout too.
Day 7 Como: Private Como Walking Tour
Get to know Como and its most intriguing sites with a guided walking tour. Your private guide will meet you at your hotel to lead you through the historic center, providing interesting insight along the way. You’ll get to head inside Como’s cathedral with the opulent interior featuring a fresco that came from Saint Maria Maggiore Basilica, an altar, and a pair of statues. Take time to appreciate the exterior too. Construction began in 1396 and wasn’t completed for another 400 years. Its façade is one of the finest examples of late gothic-style architecture in Northern Italy. After your tour of the old part of the city concludes, take a ride on the funicular towards the village of Brunate, showcasing one of the most dazzling views of the lake along its shoreline.
Day 8 Como: Bellagio & Lakeside Villages Tour
Today you’ll take a tour with your private driver/guide to Bellagio, traveling the inner shore along the narrow, winding roadway that stretches from Como to Bellagio, known as the “Pearl of Lake Como.” The panoramic views that feature the lake’s western side make this an especially pleasant journey, something referred to as the “Amalfi Coast Road of Lake Como.” It takes about an hour to get to Bellagio, and once there you’ll enjoy a guided walking tour of the ancient historic center. Afterward, visit magnificent early 19th-century Villa Melzi, a private villa with gardens that are open to the public. The garden’s axis ascends the slope from the lakeshore to a high point above the villa and is crossed by multiple meandering paths. The Roman statues, Egyptian sculptures, and Japanese ponds add to the romantic atmosphere. Return to Como via public ferry from Bellagio followed by a drive into the city.
Day 9 Como: Departure
After eight magical nights exploring Northern Italy, the most difficult day of your journey has arrived. It’s time to depart, with your private driver picking you up from your hotel for transfer back to Milano Malpensa Airport. With so many spectacular destinations in Italy and beyond, if you aren’t ready to return home just yet, ask our travel experts about creating a bespoke addition to your itinerary. You might discover Puglia in the “heel of the boot,” Sicily, Rome, or combine this trip with one in Greece. The options are practically endless. If not now, we wish you safe travels home and would love to help you create more memories in the future.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
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