If your vision of Italy is glamor, refinement, cosmopolitan cities, and seductive natural beauty, then Northern Italy is without doubt the place for you.

Italy’s northern cities have historically held the bulk of the peninsula’s wealth and power. In contrast to the drier and more agricultural south, the north of Italy is greener, cooler, more densely populated, and contains the vast majority of the country’s industrial and financial centers. It’s also markedly more ‘European’ in feel: bustling Baroque and Rennaissance jewels such as Turin, Milan, and Verona feel culturally and visually close to Paris and Vienna.

The cities of the north are full of contrasts: high fashion and haute cuisine sitting alongside world heritage monuments such as the Duomo of Milan or the Mole Antonelliana of Turin. Their world-famous museums and galleries hold genuine treasures – including Leonard da Vinci’s Last Supper – while modern counterparts push the envelope of art and design. Foodies will enjoy bouncing from a Michelin-starred gastronomic experience to the warm embrace of a traditional neighborhood trattoria.

Scenically, the north is quite simply stunning. Ranging all across Italy’s northern border are the majestic Alps, housing some of Europe’s finest ski resorts and adventures aplenty, from hiking and cycling to wine and farm tours. The glaciers of the Alpines trickle down to produce the gorgeous, highly glamorous Italian Lakes, where you’ll rub shoulders with the world’s wealthiest and most aristocratic locals. Later, hit the coast and marvel at the cliffs, beaches, and impossibly picturesque villages of the Cinque Terre – matched only by Amalfi for its alluring coastal scenery.

For many, Northern Italy is classic Italy. It is an equally attractive region both for those embarking on their first Italian adventure, or for return visitors – already seduced by Rome and Venice, and now ready to fall in love all over again amongst the region’s glittering lakes, mountains, coasts, and cities.

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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.


Italy Specialist

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Our Trips to Northern Italy

All of our tours are custom built to you, below are example itineraries curated by our Italian specialists to provide you with inspiration for your luxury tailor-made Italy tour.

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What to do in Northern Italy

Turin Italy

When to visit Northern Italy

Northern Italy encompasses the soaring peaks of the Dolomites, the breezy coastal scenes of the Italian riviera, the year-round pleasures of the Italian lakes, and the metropolitan centers of Milan and Turin. When to visit the region is really dependent on what you’re looking to do. Generally speaking, the best time to visit the lakes and cities is during the warmer spring months of April to June and early fall in September and October, during which time you’ll find the climate clear, dry, and pleasantly mild. The peak summer months of July and August also have very warm weather, ideal for the beaches of the riviera, but with temperatures occasionally reaching 85-95F and tourist numbers at their highest, it’s not always the most advantageous time to visit. If you’re coming to ski the slopes of far northern Italy, the best time to travel would be from late December through to March, with the best snow conditions usually in January and February. 


Perian our Italian Specialist

What local foods must one try when visiting Lecce, Italy (Puglia)?

Puglia is known for its excellent bread – such as focaccia, yellow-crumbed pane di altamura, and crispy taralli rings. Caciocavallo is a round, salty specialty Puglian cheese, while ear-shaped orecchiette (best served with broccoli rabe) is the region’s famous pasta. Local pastries include pasticciotti (small shortcrust pastry tartlets) and cartellate (rose-shaped sweets filled with honey, dates, and almonds. 

Which is the best town to stay in Puglia?

Puglia is one of the largest regions of Italy, with around 20,000 square kilometers of land and 800 km of coastline to explore. With points of interest in almost every corner of the region, it would be a shame to limit yourself to just one place! For culture, perhaps base yourself in Lecce; for scenery Matera; or for beaches head to Brindisi or Savelletri. 


How many days do you need in Puglia?

Much like Sicily or Tuscany, Puglia is a world unto itself and you could happily spend an entire tour of 10-14 days here – particularly if you’re looking to spend some serious time on the beach! Generally, we’d recommend a tour of around 8-10 days, allowing enough time to take in Matera, Lecce, Ostuni, Locorotondo, and the beaches of Savalletri. 


Is Puglia expensive?

Puglia is yet to succumb to mass tourism, and with its location in Italy’s poorer south, you’ll find the region noticeably easier on the wallet than north and central Italy. In the bigger cities such as Lecce and Bari prices will be a little higher, but if you’re spending most of your time amongst the countryside and beaches you’ll enjoy terrific value for money. 


Is Puglia safe for tourists?

As with the rest of Italy, Puglia is largely a very safe destination with low crime rates and an extremely warm welcome for international visitors. The south of Italy may be poorer than the north, but as a tourist you’ll find this translates into exceptional and very genuine hospitality, especially out in rural areas or quiet beach towns.


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