Unforgettable Travel Company

Luxury Northern Italy Tours & Vacations

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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Perian

Italy Specialist

From the snowy peaks of the Dolomites to the sun-kissed coasts of Puglia, my European journey has been nothing short of diverse and immersive. Now based in the chic ambience of Milan, this deep connection with Italy and Malta ensures that I bring unmatched authenticity to every travel itinerary I curate.

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What to do in Northern Italy

  • Duomo Milan

    Feel fashionable in Milan

    Embrace your inner sophisticate on a visit to Milan, Italy’s most cosmopolitan and fashionable city. Milan is the center of Italy’s finance and fashion industries and has a modern, dynamic energy that is markedly different from elsewhere in the peninsula. The city has its fair share of historic treasures of course – including a beautiful Duomo and adjacent piazza; the graceful Santa Maria Della Grazie church, home to Leonardo Davinci’s Last Supper; and gorgeous Rennaisance neighborhoods such as Brera or Navigli – but the ubiquity of Milan lies in its glitzy shopping malls, art and design museums, and boundary-pushing haute cuisine.

  • Lake Como 2

    Soak in the beauty of the Italian Lakes

    Which of these breathtakingly beautiful lakes is the most beautiful? Or has the best food? Or the finest hotels? It’s impossible to tell without visiting for yourself. Draped languorously below the skyscraping Alps, the Italian Lakes are a simply magical experience, home to the most seducing scenery and refined hospitality anywhere in the peninsula. The lakes are also home to European aristocracy and Hollywood celebrities, and you’ll feel like you’ve really made it as you tour glamorous Lake Como, activity-packed Lake Garda, secluded and romantic Lake Orta, or the Belle Epoque charm of Lake Maggiore. 

  • Manarola Cinque Terre

    Find your favorite Cinque Terre village

    It’s hard to overstate the striking beauty of the Cinque Terre towns, five small fishing villages – and former pirate coves – dotted along the Italian Riviera. From north to south the towns are Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, each of which tumbles down from the sheer cliff face, featuring impossibly steep alleys, panoramic terraces, colorful fishing harbors, and inviting trattorias serving up the finest specialties of Liguria. The towns are encompassed by the wider Cinque Terre National Park and are linked by a series of cliffside hiking trails – the views are quite incredible – and house some of Italy’s finest beaches.

  • Turin at sunset

    Sip coffee and chocolate in Turin

    There’s more than a hint of Paris in elegant and sometimes overlooked Turin, set at the base of the Alps in far northwestern Italy. Once the manufacturing powerhouse of Italy – home to car-marking giant Fiat – the city has reinvented itself over the last couple of decades and is now a fashionable, youthful city with many cultural attractions such as the Museum of Ancient Art, Egyptian Museum, and the National Museum of Cinema, held within the iconic spire of Mole Antonelliana. Turin also produced the world’s first hard chocolate, and you’ll find some of Italy’s best chocolates here, best sampled in one of the city’s charming coffee houses.

  • Val di Funes Dolomites

    Hike & ski in the Dolomites

    The Alps rise up like a wall spanning the entire northern border of Italy. There are adventures aplenty all of these majestic mountains but our favorite region has to be the simply breathtaking Dolomites, located in a small pocket of northeastern Italy. Translating as ‘pale mountains’, the Dolomites are UNESCO World Heritage Site protected for their sheer natural beauty, featuring near-vertical carbonate walls, plunging valleys, glaciers, and verdant forests. The whole area is an adventurer’s paradise: skiing in winter, epic hiking, and cycling in spring and fall, and farm and wine tours throughout the summer.

 
Turin

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. 

 
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From

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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