Piedmont & Northern Italy’s Lakes

Cernobbio | Culturalitaly.com

Tour Introduction

9 NIGHT TRIP
This Piedmont Beauty & Northern Italy’s Lakes Journey includes Milan, Asti, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Orta, Barolo and the Monferrato wine regions.

Highlights:

  • Milan and its artistic treasures
  • Explore the Borroeman islands and their beautiful palaces and gardens
  • Discover Italy’s Food Valley
  • Attend to a cooking class and learn the secrets of Piedmont dishes

Day 1 : ARRIVE MILAN

Upon arrival at Milan airport, meet your private driver for transfer to your hotel accommodation. After check in enjoy a welcome drink and get to know other fellow travelers. Evening at leisure. Overnight.

Day 2: MILAN
Breakfast at your hotel. Today’s program will take you on full day in the Capital of Fashion and Italian metropolis, a city with a strong historical and cultural background but projected to the future. Your guide will lead to on a discovery journey to the most famous sites, Milan is known for. First stop will be at the marvelous church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, to admire the world’s most celebrated painting by one of the world’s greatest ever geniuses: Leonardo da Vinci’s "The Last Supper”. Following the visit, continue to the historical center of Milan to the magnificent Gothic cathedral on Piazza Duomo. Stroll around and walk through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele,  the world's oldest shopping mall that hosts  the world's only certified 7 star hotel: Town House Galleria.
The famous Opera House, “La Scale” together with the majestic fortress, Castello Sforzesco, will be on the program before your lunch break and free time to discover the city on your own. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in some shopping in one of the many upscale and fashionable boutiques located in famous streets like Via Montenapoleone. Dinner in a local restaurant. Return to your hotel. Overnight.

Day 3: SHORES OF LAKE COMO AND MAGGIORE
Breakfast at the hotel. Today a full day excursion to the most famous Italian Lakes awaits you. Meet your guide and driver at your hotel. Once in Como, board the ferry that will take you village of  Bellagio. Soak into the scenery that will presents to you: the shores of Lake Como are studded with gorgeous villas surrounded by magnificent gardens and picturesque towns filled with stone homes.  Free time to stroll around before boarding the ferry to reach Tremezzo and Villa Carlotta, the gorgeous villa dated back to XVII and famous for its botanical garden. Following the visit, return to Como and board your minivan to proceed to the stunning Lake Maggiore for our dinner. Overnight on the shores of beautiful Lago Maggiore.

DAY 4: GEMS OF LAKE MAGGIORE: BORROMEAN ISLANDS
Breakfast at the hotel. Start off your day with a private cruise on Lake Maggiore that will take you on a discover trip to the three Borromean islands: Isola Bella, Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Madre. Before reaching the islands, stop at the spectacular convent of Santa Caterina del Sasso, where you will admire frescoes dating back to 300 AD. Continue sailing off the coast of Stresa and stop at Isola Bella; named after Isabella, countess Borromeo, originally a largely barren rock. We will continue to Isola dei Pescatori (Fisherman’s Island) where we will have lunch. It’s the most picturesque of the Borromean Islands, as well as the only one to be permanently inhabited. Following lunch, Isola Madre is next. The biggest of the three, is a little green Eden renowned all over the world for the refined botanical collections. Visit of the gardens and return to your hotel. Dinner at leisure. Overnight.

DAY 5: VILLA TARANTO GARDENS AND LAKE ORTA
Breakfast at the hotel. Before we bit farewell to the lake region and embark on an escorted tour to discover the wine country of Piedmont, we will visit the exquisite gardens of Villa Taranto and Lake Orta. This is the most westerly and charming of the Italian Lakes. Set in the foothills of the Alps, this has long been a popular resort area and still today you can admire gorgeous villas dating back several hundred years. Continue to the island of San Giulio and visit its ancient monastery. Lunch in a typical restaurant. Return to Orta village via ferry boat, enjoy a stroll around the historic center before boarding your minivan and continue into the heart of Piedmont. Arrival at your accommodation. Welcome drink and dinner.

DAY 6: PIEDMONT’S SPUMANTE CAPITAL: ALBA
Breakfast at your accommodation. Meet your guide and start you full day excursion to Piedmont’s wine country. First stop on the program is Asti. The Asti area is a wine producer par excellence and the home of Asti Spumante DOCG (sparkling wine), renowned and exported all around the world. Stop for a stroll in  the old town, admire with noble palaces and gothic cathedral. Continue with a winery visit in the Monferrato hills, for some local wines- and delicacies tasting.  In the afternoon visit to a 3rd generation family owned and operated winery, that produces the famous dessert wine “Spumante”. Tasting here will include Spumante, some aromatic olive oils, Grappa, and other local products. We will end the day with an exquisite dinner in a local osteria. Return to your hotel. Overnight.

DAY 7: THE LANGHE - BIRTHPLACE OF BAROLO
Breakfast at the Agriturismo. After meeting your guide, you will reach La Morra, a small town on top of a hill in the Langhe region, surrounded by countess miles of vineyards. From the Piazza Castello, in the center of town, be ready to be stunned by a gorgeous view of the surrounding countryside. Next stop is Barolo - hometown of the famous wine - for some wine tasting, before heading to a local farm where you will be treated to a typical Piemontes luncheon.  In the afternoon visit to  Grinzane Cavour and its magnificent castle. The tour continues with a visit to the museum dedicated to the gastronomic history of this region, including the famous Tartufo (or truffle) and a wine tasting. The day is not over yet! Another hearty feast awaits you in a local trattoria. Return to your hotel. Overnight

DAY 8: UNDERGROUND CATHEDRALS - GOAT CHEESE TASTING
Breakfast at the Agriturismo. Today’s excursion will take you first to visit a goat cheese factory where the delicious Robbiola di Roccaverano DOP  is produced. Discover how the factory is operated and learn their cheese-making techniques. Lunch featuring Piedmontese delicacies will be at a working farm. Afternoon visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Canelli, the Contratto cellar. The orginal cellar also known  “The Cathedrals” because of the vaulted ceiling, is below street level and is dated back to the 1867. Contine to a Grappa factory to taste Grappa alla Piemontese and the delicious Amaretti (cookies) of Mombaruzzo. Dinner will be at your Agriturismo.

DAY 9: AGRITURISMO COOKING CLASS & WINE BANK
Breakfast at your Agriturismo. Join a cooking class where you will learn to prepare some traditional Piedmont dishes followed by lunch. Free afternoon for leisure.
If still interested in getting to know the area even more, on request a visit to the pretty village of Pollenzo, home of the historical cellars known as “Banca del Vino” can be arranged.  Though not as famous as Barolo, it is worth visiting especially for wine lovers. The Wine Bank stores wines from all over Italy, a vault of the best vintages. Professional sommeliers guide visitors through the wine-tasting sessions, which are not solely focused on local produce.
Transfer from the hotel to Malpensa airport for you last night. Dinner and overnight.

DAY 10: DEPART ITALY
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure transfer to the airport. Good-bye!

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