During this extraordinary 10-day adventure, you will discover the magnetism of Northern Italy, the region’s phenomenal culture, and its luscious gastronomic scene. Italian culture is masterfully intertwined with its delicious cuisine. From the streets of Milan to the canals of Venice, you will be introduced to unique architecture and high-end cuisine. Venture on a truffle-hunting adventure in the rolling hills of Piedmont, handcraft your own pasta in Bologna, and learn the art of making authentic...
Milan – Tour of Milan’s Duomo
When you land in Milan, your driver will escort you to your luxurious accommodation in the center of Milan. After you settle in, your guide will meet you in the lobby, and together, you will explore some of the best sites near your hotel. Centered perfectly over a busy, four-point intersection, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II mall is not only a destination for high-end fashion but also a major cut-through for locals to run their daily errands. Afterward, you will transfer to the Duomo for your private, behind-the-scenes tour. During your tour, you will stroll through the decadent interior with your informative guide to witness 500 years of history and architecture.
Alba – Learn the Art of Creating World-Famous Gelato
After a delicious breakfast and a restful night's sleep, you will continue your adventure. Once you have had your fill of Italian espresso and pastries, your private driver will transfer you to the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Following your introduction to Renaissance art, you will embark on a tour of the Piedmont countryside with your driver. During this tour, you will leave the city behind and venture to the clear air and rolling hills. You will be escorted to the town of Asti, where you will attend a professional gelato-making class. Afterward, your driver will lead you a little further to the beautiful town of Alba, where you will spend the next two nights.
Alba – Venture through Piedmont on a Truffle Hunting Expedition
Your morning in Alba will begin as you partake in the local tradition by enjoying a unique treasure hunt with a truffle seeker, who is known as a trifulau, and their special hunting dogs. During this experience, you will comb through the dense woods and watch the dogs as they run back and forth, sniffing out the region’s edible gold. The dogs will indicate to the trifulau when they catch the scent of the truffle, and when they do, the truffle seeker will eagerly begin to dig in the dirt. Your truffle hunting experience will be followed by a sampling of local wines that are specifically matched with traditional dishes of Piedmont in addition to a dining experience that highlights the unique flavors of the truffles.
Parma – Observe the Production of Parmesan Cheese at a Local Dairy
This morning, you will be transferred in a luxury car through the Piedmont countryside to the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. Before you settle in to your luxurious accommodation in Parma, your driver will stop at one of the region’s prized Parmesan Cheese factories. Stepping foot into a local dairy farm, known as a caseificio, will be the best way to immerse yourself in Parma’s renowned gastronomy and culture. A master-cheesemaker will warmly greet you and enthusiastically explain the intricate process of crafting milk into a sharp and delectable cheese. Your private tour guide will then lead you through the factory to witness the entire process from beginning to end.
Parma – Savor Unprecedented Cuisine on a Bespoke Walking Tour
This morning, you will begin a customized walking tour through the city. Your expert guide will lead you along the charming streets that are teeming with merchants and a staggering number of Italian delicacies. As you walk under the long shadows of 900-year-old buildings, your guide will provide you with samples of various types of prosciutto di parma. Afterward, your guide will lead you through some of the famed buildings that sit in the city center. You will follow your guide and enter the grand doors of the Piazza del Duomo, which is a 12th-century, Romanesque cathedral that is situated next to a marble Baptistery.
Bologna – Hand-Craft Fresh, Delicious Pasta with a Renowned Chef
Today, you will embark on an enviable gastronomy tour through two of Italy’s famed cities. Your personal driver will greet you at your hotel before whisking you through the winding backstreets of the Emilia-Romagna countryside. In Moderna, at an authentic acetaia, you will have the privilege to indulge in a private tour that will allow you to witness how traditional balsamic vinegar is produced. Tonight, you will be taught how to craft authentic Italian pasta. You will first step into the kitchen, don an apron, and begin to learn the art of making fresh, homemade pasta from an expert chef.
Bologna – Wander through Medieval Streets on a Private Tour
Your morning will begin with a delicious breakfast. Your customized walking tour of the city will begin as you tread in the footsteps of the ancient Etruscans who indulged in business and politics in the large Piazza Maggiore. Street musicians will strum their instruments, swaying back and forth to their enchanting melody and serenading all who pass. As evening approaches and your tour concludes, you will see waiters in black aprons and bowties busily setting up tables in the narrow alleyways. Upon a quick inspection of the evenings’ dishes, you will know that your most challenging task for the day will be choosing which restaurant to dine in for your final meal in Bologna.
Venice – Revel in an After-Hours Tour of Glorious St. Mark’s Basilica
This morning, you will enjoy breakfast at your hotel before transferring by train to the romantic city of Venice. In Venice, concrete streets will be replaced by peaceful canals, and the iconic architecture beautifully and uniquely intertwines Baroque and Islamic elements. Your private guide will meet you at the train station to usher you to your luxurious accommodation in the heart of the city. After you settle in, you will embark on a walking tour through the twisting maze of narrow streets. Charming, stone bridges cross the narrow canals, faithfully interconnecting the 118 total islands that make up this incredible city.
Venice – Cruise the Grand Canal on a Private Gondola Ride
Following breakfast, you will join your private guide, who will show you Venice from an entirely unique perspective. The gondolier will push away from the dock, and you will be floating through the city the way the extremely wealthy did in the 18th century. In the afternoon, you will join a local expert, who will walk you through the backstreets of Venice on an authentic food tour of local eateries while you simultaneously learn about and taste Northeastern Italy’s delicious cuisine. During your tour, you can sample authentic Venetian specialties, such as a seafood-based risotto or a dish that is known as bigoli in salsa, which consists of thick strands of whole-wheat pasta.
Venice – Depart for Home
Venice begins to wake up long before the sun rises. The fishing boats will quietly rumble along the canals, not allowing the dim, morning light to delay their catch. You can have a leisurely morning and enjoy your breakfast from the comforts of your suite. As the sun begins glistening on the water, you can indulge in one more stroll through the crooked streets to visit your favorite corner of this colorful city. Shortly after, you will meet your private driver at the boat dock and be transferred to Marco Polo Airport for your flight home.
- Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of Milan’s Duomo, where you will discover 500 years of faith, history, and architecture
- Handcraft your Italian gelato with instruction from world-class chefs, which will be followed by a gelato tasting that introduces you to a variety of unique flavors
- Unearth prized truffles as you take part in a classic truffle hunt before rewarding your efforts by indulging in traditional Piedmontese dishes that are perfectly paired with full-bodied wines
- Partake in the meticulous process of crafting authentic Parmesan Reggiano cheese at a traditional dairy farm
- Amble through Parma’s medieval streets, sampling locally cured prosciutto and finely aged balsamic vinegar while also exploring 800-year-old cathedrals
- Laugh along with your private chef as you knead dough into freshly made pasta, learning time-honored family recipes and uncovering old-world techniques
- Become enthralled with the ethereal grandeur of St. Mark’s Basilica, viewing its Byzantine mosaics and venturing behind the altar to the crypt of St. Mark
- Embark on an exclusive gondola ride down Venice’s Grand Canal, floating past a regal display of palaces and Gothic Architecture
- Discover Venetian cuisine during a personalized walking tour through Venice’s locally acclaimed trattorias and restaurants
You will discover the unforgettable allure of Northern Italy on this elaborate, 14-day culture and gastronomy tour through backcountry eateries and celebrated landmarks. You will begin your adventure in the exciting city of Milan, where you will witness the remarkable Gothic architecture of the infamous Duomo before strolling through haute-couture shops on Italy’s most exclusive boulevards. As your tour leads you into the rolling hills of Piedmont, you will attend a world-famous gelato-making class in Asti, where chefs will teach you vital secrets of how to craft this creamy delicacy. Upon settling in to the emerald hills of Alba, you will embark on a memorable truffle-hunting expedition that will have you traipsing through the woods and hunting for the cherished truffles that make Piedmontese dishes so exquisite.
Afterward, you will venture to the Emilia-Romagna region, where traditional Italian gastronomy has remained perfectly unchanged for generations. During your time in the region, you will visit a dairy farm that produces authentic Parmesan Cheese, which is where you will learn about and taste the results of the rigorous process. Once you arrive in the medieval streets of Parma, you will commence on an in-depth, walking food tour that will introduce your taste buds to the region’s famed cuisine. The following day, you will sample delicious balsamic vinegar that has been aged for over two decades in addition to attending a prestigious culinary class, where you will learn how to craft your own pasta. Culinary surprises and over two millennia worth of history will spill over into the cobblestoned streets of Bologna as you conclude your final evening in this region.
Next, you will transfer to the blue lagoon waters of Venice, where you will skip to the front of the line to enjoy an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of St. Mark’s Basilica. While some of the most sacred sections of the cathedral are cornered off to visitors, you get to duck beneath the ropes and witness St. Mark’s crypt and the hallowed altar. The following day, you can indulge in a private gondola ride before cruising down the main street of Venice, the Grand Canal. Gothic palaces will delight you as you inhale the timeless romance that Venice emanates, and you can culminate your memorable trip with a food tour through the local trattorias and restaurants that line the quiet backstreet canals of the city. Throughout your time in Northern Italy, you will experience much of that this corner of the world has to offer its guests, specifically immersing you into its culture and prestigious gastronomic scene.
$2,745 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.
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