This tour will take you along some of the most authentic parts of Italy, a real crab for culture and taste. You will discover small villages with enchanting medieval fortresses, producers of excellent “made in Italy” foods and wines.
Day 1: Milan & Aperitif on Navigli
Arrival in Milano airport. Pick up the car and transfer to the city centre. Accommodation in B&B.
Free afternoon to visit the city centre by your own and in the evening enjoy a walk with an aperitif on Navigli – discovering one of the most vibrant part of the city. Return to the hotel and overnight.
Day 2: Milan-Cremona-Parma
After breakfast, departure to Cremona. Visit of the old city centre and to a Violin maker laboratory.
You can stop for lunch in Cremona. Departure to Parma area. Arrival and accommodation in hotel.
In the afternoon guided tour of the town.
Visit to the Cathedral, one of the highest expressions of the Po Valley Romanesque architecture, rich in masterpieces: the dome with the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Lady frescoed by Correggio and the Deposition, first sculptural work of Benedetto Antelami. You will then visit the Baptistery, one of Antelami’s masterpieces, built on an octagonal piñata in rose marble of Verona. Visit to the Abbey Church of San Giovanni Evangelista (Saint John the Evangelist) dating back to the tenth X century with a Baroque façade and with the dome inside, painted by Correggio, with the Transito di San Giovanni (literally Transit of St. John (1520-24)), completed by the Fathers of the Church and by the Evangelists in the dome-like structures.You will continue towards the Palazzo della Pilotta and visit the exteriors of the Palace which owes its name to the “pelota”, a Basque game practiced in its courtyards. Originally it was the place of service of the Farnese court which was designed to integrate the Duke Residence.
Day 3: Castles of Parma area , Verdi native town & Culatello Ham Tasting
After breakfast, you will have an entire day at disposal to discover the magnificent castles of the former Ducato di Parma.
The first stop will be in Fontanellato – proclaimed one of the most beautiful villages of Italy. Have a walk in the city centre with his imponent medieval fortress which dominates the main square.
Then proceed to Soragna and visit to the castle and fortress Rocca Meli Lupi – an incredible castle dating back to XIV century and still habitated by the Prince and his family. You will visit the magnificent interior with paintings, frescos, ancient furniture; the garden and the fortress.
Typical lunch in trattoria.
After a short drive, you will arrive in Busseto – the native town of the musician and composer Giuseppe Verdi. Here you will visit the Theatre Verdi - located in the “Rocca”, or fortress, once the castle of the Pallavicino family, founded in the 1200s. Previously there had been another theatre in the exact same location, where Verdi had performed in his youth, directing a symphony from Rossini’s Barber of Seville.
Proceed your tour with a visit to a “Culatello di Zibello” ham producer, you will visit the cellars, will learn about the production of this special ham and will enjoy a taste of culatello, strolghino and Parmigiano Reggiano, focaccia and a glass of red-wine Lambrusco.
Return to Parma for the evening.
Day 4: Parmigiano Reggiano producer- Modena Balsamic vinegar tasting- Ferrari Museum -Bologna
After breakfast departure for a visit to a a local dairy, where you will attend the processing phases of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Proceed to Modena for a guided visit to an Acetaia, a firm which produces the Traditional Modena Balsamic Vinegar, protected by the “DOP” brand (Protected Designation of Origin).
Tasting menu in the Acetaia.
You can then stop in Maranello for a visit to Ferrari Museum to admire splendid unique models of the past and of the future and the permanent exhibition dedicated to the Formula One Championships (facultative)
Arrival in Bologna, accommodation in hotel. Free time at disposal in town. Overnight.
Day 5: Bologna walking tour - Facultative cooking class
Breakfast. Meeting with our guide for an interesting visit of the town.
The itinerary starts in Piazza Maggiore overlooked by the Palazzo di Re Enzo (Palace of King Enzo), the Town Hall, the Palazzo dei Notai (Palace of the Notaries), the Podestà Palace, the Fountain of Neptune, the Gothic-style Basilica of S. Petronio, with the major portal framed by the sculptures of Jacopo della Quercia, and inside of it the Bolognini chapel and Cassini’s Sundial. Through the picturesque alleys of the Mercato di Mezzo you will reach S. Stefano Square, with the Medieval monastic complex of S. Stefano. You will then arrive at the Gothic Palazzo della Mercanzia (Palace of Merchandise), flanked by houses of the twelfth century with wooden porticoes, to end at the Two Towers, symbol of the city.
Afternoon at disposal for a pleasant walk in town or for an additional activity like cooking class. Overnight.
Day 6: Bologna-Mantua -Verona walking tour
Breakfast. Departure to Mantua. Free time to explore this magnificent city by your own.
After lunch proceed to Verona. Check in and meeting with our guide for a tour of the city.
You’ll explore the old town visiting the famous Arena (UNESCO World Heritage site) that hosts every summer the Opera festival , the Roman ruins, enchanting churches and architectural gems from all periods. And of course the Juliet's House (Casa di Giulietta) and its famous Balcony, that inspired Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet”.
Free time for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Garda lake – Valpolicella wine tasting - Bergamo
Breakfast. Departure to Garda lake, on the way stop in the wine region of Valpolicella for a visit to a wine producer including a guided tour of the cellars and the tasting of the famous red wines Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso and Amarone.
Proceed toward Garda lake and a visit of Sirmione. Here you can stop for a lunch in panoramic restaurant overlooking the lake. Proceed towards Bergamo.
Visit of the old town “Bergamo alta” accessible by a funicular. Tasting menu for dinner in historical wine shop, where you will discover dishes of the typical tradition with different local wines. Overnight in Bergamo.
Day 8: (Bergamo)-Milano & departure
After breakfast, time to explore the city and end of the services. Depending on the aiport of departure transfer to Bergamo or Milan airport. Drop off the car and departure.
The tour can be extended with extra nights in Verona/Garda lake/Milan
We suggest to rent a car for this tour, but with some modifications it can be offered also with transfers by train and private car transfers.
PRICE: 975euro/ per person (min 4 partecipants)
1230 euro/ per person (min 2 partecipants)
The tour includes:
- 7 nights accommodation in hotel 3* or B&B/countryhouse in double room (1 night in Milan, 2 nights in Parma, 2 nights in Bologna, 1 night in Verona, 1 night in Bergamo)
- Guided tour “Navigli walk with aperitif” in Milan
- Visit to a violin maker laboratory in Cremona
- Private guided tour of Parma
- Visit to Soragna castle
- Visit to the Verdi theatre in Busseto
- Visit to a ham producer and tasting
- Visit to Parmigiano Reggiano diary
- Visit to a Balsamic vinegar producer with tasting lunch menu