Northern  Italy

26 DAY TOUR STARTS 13 MAY 2022

LAND
ONLY

AUD 6750

(Share Twin)

5 NIGHTS IN EVERY HOTEL !!
GROUP SIZE: 14 PASSENGERS
SINGLE SUPPL. AUD 1840
OPTIONAL DINNERS:
3 COURSE MEAL & WINE AUD 60
WEATHER
From warm conditions in day time to cool conditions at night
Max Day Temp 18-23°C – Min Night 10-15°C
(Except Bernina Glacier)

Northern Italy Tour Map 2022

This is our premier tour boasting the UNESCO World Heritage cities of Ferrara and Vicenza which are real gems of heritage architecture and charming ambience; the regal city of Torino which in the 19th century was the capital of the United Kingdom of Italy; the picturesque hilly district of the Langhe, dotted with castles and vineyards; the beauty of the Northern Lakes and the splendid Alpine sceneries which surround them. And our “GRAN FINALE“ is the magnificent Italian Riviera whose scenery is enhanced by enchanting places like Portofino and the Cinque Terre. Our relaxed approach with 5 nights in every hotel and easy optional programs make this tour quite unique.

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE

  • Five gastronomic dinners with 1/4 bottle of wine and 1/2 bottle of mineral water included!
  • Three and four star hotel accommodation (bed and breakfast) in prime locations. Some hotels are set in scenic positions and offer excellent panoramic views of the surrounding areas.
  • Modern air conditioned mini coach with English-speaking tour manager.
  • A wide range of local excursions available daily from all the major centres of the itinerary. These tours, provided at no extra cost, are on an optional basis.
  • At Lake Como, ferry boats from Lecco to Bellagio and from Varenna to Menaggio.
  • At Lake Maggiore, ferry boat from Stresa to Bella Island.
  • Boat trip from Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino.
  • Spectacular scenic navigation along the Cinque Terre with a “go as you please“ pass to enable you to stop at any of the coastal villages and reboard again. Boats are running along the Cinque Terre with a high frequency (almost every hour).

AT YOUR OWN COST

  • Meals, other than those included in the package. Optional group dinners in picturesque restaurants will be arranged at special reduced prices.
  • Entry tickets into: museums, palaces, fortresses and castles.
  • Cable cars at Bernina Glacier in Switzerland and Malcesine at Lake Garda.
  • Single accommodation supplement.
  • Travel Insurance.

SOME HIGHLIGHTS

Ferrara – This UNESCO World Heritage listed city has an impressive double identity. The southern part features a well preserved medieval architecture. The northern part boasts one of the most refined examples of 16th century Renaissance architecture in Italy. The golden era of Ferrara dates back to the period between the 13th and the 16th centuries when Ferrara was the capital of the Duchy of the House of Este.

Chioggia – This city is Venice minor sister on the same lagoon. It still retains its original ambience because it is unaffected by the herds of international tourists which invade Venice and the mega-ships offloading thousands of passengers at any given time. Chioggia’s charming alleys and canals are a reminder that this city was once part of the Republic of Venice.

Lake Como – The variety of scenery along its shores and landscapes unfolds a myriad of rapidly changing views : the serene atmosphere of vast parks, the secret gardens overlooking the lake, the picturesque villages almost poised on the waters and, high above, the magnificent grandeur of the Alps.

Torino – It’s one of the most elegant regal cities in Italy. So much so that it was the capital of the newly formed United Kingdom of Italy from 1861 to 1864 when the capital was transferred to Florence and eventually to Rome (1870). Its heritage architecture, its majestic squares, parks and the scenic beauty of its river flanked by castles and medieval districts will astound you.

The Langhe – A major feature of this district of the Piemonte Region is the area’s imposing castles and medieval residences which offer an insight into the history of the region. The Langhe are also renowned for the local gastronomy, as well as some of the most upmarket wines in Italy, like Barolo, Nebbiolo, Arnais and Dolcetto.

Cinque Terre – It’s one of the most impressive coastline in Italy, dotted with picturesque villages perched on cliffs and endowed with steep slopes plunging into the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. A high frequency boat service stops at any of the coastal villages, enabling passengers to get on and off at time of their convenience.

PROGRAM

Fri 13 May 15.00 – Transfer from Bologna Airport to Ferrara.
16.30 – Arrival in Ferrara.
19.30 – Dinner in local restaurant (included).
Ways of getting to Bologna Airport
a) Emirates Airlines direct flight from Dubai to Bologna.
b) Alitalia Airlines flights from Rome to Bologna.
c) Railway from Rome to Bologna and transfer to Bologna Airport.

Ferrara is a UNESCO world heritage city which boasts a "no-car" central district
Ferrara is a UNESCO world heritage city which boasts a “no-car” central district

Sat 14 May 08.30 – Downtown orientation in Ferrara covering the main architectural highlights. Ferrara is a premium city of the Emilia-Romagna Region and for three centuries (14th to 16th) was the capital of the Gran Duchy of Este. Its splendid pristine architecture, dating back to Medieval and Renaissance times has earned this city a listing as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Afternoon at leisure.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Belriguardo (left) and Verginese (right): two country mansions of the Grand Duchy of Ferrara

Sun 15 May 08.30 – Departure for Belriguardo (Voghiera), one of a number of country residences developed by the Estense Dynasty of the Grand Duchy of Ferrara between the 13th and 16th century.
09.30 – Arrival and local visit to be followed by a short drive to another prominent residence: the Verginese. Lunch and sightseeing in the nearby picturesque town of Portomaggiore. Continuation to the Natural Reserve of Valletta di Ostellato for a scenic drive and short stroll along an oasis of water and land which alternates in a unique type of landscape.
17.00 – Arrival back in Ferrara.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

The Regional Park of the River Po Delta features a wide eco-system of waterways
The Regional Park of the River Po Delta features a wide eco-system of waterways

Mon 16 May 08.30 – Departure for the Regional Park of the River Po Delta which is made of a huge intricate maze of waterways and islands, dotted with some isolated houses and fishing facilities. Our scenic drive will take you right along the edge of picturesque waterways boasting a landscape rich in lush vegetation and birdlife. Eventually we’ll drive across a bridge to the island of Albarella which has been turned into a major resort featuring a marina, a golf course, hotels, villas and excellent facilities. Sightseeing and time at leisure.
13.30 – Departure from Albarella. On the way back we’ll stop at the Abbey of Pomposa which is one of the most prominent in the Region of Emilia Romagna.
17.00 – Arrival back in Ferrara.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Chioggia is like Venice without millions of tourists & The historic village of Mesola

Tue 17 May 08.30 – Departure for Chioggia, minor sister of Venice on the same lagoon. Charming alleys and canals are a reminder that Chioggia was part of the Republic of Venice.
10.00 – Arrival, local orientation and time at leisure.
13.30 – Departure and scenic drive to the historic village of Mesola where we stop for sightseeing before returning to Ferrara.
17.00 – Arrival in Ferrara.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Northern Italy 2022 - The charming hamlet of Valeggio & The walled village of Castellaro Lagusello

Wed 18 May 08.30 – Today we cross from the Region of Emilia Romagna into the Veneto Region, which, since the 15th century, was part of the Republic of Venice. Our destination is Vicenza with two intermediate stops at Valeggio and Castellaro Lagusello. Our initial drive takes us to Valeggio, a charming hamlet on the banks of the river Mincio, where we stop for sightseeing, refreshment by the river and a short scenic walk. Then we continue on a short country drive (half an hour) to the picturesque historic village of Castellaro Lagusello where we stop for sightseeing and lunch. From Castellaro Lagusello we proceed to Vicenza.
16.30 – Arrival in Vicenza.
19.30 – Dinner in local restaurant (included).

Vicenza is one of the most elegant cities in the Veneto Region.
Vicenza is one of the most elegant cities in the Veneto Region.

Thu 19 May 08.30 – Orientation downtown Vicenza. This city boasts great architectural features. It flourished to its highest splendour during the 15th – 16th centuries when it was one of the most prominent cities of the Republic of Venice. Our guided orientation on foot from our centrally located hotel will last approximately two hours.
Afternoon at leisure.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Lake Garda – The impressive town of Malcesine and its picturesque harbour.
Lake Garda – The impressive town of Malcesine and its picturesque harbour.

Fri 20 May 08.30 – Departure for Lake Garda. After a short drive along a major freeway we reach the southern end of the lake and we continue on a very scenic road along the eastern bank of the lake until we reach Malcesine.
10.30 – Arrival in Malcesine. Orientation and time at leisure. Apart from the many attractions in town, a good option is the local cable car which climbs to 1,800 m boasting sweeping views of Lake Garda.
14.30 – Departure from Malcesine.
16.30 – Arrival in Vicenza.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Veneto Region – The Alpine town of Asiago and the village of Camporovere.
Veneto Region – The Alpine town of Asiago and the village of Camporovere.

Sat 21 May 08.30 – Very scenic drive across the Alps, just north of Vicenza. First we stop at Recoaro at 450m, surrounded by high rising peaks. Recoaro is renowned for its oligomineral water springs and its 22 hectares park. Then we continue to the elegant town of Asiago at 1,000m. Asiago, all over Italy, is synonymous of cheese. “Asiago-Cheese“ is a P.D.O. mark of quality (Protected Designation of Origin). During our stop, which includes time for lunch, you will certainly be able to taste it! After Asiago we continue on a scenic Alpine road to the charming village of Camporovere (at 1,050m) and eventually return to Vicenza.
17.00 – Arrival back in Vicenza.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Bassano del Grappa – Its main square closely shows a Venetian influence.
Bassano del Grappa – Its main square closely shows a Venetian influence.

Sun 22 May 08.30 – Departure for Bassano del Grappa, one of the most picturesque towns of the Veneto Region with a strong Venetian tone, dating back to the Republic of Venice.
09.30 – Arrival in Bassano del Grappa. Local orientation and time at leisure.

The picturesque unspoilt Lake Corlo.
The picturesque unspoilt Lake Corlo.

11.30 – Departure from Bassano for a scenic drive to the charming Lake Corlo and its village. Time for
lunch and local sightseeing.

Veneto Region – Images of Villa Contarini.
Veneto Region – Images of Villa Contarini.

13.30 – Departure from Lake Corlo and scenic drive to one of the most glamorous Venetian Villas in the Veneto Region: the 17th century Villa Contarini which boasts a park of 40 hectares! After a local visit to the Villa and its park we return to Vicenza.
17.30 – Arrival back in Vicenza.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Scenic Italy & Islands 2021 - Lombardia Region - City of Lecco on the banks of Lake Como and its downtown district
Lombardia Region – City of Lecco on the banks of Lake Como and its downtown district

Mon 23 May 08.30 – Departure for Lecco ( Lake Como ). Late morning arrival.
14.00 – Brief orientation in the small city of Lecco, graced by the beauty of Lake Como and flanked by attractive Alpine peaks. Then it’s time at leisure.
19.30 – Dinner in local restaurant (included).

Stresa is a famous resort at Lake Maggiore & Palace at Bella Island at Lake Maggiore

Tue 24 May 08.30 – Departure for Stresa. This is a comfortable freeway travel.
10.30 – Arrival in Stresa, the most renowned resort of Lake Maggiore. The history of Stresa started two centuries ago with several beautiful villas built in the area. These grew in number and were joined by luxury hotels recalling the Liberty period. Local orientation and time at leisure.
13.30 – Ferry boat to Bella Island, the most prominent of the islands at Lake Maggiore, featuring a sumptuous 17th century palace as well as Italian style gardens. Inside the palace each room has explanation signs in English and that’s why no guide is required. Navigation only takes 10 minutes from Stresa.
15.30 – Ferry boat back to Stresa.
17.30 – Arrival back in Lecco.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Switzerland – Lugano’s panorama and a typical downtown alley.
Switzerland – Lugano’s panorama and a typical downtown alley.

Wed 25 May 08.30 – Departure for Lugano in Switzerland. After an initial drive, along the coast of Lake Como to Varenna, we ferry our mini-coach to Menaggio, at the other side of the lake and continue to Lugano.
10.30 – Arrival in Lugano, a very elegant small city on the banks of its lake. There are no significant historic hallmarks in this modern city. However Lugano boasts a very attractive ambience. An impeccable park full of flowers on the banks of the lake, a scenic promenade, elegant squares and pedestrian malls and the overall Swiss efficiency and organization will make your stay very enjoyable. A tourist map will be provided.
14.00 – Departure from Lugano.
16.00 – Arrival back in Lecco.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Bellagio on the banks of Lake Como
Bellagio on the banks of Lake Como

Thu 26 May 10.00 – Scenic navigation to Bellagio, the Pearl of Lake Como.
11.30 – Arrival in Bellagio. Local orientation and time at leisure. Options : visit the Park of Villa Melzi and/or explore the maze of historical alleys.
16.40 – Departure from jetty.
18.00 – Arrival in Lecco.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Cable car to the spectacular Chalet/lookout of the Bernina Glacier - Switzerland
Cable car to the spectacular Chalet/lookout of the Bernina Glacier – Switzerland

Fri 27 May 08.30 – Departure for a highly spectacular drive through the Swiss Alps, climbing to the Maloja Pass (at 1800m) and continuing along a beautiful plateau flanked by pretty lakes and snowy peaks to be followed by a scenic drive to a cable car station. The optional cable car can take you to a chalet/look out at 3,000 m with sweeping views of the Bernina Glacier. Local lunch/snack.
13.30 – Departure from the Swiss chalet. Scenic drive to the Bernina Pass at 2,300 m and spectacular descent on a winding road to Tirano (Italy) ; then westward to Lake Como.
17.00 – Arrival back in Lecco.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Piemonte Region – Aerial view of Asti and its typical downtown ambience.
Piemonte Region – Aerial view of Asti and its typical downtown ambience.

Sat 28 May 08.30 – Easy freeway drive to Asti, the capital of the wine district of Monferrato in the Region of Piemonte.
10.30 – Arrival at the hotel in Asti.
11.30 – Local orientation (about 1 hour) in the small city centre. Asti is an elegant historic city and it is known worldwide for its “Asti Spumante“ white sparkling wine, which is the Italian equivalent of the French Champagne. Afternoon at leisure.
19.30 – Dinner in local restaurant (included).

The historic town of Saluzzo rises at only 350m above sea level...but the peak of Mount Monviso, in the background, almost reaches 4,000m !!
The historic town of Saluzzo rises at only 350m above sea level…but the peak of Mount Monviso, in the background, almost reaches 4,000m !!

Sun 29 May 08.30 – Departure for Saluzzo which is one of the most picturesque towns in the Piemonte Region. Once again we’ll be travelling on very scenic roads.

A stop at this wine producing farm house is included in our itinerary.
A stop at this wine producing farm house is included in our itinerary.

On the way to Saluzzo we stop at a traditional wine producing farm house set in a scenic spot.
Apart from enjoying the local beauty it is possible to visit the cellars, seeing the facilities and be briefed about the local production.
11.00 – Arrival in Saluzzo. Local orientation and time at leisure.

Piemonte Region – Pontechianale is set at 1,400 m above sea level.
Piemonte Region – Pontechianale is set at 1,400 m above sea level.

13.30 – Departure from Saluzzo for a scenic drive into the Western Alps to the village of Pontechianale.
15.00 – Arrival at the village. Some time at leisure for sightseeing and local refreshment before returning to Asti.
18.00 – Arrival back in Asti.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Mon 30 May 08.30 – Very scenic circuit through the Monferrato and Langhe districts of Piemonte, both renowned for their quality wine production.

Piemonte Region – Castagnole Monferrato and the Western Alps in the background.
Piemonte Region – Castagnole Monferrato and the Western Alps in the background.

Our initial drive is through the green lush countryside of Monferrato, to the picturesque village of Castagnole Monferrato where we stop for some sightseeing.

Piemonte Region – Vineyards and castles in the Langhe district
Piemonte Region – Vineyards and castles in the Langhe district

After leaving Castagnole we cross into the adjacent Langhe district which is also famous for its picturesque countryside, vineyards and castles. The local wines (like Barolo, Nebbiolo, Arnais) are very upmarket and the Langhe are also renowned for its distinctive gastronomic tradition. That’s why we stop at the prominent Castle Grinzane-Cavour which boasts a showcase of the best local wines and local specialties. Then we continue on a scenic drive along hill crests flanked by vineyards and castles until we get to the picturesque village of Bossolasco (at 700 m) with sweeping views over a beautiful landscape. After a local visit and time for lunch we get on the road again heading towards Asti.

The small town of Pollenzo features gothic architecture
The small town of Pollenzo features gothic architecture

On the way to Asti we make a final stop at Pollenzo, a small town which features Gothic architecture. After a brief local orientation and some time at leisure we return to Asti.
17.00 – Arrival in Asti.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Images of Torino, capital of the Piemonte Region.
Images of Torino, capital of the Piemonte Region.

Tue 31 May 08.40 – Departure by fast intercity train to Torino.
9.20 – Arrival in Torino, a major Italian city and one of the most elegant. Its history spans more than two thousand years and became prominent in the 15th century as the capital of the Savoia Region which, in those days, included the north-west of Italy and part of France, across the Alps. In 1861 Torino became the capital of the newly formed United Kingdom of Italy until 1864 when the Italian capital was transferred to Florence and eventually (in 1871) to Rome. Our guided orientation starts from the centrally located railway station and continues onward to the main highlights of the city. Then it’s time at leisure with plenty of options to choose from.
16.30 – Departure by train from Torino.
17.10 – Arrival back in Asti.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

The 11th century Abbey of Sacra Michael is located at 1,000m above sea level
The 11th century Abbey of Sacra Michael is located at 1,000m above sea level

Wed 01 Jun 08.30 – Scenic drive to the ancient Abbey Sacra St. Michael set in strategic position overlooking the Susa Valley. A Roman stronghold was originally built on the spot. A simple religious chapel was built over the Roman ruins in the 11th century, which, over time, acquired the present physiognomy in the 15th century.
10.30 – Arrival at the Abbey. Time for refreshment and local visit.
11.45 – Scenic downhill drive (on a different road) to the charming Lake Avigliana, where we stop for lunch in picturesque setting on the banks of the lake.

The Royal Palace of Stupinigi was the summer residence of the Savoia family. sovereign rulers of Piedmont
The Royal Palace of Stupinigi was the summer residence of the Savoia family. sovereign rulers of Piedmont

13.30 – Short drive (1 hr) to the Royal Palace of Stupinigi, developed in the 18th century by Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoia, King of Piedmont and Sardinia. The complex was originally conceived as a hunting lodge, but it was soon upgraded to become a luxurious residence of the Savoia family. Local visit.
16.00 – Departure from Stupinigi.
17.30 – Arrival back in Asti.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Northern Italy 2022 - Elegant architecture in Fontanellato
Elegant architecture in Fontanellato

Thu 02 Jun 08.30 – Departure for Sestri Levante ( Italian Riviera ) with an intermediate stop at Fontanellato, an elegant historic town, renowned for its impeccable architecture. Drive to Fontanellato is along a modern freeway.
10.30 – Arrival in Fontanellato. Local orientation and time at leisure.

Northern Italy 2022 - Italian Riviera - Sestri Levante
talian Riviera – Sestri Levante

13.30 – Departure from Fontanellato. After a short sector along a freeway we drive across the Appennini Mountain Range on a very scenic road through the Cento Croci Pass (at 1,050m) and eventually reach Sestri Levante on the Italian Riviera.
17.00 – Arrival in Sestri Levante.
19.30 – Dinner at the hotel (included).

Fri 03 Jun 08.30 – Sightseeing orientation in Sestri Levante, covering the main highlights of this famous resort. Late morning and afternoon at leisure to enjoy the local amenities in beautiful setting.
19.30 – Optional dinner at the hotel.

Vernazza is one of the five villages making up the Cinque Terre
Vernazza is one of the five villages making up the Cinque Terre

Sat 04 Jun 08.30 – Departure by train for a 20 minute trip to Monterosso, the first of the five villages making up the Cinque Terre. After a visit to the village we’ll provide you with a special “Go as you please navigation pass“ (included in the package) which will enable you to travel independently by boat, along the Cinque Terre coastline, stop at any village and reboard again at time of your choice. The high frequency boat service (every 30-40 minutes) provides the maximum flexibility.
16.00 – Return to Sestri Levante.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Genova is the capital of the Liguria Region
Genova is the capital of the Liguria Region

Sun 05 Jun 08.30 – Departure by train for Genova which, like Venice, was an independent Sea Republic exerting its power over the Mediterranean, between the 11th and 15th centuries. Its magnificent heritage architecture is testimony of its glorious past. Today Genova is a major port servicing continental Europe.
09.10 – Arrival downtown Genova through a long railway tunnel. Local orientation covering the main architectural highlights of the city and time at leisure.
15.45 – Departure from Genova.
17.00 – Arrival back in Sestri Levante.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Portofino is well renowned as the jewel of the Italian Riviera
Portofino is well renowned as the jewel of the Italian Riviera

Mon 06 Jun 08.30 – Departure by train for Santa Margherita Ligure which, like Sestri Levante, is a beautiful fashionable resort of the Riviera.
08.50 – Arrival in Santa Margherita Ligure and brief local orientation.
10.15 – Departure by boat for Portofino, one of the most famous historic villages of the Riviera. Navigation along the coastline only takes 15 minutes. The local orientation includes a scenic walk to the Brown Castle overlooking the picturesque harbour of Portofino. After visiting the castle, the scenic walk can be extended to the tip of the Portofino peninsula. Then it’s time at leisure.
15.15 – Boat trip back to Santa Margherita.
16.00 – Train to Sestri Levante.
19.30 – Optional dinner.

Tue 07 Jun 08.30 – Departure for Bologna Airport. This is a freeway journey.
14.00 – Arrival at Bologna Airport. End of the tour.

HOTELS

We believe that you are entitled to know exactly what you get for your money and that’s why we clearly state not only the number of stars but also the location of the hotels we use.

Unless you are in a rush tour, where you get to the hotel late at night and leave early morning, we do believe that a good location makes a world of difference to the quality of your holiday.

Ferrara: Hotel CORTE ESTENSE. Very classy four star hotel in the heart of this beautiful city, renowned for its Renaissance architecture. It is located in a quiet alley.
www.corteestense.it

Vicenza: Hotel CAMPO MARZIO. Luxury four star hotel adjacent to the historic
downtown district of the city. In terms of quality, comfort and location is the best in Vicenza
www.hotelcampomarzio.com

Lecco (Lake Como): Hotel LUNGOLAGO. This modern three star hotel is located in panoramic position right on the waterfront of the very centre of Lecco, a picturesque town, graced by the lake as well as high alpine peaks.
www.hllhotel.it

Asti: Hotel LIS. Very modern comfortable three star hotel located in the central district of this small city, facing public gardens. The overall good qualities of this hotel will provide a pleasant stay in Asti.
www.hotellis.it

Sestri Levante: Hotel GRANDE ALBERGO. Luxury four star hotel in prominent position overlooking a picturesque small gulf. It boasts excellent amenities and it is conveniently located close to the town centre as well as the railway station.
www.hotelgrandealbergo.it

TOTAL ACCOMMODATION – 25 NIGHTS

5 in Ferrara, 5 in Vincenza, 5 in Lecco, 5 in Asti, 5 in Sestri Levante