Northern Italy & Lake Como MasterExperience

 

Programme & Itinerary

2020

www.ItaliaSpeciale.com

 

 

DAY ONE

 

Arrival in Bergamo Alta

 

  • Welcome to Bergamo Alta, the Città Alta that welcomes you with its Venetian Walls, cobblestone alleyways, its beautiful piazzas and monuments against the jaw-dropping background of the Alps and the plains in the distance
  • Check in at your Hotel
  • This evening you will meet your splendid Host for a guided walk through town and maybe for a spot of people watching while enjoying an Espresso or Apertivo in the Piazza Vecchia, sipping on an elegant glass of Moscato di Scanzo, Italy’s smallest DOCG wine, as the XII Bell Tower famously tolls its 100 chimes, a tradition dating back centuries that used to announce the curfew for the Bergamaschi of Città Alta
  • Dinner will be at a typical restaurant in town, where our Hosts will delight our palates with the best local food

 

DAY TWO

 

Taste of Bergamo Foodie Experience - Bergamo Crafts & Workshops

 

  • This morning, your Host will introduce you to the Flavours of Bergamo on an intriguing and tasty walk to discover the secrets and traditions of Bergamasco cuisine.
  • Stops will include the best places in Bergamo and its territory where we will taste local food & wine excellence and will also have the opportunity to watch their production.
  • Several tasting experiences for a morning full of flavours and delicacies
  • To follow, a tour of the Upper Town intertwined with a visit to some artisan workshops using old traditions that still survive and thrive keeping up the utmost Made in Italy quality
  • Chance to actually see the artisans at work, as they are immersed in their own high quality creations
  • Return to the heart of Bergamo Alta for a late afternoon and evening at leisure

 

DAY THREE

 

Lake Como – Como – Bellagio – Lecco

 

  • After breakfast, early morning departure to reach the shores of the famous Lake Como to enjoy spectacular views of the Alps
  •  Our first stop will be the picturesque town of Como, where our Host will guide us on a walking tour to discover its beautiful architecture, villas & gardens, lavish Cathedral and Basilica and its history dating back to the Celts and Romans
  • Or guided tour will continue by funicular in the hilltop town of Brunate, just overlooking Como and offering fabulous views of Lake Como
  • Then we take a leisurely drive along the inner shores of Lake Como to reach Bellagio, the Pearl of Lake Como on its Northern tip!
  • Lunch will be in a typical restaurant, followed by an afternoon at leisure to explore the tiny alleyways, shops and the Romanesque Basilica of San Giacomo in the most charming and relaxed atmosphere
  • Drive along the South-Eastern branch of Lake Como towards Lecco with a visit to enjoy its very elegant urban layout and rich history
  • Return to Bergamo for an evening at leisure and a good night’s rest

 

 

DAY FOUR

 

Cookery Masterclass – Antique Fabrics & Vestments Restorer

Balsamic Vinegar - Wines at the Castle

  • After breakfast, it will be time for …sleeves up! for a morning local Cookery Masterclass to prepare and taste some of Northern Italy’s staple dishes under the guidance of our Chef!
  • Lunch to sample the fruits of our labour
  • A stroll along Bergamo’s Venetian Walls, a Unesco World Heritage Site, will lead to a truly unique visit to one of the town’s legendary antique fabrics & religious vestments restorers in the midst of his busy day in the workshop
  • This afternoon, yet another treat as you will visit a beautiful Acetaia, a Balsamic Vinegar Estate owned and run by Mrs Manuela and her daughters, a women-only reality featuring an exclusive elegance and attention to detail!
  • A walk through the vines and an explanation of their exclusive processing techniques before a delicious tasting
  • 17:00-18:00: This day of discovery is yet to end, as we head towards an Aperitivo at Castello Grumello, a nearby medieval castle within an amazing vineyard n the very heart of Valcalepio (the Calepio Valley)
  • Our Hosts will walk us through a visit of the Castle and the wine cellars accompanied by a tasting of four selected wines and local cheese.
  • Return to Bergamo Alta for a good night’s rest

 

 

DAY FIVE

Franciacorta Wine Experience - Verona – Piazza Erbe – Arena

Romeo &  Giulietta - Mantova

  • This morning we check out and say Goodbye to our Hosts in Bergamo
  • Our first destination today will be a truly special experience as we pay a visit to the Franciacorta region, world renowned for its excellent sparkling wines
  • Visit to a charming Franciacorta winery estate with a tasting and , possibly, lunch
  • Then we head towards Verona, the town of Romeo & Giulietta of Shakespearean fame

·    Leisurely walk with our Host through the elegant Piazza delle Erbe of the charming Verona Antica and Giulietta’s Balcony

  • Later this afternoon we head towards the beautiful town of Mantova
  • Evening stroll through Mantova’s charming centre followed by dinner at our selected venue

 

DAY SIX

 

Mantova – Modena - Parmigiano Reggiano – Parma Prosciutto - Bologna

  • After breakfast, walking tour with your Host through the beauty of Piazza Sordello as we approach Palazzo Te and Palazzo Ducale, which host masterpieces painted by Renaissance artists Pisanello and Mantegna

·   We head towards Modena, the town famous for its highly appreciated balsamic vinegar and for Ferrari

·  Lunch will be in the Emilia Romagna countryside, where our Hosts will welcome us to their estate with a sumptuous lunch featuring their very own authentic Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma, the real exquisite Italian flavours of the region

·   Late afternoon departure to reach Bologna

·   A walk around Bologna before dinner and rest of the evening at leisure

 

DAY SEVEN

 

Bologna &Foodie

 

·  After a leisurely breakfast, meet your Host in Bologna to explore the town in all its ancient and fascinating beauty on a lovely walking tour

·  Your Host will walk you through the history and architecture of Bologna and to see the University of Bologna, the oldest University in the world that has been operating since the year 1088, all beautifully combined with a foodie experience under the famous Portici that will also lead you to discover Bologna’s culinary tradition, typical dishes and its flavours as you taste excellent Parmigiano, Balsamic Vinegar, local cheeses, olive oil, Mortadella Bolognese and typical dishes and breads

·   Lunch will be with the locals, followed by Italian gelato

·   Afternoon and evening at leisure for a passeggiata around town

 

DAY EIGHT

 

Ferrara -  Ravenna & Mosaics – San Marino / Loreto Marche - Pescara

 

·  After breakfast, we leave Bologna and immerse ourselves in the fascinating Renaissance town of Ferrara, where our Host will guide us through the intriguing history and architecture of a town contended by the Este Family and the Papacy for centuries, as we visit the imposing Este Castle, the impressive Cathedral of Saint George with its Gothic façade and juxtaposition of several styles and the several Renaissance Palazzi

·   Then we head towards the beauty of Ravenna and its superb byzantine mosaics in the Basilica of San Vitale

·  Both a former capital of the Roman and the Byzantine Empires, Ravenna is a fascinating discovery of art, architecture and history with its Unesco World Heritage Sites of Basilicas of San Vitale and Sant’Apollinare and Mausoleums

·   Typical lunch by the Adriatic Sea near Marina di Ravenna

·   After lunch, we head into the Abruzzo region, with an en-route stop either in San Marino or Loreto Marche

·   Evening arrival at our charming Agriturismo La Rustica in the peaceful surroundings and sweeping hills of the Pescara countryside and dinner

 

 

DAY NINE

 

Pasta & Sauces Masterclass – Bucchianico - Olive Oil & Wine Tasting

Gala Dinner

 

  • After breakfast, chance to walk through the vineyards by the Agriturismo amid the maturing sweet fruits of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Pecorino, Cococciola, Moscatello, etc… before…sleeves up for a hands-on cooking class in the area with Mamma and Chef to disclose the secrets of fresh pasta, ravioli, tomato sauces and the very best of fine Abruzzese and Italian cuisine.
  • We will  also indulge in the preparation of desserts
  • Lunch to sample the fruits of our labour
  • In the late afternoon we will head towards the town of Bucchianico for an olive oil tasting experience at lovely Francesca’s passionately restored 17th century olive mill
  • A short stroll down Bucchianico’s narrow alleyways and we are all in for yet another treat as dinner nearby will also be an incredible wine-tasting experience!
  • Our sommelier Claudio will open his exclusive cantina for a wine-tasting aperitif and gala dinner with a delicious selection of local savouries!
  • Return to Agriturismo La Rustica

 

DAY TEN

 

Majestic Gran Sasso d’Italia – Saffron Fields & Masterclass - Medieval Santo Stefano di Sessanio - Cheese Tasting - Fortress Rocca Calascio – Rome

 

OR

 

Roman Sulmona – Market – Exclusive Wine Tasting & Lunch – Rome

 

#1

 

  • After breakfast, time to say goodbye to our Hosts at Agriturismo La Rustica
  • We will embark on an authentic journey of discovery as we head towards the high peaks of the majestic Gran Sasso d’Italia
  • Our drive will take us through the precious Saffron Fields of the Navelli plateau in Abruzzo’s “Saffron Valley”, where our host Francesco in the XII century village of Prata D’Ansidonia will guide us through the fields and the secrets of mastering this very precious spice as its delicate blossom should be in full bloom!
  • Saffron Masterclass and lunch with Chef Nello at his restaurant nearby to learn all about Risotto and more sipping glasses of Cerasuolo wine
  • After lunch, we head to the fascinating medieval hamlet of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, on the majestic Gran Sasso d’Italia
  • Upon arrival we will enjoy an Espresso together as we discover the village’s picturesque corners
  • A drive through the breathtaking plain of Campo Imperatore will take us Castel Del Monte to see what the local cheese makers Rosetta & Donatella are up to for a cheese tasting of their authentic variety of Pecorino d’Abruzzo, “Il Canestrato di Castel Del Monte”
  • We will then carry on towards the impressive medieval Fortress of Rocca Calascio to enjoy some stunning views
  • Transfer to Rome…arrivederci Abruzzo!

 

#2

 Roman Sulmona – Market – Exclusive Wine Tasting & Lunch – Rome

 

  • After breakfast, time to say goodbye to our Hosts at Agriturismo La Rustica and head toward the classically beautiful Italian town of Sulmona, world renowned for its confetti
  • A leisurely stroll through this historical village to visit its shops and its market in Sulmona’s busy Piazza Garibaldi towered by the historical Roman Aqueduct
  • We recommend a stop at Fernanda and Giovanna’s pretty honey-shop by the Piazza for a sweet honey-tasting and a chance to purchase lovely and tasty special gifts
  • As the buzz of Sulmona’s “passeggiata sul Corso” winds down for lunch, we reach a nearby exclusive organic winery estate for lunch
  • Our destination is the beautiful Valle Reale Winery in Popoli, where our lovely hosts will introduce us to some of the most exclusive organic Abruzzo wines in stunning surroundings!
  • A walk through the vineyards before sitting for lunch accompanied by highly selected wines knowledgably introduced and described by our hosts
  • Transfer to Rome…arrivederci Abruzzo!

 

 

...

 

 

Highlights & What's included

From €3350  eur* 

  • Guests: 6/ 7
  • Starting point: Bergamo @ 10:00am on Day One (please contact us for arrangements)
  • Ending point: Rome @21:00 on Day Ten (please contact us for arrangements)
  • Fully escorted by our Tour Leader, Guides and Hosts
  • Accommodation 10 days / 9 nights: SINGLE/DOUBLE EN-SUITE ROOM ACCOMMODATION (NO single room  supplement!) in selected venues and Hotels that deliver a true feeling for the town & area
    • 4 nights in Bergamo
    • 1 night in Mantova or surrounding area
    • 2 nights in Bologna
    • 2 nights in the lush Pescara countryside area
  • *Accommodation venue may vary from upscale B&B’s, to a hotel, to a dispersed hotel concept with the rooms scattered around Bergamo. €3350 per person applies to accommodation in upscale B&B’s in Bergamo Alta
  • Hands-on Cookery Classes at our exclusive venues in Bergamo and Pescara
  • Foodie Experiences:
    • Markets
    • Cheese Tastings
    • Highly selected Wine Tastings & Winery visits
    • Balsamic Vinegar - Parmigiano Reggiano & Parma Prosciutto Tastings
    • Olive Oil Tastings
    • Saffron Masterclass (#1)
  • Visit to several beautiful towns and locations with incredible views
  • All restaurants and venues are highly selected and offer the most special ItaliaSpeciale Experiences!
  • 7 Dinners included; All lunches and tastings included as per the program with selected wines

 

**Itinerary could be subject to slight modifications. All experiences are guaranteed!

Not included

  • Flights
  • Gratuities

 

A word on Tipping

 

At Italia Speciale our mission is to assure only the best experiences possible around Italy through our highly selected network of Partners and Hosts, all committed to delivering the highest standards of knowledge and service to our guests. We do this by nature and soul, as proud as we are of our proposals and our people. Tips are never expected and always come as a nice bonus for our partners.

Should you feel the need to share a token of gratitude, ideally your Host should collect €75 eur in cash per guest on Day 3 to cover all tips that deserve to be shared among all Partners. Tips are not compulsory by any means, and should be given exclusively for high quality service.

 

Payment: Bank Transfer + bank charges | Credit Card: +3.5%

 

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