Eat and Drink Like a Northern Italian
Experience Italy Tour

Eat and Drink Like a Northern Italian!

“Northern Italy – a paradise for those who enjoy the finer things in life!”

Northern Italy is a beautiful enigma; at times quiet and serene; at times loud and boisterous. We have designed a Northern Italian tour that will let you sample the great diversity of this beautiful corner of the Earth.  From the gothic charm of Venice to fashionable chic of Milan, you will enjoy Northern Italy in comfort, in style, and in depth.  We’ll visit the must see highlights as well as some lesser known but equally intriguing attractions as we journey from the Adriatic to the Alps to the Ligurian Sea.  As always with an Eat and Drink Like a European Tour, there are plenty of memorable food and drink experiences.  Expect fresh, local, and delicious!  And what would a tour of Northern Italy be without art, architecture, history, and natural beauty?  You really get it all on this tour.  With our tour director taking care of the details, our private coach acting as full-time designated driver, and plenty of free time built in for your own explorations, we know you will love to Eat and Drink like a Northern Italian!

Experience Italy Tour

CITIES & TOWNS

  • Venice
  • Treviso
  • Bolzano
  • Castelrotto
  • Verona
  • Parma
  • Levanto
  • Cinque Terre
  • Milan

HIGHLIGHTS – History, Art, and Architecture

  • Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice
  • Venetian Lagoon tour to Murano, Burano, and Torcello
  • Hidden Venice Walking Tour
  • Visit to Ötzi the Iceman at the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology
  • Cable car lift into the high Alps
  • Exploration of the Alpe di Suise meadows in the grand Dolomites
  • Roman Arena, Castelvecchio Museum, and Juliet’s Balcony in Verona
  • Cathedral, baptistry, and Teatro Farnese in Parma
  • Cinque Terre Train and Trail pass to explore the five coastal villages
  • The Milan Cathedral Spires and Statues Tour
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan
  • DaVinci’s Last Supper in Santa Maria della Grazie

HIGHLIGHTS – Food and Drink

  • Authentic Venetian Pizzeria/Birreria
  • Venetian wine and chicchetti lunch
  • Tour of Venissa Winery and Gardens in the Venetian Lagoon
  • Lunch and wine tasting at Venissa Osteria
  • Tour and tasting at Soligo Spumante Prosecco Winery
  • Tour, tasting, and dinner at Batzen Bräu Brewery in Bolzano
  • Tour and tasting at alpine cheese maker in Castelrotto
  • Gourmet 4 course South Tyrolean feast in Bolzano
  • Cook your own wine-paired lunch with Luisa – local chef at a villa near Verona
  • Aperitivo (drinks and tapas in the the Veronese style) in Verona
  • Brewery tour of Toccolmatto, aptly described as “The Beer Freak Show” near Parma
  • Market visit with authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano (aka parmesan cheese) tastings
  • A visit to the craft beer mecca of Parma – Birreria Vecchie Maniere
  • Tour and tasting at a winery producing the finest balsamic vinegar near Parma
  • Tour and tasting at Buranco organic winery and distillery in Monterosso
  • Hands on visit to the “Pesto Labratory” in Levanto
  • Gourmet Ligurian feast in a coastal town in the Cinque Terre
  • Brewery tour, tasting and lunch at Italian craft brewing pioneer Birrificio Italiano near Milan
  • Apéritif at the original Camparino Bar in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan
  • Milanese supper and drinks at Lambrate
Northern Italy Tour

July 14 – July 26, 2017
Sorry, you missed out!

August 10 – August 22, 2018

 

 

 

$3395

Per Person + Air Based on Double Occupancy

All prices in US dollars.  Payment in other currencies possible – contact us.

Book Your Northern Italian Tour Now!

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Day 1: Benvenuto - Welcome to Italy

Day 1:  Benvenuto – Welcome to Italy!

We’ll meet at our centrally located hotel in enchanting Venice in the late afternoon and head out to the Rialto market for a traditional Venetian spritz welcome drink, followed by a delicious meal at a nearby birraria – definitely a local’s favourite!

Sleep in Venice (3 nights) / Bus: none / Walking: Light

Meals provided: Dinner

Day 2: The Most Serene Republic

Day 2:  The Most Serene Republic

In the morning we’ll walk to St. Mark’s Square to get an unsurpassed view of the centre of Venice before the day-trippers arrive.  A tour of the inside of the Doge’s Palace and the adjoining St. Mark’s Basilica will complete our morning.  Then your tour director will take you on a tour of “hidden” Venice – bringing you to the Rialto Bridge with several interesting stops along the way (Harry’s Bar, Chiesa di San Moisè, La Fenice Opera House, La Scala del Bovolo and more).  After our walk we’ll lunch together on fabulous cicchetti (Venetian tapas).  The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore as you wish – your tour director is available to give you plenty of advice!   Your pass to the Doge’s Palace includes entrance to the Correr Museum – you may wish to visit this uncrowded museum and learn more about the history of Venice.

Sleep in Venice / Bus: none / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3: The Wine of the Lagoon

Day 3:  The Wine of the Lagoon

After breakfast we’ll board a Vaparetto (Venetian water transport) that will take us on a tour of three of the most beautiful islands of the Venetian lagoon.  Our first stop will be Burano, a quiet pastel village with a tradition of beautiful lace-making and its own leaning tower.  Crossing a short pedestrian bridge, we will arrive at the Venissa Wine Resort, the only wine-producer in the Venetian Lagoon.  A tour of the beautiful vineyards and gardens will precede an amazing gourmet lunch paired, of course, with excellent wine.  Then we’re back on the water, heading to nearby Torcello, the oldest inhabited island in Venice.  Much of this island has reverted back to wilderness – it is a chance to see what Venice would have looked like before the influx of people in the Dark Ages.  On Torcello we will visit the oldest church in Venice –The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, started in 639 AD, and view its beautiful, ancient mosaics.  On our way back to Venice proper, we will stop in Murano, where we will see some historic glass blowing artistry.  When we arrive back in central Venice, you will again have some free time to explore.  We like to tell our guests to “get lost” in Venice.  You’ll always find something interesting, and you’ll always find your way back to the hotel because of its central location!

Sleep in Venice / Bus: none / Boat: 1.5 hours (total time on the water) / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4: Bubbly before Bolzano

Day 4:  Bubbly before Bolzano

Today we say arrivederci to Venice, as we meet our private coach driver who will take us on the ultimate journey across Northern Italy.  A short drive north and we will be in Prosecco country.  Prosecco is a sparkling white wine unique to this region of Italy.  We will tour a local vineyard and have an exclusive tasting with the winemaker, followed by an Italian countryside picnic.  Our driver will then take us up into the nearby Dolomites – the Italian Alps – where we will visit the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology to see Ötzi – the 5300 year old “Iceman” found in a nearby glacier.  Then we’re off to a Tyrolean brewery for a tour and tasting followed by dinner.  Finally we’ll check into our vineyard surrounded hotel to rest for our big mountain day tomorrow!

Sleep in Bolzano (2 nights) / Bus: 4hrs / Walking: Light

Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

Day 5: The Hills are Alive

Day 5:  The Hills are Alive

Today is all about the Dolomites.  When most people think of the Alps, they think of Switzerland.  But the typically sunny, dramatic jagged peaks of the south-facing Italian Alps are the best mountain experience in Europe.  The Alpe di Suise is the largest alpine meadow in Europe, and this wildflower-speckled grazing land is crisscrossed with trails flat and steep, short and long – all of them imparting outstanding views of the surrounding peaks. If you are really adventurous (and really fit) you can even attempt one of the peaks – they don’t all require technical equipment or skills.  And you’ll be happy to know that the mountains have an abundance of little cafes to suit your food and beverage needs for the day – no need to pack a lunch.  We’ll ride the cable lift into the high meadow together, but where you go when we get up there is up to you – your tour director will provide you with advice and maps.  We’ll end our day with a visit to a local family run dairy (the happy alpine-wildflower-eating cows up here produce the best milk, cheese, and butter I have ever tasted) where we will sample some of their fine cheeses.  When we get back to the hotel, we will deserve the huge South Tyrolean feast that will await us – our hotelier is a chef par excellence – this is a dinner my past guests rave about!

Sleep in Bolzano/ Bus: 1 hour / Walking: Moderate to Strenuous (your choice)

Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6: How to Cook (and Sing?) Like an Italian

Day 6: How to Cook (and Sing?) Like an Italian

Back down to the lowlands we go, where our first stop will be at a villa outside of Verona where wine and food await!  But there’s a catch – we will be preparing the food ourselves!  Luisa, our local expert cook, will take us on a tour of the villa’s winery, and then help us choose 4 wines to pair with the lunch that we will be making with her in the villa’s teaching kitchen.  We’ll eat well, and you’ll learn some new Italian cooking skills you can take home and impress your friends and family with!  After lunch we will head into the centre of Verona and check into our charming hotel before taking an orientation walk through the Roman and medieval squares of the city.  After dinner, those interested will be attending the opera Rigoletto tonight in the Verona Arena – a 2000 year old Roman amphitheatre.

Sleep in Verona (2 nights)/ Bus: 2 hours / Walking: Light

Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7: The Balcony of the Bard
Our full day in Verona will include a full historical walking tour of this former outpost of the Venetian empire – including visits to the outstanding museum Castelvecchio, the Church of Sant’Anastasia, the Piazzas Brà and Erbe, and of course, the House of Juliet Capulet (Giulietta Capuleti in Italian), complete with the famous balcony from Shakespeare’s Verona-based play.  We’ll complete our tour with a group lunch stop at a local enoteca for some delicious wine and cicchetti.  The rest of the afternoon and evening are yours to explore.  And if you want more opera – Aida is playing in the arena tonight!

Sleep in Verona / Bus: none / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided:  Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8: Wine and Cheese? Beer and Cheese!

Day 8:  Wine and Cheese?  Beer and Cheese!

We all know wine and cheese are good companions.  Beer and cheese… maybe even better!  After departing Verona we will head through the Italian countryside to Parma, the home of Toccalmatto – home of the most creative, eclectic brewers I have ever met. We will tour their brewery, and then have a tasting at the picnic tables outside their shop, pairing their beer with, what else, delicious local REAL parmesan cheese – Parmigiano-Reggiano.  This isn’t a “Kraft cheese product”.  We’ll round it out with some other local food to make a proper lunch of it.

After the beer tour/tasting we will continue on into the centre of Parma for a visit to some of the most unique sites in Italy –  the art-filled Parma Cathedral, the unbelievably ornate Parma Baptistery, and the grand Teatro Farnese.  In the late afternoon/evening you’ll have some free time, and are welcome to join me at the Birreria Vecchie Maniere – Parma’s number one spot for Italian craft beer!  If you’re more interested in wine, there are lots of options in town for you!

Sleep in Parma (1 night) / Bus: 2 hours / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided:  Breakfast and Lunch

Day 9: Sweet and Sour

Day 9:  Sweet and Sour

One of the local products near Parma is balsamic vinegar – we’re not talking about your grocery store variety.  After breakfast we will visit a local winery that produces the finest balsamic vinegar you will ever taste.  Then our driver will take us down to the coast to the Cinque Terre region, where we will visit a local organic winery and indulge our senses in wine and grappa from their vineyards and limoncello from their orchards – all the while sitting amongst them!  After lunch at the winery, we will transfer to the Ligurian seaside town of Levanto where we will visit a local pesto producer and try our hand at making our own fresh pesto!  Later in the afternoon, those who wish to can join me on a short hike up over the town for fantastic views!  Dinner tonight will be at restaurant favoured by the locals.  Roberto and his staff will make sure we have a true (and ample!) taste of Liguria.

Sleep in Levanto (2 nights) / Bus: 2 hours / Walking: Light

Meals provided:  Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 10: The Cinque Terre

Day 10:  The Cinque Terre

With your Cinque Terre train/trail pass and some great advice from your guide, the day is yours to explore the villages and paths of the Italian Riviera.  Shopping in Vernazza?  Swimming in Riomaggiore?  Gelato in Monterosso?  Hiking to Corniglia? It’s up to you!  The frequent local trains covered by your pass whisk you from town to town in minutes… or you can just set yourself up on the beach in Levanto and enjoy the warmth of the Mediterranean!  Just to make the day even more wonderful, I’ll show you where the local Levanto birreria is… where you will meet the owner Claudio who has put together one of the most eclectic beer menus in all of Italy.

Sleep in Levanto / Bus: none / Walking: Light to Strenuous (your choice)

Meals provided: Breakfast

Day 11: Birrificio Italiano and the Duomo

Day 10:  Birrificio Italiano and the Duomo

Bring your thirst as we depart Levanto and head to Milan for a visit to one of the pioneers of Italian craft brewing – Birrificio Italiano!  Since 1996 they have been winning over drinkers in traditional wine territory with a dedication to the highest quality and flavour in their eclectic line of brews.  We’ll have a guided tour and tasting at the brewery, then settle in for a fantastic lunch in the taphouse.  After an early check in at the hotel we’ll head to the Duomo di Milano – the massive, ornate cathedral that put Milan on the map in the Middle Ages.  After a visit inside, we’ll head up to the roof to walk amongst the spires and statues and enjoy commanding views of the Milan skyline.  A classic spritz Campari in the original Bar Camparino on the cathedral square just might be in order as well…

Sleep in Milan (2 nights) / Bus: 3.75 hrs / Walking: Light

Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 12: The Last Supper(s)

Day 12:  The Last Supper(s)

After breakfast this morning we’ll visit a rare site indeed – the  Santa Maria delle Grazie.  The convent adjoining this church contains one of the most priceless works of art in the world – Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper.  To protect the delicate fresco, the building is sealed and only a limited number of visitors are allowed in… we’ll be there, reservation in hand!  You’ll have some free time to explore, shop (it is Milan…), and lunch on your own this afternoon.  We’ll get together in the evening for our Last Supper together… a veritable Northern Italian feast celebrating our amazing journey across this beautiful land.

Sleep in Milan / Bus: none / Walking: Moderate

Meals provided:  Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13: Arrividerci!

Day 13:  Arrividerci!

The tour is over after breakfast.  Your tour director will be happy to give you advice on your further adventures in Europe if you are staying on, and if you are heading home, the Milan Malpensa International Airport is a short train ride away.  Arrividerci!

Meals provided: Breakfast

The Fine Print – What You Get:


Not so much fine print: 
We believe in up front pricing, not a hard-to-read long list of extra costs.
Group Size: We run small group tours, less than half the size of a normal big bus tour. Our average group size is 14-18 travellers, plus a tour director and a driver.
Transportation: Most transportation is in a private chartered coach. Lots of free space on the bus to stretch out and relax! In the Cinque Terre, we will use local train service as well. Transportation to and from airport is your responsibility. Both Venice (first city) and Milan (last city) are well served by train connections and close to major airports.
Activity level:  This tour is suitable to people with a basic fitness level. You will need to carry your own bags, climb hotel stairs, and keep a leisurely to moderate pace on city walking tours. On our hiking days, you choose the level of activity you wish to engage in – from strenuous high mountain treks, to leisurely seaside promenades – you decide. This trip is suitable for adults. It is not suitable for young children.
Accommodations: We choose generally smaller, family-run hotels, in the 3-4 star category, that are close to the action, rather than large impersonal hotels in some industrial park outside of town. All rooms have private ensuite bathrooms with shower or bathtub. Most rooms are doubles.

  • Solo travelers: You may choose to pay extra for one of the limited number of single private rooms, or you can room with another solo traveler in the group of the same gender and skip the extra fee.  See the registration form for specific prices.
  • Couples: Couples will usually share a room with one double or queen bed (larger King beds are not common in Europe).
  • Two friends traveling together: Two friends or siblings traveling together will be roomed together with two beds in a twin room. Note: some European twin beds share one headboard but they will always have separate sheets.
  • Triple room: A typical triple room will be one double bed and one single bed, rollaway or cot.

Sightseeing tours and attractions: This is the main reason you are in Italy, and we understand this! Led by your OneLife tour director, and local guides when appropriate. Entrance fees to all attractions are included. Most tour companies sell many of their attractions as expensive “optional excursions” which add up really quickly. Not us.

Meals: Breakfasts are always included. Note that because we stay in characteristic European hotels, breakfasts will reflect local preferences . Many lunches/dinners are on us – the rest are up to you. See itinerary for breakdown.

Gratuities: Unlike most tour companies who ask you to pay a “mandatory” tip to the driver and guide, with us tipping is neither requested nor required.

Book Your Northern Italy Tour Now!

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