This is the perfect vacation for travelers who wish to visit a specific region in depth and learn more about the culture, food, and traditions of this part of Italy. Enjoy guided sightseeing in the main cities of Milan, Parma, and Turin, and two nights in the seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure. But this vacation offers much more and is to everyone’s taste! For instance enjoy a Parmesan cheese tasting in Busseto, a balsamic vinegar tasting near Modena, a visit to the Ferrari Gallery in Maranello, and more. The highlight is an included excursion to the Cinque Terre area, named after five small medieval villages standing on stony spurs along the Mediterranean coast, and includes train and boat rides (weather permitting). In Asti, enjoy a visit to a local nougat confectioner (departures July 11-August 22 visit the Tapestry Museum instead); and in Vercelli, a visit to a rice factory, followed by a risotto lunch. An unforgettable and unique experience!
MILAN Welcome dinner; guided walking tour, admire Duomo Square and the Galleria; farewell dinner at a local restaurantBUSSETO See the birthplace of Verdi; parmesan cheese tastingPARMA Guided sightseeingMODENA Balsamic vinegar tastingMARANELLO Visit the Ferrari GalleryLUCCA OrientationCINQUE TERRE By boat and trainSANTA MARGHERITA LIGURE Boat cruise to PortofinoASTI visit a local nougat confectioner (departures July 11-August 22 visit the Tapestry Museum instead)TURIN Guided sightseeing, admire the Mole Antonelliana, walk through the historic center, and visit the cathedral that houses the Holy ShroudVERCELLI Visit a rice factory and enjoy a risotto lunch Headsets throughout the tour
Welcome to Milan! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome dinner at the hotel. (Dinner)
In the morning, enjoy a walking tour with a Local Guide. Admire DUOMO SQUARE with its magnificent gothic Duomo and the glass-domed GALLERIA. Also see the famous La Scala Opera House. Stop at Busseto to see Giuseppe Verdi’s birthplace, and on your way to Parma, world-famous for its ham and parmesan cheese, stop for a PARMESAN CHEESE TASTING. Later, for food lovers, an optional excursion to an original ham factory is available. (Breakfast)
Your guided sightseeing will focus on the Romanesque cathedral, the bell tower, and the octagonal baptistry, made of pink Verona marble. Next, enjoy a BALSAMIC VINEGAR TASTING near Modena, and learn all about this typical Italian product. Continue to nearby Maranello, birthplace of the Ferrari automobile, for an exciting visit to the FERRARI GALLERY. Afternoon and evening are at leisure. (Breakfast)
In Lucca, enjoy a walk through this quaint medieval town with its ramparts, and spend time in its pretty center. To enhance your stay, an optional dinner outing to a local agriturismo is available to try out local specialties. (Breakfast)
A scenic day! Drive to La Spezia on the Mediterranean coast and enjoy your excursion (including a BOAT RIDE, weather permitting) to CINQUE TERRE, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name dates back to the 15th century and is derived from five medieval little villages standing on stony spurs along five miles of the rocky coastline: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. From here, enjoy a TRAIN RIDE to the beautiful seaside resort of Santa Margherita Ligure. (Breakfast)
Today’s highlight is a BOAT CRUISE on the Mediterranean Sea to nearby Portofino, a small fishing village with brightly colored houses that became home to the “rich and famous.” Later, back in Santa Margherita, time to relax and to browse through the attractive little shops. (Breakfast)
Enter the Langhe area and arrive in Asti. Visit a local NOUGAT CONFECTIONER (departures July 11-August 22 visit the TAPESTRY MUSEUM instead) and savor a piece of hand-made torrone before continuing to Turin, capital of Piedmont and birthplace of the Fiat automobile. This evening you may wish to try out one of Turin’s restaurants. (Breakfast)
During your sightseeing with a Local Guide, admire the amazing 548-foot-high Mole Antonelliana, symbol of Turin, and walk through the historic center to visit the CATHEDRAL that houses the Holy Shroud. (Breakfast)
Stop in Vercelli to visit a RICE FACTORY, and enjoy a risotto lunch before returning to Milan. This evening, a special farewell dinner with wine awaits you at one of Milan’s fine restaurants to celebrate the success of your Italian vacation. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
Motorcoach with free Wi-Fi; boat and train ride at Cinque Terre; boat ride to Portofino
Full buffet breakfast; 1 special lunch in Vercelli; 2 three-course dinners : a welcome dinner and a special farewell dinner in Milan
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With its wide variety of scenery, historical background, and famous works of art, Italy is a little world of its own. I enjoy being a Tour Director in Italy, because every day brings a surprise!
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The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Northern Italy’s Highlights & Cinque Terre:
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