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Northern Italy off the Beaten Path

Uncover some of Italy’s lesser known but equally wondrous regions, beginning with the romantic lakeside jewel of Bellagio on Lake Como. Visit the historically wondrous Bologna and wander through ancient porticoes and peaceful squares. Taste Italian specialties like Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and Aceto Balsamico in the region known as ‘food valley’ before heading to the charming city of Padua, known as the city of St. Anthony. Visit Vicenza, famous for its Palladian style of architecture created in the 16th-century by Andrea Palladio. Tour Trieste, the unique border town on the Adriatic blending many European influences into its cuisine, architecture, and dialect.

Trip Type: Cosmopolitan

Gallery

Northern Italy off the Beaten Path
Northern Italy off the Beaten Path
Northern Italy off the Beaten Path
Northern Italy off the Beaten Path
Northern Italy off the Beaten Path
Northern Italy off the Beaten Path
Northern Italy off the Beaten Path
Northern Italy off the Beaten Path

Day By Day

Day 1 – Arrive in Italy and Bellagio at Leisure

Welcome to Milan. Upon arrival please make your way into the arrivals hall where you will be met by a local representative. An English speaking driver will transfer you by private vehicle from the airport to your Bellagio accommodation for check in.

Few places are as romantic as Lake Como, and even fewer places as beautiful as Bellagio. Called the Pearl of the Lake, Bellagio's world class hotels and restaurants provide the perfect place to soak up the lake's famous panorama. The village is characterized by century-old buildings, stone lanes and picturesque cobbled stairways filled with shops showcasing the finest Italian wares. Enjoy the lake atmosphere, the beauty of the landscape and pamper yourself at your hotel.

Starting Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere, Bellagio


Day 2 – Lake Como Boat Tour

Today enjoy a 3-hour private boat tour on the central and most iconic part of Lake Como; you will enjoy a beautiful view of the elegant villas and the quaint villages along the banks of the lake. Feel the lake breeze on your face, be refreshed by little splashes of water and enjoy the lake landscape from your boat. During the cruise your captain will point out the villas (some of which secluded amidst lush green vegetation) belonging to renowned VIPs and important local families. You will also admire the enchanting views from the lake of the most beautiful towns such as Tremezzo, Lenno, Bellagio.

Starting Accommodation: Hotel Belvedere, Bellagio
Meals: Breakfast


Day 3 – High Speed Train Milan to Bologna and Bologna Walking Food Tour

Travel by high speed train from Milan to Bologna. It takes an average of 1 hour 30 minutes to travel from Milano Centrale Station to Bologna Centrale Station by train, over a distance of around 125 miles (201 kilometers).

Today, experience a unique half day Walking Food Tour with a local English speaking guide: you will visit the local market and stop in some of the most popular traditional food shops where you will taste the delicious local products, and meet the owners telling their stories and jokes. Some of the delicacies you will taste include home-made pasta (Tortellini and Tagliatelle); Mortadella, Parmesan Cheese, Chocolate and many other local delicacies.

Starting Accommodation: Art Hotel Novecento
Meals: Breakfast


Day 4 – Urban Exploration, Parma

Today you will enjoy a private half day excursion from Bologna to the wonderful city of Parma. Parma is an elegant city, the capital of good food and opera, with a charming atmosphere. The guide will meet you at your hotel and then you will visit the historic center: the Cathedral Square with the ‘pink marble’ Baptistery and Cathedral Dome decorated with frescos by Correggio. Visit the historical Theatres: the Farnese Theatre (a copy of Andrea Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza) inside the Palazzo della Pillotta and the Regio Theatre, symbolic venue of Giuseppe Verdi’s music. You will then return to Bologna.

Starting Accommodation: Art Hotel Novecento
Meals: Breakfast


Day 5 – Italy Food Valley Tour

The region between Modena and Parma, about 45 minutes north of Bologna, is called the ‘Italian Food Valley’. The area has some of the best Italian food products. Depart on a morning excursion to a small cheese factory, where you will see all the working steps in the production of Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, the world’s most famous (and delicious!) artisanal cheese made only in the Emilia-Romagna countryside. At the end of the visit you will enjoy a breakfast of fresh, warm ricotta made that same morning along with a glass or two of sweet Lambrusco, and, of course, plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

From the Parmigiano factory head to a traditional 'Acetaia', where a local Modenese family invites you into their home to show you the secrets of the famous Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena DOP. This is a single family producing small amounts of the world’s finest vinegar for generations, using the same ancient technique of aging local wine in oak barrels that Italian families in this region have been using for centuries. Next stop is lunch at a trattoria, where you’ll experience the famous Italian light lunch and wine tasting, you’ll eat and drink the best the region has to offer, while seeing local vineyards set among the rolling valleys of Emilia-Romagna. After lunch, enjoy dessert from one of the best Prosciutto producers in the region, where you’ll meet a family that for over three generations has been committed to the production of Prosciutto di Modena DOP, similar to the famous Prosciutto di Parma.

Starting Accommodation: Art Hotel Novecento
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 6 – High Speed Train Bologna to Padua

Travel by high speed train from Bologna to Padua. It takes an average of 1 hour 21 minutes to travel from Bologna Centrale Station to Padua Central Railway Station by train, over a distance of around 69 miles (110 kilometers).

Starting Accommodation: Hotel Belludi 37
Meals: Breakfast


Day 7 – Urban Exploration, Padua

Padua is one of the most charming and dynamic cities in Italy. The city center boasts a wealth of fine medieval, renaissance and modern architecture; here a fascinating mix of historic and new, of centuries-old traditions combined with metropolitan rhythms creates a unique atmosphere. Probably better known as the city of St. Anthony or as the economic capital of Veneto, Padua is one of the most important Art Cities in Italy. The tour includes the visit to the most important monuments of the town, especially those realized between the 13th century and the 15th century, the most extraordinary economic and cultural period, that left an indelible mark on the town: the Medieval City Walls, the great civil and religious buildings, the University, the wonderful frescoes-cycles realized by Giotto and his followers (in the gorgeous Cappella Degli Scrovegni), and later the works by Andrea Mantegna and Donatello.

Starting Accommodation: Hotel Belludi 37
Meals: Breakfast


Day 8 – High Speed Train Padua to Vicenza and Vicenza at Leisure

Travel by high speed train from Padua Vicenza. It takes an average of 20 minutes to travel from Padua Centrale Station to Vicenza Station by train, over a distance of around 19 miles (30 kilometers).

Vicenza is a thriving and cosmopolitan city, with a rich history and culture, and many museums, art galleries, piazzas, villas, churches and elegant Renaissance palazzi. With the Palladian Villas of the Veneto in the surrounding area, and its renowned Teatro Olimpico (Olympic Theatre), the 'city of Palladio' has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1994. Don’t miss the Basilica Palladiana, a Renaissance building located in Piazza dei Signori. It is one of the wealthiest Italian cities, about one fifth of Italy’s gold and jewelry is made in Vicenza. Vicenza was also a location of major combat in both World War’s and was the most damaged city in the region. The Cathedral of Vicenza was bombed during World War II, only the original facade survived, the rest of the structure has been reconstructed. Interestingly, the bell tower is slightly detached from the church.

Starting Accommodation: Hotel Campo Marzio
Meals: Breakfast


Day 9 – Palladian Villas Excursion

Today is a private excursion to visit the beautiful 16th century villas, designed by Palladio, an architect with an extraordinary sense of proportion and spatial relationships. Along the roads, half-hidden behind rich vegetation, there are many buildings reminding the past times when living and spending hours at home in the country meant intense pleasure: The Villas of the Province of Vicenza. Some are of incomparable splendor, others of modest make, some perfectly restructured in their original beauty, others neglected and weather-beaten, and all constitute the original diversity of the Province of Vicenza. Palladio is an unicum, but many architects have followed his path by accepting or defying his inheritance: Scamozzi, Muttoni, Pizzocaro and other less famous names that makes the province a constant goal for visitors.

You can visit Villa La Rotonda and Villa Valmarana. Villa La Rotonda was built by Andrea Palladio for bishop Paolo Almerico, around 1570. In 1591 the villa was bought by the noble family Capra. It is now owned by the family of Count Valmarana who opened it to the public in 1986. Afterwards, don’t miss Villa Valmarana, a classical example of a countryside dwelling, built on behalf of the jurisconsult Gian Maria Bertolo in 1669. Presently it includes the Owners’ residence, the Guest House and the Stables. The garden that surrounds the villa stretches on a longitudinal axis, adapting itself to the natural profile of the Berici hills and faces on the Valletta del Silenzio, described by A. Fogazzaro.

Starting Accommodation: Hotel Campo Marzio
Meals: Breakfast


Day 10 – High Speed Train Vicenza to Trieste

Travel by high speed train from Vicenza to Trieste. It takes an average of 3 hours 50 minutes to travel from Vicenza Station to Trieste Centrale Station by train, over a distance of around 108 miles (174 kilometers).

Starting Accommodation: Savoia Excelsior Palace
Meals: Breakfast


Day 11 – Urban Exploration, Trieste

Today is a private walking tour of Trieste with a local English speaking guide. To deeply understand Trieste you have first to visit the hill of San Giusto, which offers a splendid view. The archaeological excavations (basilica, forum, access to sacred area, theater and Arco di Riccardo) such as the cathedral and the castle document the medieval splendor. With the proclamation of a free port (1719) Trieste begins a new season. The wealth of entrepreneurs, often foreigners, who elect Trieste as a second home transforms a dream into reality. The new bourgeoisie built the palaces of the Teresian old town and Piazza Unita’ d’Italia, the magnificent Orthodox and Protestant churches, the synagogue, the wonderful neoclassical and eclectic private houses, such as the residence-museum of Pasquale Revoltella.

After the city tour, you will be taken to the Castle of Miramare that stands on the tip of the promontory of Grignano. Its position overlooking the sea provides wonderful views over the Gulf of Trieste. The Castle is surrounded by a beautiful park with rare botanical species where one can relax. There is also a noble residence commissioned by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg, its interiors feature sumptuous original furniture.

Starting Accommodation: Savoia Excelsior Palace
Meals: Breakfast


Day 12 – Aquileia and Udine Excursion

Today you will visit the Ancient Roman city of Aquileia on a half day excursion departing from your hotel. Aquileia was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the early Roman Empire until it was sacked and destroyed by Attila the Hun. The city was a major trading center connecting the Mediterranean to Central Europe. The site of Aquileia, believed to be the largest Roman city yet to be excavated, is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Excavations, however, have revealed some of the layout of the Roman town such as a segment of a street, the north-west angle of the town walls, the river port, and the former locations of baths, of an amphitheater, of a Circus, of a cemetery, of the Via Sacra, of the forum and of the market.

You will visit the cathedral, the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta. The imposing mosaic floor dates back to the Theodorian church built at the beginning of the 4th century and rebuilt between the 11th and 14th century according to the Romanesque and Gothic style. You will also visit the lovely town of Udine which you will explore on your own.

Starting Accommodation: Savoia Excelsior Palace
Meals: Breakfast


Day 13 – World War I Memorials Excursion

Today's half day excursion includes a guided visit of The Sacrario Militare di Redipuglia, a World War I memorial located on the Karst Plateau near the village of Fogliano Redipuglia. It is the largest war memorial in Italy housing the remains of 100,187 Italian soldiers killed between 1915 and 1917 in the eleven battles fought on the Karst and Isonzo front. The shrine, built on the side of the hill, consists of 22 steps of stone, hosting the remains of 39,857 identified soldiers, arranged in alphabetic order. Above the last step, a chapel is lined by two large mass burials that contains the remains of 60,330 unknown soldiers. The chapel and two adjacent rooms contain personal items that belonged to Italian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers. At the base of the memorial, seven sepulchres contain the remains of Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta (the commander of the Third Army, who died in 1931 and asked to be buried among his men) and six generals killed in action.

You will then proceed to The Open-air museum 'Defence area of the Dolina del XV Bersaglieri' which stretches over the battle fields of the Karst plateau and in particular on the territory comprised between the municipalities of Fogliano Redipuglia and Ronchi dei Legionari, also known with the name of Mount Sei Busi. It provides the opportunity to enter the trenches, the tunnels, the communication trenches and the emplacements built by the soldiers of both armies.

Starting Accommodation: Savoia Excelsior Palace
Meals: Breakfast


Day 14 – Urban Exploration, Treviso and Valdabbiadene

Today enjoy a full day excursion to Treviso & Valdobbiadene. You will discover the historical and picturesque town center of Treviso, rich with canals, water sources and many frescoed homes. You will spend time at the Church of Saint Nicolò, where you can see a masterpiece of the disciples of Italian painter Giotto and the Trecento Palace in the Signori Square, the city's original municipal building, which was bombed and nearly completely destroyed during World War II, but has since been rebuilt to its original grandeur. Beyond the square, local people meet every day in the Fish Market, located on an artificial island built in the middle of the 19th century. It is considered the symbol of the ancient town and the headquarters for the fishing community which moved from Burano. At the end of the tour you will taste a typical local products by now famous all around the world: tiramisù (a sweet prepared for more than 500 years with ladyfingers, cream, coffee and cocoa).

In the afternoon private transfer back to Trieste and along the way you will visit a beautiful Valdobbiadene winery. Located in the heart of the  Valdobbiadene DOCG area, the wine estate is on the highest point of the homonymous hill at almost 1320 feet above sea level, just close to the famous Cartizze Hill. Guided visit to the cellar and the vineyards, at the end of the tour you will taste 5 different types of Prosecco wines.

Starting Accommodation: Savoia Excelsior Palace
Meals: Breakfast


Day 15 – Depart Italy

Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred by private vehicle from your Trieste accommodation to Venice Airport for check in. Transfer time is approximately two hours.

Meals: Breakfast


Pricing

Package Level: Superior

Pricing for this package is on request. Please call a Swain Destinations Specialist to customize this journey.


Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Price does not include airfare unless otherwise stated. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability. Cancellation penalties and other booking or alteration restrictions may exist. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. Pricing may increase over Holiday and special event periods and may not be reflected in price grid. Prices indicated remain subject to change without notice. Prices are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions: www.swaindestinations.com/terms

Details

Length:

14 Nights

Pricing:

Pricing on request

Destinations:

Bellagio; Bologna; Padova; Vicenza; Trieste

Inclusions:

  • Airport and Railway Station transfers by private vehicle
  • 2 nights Bellagio - Lake Como
  • Lake Como 3-Hour Boat Tour
  • High Speed Train Milan to Bologna
  • 3 nights Bologna
  • Half Day Bologna Food Walking Tour
  • Excursion to Parma with Half Day Walking Tour
  • Italy Food Valley Tour
  • High Speed Train Bologna to Padua
  • 2 nights Padua
  • Padua Guided Walking Tour
  • High Speed Train Padua to Vicenza
  • 2 nights Vicenza
  • Full Day Palladian Villas Tour
  • High Speed Train Vicenza to Trieste
  • 5 nights Trieste
  • Guided Tour of Trieste
  • Full Day Excursion to Aquileia and Udine
  • Half Day World War I Memorials Tour
  • Treviso and Valdobbiadene Day Tour
  • Meals: 14 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
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