Northern Italy Tour with Keri Evans – June 10-20, 2017
Picturesque scenery, charming fishing villages, rich art history, incredible food—Northern Italy has it all! Join Italy-expert Keri DiSera Evans for a cultural experience you will never forget. Starting in the vibrant city of Milan, we’ll tour, explore and eat our way through Parma, Lucca, the stunning Cinque Terre, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Bellagio…the list goes on! If you are hoping to experience la vita bella and want to know more about Italy’s rich artistic and cultural history, this is the tour for you.
June 10 – Flight to Milan, Italy
June 11 – Welcome to Milan – or Milano, as the Italians say it. Known as the international fashion stage of the world, this chaotic city has history. Medieval castles, Renaissance palaces, the Gothic Duomo, and La Scala opera house are just a few of the highlights in this bustling city. This evening we will begin our tour with a lively welcome dinner at a local Italian ristorante.
June 12 – Today we will discover the treasures of Milano with our local guide.
Piazza del Duomo is dominated by the magnificent Gothic cathedral. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a four-story glass-domed arcade designed in honor of Italy’s unification, and a mark of the modern era. L’ultima Cena, or The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci’s famous masterpiece is housed in Santa Maria delle Grazie church.
We will board the bus and make our way to the city of Parma. As we enter Emiglia-Romagna, the region devoted to fine food, we will make a stop in Busseto, the birthplace of Giuseppe Verde. We will enjoy a tasting of parmegiano at a local caseficio. Overnight and dinner at the hotel in Parma.
June 13 – Guided tour of Parma. This prosperous little city delivers a slice of the good life. The city boasts Renaissance art-filled palaces and churches, a grand opera house for the music of their own Giuseppe Verde, and some of the world’s finest hams and cheeses ever. We will visit the Baptistry and the Duomo which house two of Parma’s greatest treasures of art by Correggio, the master of light and color. Next we will board our motor coach for a visit to Modena. Here the greatest balsamic vinegar in the world is produced – we will enjoy a tasting at a local emporium, followed by a delicious lunch at a local ristorante. Modena is in the center of what’s known as “La Terra dei Motori”. All of Italy’s famed sports car manufacturers are located here. Visit the Ferrari Museum. Upon returning to Parma, you will have the balance of the evening at leisure. For food lovers, an optional outing to a family-owned factory of Prosciutto di Parma.
June 14 – This morning we will travel to the Tuscan town of Lucca. Etruscans were here as early as 700 BC, followed by the Romans. Incredibly, the town is surrounded by more than 2.5 miles of intact city 16th and 17th century walls. You can enjoy the medieval Passeggiata delle Mura on top of the wall on foot or by bicycle. A local guide will give us a tour of this charming city. Lucca’s warm and colorful history was no doubt inspired by its native son, Giacomo Puccini, composer of Tosca, Madame Butterfly, and La Boheme operas. This evening we will dine al fresco at a local agriturismo to try out Tuscan specialties.
June 15 – Today we explore the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dramatically perched along the Ligurian coast, these five fishing and wine-making villages are a little slice of heaven. Stunning terraced vineyards and olive tree groves climb the slopes. These villages are connected by local trains only. We will take a scenic boat ride (weather permitting) with a Local Guide along the coast for our visit to two of the postcard-perfect villages; Vernazza and Monterosso. When we have finished our visit, we will take a train ride to the beautiful seaside resort of Rapallo.
June 16 – Today’s highlight is boat ride to explore Portofino, a beautiful fishing village dotted with brightly colored houses. Take a scenic stroll around the stunning harbor admiring the yachts and sailboats, browse through the boutiques and enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the eateries. Make sure your camera is ready for the colorful houses and Italian architecture set against the steep green hills. The remainder of the evening will be at your leisure in Rapallo. An optional excursion to Genoa is available.
June 17 – Take a scenic drive to Stresa on the banks of Lake Maggiore. We will drive through the vineyards in the Lange area and stop in Gabiano at Castello di Gabiano for a wine tasting. Next stop is in Vercelli where we will visit a Risotto Factory, and enjoy a risotto lunch together. Upon arrival in Stresa you will have the evening at your leisure.
June 18 – Lake Maggiore is surrounded by beautiful mountains, and boasts architectural wonders and gorgeous gardens. The town of Stresa meaning “thin stretch” was originally a strip of fishermen’s huts that lined the shore of the lake. The Borromeo family – through many generations since 1630 – lovingly turned their islands into magical retreats. We will go by boat to Isola Bella, the island Charles Borromeo named after his wife, Isabella. Our local guide will take us through the stunning palace and gardens. You will then have some time to roam the island and have lunch or do some shopping. The evening is free to wander the old town of Stresa to admire the historic Romantic age hotels and do some shopping. There is also a cable car that goes to the top of Mount Mottarone for a great panoramic view of neighboring peaks.
June 19 – Today is the perfect ending to your Italian adventure. Board the motor coach this morning for a trip to the famous Lake Como. Our local guide will take us to the city of Como for a tour, then we will take a boat ride along the lake (and yes we will have a sighting of George Clooney’s villa). We will stop at the beautiful town of Bellagio where we will soak up its Old World Elegance. Time to stroll the lovely streets and the harbor front. Enjoy your last leisurely lunch in Italia in one of the quaint ristorantes. This evening we will conclude our tour with our Farewell Dinner in Stresa.
June 20 – Arrivederci Italia! It is time to board your flight home. Buon Viaggio!
Your Host: Keri Evans
Keri DiSera Evans (wife of national bestselling author Richard Paul Evans) began her love affair with Italy more than a decade ago when her father took her back to the old country to find their ancestral home. Shortly after her return Keri talked her husband, Richard, into moving to Italy with their 5 children where her passion for Italia inspired another of Richard’s bestselling novels, an Italian love story called The Last Promise. Since that time, Keri has traveled nearly every corner of Italy and considers herself “a displaced Italian”. She studies the language, culture and cooking and continues to help her friends find the best sites, shopping and food in the country.
Keri’s dream is to help others discover the beauty of the Italy, whether it’s in the Chianti wine country, floating the canals of Venice or walking in reverent awe beneath Michelangelo’s masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel. From small hill towns to the bustling streets of Rome, you’ll have an experience you’ll never forget.
With Buon Viaggio Italy, you’ll experience the culture not just as a tourist, but as a part of a remarkable culture of the one country everyone must see at least once in their lifetime.
Tour with airfare from a variety of US cities – Double Occupancy – $3599 per person (includes tour, air and taxes)
Single Supplement – additional $875
Credit Card Fee – 3.5% (only applies to final payment – pay by check to avoid it)
Deposit Required for Reservation – $1700 per person
———-*Trip cancellation and emergency protection available *Passports are required *Full payment due 90 days before departure. *Cancellation charges: non-refundable after deposit is made *Cancellation charges: non-refundable after final payment is made Click Here for Current Airline Baggage Fees Click Here For Terms and Conditions