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This exciting walking holiday will explore the food, wine and landscapes of Northern Italy including the beautiful Lake Garda, the spectacular Dolomites and the magnificent cities of Milan & Bergamo.


Activity Level: Moderate

The walking on this tour will be a relaxed pace and will be between 2 and a maximum of 5 hours per day.

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Italy is one of the most endearing countries in the world. With its majestic Dolomites mountain range, shimmering northern lakes and rolling Tuscan countryside, Italy offers great natural beauty and diversity. When you combine this with its stunning art, architecture and outstanding food and wine, you’re looking at a very enticing travel destination.

There are few Australian travellers who haven’t enjoyed either a holiday in Tuscany, an exploration along the Amalfi Coast or a stay on Lake Como, sparking an enduring love affair with Italy. However there are parts of Northern Italy not so frequented by international travellers, so we’ve developed a unique culinary, cultural and active itinerary led by our Director Jennifer Wilkinson.

This 13 day Italian food, wine and walking tour commences in Milan and visits Bergamo, the medieval city of art and architecture, the Franciacorta wine region, Lake Garda, the magnificent Dolomites and the charming Prosecco region. Food and wine will be an integral part of this journey, where we stay at a number of Relais and Chateaux properties, dine in some of the finest restaurants in the region as well as some of the most simple and authentic. Stunning walks will neutralise the culinary indulgences and allow us to absorb the natural beauty of each destination.

We are taking a maximum of 12 guests on this inimitable journey.

How itUnfolds

DAY DAY 1: MILAN

Our tour starts in cosmopolitan Milan, a city synonymous with iconic fashion houses, the arts and aperitivo.

Tonight we'll meet for a welcome drink and dinner at one of our favourite restaurants.

DAY DAY 2: MILAN

This morning after breakfast we meet our guide for a walking tour of Milan, taking in sites such as the magnificent Duomo, a gothic extravaganza which took 600 years to complete. Another highlight is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, a haven for boutique shopping and home of the fabulous Campari Bar.

DAY DAY 3: BERGAMO - FRANCIACORTA

Today we meet at 9am to depart for the delightful hill-town of Bergamo. We tour its Citta Alta, a UNESCO World Heritage site characterised by cobblestone streets and encircled by a 17th century Venetian wall. Our local guide will lead us through this charming, ancient town before we stop for lunch.

In the afternoon we'll make our way to our beautiful accommodation in Franciacorta. Once we check in, we'll take a tour of one of the world's most renowned cellars.

DAY DAY 4: FRANCIACORTA AND LAKE ISEO

After breakfast we drive to Lake Iseo and take a local boat to the unique fisherman’s island of Monte Isola, or Island Mountain. A walk along the picturesque waterfront is followed by lunch at a charming trattoria at the port.

DAY DAY 5: FRANCIACORTA - RIVA DEL GARDA

Today we bid farewell to our delightful hotel and travel to picturesque Lake Garda. We stroll along the waterfront of the stylish lakeside town of Salo, do some shopping and enjoy a casual lunch. Depending on the weather, we can travel by ferry or our private bus to Riva del Garda and our accommodation.

DAY DAY 6: RIVA DEL GARDA

Today is at your leisure. You may wish to relax at the hotel, indulge in the spa facilities or get active with a walk on the nearby Ponale Trail.

DAY DAY 7: RIVA DEL GARDA - DOLOMITES

This morning we travel to the walled city of Trento, where we explore a local award-winning winery and enjoy some lunch. We resume our journey to the magnificent Dolomites and the town of San Cassiano, home to our beautiful hotel for the next 3 nights.

DAY DAY 8: DOLOMITES

We meet our guide this morning for a lovely day hiking the stunning Cinque Torri. During our walk we will break for a picnic lunch, whilst enjoying views of the Marmolada, Pale di San Martino, Civetta and the wild Monti del Sole.

Dinner tonight will be at the hotel's 3 Michelin star restaurant - a truly special culinary experience.

DAY DAY 9: DOLOMITES

We meet up with our guide for a lovely hiking day to the Settsass. This picturesque circuit encompasses Pralongia and Bioch, where we will indulge in an aperitif before our BBQ lunch at the hotel’s private mountain cabin.

DAY DAY 10: DOLOMITES - FOLLINA

After breakfast and check out, our journey continues with a stop to the Prosecco Region. On the way, we'll make a stop via the glamorous resort village of Cortina D'Ampezzo for a spot of shopping and lunch.

Tonight, we'll enjoy some typical local cuisine at one Follina's best osterias.

DAY DAY 11: FOLLINA

This morning we take a walk around the village and visit the beautiful cloisters of the Abbazia Cistercense Santa Maria di Follina. Following this, the bus will take us to the starting point of our guided walk through the stunning hills of the Prosecco area. Vines cover the terraced hills and walking paths traverse the vineyards and hamlets, with occasional hilltops offering spectacular views of the bucolic surroundings. We stop at a local winery for a lunch of local fare, including an olive oil tasting and a sample of their own DOCG Prosecco.

DAY DAY 12: FOLLINA - MIRA

Today we leave our lovely villa and follow the Prosecco road to the Venetian plains. The Brenta Riviera is home to some of the regions finest architecture, most notably a collection of Palladian villas, once the summer homes of the Venetian aristocracy.

Tonight we'll enjoy a farewell meal together, dining alfresco on the terrace overlooking the historic garden.

DAY DAY 13: MIRA departure

After breakfast make your way to Marco Polo Airport or Venezia Mestre Railway Station for your onward journey.

Meet your Guide:

Jennifer Wilkinson Owner / Director

Jennifer has a life-long passion for food, wine and travel. Following a successful career in economics and industrial relations, she left…

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GuestStories

  • We haven’t really been ‘tour’ people but, having had a positive experience on a ‘foodie’ tour to Tasmania with Epicurious a couple of years ago and with plans to be in Italy with dates that coincided nicely, we decided to join this 14 day Food, Wine & Walking in Northern Italy tour. And, we are so pleased we did!
    We were 10, a small tour group and notwithstanding this was the first time Epicurious had done the tour, everything went smoothly, a testament to Jennifer’s skills as tour leader. Northern Italy is the most beautiful part of what, of course, is a beautiful country yet has far fewer visitors than elsewhere. Daily we were spoilt with the most stunning scenery on foot, on boats and from our bus as, from time to time, we negotiated quite steep and narrow roads. Our driver, who spoke fluent English, was always calm and drove beautifully so we were never concerned!  The Lake Iseo and walks in the Dolomite Mountains were personal highlights.
    So we can’t speak highly enough of our experience and we’d strongly encourage anyone interested in exploring Northern Italy to consider this tour….even those who are not yet seasoned tour participants. I guess we’re converts now as we think we get so much more out of travelling this way than exploring ‘solo’, including making new friends!

    Jim and Virginia Rayner – Food, wine and walking in Northern Italy June 2018

  • Michael and I really loved this inaugural tour especially the Dolomites and the experience at St Hubertus 3 Star Michelin restaurant at Rosa Alpina as well as the quality of the hotels.

    Sue and Michael Minshall – Food, wine and walking in Northern Italy June 2018