Great Hikes and Cuisine of Northern Italy

Lombardia, Piemonte, Emilia-Romagna, and the Veneto

Overview

Northern Italy is perfect for a WT-style journey of walks and hikes paired with sampling the region’s famed culinary bounty. We’ll explore historic towns along the mountain-ringed lakes of Lombardia as well as in the gastronomic heartland of Emilia-Romagna, and finish in the Veneto, with its Valpolicella and Bardolino wines and rich heritage as part of the powerful Venetian Republic for more than 1,000 years. Glorious walks bring us along lakeshore trails and through ancient vineyards, and we’ll sample local delicacies everywhere we go, with prosciutto and cheese tastings and a cooking demonstration at a historic estate. Join us for a delicious adventure!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Milan / Orta San Giulio / Verbania

After exploring charming lakeside Orta San Giulio, one of the prettiest towns in Europe, we head to elegant Verbania, set on Lake Maggiore. We’ll visit the medieval village of Mergozzo to walk its cobbled lanes and circle the path around its serene alpine lake, one of the most pristine in Italy. One of our lunches is at a family-run cheese grotto where we can sample artisan-made cheeses from nearby mountain villages.

Grand Hotel Majestic
Verbania, Italy
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Days 3-4
Piemonte / Monferrato / Emilia-Romagna

In the rolling green hills of Piemonte, where the Slow Food movement began, we hike through the wheat fields and vineyards of the Monferrato hills, one of Italy’s renowned wine districts. Eastward in the Emilia-Romagna region, our paths bring us along the Po River for a lunch of fresh-caught fish in a fishermen’s hut. We’ll visit the venerable Antica Corte Pallavicina wine estate and enjoy a hands-on cooking lesson.

Locanda del Re Guerriero
San Pietro in Cerro, Italy
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Days 5-6
Franciacorta / Monte Isola

In Lombardia’s Franciacorta district, we’ll sample some of Italy’s best sparkling wines, then ferry out to gorgeous Lake Iseo, nestled between Lake Como and Lake Garda, for a hike and a superb lunch of fresh lake fish.

Relais Mirabella
Clusane sul Lago, Italy
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Days 7-9
The Veneto / Lake Garda / Desenzano / Sirmione

As we hike along Lake Garda to the small lakeside port of Desenzano, we’ll enjoy vistas of the snow-capped Alps, then ferry across to the castle-town of Sirmione. The Sirmione Peninsula has been known for its thermal waters since Roman times and here we’ll explore the ruins of a vast Roman villa surrounded by olive groves. Depart on Day 9 via Verona.

Hotel Flaminia
Sirmione, Italy
Days 7 to 8 (2 nights)
Hotel Catullo
Sirmione, Italy
Days 7 to 8 (2 nights)

Highlights

Highlights

Savor two special dinners in Michelin-starred restaurants
Enjoy cheese and prosciutto tastings, taste the finest local wines
Discover classic lakeside towns, wine estates, and off-the-beaten path eateries
The best hikes, walks, and expert Trip Leaders to unlock the secrets of this enchanting region

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $6095  
Arrive: Milan, Italy
Depart: Verona, Italy
Lodging: 8 nights inns and hotels
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Walking, Cultural Adventures, Culinary
Trip Level:

A mix of moderate walks and hikes, 2-4 hours a day, van support