- Day 1 - Arrival in Milan and transfer to accommodations
- Day 2 - Parma and Maranello
- Day 3 - Lucca
- Day 4 - Salsomaggiore Terme
- Day 5 - Bologna
- Day 6 - Alba
- Day 7 - Parma
- Day 8 - Depart for Milan (transfer included)
*A continental breakfast prepared by yo`ur hosts will be included each day.
Day 1 - Salsomaggiore
You'll be met and transported from Milan Malpensa airport to your accommodations. An ancient settlement with castle,nestled among the green hills in the province of Parma, will be your enchanted home for 7 nights.
Your well appointed suites are located in the old Guard tower, each offering magnificent views of the countryside and the wide plains of the River Po. The castle dates back to the 11th century and was built on the ruins of an old Roman settlement. Within the medieval walls and surrounded by olive trees, you can enjoy a fabulous outdoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi and solarium. A natural cave houses the sauna and Turkish bath, which gives relaxation a whole new meaning.
Dinner will be at the castle restaurant (included).
Day 2 - Parma
After breakfast, bright and early in the morning, we'll be heading out to a local farm to see how the famous 'Parmesano Reggiano' is made and indulge in a little tasting (included). After our educational foray we will continue on to the city of Parma.
Parma is in the Emilia Romagna Region of northern Italy between the Po River and the Appennine Mountains.The city is famous for its cheese and ham, but it's also known for its monuments, castles, art, cuisine and opera. We loved all the wonderful food markets with their fresh produce and, on our last visit there, put together a picnic lunch consisting of figs, parmesano and prosciutto, which we enjoyed in the beautiful public city park with a bottle of Lambrusco which is grown in the area.
Maranello will get any hot-blooded male and frankly some females (including myself) swooning and drooling. It is the birthplace of the exotic car maker 'Ferrari'. We will visit the 'Ferrari Museo' where they have an astounding collection of these street marvels.
If you are a Formula 1 race fan as well (like Russ) you will reach total bliss... and yes it's included with your tour.
After joining the real world we will head to Modena where visitors can enjoy the flavors of traditional balsamic vinegar accompanying local specialties. One could also stroll the narrow, winding city center or sit in the Piazza Grande. They will be enthralled by the mystical beauty of the Cathedral and might spot some more super cars. Dinner that night will be a carnivores delight (included.)
Day 3 - Lucca
Every third Saturday of the month Lucca has an Antiques market in the morning. Arriving early, we will make sure you have the chance to browse and maybe purchase a piece of Italian history. After a delicious lunch with the group (included) we'll meet with our local tour guide, who will show us this charming town and tell us all of its fun secrets (included.)
Following the tour you might like to stroll the majestic city walls and find a charming place for a romantic dinner before meeting up with the group for our ride home.
Day 4 - Salsomaggiore
For the adventurous and animal lovers alike we will offer a 2 hr horseback ride, with horses from the Dukes stables, through the breathtakingly beautiful countryside in the morning (no worries we'll have a short reprieve with light refreshments along the way) and, best of all, it's included in your tour.
I don't know about you but after that sort of exercise I will need some care and pampering of my bruised body. We will visit the famous 'Salsomaggiore Therme', a palatial Turkish style building, which houses a Spa with the most innovative and modern treatment options...(gift certificate toward Spa treatment included).
Dinner will be at an amazing local restaurant with a chef full of personality at the foot of the castle (included).
Day 5 - Bologna
We will take the train from Parma to Bologna and meet with our local guide for a 'Gourmet Walk', an 2.5 hour tour which let's us see, smell, touch and taste some of Bologna's most amazing culinary treats (included). The tour includes markets and small shops and eateries. Afterwards you will have time to explore this history rich city and after a lovely dinner on your own we all return back to Parma via train (included).
Day 6 - Alba and surrounding wine country
This day we embark on our journey to the Piedmont region of Italy. This is the place where the famous Dolcetto Di'Alba, Barbaresco, Barolo and Moscato wines are being produced.
We will visit a selection of vineyards, take some tours and most certainly taste, taste, taste...
Dinner at castle restaurant included.
Day 7 -Castell'Arquato
After breakfast we whisk you away to a nearby gem of a town housing the Visconti Fortress of Castell'Arquato. Built between 1342 and 1349 according to the wishes of Luchino Visconti, the fortress passed to the Scotti family in 1404, then to Filippo Visconti.
Visit the castle or wander the small town. We found a little enotecca and watched life go by enjoying a lovely glass of vino rosso and a small bite to eat.
The remainder of the afternoon is for packing and saying your goodbyes to your castle.
Our farewell dinner is at the best local restaurant (included)...
Day 8 - Departure
Early departure for Milan Airport