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The North of Italy is an exquisite and diverse region with so much to offer. Gorgeous lakes, charming towns, amazing hospitality and picture-postcard views all make a tour of northern Italy bucket list-worthy. But the ultimate experience through this region would have to be through its food and wine. With its offerings of unique regional delicacies, there’s no better way to authentically experience northern Italy, its culture, history and traditions than through a culinary tour.
With so many incredible dishes and wonderful sights to explore, deciding where to go in northern Italy can be a daunting task. So why not let us whet your appetite? Join us on a culinary tour of one of the most amazing and picturesque regions in Italy.
On this five-day foodie extravaganza, you will sample fabulous wines and cheeses, savour some of the finest dishes the region has to offer, and learn how to create them for yourself. Staying in a lovely boutique hotel set amid stunning scenery, you will be taught skills and techniques by an expert local chef, and learn how to master classic Italian recipes using farm-to-table ingredients.
On day one, we’ll kick off our culinary tour in the beautiful town of Arona, where we’ll meet Chef Francesca Settimi for a refreshing welcome drink. We will then head over to Lake Maggiore and stroll through the town to explore the little shops, cafes and restaurants.
In the afternoon, we’ll head over to Chef Francesca’s for an initial introduction to “Cook on the Lakes”. She will narrate the story behind her piece of paradise and the concept of Farm to Table. We will then have the opportunity to brush up on our cooking skills at our first cooking class with an Italian master chef!
The second day will start on a delicious note with a visit to the Guffanti Cheese Caves. Established in 1876, Guffanti is famous for its selection of the best cheeses in Italian and European cheese tradition. We will indulge in some heavenly cheese tasting and wine pairing.
Afterwards, we will venture out to the Sacro Monte of Orta which offers panoramic views of the western shore of Lake Orta. We will tantalize our taste buds with an extraordinary lunch, followed by a visit to explore the magnificent village of Orta San Giulio and the island in the middle of the lake.
On day three, we’ll have a sumptuous breakfast at the hotel before driving to meet Francesca at Cook on the Lakes. There we’ll have an interesting cooking session on rice, and learn its different types and formations. We will then enjoy a delicious farm-to-table lunch before doing one of the following (depending on the season):
In February: visit the crop transformation systems
In May: tour the rice fields of North Italy
In July: explore the Ticino river dams and learn about water management in East Sesia
In September: experience the process of rice harvesting
On day four, we’ll spend an easy and relaxing morning at our hotel before driving to the Borromean Islands. We’ll cruise by boat to enjoy the picturesque islands and islets located to the west of Lake Maggiore. After a delicious lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking the lake, we will visit Isola Bella to take in its breathtaking palace and gardens. Thereafter, we’ll go on a splendid tour of the botanic gardens of Isola Madre. For a delectable dinner, we’ll dine at the famous la Rampolina, Stresa.
On the last day of this amazing tour, we will check out of our hotel and head off to a riveting wine lesson with sommelier Davide Gramegna. No trip to the region would be complete without some wine tasting so we’ll also visit a winery and vineyard. After the lecture, we will indulge in a final authentic lunch before saying goodbye to the North of Italy.