Cultural Vacations in Northern Italy
Uncover the hidden delights of Northern Italy with us
4 - 8 people per trip • Off-the-beaten-Path • Authentic & Immersive
With our cultural vacations you don't just visit Italy, you live Italy. While others come to Italy just to see the sights with a crowd of tourists, you get to experience a more authentic Italy, that most people completely miss out on.
Each cultural vacation itinerary has been thoughtfully crafted to offer experiences a traveler could never have achieved on their own, or with a traditional tour company. Each cultural vacation is based in a specific region, and is hosted, for the duration of your visit, at hand-picked accommodations that offer a blend of local hospitality, comfort and character. Enjoy delicious regional food and wines, visits to local producers, excursions to famous sites with incredible history, off-the-beaten-path gems, walks in stunning natural beauty, unique local cultural experiences, and so much more. Italy is full of hidden treasures, most of them not mentioned in any guide book.
Since this is our home, we can offer you insider access to an authentic experience. Guests regularly tell us that they had no idea how good the food could be, or what an amazing feeling it was to immerse themselves in the culture rather than only skim the surface. I promise you will fall in love with our cultural vacations. If one week is not enough, we can recommend other areas to explore based on your particular interests.
We’ve already planned the perfect trip you’re looking for, and you can book it today! Eat with locals, learn their traditions, and be welcomed by our friends, all with time to wander on your own and zero logistics.
Italy's Secret Treasure: Friuli Venezia Giulia
Are you looking for a holiday in beautiful Italy off the main tourist trail? You found it!
Your first question is undoubtedly "Where on earth is Friuli Venezia Giulia?" It may be hard to believe, but there are still fantastic places in Italy that are not overrun with travelers. Relatively unknown outside Europe, Friuli Venezia Giulia is a wonderful place with incredible food and wines. The New York Times called it "Italy’s secret garden".
PRICING: 8days/7nights from $3,500USD per person (double occupancy)
NEXT CHANCE TO GO: Sept. 12 to 19, 2022
Flavors and Vistas of Piedmont
Are you looking to discover the hidden culinary and wine delights Italy offers? If you are, then this is the tour for you! Discover one of Italy's magical wine regions: Piedmont, which the Italians call Piemonte. Although more and more people are hearing about Piedmont and coming to visit, the region remains quite undiscovered. In Piemonte, the rhythms of Italian life, uninterrupted by tourists, can be found everywhere: from the corner bar where locals grab their daily café, to the local festivals that almost always revolve around food and wine.
PRICING: 8days/7nights from $3,500USD per person (double occupancy)
NEXT CHANCE TO GO: Oct. 19 to 26, 2022
How We Offer This Experience To You
We are hosts, not guides
We treat you as a 'guest' and not as a 'client'. We are not your 'guides'; we are your 'hosts'. We treat you like you were friends visiting us, sharing the things we love about the places we call home. With us you will gain a deeper understanding of the Italian culture. We introduce you to our local friends and family, take you to places most foreign visitors do not see, take you shopping to local markets, and bring you to eat in neighborhood restaurants.
We keep it small, personal and intimate
We are your guides and tour escorts, but we are also your hosts, and we will treat you as if you are visiting friends and not just customers. We love sharing our favorite places with guests, and we know you will just love them too. Long before you get home, you will have started planning your return.
Unlike the big tour bus companies, our cultural immersion tours are 4 to 8 like-minded guests, with a sense of fun and adventure, not to mention a love of good food and wine. We keep it nice and small so that we can keep it personal. We travel like locals as we explore the path less traveled. Guests enjoy visiting small family-run producers, dining with the locals at their favorite trattoria, or savoring a multi-course tasting dinner at an exclusive ten-table restaurant.
True cultural immersion
We not only introduce you to the local culture, but also the local customs, and we ask you to embrace them as much as possible. So after dinner, we will guide you to order an espresso or an after-dinner drink like grappa or limoncello, instead of a cappuccino. Most tours and tourism establishments cater to North American culture. It is easier for them to simply do it the North-American way than to explain the differences. We believe this robs you of a big part of the experience. When you travel with us, we like to bring you into the local lifestyle as much as possible. During grape harvest time, you are out harvesting the grapes; when olives are being harvested, you are not only harvesting the olives, but also taking part in the process of the making of oil. You will gain a deeper appreciation for the place you have visited, and it is absolutely wonderful!
We go on orientation walks
All of our cultural immersion tour packages incorporate a mixture of cultural experiences, culinary delights and excursions. On our private guided tours, when you go visit a major city, you will have a local expert guide who shares with you the history and interesting facts about the place you are visiting. In all other locations you will visit, we offer what we call “orientation walks,” where we tell you about the places you are visiting, and show you what there is to see, but is done at a relaxed pace, with the freedom to explore shops and areas that you’re interested in. Our goal with every visit is for you to have a wonderful and relaxing time, taking in the wonderful atmosphere of the place.
Regional foods and local wines
Food is an all-important part of each and every one of our cultural vacations. We are foodies who love to savor the authentic flavors of each destination. Through food, we can learn about a region’s history, traditions and societal norms. Recipes and cooking techniques are passed down from generation to generation. Some dishes tell a story of an entire nation, whilst others may be specific to a region. In exploring the local food you learn about the country you are visiting at a deeper level. We favor farm-to-table local eateries and focus on family-run, local trattorias and "osterias". We like to pair each dining experience with regional wines, that you most likely will have never heard of before, and that are produced by small, family-run winemakers. When you eat out, you will always do it like locals, with locals.
Regional expertise & unique locations
Italy consists of many regions, with incredibly diverse cultures, histories, natural topographies, and cuisines. As you look at our chosen locations, chances are that you may have never heard of them. We have made a conscious decision to focus our cultural vacations in specific regions in Northern Italy, places we know well, have local expertise and call home. These locations were chosen because they offer good transportation access, are geographically well-situated for excursions to surrounding destinations, they are not overrun with tourists, they are beautiful, and they still hold true to real Italian culture.
Travel in a more authentic, relaxed way
What Audrey's clients are saying...
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