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 quieter, more authentic Italian experience 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, hidden treasures, walks in stunning natural beauty, unique local cultural experiences, and so much more.
Since this is our home, we can offer you this kind of authentic experience, share our insider knowledge and love of the regions we host you in. Guests regularly tell us that they had no idea how good the food could be, or what amazing things cannot be found in guidebooks, 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. When the week is over, you will have made new friends and you will have experienced the real Italy that few tourists have ever experienced. 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, be welcomed by our friends and artisans, all with time to wander on your own and zero logistics to think about.
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. 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 the same folks grab their thrice-daily café to the local sacre and 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.
You are our 'guest'. 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 amazing local restaurants.
We keep it small and intimate.
Unlike the big tour bus companies, our cultural immersion tours are 4 to 8 people. We keep it nice and small so that we can keep it personal. Like-minded people with a sense of fun and adventure, not to mention a love of good food and wine, become your friends. We travel like locals as we explore the path less traveled. Guests enjoy visits to 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.
Italians don't eat eggs and bacon for breakfast, they have a pastry and a coffee. They never drink a cappuccino with dinner, never have olive oil and vinegar dipping sauces for bread. 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 it is to explain the differences. We believe this robs you of a big part of the experience. As they say, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". When you travel with us, we share with you how to adapt to the local culture, rather than asking the local culture to adapt to you. You will experience the real life of the culture you are visiting, gain a deeper appreciation for the place you have visited and it is absolutely wonderful!
We keep it personal.
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 these wonderful place with our guests. You will go home having had the most amazing vacation of your life, having made amazing new friends, having experienced incredible Italian food, having seen remarkable things few tourists have seen, and having felt an uncanny sense belonging in a place so far away. Long before you get home, you will have started planning your return.
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 site in a city like Venice or Turin, you have a local expert guide who shares with you the history and interesting facts of the place you are visiting. We do offer this option when visiting the major cities, but in all other locations you will visit, we offer what we call “orientation walks.” We will certainly 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, rather than following a specified course. Our goal with every visit is for you to have a wonderful and relaxing time, taking in the wonderful atmosphere of the place—stopping and smelling the roses.
Regional expertise & unique locations.
The concept of Italy as a single country belies the reality—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. The places you have heard about are places millions of others want to visit. 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 spectacular destinations, they are not overrun with tourists, they are beautiful, and they still hold true to real Italian culture.
You unpack only once.
We don't want you packing and unpacking all the time. So you stay in one place instead of going from hotel to hotel. Staying in the same place, you will come to understand the rhythms of local life and soon feel like a local.
Be part of the culture and travel in a more authentic, relaxed way
What Audrey's clients are saying...
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