Flavors and Vistas of Piedmont

8 Days/7 Nights

4 to 8 Guests

Oct. 19 to 26, 2022

From $3,500USD pp (double occupancy)

Discover Italy's culinary and wine delights without the crowds

Itinerary

DAY 1: Arrival day in Milan

DAY 2: Barolo

DAY 3: Truffle hunt & cooking class

DAY 4: Royal city of Turin

DAY 5: Hiking the vineyards

DAY 6: Mediterranean Coast

DAY 7: Asti and cheese farm visit

DAY 8: Departure Day

Planning to spend more time in Italy before or after the tour? Audrey will be happy to help you plan a pre or post tour extension to other regions of Italy like Val d'Aosta, or the Italian lakes (Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore, Lake Como).

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sample local wines on a visit to Barolo, Asti & Barbaresco wine producers
  • Private cooking class with a local farmhouse 'momma' surrounded by hazelnut trees
  • A day on the Mediterranean coast with a fresh seafood lunch on the beach
  • Stroll through olive groves to a private tasting
  • Enjoy the pleasures of eating the rare and delicate white truffle
  • Learn about the secrets of chocolate with a tasting of the famous "bicerin"
  • Traditional meals with a variety of local recipes and wines
  • Artisanal cheese tasting at local Piedmontese farm
  • Charming villages and alluring beauty of panoramic Piedmont
  • Intimate group size of 4 to 8 like-minded travelers
  • You unpack only once!

NEXT CHANCE TO GO: October 19 to 26, 2022

PRICING: From $3,500USD pp (double occupancy)

Overview

Arrival airport:  Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP)
8 days/7 nights (7 nights in the Langhe, 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 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 the locals grab their daily café to the local festivals that almost always revolve around food and wine.

Piedmont is often referred to as ‘Tuscany without the tourists’. Piedmont’s undulating hills striped with vineyards bear more than a passing resemblance to its famous southern counterpart. Allow yourself to become enthralled by this picturesque region of dramatic hills wrapped with vineyards, orchards, hazelnut orchards that boast the finest quality of nuts in the world, medieval fortresses, and charming villages with terracotta rooftops. Delight in white truffles and wine tastings at premier winemakers. This area also produces most of the rice used throughout Europe and the Piemontesi claim to have taught the Swiss how to process chocolate into a tantalizing experience. Meet authentic local people, hard workers, very proud of their land and visit Torino (Turin) the aristocratic first capital of Italy and unexpectedly gorgeous city. Come discover the magic of Piedmont for yourself!

Day to Day Itinerary

DAY 1: Wednesday - ARRIVAL DAYthe beautiful vine covered rolling hills of piedmont

Arrive in the afternoon after an included transfer from Milan Malpensa (MXP), and check-in at your hotel where you will be staying for the duration of your visit in this region. Once you have had the time to freshen up, enjoy some time to get acquainted with the small town of Alice Bel Colle followed by an included dinner at a well-known trattoria, considered one of the best casual dining experiences in the area. During dinner you can sip on a selection of local wines and get to know your fellow travelers.

DAY 2: Thursday -BAROLOcastle in barolo

After breakfast, journey with your local host to the area of production of Barolo wine, Explore the quaint village of La Morra, with its cobblestone streets, the highest of this area and enjoy breathtaking views of the region followed by a hike through the vineyards (Length 10KM/6 miles-difficulty level: medium). 

At lunch time, visit the majestic aging room of a Barolo winery and relax in the dining room on the on-site restaurant overlooking the vineyards. Lunch is served with traditional starters and a pasta course, paired with five wines (including Barolo)

In the afternoon transfer to the village of Barolo with its medieval castle and many wine shops. The last stop of the day is Alba, a city of a hundred medieval towers, and the hometown of Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and aromatic white truffles. The decadent chocolate hazelnut Gianduia dessert was invented here and the city hosts the famous truffle fair between mid-October and November. Alba is also home to Barolo, the ‘king of Italian reds’, and the lighter, Nebbiolo. Enjoy a stroll on your own in the elegant town center and step inside the impressive cathedral. 

DAY 3: Friday - TRUFFLE HUNT AND COOKING CLASS

No trip to Piedmont in the fall would be complete without feasting on white truffles. As we accompany a "trifulao," truffle hunter, and his faithful scent dog through the countryside, we will learn the secrets of the delicate treasure we are searching for. If weather permits, we will enjoy a lunch outside at a nearby restaurant following our hunt. 

Spend the remainder of the day relaxing at your hotel before departing for a home cooking class on an organic farm surrounded by hazelnut trees and vineyards. This is an original stone home of the Langhe hills, beautifully restored. For the cooking class you will be using seasonal ingredients, herbs and vegetables from the garden just outside. Then enjoy the four-course dinner you created, with water and wine included.  

DAY 4: Saturday - ROYAL CITY OF TURINcity of Turin

After breakfast, embark on a short drive (1h 30min) to meet your guide in central Turin for a 2 hour walking tour of the historical city. The regional capital of Turin (Torino) is magical and considered one of the most elegant and beautiful in Europe. It is Italy’s fourth-largest city and has an illustrious past, resulting in elegant squares, world-class museums and historic cafés, flanked by some 18km of colonnaded walkways.

We'll venture into the old Roman Quadrilateral, an ancient enclave where the original city walls and gate can be seen, and stroll through Piazza Castello, home to Turin Cathedral and the Palazzo Reale for an unparalleled glimpse into royal life during the Savoy Dynasty. The last stop on our tour will be at the impressive Porta Palazzo open-air market, the largest-open air market in Europe where you can snack on salumi and gourmet cheeses, or sit down for lunch at one of the artisan eateries.

During the tour, we will stop at one of the historic coffee shops of Turin for a tasting of the local chocolate and coffee drink, called "bicerin" and sample some local pralines. On tour, we will also ride on the glass elevator to the top of the iconic "Mole Antonelliana" where with a reserved entrance, you can enjoy a 360 degree view of the city and the Alps. 

The rest of the day is at your leisure to visit other wonderful sites in the city, including: 
• the Cinema Museum for a a peek into Italian motion picture history.
• the Egyptian Museum, considered the second-best collection of Egyptian artifacts in the world (after the Egyptian Museum in Cairo). 
• a stroll along the Po River through the scenic Parco del Valentino.

DAY 5: Sunday - HIKING IN THE VINEYARDS wine tour in piedmont

Enjoy breakfast and a lazy morning. Then, it is time to hike from the hotel through the vineyards and country roads in the heart of the UNESCO world heritage site of the Monferrato hills. This is the area of production of robust red Barbera, aromatic and sweet Moscato and one of the few red sparkling wines of Italy, called Brachetto (Length 9km/5 miles-Difficulty level: medium). Along the way, stop in a family run Barbera winery for a tour of the cellar followed by a traditional farmer's brunch, called "merenda sinoira" paired with 4 wines including the Barbera wine aged in oak (DOCG appellation "Nizza"). Time to walk off lunch by returning to your hotel, then enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure.

DAY 6: Monday - MEDITERRANEAN  COASTtown of Noli on the Mediterranean coast

After breakfast, depart for the Italian Riviera, to the town of Finale Ligure (driving time 1.5 hours). The first stop of the day is the medieval walled town of Finalborgo, located in the mainland, one mile away from the sea. You'll have time on your own for souvenir shopping and photo opportunities. Then, after a 15 minute transfer, we arrive to the seaside town of Noli, once a powerful independent Maritime Republic. Take a stroll along the promenade and maybe dip your feet in the Mediterranean. 

Lunch is served in a restaurant on the beach. Enjoy the Ligurian pasta with pesto, the catch of the day and dessert with local wine included and water. 

After lunch, our van will take us into the mountains near the town of Varigotti where a brave farmer grows an ancient indigenous varietal of olive trees. The van can only go to a certain point, so we have a pleasant hike through the olive trees overlooking the sea. After an introduction about Ligurian olive oil and its beneficial effects, it is time to savor the liquid gold. 

DAY 7: Tuesday - ASTI AND THE CHEESE REFINERcheese in bra

Today we are off to Asti to meet our local guide for a 2 hour walking tour of the city center followed by a visit to a local cheese refiner. This is not a dairy farm, but a farmhouse where a young cheese master refines different types of cheese coming from Piedmont and nearby regions. Visit the small aging cellar and relax upstairs with a selection of 4 cheeses, jams and a glass of local wine (this is not a meal but enough to satisfy your appetite). 

Then it is time to visit another winery! We explore the beautiful northern Monferrato hills, home of the grape varietal, called Ruche. Visit the cellar run completely by women, including the wine maker. Enjoy a wine tasting of 4 wines with local cold cuts. 

This evening is your Farewell Dinner with us, enjoying local regional specialties. 

DAY 8: Wednesday - DEPARTURE DAY 

Transfer to Milan Malpensa airport (MXP) included for today for your return flight (Flights should not be booked before 10:30AM).

Planning to spend more time in Italy before or after the tour?  Audrey will be happy to help you plan a pre or post tour extension to other regions of Italy like Val d'Aosta, or the Italian lakes (Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore, Lake Como)

What's Included

Your Tour Price Includes

  • Unwind for 7 nights in charming, hand-picked boutique style accommodations that offer Italian hospitality, comfort and local character (standard rooms, including daily breakfast)
  • Relax in the care of your host, Audrey, who is fluent in Italian and English 
  • Private transportation throughout the itinerary
  • Rest assured that we will never guide you into a tourist trap shopping experience or surprise you with hidden fees
  • Private transfers to and from Milan Malpensa Airport
  • Local expert guides for private walking tours in Torino and Asti
  • Hand-picked experiences and insider access to the Italian way of life:
    • Private cooking class on an organic farm followed by dinner (4 courses, water and wine)
    • Light lunch "merenda sinoira" on local regional specialties and wine
    • Lunch on the beach on the Mediterranean coast (3 courses, water and wine)
    • Olive oil mill visit with tasting of extra virgin olive oil 
    • Truffle hunt with a truffle hunter and his dog, known as a "trifolau"
    • Cheese refiner experience and tasting of 4 cheeses with a glass of wine and jams
    • Wine tours and tastings  
    • 2 traditional dinners
  • Information packet before departure
  • Taxes & Fees: Local VAT taxes and government fees, city tax, gas, highway tolls, city access licenses and permits, parking fees

Audrey's Gold Standard

I've personally tried, tasted and tested every single experience, ensuring quality and authenticity.  If it doesn’t meet my personal Stamp of Approval, it won’t be on your tour! 

What's not Included

  • Passport fees, visa fees, immunization costs, entry clearing fees (when applicable)
  • Optional enhancements like room upgrades
  • Additional sightseeing, activities and experiences outside of your itinerary
  • Early check-in or late check-out from hotels
  • Personal charges such as laundry, phone calls, SIM cards or room service
  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Your international and domestic airfare
  • Porterage: Please note that you'll need to carry your own luggage up and down stairs at hotels and across cobblestone
Extend your trip

Are you planning to spend more time in Italy before or after the tour? Italy has so many beautiful cities and regions, you might want to prolong your Italian journey, to include a few more amazing destinations! We can help you to extend your stay with pre & post tour options, tailored to your preferences. Here are some of our suggestions:

Spend a few days in the city of Turin

The Royal City of Turin (or Torino) is considered one of the most elegant and beautiful in Europe. It is compact yet bustling modern city with impressive historic buildings, excellent restaurants and stunning views of the Alps. There is so much to do in this city! World-class museums like the Museo dell’Automobile, which is a must-see for any car fanatic—will enthrall you. Or, visit the UNESCO-listed Reggia di Venaria Reale, a lovingly restored 17th-century hunting lodge that was once the expansive residence of the Savoy royal family. Hike up to the 10th-century Sacra di San Michele, a striking abbey crowning the mountain of Monte Pirchiriano. On your way back to town, swing past Birrificio San Michele, a brewery at the foot of the mountain, for a platter of salumi and a flight of their craft beers.

THE LAKES: Add 4 wonderful days/3 nights visiting Lake Orta & Lake Maggiore designed as a post tour extension

The enduring charm and beauty of the Italian Lakes has lured everyone from Roman emperors and Hollywood celebrities to the cream of European society. Lying in the foothills of the Alps near the Swiss border, romantic Lago di Orta (Lake Orta), the most beautiful lake in Northern Italy, is nestled among a dark green forest and rocky hills. One of the smallest and lesser known of the northern lakes of Italy, its shimmering waters, the nearby ancient town of Orta San Giulio and its fascinating history will steal your heart. 

On Lake Maggiore, idyllic islands play host to grand palaces and picturesque fishing villages as well as superb gardens that nurture plants from all over the world. It's a beguiling region, littered with Michelin-starred restaurants and fine hotels, making a trip here a feast for both the eyes and the senses.

DAY 1: Most beautiful Italian lake, Lake Orta

Today we head northward to Lake Orta and the town of Orta San Giulio. The village is a maze of picturesque streets and narrow cobbled lanes, flanked by old stone walls, craft boutiques, antique shops and lively cafés. 

Optional activities:

  • Walk uphill to the Sacred Mountain, a unique religious site with 25 chapels dedicated to the life of St. Francis where pilgrims used to come and pray. As you walk uphill enjoy stunning views over the lake.
  • Take a short boat ride to Isola San Giulio and walk around the tiny island home of a convent of nouns. Take in views and the mystic atmosphere walking around the path of silence.

After lunch, we drive to Stresa (25minutes) and check in to your hotel just a 10 minute walk along the lake to the town center. 

Dinner at your leisure: your tour manager can make recommendations of her favorite places

DAY 2: Lake Maggiore

Bella (beautiful), Pescatore (fisherman) and Madre (mother). These three islands on Lake Maggiore were named after the aristocratic Borromean family—art and garden lovers—who bought the land in the 16th century and transformed two of them into luxury residences.

Today, we'll travel by ferry. We'll begin our day at Isola Bella with a visit to the Baroque Palazzo Borromeo to tour the opulent rooms filled with 15th-century art, intricate tile work and beautiful frescoes. We'll finish in the gardens before we hop the ferry to Isola Pescatori, also known as Isola Superiore, the northernmost island of the three. It’s a beautiful little fishing village where we'll have lunch. (not included) Those naturalists among us can continue on to Isola Madre, and tour the English-style Giardini Botanici dell’Isola Madre: seven terraces include cypress trees, camellias, rhododendrons, plus a wild community of peacocks, pheasants and parrots. 

DAY 3: Nursery and farmhouse visit

Meet your private driver and guide to drive around the shores of lake Maggiore up to the town of Pallanza. Take a stroll in town before continuing on the mountain overlooking the lake with breathtaking views from the snow-capped Swiss Alps to the city of Milan. Visit a farmhouse where horses, cows and cats leave peacefully in a bucolic setting.Enjoy a generous traditional meal with the organic products of the farm and local recipes.

This afternoon, meet the passionate owner of a nursery where camellias are grown. Walk in the nursery for an interesting and interactive lecture about flowers and relax in the private garden for a tasting of local teas and infusions.

DAY 4 - Transfers to Milan Malpensa Airport for flights out or join us for and extra day in Milan.

When we arrive in Milan, we'll drop our bags at the hotel and meet our guide for our tour, including reserved timed admissions to the Scala Opera House and the Last Supper. Discover how business and history blend together in Milan. We'll begin our tour at the Piazza del Duomo, including a skip the line ticket to the roof. Just across the square is the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most beautiful covered gallerias in the world. Begun in 1865, it was the first to make use of an iron glass structure. We’ll then visit La Scala opera house, the most famous theatre hall in the world. After lunch (not included), we're off to see Leonardo’s masterpiece, The Last Supper, painted in the refectory of the Santa Maria Delle Grazie church. The church and adjoining refectory were badly damaged in World War II, and during the repair work, old sgraffito paintings in the dome were brought to light. 

Milan is Europe’s fashion capital, with many chic shops and boutiques! Visit vintage shops, view street art, explore Milan’s canal district, and sample this city’s delicious cuisine. If you want to see l’ultima moda (the latest fashion), and the beautiful Duomo di Milano Gothic Cathedral, add a couple of extra days to your journey.

Overnight in Milan

DAY 5 - Departure day from Milan Malpensa Airport 

From Milan, by train, you can easily reach Bologna, Florence, Rome or Venice. 

Important Notes

Travels with Audrey RECOMMENDS YOU BOOK EARLY as hotel availability may occasionally be an issue due to popularity, capacity of unique accommodations, and/or high season. A supplemental fee may be applied if our normal set of hotels in each city is not available. Hotels are booked based on availability at time of booking. If a specific hotel is not available, a similar quality or location will be chosen. Your hotels will be finalized about 90 days prior to the tour (after receipt of full payment) and will be available in your pre-tour documents mailed to you within 30 days prior to your tour.

Accommodation information

There is frequent confusion over the terminology used for hotel rooms. A “double” room is recognized as meaning a room with a double bed, which may be two single beds pushed together. A “twin” room is a room with two single beds. A “single” room tends to be smaller than double or twin rooms. Triples are usually two-bedded rooms plus a roll-away cot and not recommended for comfort. Some properties offer 1 double and 1 single bed, or 1 double and 1 pull out sofa

Please note that the hotel staff assigns rooms to guests. Some rooms may include stairs. A specific view is not guaranteed. As we work mainly with luxury historic inns and small upscale boutique hotels, rooms differ in size and layout. In general, Italian bedrooms and bathrooms are smaller compared to US standards. Each room has its own en-suite bathroom with shower and/or tub, hair-dryer, and basic toiletry set. Please contact us if you have specific requests/needs.

Prepare for Your Trip

European travel in general involves a lot of walking, much more than we are used to in the US. Most of our tours include city walking tours, visits to hilltop towns and villages, and meandering through cobbled streets. Keeping active and incorporating long walks into your busy schedule in the weeks before your departure will make your vacation much more rewarding.

  • Don’t Overpack: A challenge even for some experienced travelers! Plan to wash or dry clean some clothes during your travel. Some hotels and villas we choose offer laundry and dry cleaning services and towns and cities have laundromats. Most also provide hair dryers. Toiletries and cosmetics can also be purchased at your destinations. Please contact us if you need some assistance.
  • It is your responsibility to obtain the required documents to travel to Europe. Please verify with your own country's travel laws and government agencies. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your return date. 

The first day on tour is your arrival day into the city in which we meet. So you would be flying no later than the day before from the United States or Canada. It is your responsibility to get to the city and hotel where and when the tour begins. When making flight arrangements, please allow sufficient time to claim luggage and clear customs in order to join the included transfer on time. For all pre-designed tour packages, we meet for our first orientation walk of the tour at 3:00PM (15:00) on tour start date in the hotel lobby. The tour ends when you check out of the hotel on your last day on tour.

Note: Please make note or inquire with us as to the meeting time on that first day on tour. This should be done prior to you making any flight or train bookings so that it is clearly understood that the arrangements will fit in with our times. Your train or flight should arrive between 09:00AM and 12:00PM-noon (no later) on Day 1 of the tour to allow you enough time to check in to your hotel, freshen up and meet for the orientation walk with our other group guests.

Remember, airfare is a completely separate arrangement from your land tour. It is your responsibility to arrive at the point of tour origination.

Pricing

  • All prices are subject to change until a deposit has been made for your tour. Please bear in mind that each hand-crafted pre-packaged itinerary showcased on the website represents a typical itinerary, and the actual details may vary due to season and special events. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances may arise. Itinerary changes are also made to improve the tour and your experience. Prices are subject to change with global exchange rates. Please be aware that equivalent dollar costs are based on exchange rates and are contingent upon a fluctuating currency market.
  • All quoted prices are subject to changes based on Euro dollar/US dollar exchange rate, until balance is paid. Once the deposit has been received, the price is locked, regardless of exchange fluctuations prior to the tour . Variations in price will be made only if Euro value increases 5% or more from the time of reservation to the time that balance is due. Any variations in price, which may or may not increase your balance, will be communicated by email.

General Information

  • Air Conditioning: Hotels and mini-buses/vans used are air-conditioned for your comfort. European air conditioning should be considered as a climate-control system; most have three settings for the fan, plus a "cool" setting. Very few of the European systems actually have a temperature setting. In general, the amount of cool air that is produced from a European air conditioning system may be less than what you may have in your own home. Some hotels in Europe do not operate their air conditioning systems on a year round basis, but only during certain months of the year.
  • Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility. You must be able to walk up and down hills, on uneven surfaces and stand for extended periods of time.
  • Itinerary Changes and Price Flexibility: We pledge to make every effort to operate all our tours as advertised. We reserve the right to alter or curtail the itinerary, or substitute sightseeing, hotels, and/or transportation as deemed necessary.

Please note: while we do our best to adhere to our published itineraries, they may be changed at the discretion of the tour leader (local host) due to weather conditions and any other unforeseeable circumstances.

The purchase of TRAVEL INSURANCE is strongly recommended to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. A Protection Plan can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.

Local living and boutique hotels - Where you stay matters

We believe that where you sleep is an important part of your overall travel experience. We choose truly special and unique locations, that reflect authentic local charm. Here are  photos of a few of our favorite places.

 Enjoy the Elegance and Traditions of Piedmont's Hilltop Castles, Vine-Filled Valleys, Breathtaking Landscapes, Exquisite Gastronomy and Its Wines!

What Audrey's clients are saying...

Custom Italy Tour Package

Jean and Alan

Denver, CO

We highly recommend Audrey and here’s why: she planned the vacation exactly the way we wanted it. Every detail was planned out, up to personal drivers and personal tour guides. We didn’t have to worry about anything. She provided additional info for places to eat and things to see and she was always there if we had a problem or question while on our trip. The Personal Guides were outstanding-very friendly and knowledgeable and the tickets to bypass the lines were exceptional. Hotels were centrally located for easy walking and all very clean and friendly. We really enjoyed Audrey taking us to the Venice that most tourist don’t get to see, especially our “Venetian Bar Crawl with wine and Cicchetti”. We were fortunately very lucky to have Audrey as our driver-guide from Rome to San Marino and eventually to Venice. She was a wealth of knowledge about the history of the area we were driving through. It was such a pleasure to work with Audrey: our trip was OUTSTANDING because of the care and personal attention she gave to us from our initial planning to our final itinerary.
View Jean & Allan's private tour package
(Customized Itinerary Package to Italy with Audrey as driver-guide from Rome to Venice)

Monteriggioni

Kelly and Dave

Brampton, ON, Canada

My husband and I just completed a tour of Italy arranged with Travels with Audrey. Everything was perfect, I mean, really perfect! I’m sure Audrey even arranged the weather!! The hotel recommendations were impeccable, as were the restaurants, and each of our guides along the way was extremely knowledgeable, personable and such a pleasure to spend time with. It was a trip completed at our pace, acknowledging our wishes, but with some gentle (and much needed) guidance. We feel we’ve not only gained a real knowledge and understanding of the sights we’ve seen, but a real appreciation for the rich history of Italy and the lives of its inhabitants today. Some olive oil and a few pieces of ceramic have been picked up along our travels, as well as about 2,500 photos, but more than that, our lives have been enriched by our experience, and we’ve gained a new friend. From the bottom of our hearts, thank-you Audrey! 
View Kelly & Dave's private tour package
(Customized Itinerary Package to Italy, with Audrey as driver-guide in Tuscany and orientation walk in Venice)

itineraries for family vacations to italy

Jay C and family

Littleton, CO

My family and I recently traveled to Italy with Audrey. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and all agreed that Audrey enhanced our trip way beyond anything we could have organized ourselves. Audrey is well networked with local hotels, guides and transportation services. What that meant for us, is that we got the best rooms in the hotels with views, we travelled in Luxury Mercedes vans and mini-buses with friendly, knowledgeable drivers. Our Guides to the many venues enriched our tours with their vast amount knowledge and enthusiasm. And they could get us in to venues skipping lines that were blocks long. Amazing! All of Audrey’s contacts respect and adore her and make sure her clients get the best service. We went to many of the most well-known sights and places, such as Florence, Rome, the Vatican and Tuscany. However, we also went to many off the beaten track places that Audrey knew that were wonderful, such as lunch and wine tasting at the Chianti winery, a private dinner prepared by our own chef in Rome and to some Greek ruins that were incredible in southern Italy to mention a few. I highly recommend Audrey. She is a warm gracious woman who works very hard for you and keeps your group organized. She saves you hours of logistics time, because she knows the regions and people well. Paying the money up front in the beginning was scary, but we had heard about her and took the risk. She really took care of us. Our family all agreed that our small group tour was far more satisfying than a larger tour could have ever been for not much more money.
View Jay C's & family private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Italy with Audrey as tour manager)

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Bill & Gail / Lil & Tom

Dallas, TX / Tulsa, OK

We just took a tailored two week trip with our best friends.  Audrey developed our travel plan to Edinburgh, London, Normandy and the Loire valley.  It was a DREAM TRIP.  The hotels were all very good and the food was superb.  The best thing about the trip was the personal guides that Audrey set up for us; they were extremely knowledgeable, personable and entertaining.  Audrey drove us around in France and was our guide in the Loire.  A great trip! 
View Bill, Gail, Tom & Lil's private tour package details and what they consider to be most valuable about my service
(Private Customized Tour to Edinburgh, London and France. In France with Audrey as driver-guide)

greek temples in italy

Marti and family

Ann Arbor, MI

I would like to thank you for making our family vacation so special. Everything went without a hitch, from the tour guides, to the dinners you planned. We LOVED everything! The special personal chef night was fantastic, just perfect! I know traveling with toddlers is not always easy but you made it seamless. I really appreciated you giving them places to go that the girls would enjoy, and the hotel with the pool, great choice. You know that I chose to book with you because you were our guide five years ago and we really enjoyed ourselves then. I’m so happy we found you again. Booking with you was easy and I will not hesitate to recommend you to all my friends and family.
View Marti's private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour to Italy with Audrey as tour manager)

Italy off the beaten path

Kathy and Rich

Ann Arbor, MI

We had a family adventure with 13 of us, ages 1 to 67 years old, related as brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins, and grandchildren.  Audrey spent two weeks with the whole gang as our Tour Manager and then my husband Rich and I stayed on another week with Audrey to see sites in Northern Italy with her as our driver-guide. The whole trip was AWESOME.  We made marvelous memories together.  Audrey was terrific at meeting the needs of this diverse group.  She took us to special spots that we had visited with her 5 years before.  That is one of the reasons we selected her to help guide us and she far exceeded our expectations.  She also added many new treasures to enjoy and share with each other.  Audrey is organized, knowledgeable, fun, flexible, curious, thoughtful, energetic, discreet, adventurous, and sentimental. We enjoyed Audrey’s tour and her company as she shared her favorite spots with us along the way.  We ate things that surprised us  and went to places that we would never have found on our own. Audrey was our constant guide and friend.  Tomorrow night I am meeting with the family to begin planning a trip with Audrey to France in the fall!
View Kathy's private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Italy and Audrey as tour manager, followed by 7 days of a Private Customized Guided tour of Northern Italy with Audrey as driver-guide)

Italy off the beaten path

Janet and Tim

Seattle, WA

After some research online we found and liked Audrey’s website and decided she would be a good fit for the kind of tour we had in mind, which entailed the availability of Audrey as our driver-guide who confidently drove us around well-known and lesser-known regions of Italy allowing us to discover little known locations and enjoy wonderful food and delicious wines along the way. The best part of it was the complete ability to let the trip just happen, without having to worry about anything. From driving itineraries to hotels, private guided tours in Rome and the Vatican to wine tastings and suggestions for places to eat, Audrey took care of it all for us. I would absolutely recommend Travels with Audrey, especially if you are looking for a private tour and do not want the hassle of planning or driving in a foreign country.  Audrey introduced us to parts of Italy we did not know existed! Our understanding and appreciation for Italy are now so much deeper that we would like to go back and re-visit some of those areas. By far the most notable experiences included observing the truffle hunting dogs at work in Umbria.
View Janet & Tim's private tour package details
(Private Customized Tour to Italy with Audrey as driver-guide)

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Angela and family

TX, USA

My family just got back from a 10 day trip to Spain with Audrey and it was AWESOME!!!! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to travel again without her! Audrey took care of everything…hotels, transportation, obtaining tickets to sites, shows, etc., which left us to just enjoy our trip! We had told her in advance which activities and cities we were interested in and she made it happen. She was even able to squeeze in some extra activities (like wine tasting!) while we were there. Audrey is so nice, and easy to talk with. We really enjoyed her company and her love for the country. If you want to have a great vacation without any worries, you have to use Audrey!
(Private Customized Guided Tour for a family vacation to Spain with Audrey as tour manager)

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Beth and family

Dallas, TX

WARNING! You may never be able to travel without Audrey again. We have used Audrey’s services twice in the past, once to Italy and once to Spain. Our most recent trip was to Spain. This trip exceeded our expectations in many ways. First of all, individual travelers are different and have different needs. Audrey takes this into account and tailors the trip to the specific personality of the group. For example, our group had a mixture of adults, young adults and teenagers. Audrey arranged the transportation so that we were never rushed in the morning, had ample time to eat breakfast and set off to a day of sightseeing feeling rested and excited about the day. We visited all the typical tourist spots, but also had intimate “one of a kind” trips to a vineyard, sherry bodega, cooking class and olive oil factory. The longer drives were broken up by timely stops in unique towns. All this adds up to a one of a kind experience that really allows you to feel the culture of the country. We left the hotel planning up to Audrey and each hotel was centrally located, unique and clean. Audrey has extensive knowledge about the countries that she offers and a love for travel and the people. You cannot go wrong with a trip with Audrey. Try her once, and like us, you will be back for more. 
View Beth's & family private tour package details
(Private Customized Guided Tour for a family vacation to Spain with Audrey as tour manager)

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Laurian & Gerald

Grand Junction, CO

We had a lovely time on this trip, thank you for your expertise in organizing it! Initially we were unsure about using a tour organizer without a personal recommendation and had the usual concerns about cost and quality.  We have had reasonable experiences in the past using the web to find tour organizers and, in this respect, the testimonials on your site were very helpful. We didn’t have to worry about the many specifics of doing what we wanted to do, in consideration of the fact that we had a very specific and peculiar itinerary: it was wonderful to have someone personalize our tour. Two things were very useful.  First, the identification of good quality yet small hotels that were well-located.  It would have been difficult to do this ourselves based on web searches.  Second, your arranging the tours and specific activities for us so we didn’t have to search for those.  In most cases, these activities were also located near our hotels, so the whole experience was very low hassle! Our best experiences were in Granada with Antonio as guide to the Alhambra and with the flamenco show there, which was excellent, though designed for tourists. The winery in Portugal was a great find! Everything was very high quality. In closing, we would absolutely recommend your services to others.
Thanks again!

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Tom and Dom (father and son)

Denver, CO

Dominic and I came back from our two week trip to Portugal and southern Spain.  It was a great father & son trip and we had a great time!  From Lisbon, to Evora to Seville to Cordoba to Granada and finally Madrid, we had a great time.  I would highly recommend the private car with driver and local guides that Audrey arranged for us.  It was the best way of seeing the sites without any crowds, exactly the way Audrey envisions and offers in her tours. What a great way to see more of the country.  The food recommendations Audrey provided us with in the various towns came in very handy and were very accurate.  The accommodations she chose far exceeded our expectations. The prepaid tickets arranged by Audrey for the Bullet train and the Prado saved us a lot of time. We enjoyed ourselves and look forward to booking any future trip that will measure up to this one and highly recommend Travels with Audrey.
View Tom's private tour package details
(Customized Itinerary Package, father and son vacation to Portugal and Spain)

private tour of scotland

Mike and Ellen

Indianapolis, IN

Our trip to Scotland was magical. With the help of Travels with Audrey we were able to enjoy a stress free trip in a country that prides itself on being laid back. The visit was centered in the Highlands, we had certain requests that were not only met but exceeded. The driver assigned was fabulous. An Irish chap who was the friendliest and most accommodating chap you can imagine. He was familiar with the territory and found the most interesting little spots to stop for a “lovely picture and maybe a cup of tea or coffee before we get on our way”.The variety of Hotels, Castles, Guest Houses and B & B’s made for an exciting time. The Distillery tours (2) were fun and informative and tasty. The scenery of the Highlands and the roads ventured to make the most of the tour made for a great journey. We had only one variation where a ferry could not be guaranteed to run, the driver was able to modify that on the run and found us an alternative town, Oban, that was one of the highlights of the entire trip. All in all from Edinburgh and St Andrews to the Isle of Skye to Oban and Sterling it was a couple of weeks that will live in our fondest memories.
(Customized Itinerary Package to Scotland and London, England)

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Gregg & Maureen / Coleen & Don

IL & NJ

Just want to say thank you once again for a most fabulous tour. The fact that you designed it to suit our very specific interests was phenomenal. Everything went very smoothly. You knew just what arrangements were necessary to accomplish everything in the time we had available. We were very pleased with the transportation, restaurants, sites, guides, etc. The whole trip could not have gone better.  Our tour realized the dream my wife and sister in law wanted to fulfill: following the footsteps of their father as a paratrooper during the 2nd World War. We met many great people and have wonderful memories. I will always cherish the “down” times when Maureen and I had a sandwich and a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Paris and a beer at a sidewalk cafe in Berlin with Frau Vogel. Looking forward to future travels!
View photos of their experience
(Private Customized Guided Tour with Audrey as tour manager, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany). 

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Tony, Dan and family

Atlanta, GA

We were fortunate enough to have had Audrey De Monte serve as Tour Manager for our 10 day family trip to Europe. The tour was a 10-day multi generational family tour (grandparents to teen age grandchildren) of the cities of Paris, Venice and Rome. Audrey was extremely well organized and always provided multiple suggestions to make sure that everyone was having a great time. She knew the cities well which enabled us to get access to great reasonably priced restaurants that served authentic local food which was not an easy task for such a large group. She kept our group on time and always offered suggestions for other activities when we had free time. She made this family trip a very precious memory for all and for that we are grateful. Thank you Audrey!
View photos of their experience 
(Private Customized Tour for a family vacation to Paris, Venice and Rome, with Audrey as tour manager)

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Terry and Bill

Toronto, ON, Canada

We would like to extend our appreciation and thanks to Travels with Audrey for organizing our personalized tour of Paris, France – from the pick up at the dock in Lyon to the train station – to the pickup in Paris to drop off at our hotel – we felt very special for the efficiency and courtesy provided by Audrey’s personnel.We enjoyed our excursions to Versailles; the Louvre and Notre Dame – instructions provided were well illustrated and we had no difficulty is locating the meeting centers. Our hotel was quaint and close to the downtown core – we were able to walk around visiting various sites with ease and comfort.Would highly recommend Travels with Audrey to friends and family who may consider visiting France.
Many thanks!

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Eleni, Anne and family

Toronto, Canada

My family and I just returned from a vacation to Italy, planned by Audrey. I had never been to Italy before, and I didn’t know where to begin planning. Audrey’s knowledge of Italy is incredible. We gave her some ideas, and our budget, and she planned the most amazing trip for us! Each step was perfect. The hotels were beautiful, and we loved private tours of Pompeii, Amalfi Coast and Florence. The cooking class she set up in Sorrento was one of the highlights! We kept raving about how flawless and easy each part of the trip was! And Stresa, a place we never even knew about, was breathtaking! If it wasn’t for Audrey, we would have never gone there! She planned every detail, right down to the train tickets. Audrey, thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. You made our trip perfect and memorable. We will definitely be booking with you again!
(Customized Itinerary Package for a family vacation to Italy)

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Contact

Travels with Audrey, LLC
Audrey De Monte

+1.720.695.4723 (USA)
+1.805.430.8112 (Fax)
+39.331.416.4316 (Italy)