The Cities of Art of the North

Self Guided tour

This tour will take you to explore the great cities of art in northern Italy, each with its own peculiar character and beauty. These cities are centers where a very ancient and complex history is stratified and evident in the most significant monuments, in the artistic masterpieces and even in the food and wine tradition of which you will have a pleasant experience. The tour is also an excellent starting point to deepen the knowledge of one or more regions, thanks to the possibility of combining travel extensions of a few days that will allow you to appreciate the most famous coastal areas, lakes, rolling hills renowned for the production of excellent wines and gastronomic delicacies and even the mountains where you can walk and admire enchanting views.

Tour Highlights

Itinerary

Arrival at the airport/station of Turin, where you will be greeted by an Italy Trails representative who will welcome you and deliver the travel material. By taxi, you will go to the hotel and, after leaving your luggage, you will begin to discover the historic center of the elegant Piedmontese capital, dedicating time to visit some fascinating Baroque palaces and royal residences, the center of aristocratic life in the city.
The Mole Antonelliana, symbol of the city, will give you the opportunity to admire a 360 ° view of the city and the Alpine Arc.
Walking along the famous porticoed avenues or stopping in the refined squares, you can taste the typical Turin drink based on coffee, hot chocolate and milk cream, or you can enjoy a delicious aperitif based on sandwiches in one of their many variations (butter and anchovies, bagna cauda, veal with tuna sauce, truffle, lobster, etc.), born in Turin in 1926, in one of the beautiful and sumptuous historic places of the center.

Optional food and wine experience:

  • 2-hour tour dedicated to Turin gastronomic specialties and wines, along the road of the ancient shops and cellars in the historic center of the city (min. 2 people).

Night in Hotel in Turin

In the morning after breakfast, you will enjoy a few more hours in the beautiful city of Turin, reaching one of the most beautiful squares of the city, also known as the living room of Turin, which is overlooked by many buildings of historical interest and two baroque twin churches. Not far away, do not miss to visit the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, Guarini’s Baroque masterpiece and UNESCO Heritage Site, returned to the public after 28 years of restoration, and the Duomo, the only Renaissance church in Turin, where the Holy Shroud is now preserved. A little further on, another splendid square, surrounded by historic arcades, will amaze you with its Royal Palace, the Teatro Regio and Palazzo Madama, also part of the UNESCO Heritage Site list. Finally, you will continue to the three Turin galleries, which are very reminiscent of the Parisian ones, where there are elegant cafes and restaurants. Then you will go to the station where you will take the train to Genoa, which you will reach in about two hours. After leaving your luggage in your hotel, you will enjoy a first exploratory tour through the streets of the largest historic center in Europe. You will find the ancient shops where you can taste the typical Genoese focaccia or buy lovely local souvenirs crafts. Do not forget to look up to admire the numerous votive shrines, real works of art set like precious stones in the corners of the ancient buildings of Old Town. For dinner, a typical Ligurian restaurant awaits you where you will taste traditional dishes accompanied by excellent regional wines.

Night in Hotel in GNight in Hotel in Milan.enoa

After breakfast, you will visit the late-Renaissance and Baroque buildings that make up the Rolli Palace System, witnesses of the maritime and financial power of the city and which, since 2006, have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The most prestigious, today house the main city museums where works by Guercino, Veronese, Antoon Van Dick, Caravaggio and the famous Maddalena Penitente by Canova are kept. You will have lunch in a typical Genoese trattoria and, after lunch, you will visit the museum complex of Palazzo Reale.
Before returning to the hotel, you will admire Genoa from above, ascending with an elevator towards Spianata Castelletto, where you will enjoy a magnificent view of the sea at sunset. You will dine in a typical restaurant by the sea and spend the second night in a hotel.

Optional food and wine experience:

  •  Tasting tour, walking from the old port to the historic center of the city, stopping in the ancient shops to taste fried foods, focacce, the typical farinata and pesto, and desserts such as canestrelli, ice cream, chocolate and finally the inevitable coffee (min. 1 person).

Night in Hotel in Genoa

After breakfast and check-out at the hotel, you will leave your bags at the hotel reception and visit the core of the Old Town that will take you to the Aquarium. The most symbolic historical places of the city are enclosed in a few hundred meters: churches, palaces and the House of Christopher Columbus. Going down towards the port, you will encounter the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, built around the year one thousand on a previous early Christian Basilica with the typical marble and slate façade. You will come across the scents of Sottoripa, where the culinary tradition mixes with the flavors of the Mediterranean and, if you want, you will continue in the direction of the largest Aquarium in Europe, an exhibition of aquatic biodiversity among the glass walls designed by the architect Renzo Piano. In the afternoon, you will collect your luggage and continue to Milan, which you will reach by train in less than two hours. Once at the station, you will reach your hotel by taxi and, leaving your luggage, you can go to the liveliest area of the city: the Navigli. These canals were built from the twelfth to the sixteenth century for defensive purposes, to supply water to the city and to transport goods and, today, they are the heart of the Milanese nightlife from aperitif time until late at night, thanks to the many cocktail bars and trendy restaurants.

Night in Hotel in Milan.

After breakfast you will start the tour of the city moving on foot to fully immerse yourself in the Milanese atmosphere. The itinerary designed for you begins with a walk to the Sempione Park in the direction of the Castello Sforzesco with its imposing towers that stand out on the green. You will then continue to Piazza del Duomo, where you can admire the third largest cathedral in the world. You will then make a leap forward of more than seven centuries when, in a few minutes, accessing the Terrace between spires, Gothic pinnacles and rampant arches, you will admire the hyper-tech skyline of the city of design. The charm of Milan is this: to connect in just a few moments the ancient and the futuristic, all enclosed in a single glance. You will continue your tour along other beautiful streets of the city, up to the luxurious Via Montenapoleone. You will have time to leave your purchases at the hotel and prepare yourself for an aperitif under the stars at the Highline Galleria where you can admire the city at sunset from the roof of the magnificent Galleria Vittorio Emanuele.

Night in Hotel in Milan.

After breakfast, you will meet your guide who will show you the work of Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian Renaissance: The Last Supper, painted around 1494 on the wall of the refectory of the convent adjacent to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The contingent entrance to the small refectory allows you to appreciate the movement of the work represented by the moods of the Apostles taken by surprise and incredulous at the announcement of the betrayal just revealed. You will continue your visit, admiring one of the clearest examples of Lombard Renaissance architecture: the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie. After a short snack, you will return to the hotel to collect your luggage and transfer to Parma by train. The city of Parma boasts a collected and elegant beauty, in which monuments of incomparable beauty stand out, but Parma is also synonymous with good food; it was in fact chosen as the headquarters of the European Food Safety Authority and is home to two Italian gastronomic excellences renowned all over the world: Prosciutto di Parma, a cured meat with a unique scent and flavor, and the famous Parmigiano Reggiano, whose authentic and certified version can only be produced in these areas of Emilia Romagna. A stop in this city is therefore the best opportunity to taste these and many other delicacies.

Optional food and wine experience:

  • Tour of the dairy farm where Parmesan cheese is produced, to watch the processing, the shaping and finally the tasting of cheeses accompanied by honey and local wine.

Night in hotel in Parma.

This morning, you will be enchanted by the Cathedral of the city, famous for the dome frescoed by Correggio (model of all those made in the Baroque era in Rome) and by the Baptistery of Benedetto Antelami, whose unusual shapes, inspired by the Gothic French, are accompanied by the splendid interior decoration. The visit also includes the Pilotta Museums, which contain many art treasures, including works by Correggio, Parmigianino, Tintoretto, Guercino, Tiepolo, Canaletto and a Maiden’s Head by Leonardo, but above all the great Farnese Theater, one of the first modern theaters in Italy. In the afternoon, after the visit, you will pick up your luggage at the hotel and go to the station from where you will take the train to Verona, the city of lovers told by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, which you will reach in just over two hours.

Night in hotel in Verona.

After having breakfast at the hotel, you will begin to discover this beautiful city starting from Piazza Brà, where the Arena is located, an ancient Roman amphitheater of the first century AD, which, thanks to constant and systematic restorations, has come to us in excellent condition. In this square, it is very pleasant to sit at an outdoor table for a coffee, admiring the historic buildings that surround it. You will then proceed along the street of the fabulous boutiques of the most famous Italian designers, at the end of which you will find Juliet’s House, a fourteenth century building with a splendid balcony and a vault where lovers attach their love cards. From Juliet’s House, you will arrive to Piazza delle Erbe, the ancient fruit and vegetable market square, where the Torre dei Lamberti is located, from where you can admire a spectacular view of the city, as well as other splendid historic buildings of the area. Not far away, you will admire the Scaliger Tombs, a monumental Gothic-style funerary complex that houses the tombs of the most illustrious representatives of the historic Scaligeri family. Now, you can get lost in the surrounding streets and alleys that hide historic buildings and ancient shops worthy of note and identify some nice place where you can enjoy an aperitif or a characteristic restaurant where you can dine.

Night in hotel in Verona.

 

Today’s morning will be dedicated to the discovery of other areas of Roman Verona. You will start from the ancient river port with its characteristic houses overlooking the Adige River. Along the river, you will admire beautifully preserved ancient towers and churches. On the other side of the river, you will see a hill where an ancient Austro-Hungarian fortress, Castel San Pietro, stands. Along the way, you will find several craft shops and clubs where you can enjoy an appetizing lunch accompanied by a good glass of wine. Continuing, you will arrive at a wonderful Roman stone bridge and, continuing your walk along the river, you will admire the painted houses that overlook it, the terraces full of flowers and the picturesque balconies. Back at the hotel, you will collect your luggage and reach the station where you will take the train to Venice, which will be reached in an hour and a half. After arriving at your hotel in Venice and leaving your luggage, you will begin your visit in the heart of the city: the Sestiere di San Marco, enclosed between the Grand Canal, the San Marco basin, the Rio del Palazzo and the Rio de San Zulian. The nucleus of the Sestiere consists of Piazza San Marco, the ancient political and judicial center of the Republic of Venice. Nearby is the Bridge of Sighs, which connects the Doge’s Palace with the prisons. In the evening, enjoy a cicchetto, the typical Venetian aperitif consisting of a small taste of fish or cold cuts, hot or cold, resting on bread or polenta, to be accompanied with an inevitable shade of red or white wine.

Night in Hotel in Venice

This morning you will continue the visit of the city, admiring by gondola what has been called the most beautiful “street” in the world, that is the Grand Canal, overlooked by two uninterrupted sections of historic buildings and residences of great families, the scene of sumptuous and colorful parties. Connecting the two banks of the Grand Canal is one of the icons of Venice: the majestic Rialto Bridge. Then, you will visit one of the oldest and most fascinating sestieri in the city: the Jewish Quarter. The Ghetto, with its five synagogues, the Jewish Museum and its tall tower-houses, is the right place to relive five hundred years of Western history and to learn about a complex and very multifaceted culture. Finally, we recommend a stop at the famous Acqua Alta Bookshop, included by the BBC in the ranking of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.

Local food and wine experience:

  • Wine tasting in the historic center of Venice, accompanied by a cicchetto or appetizers. You will taste reds, whites and a prosecco and an expert will explain the characteristics of the wine tasted and the territory in which it was produced.

Night in hotel in Venice.

After breakfast, you will take the vaporetto (waterbus) to reach two of the islands of the Venice Lagoon, Murano and Burano, famous respectively for their master glassmakers and the processing of a particular type of lace. The island of Murano, where, in the fourteenth century, the numerous furnaces that had caused so many fires in the Serenissima were moved, houses, in addition to the numerous craft shops, the interesting Glass Museum where you can admire all the beauty of this ancient art and the precious creations of the master glassmakers. You will visit the Duomo, wandering around the small squares of the island and you can do some shopping in the lovely shops that line the canals. Burano, the island where traditional lace is processed, will surprise you not only for the precious handmade creations, but also for the bright colors of the houses that line its canals, and that, tradition has it, have been painted by the fishermen of the area to easily distinguish them when returning home from fishing. You will stroll through the colorful alleys; you can visit the lace museum and have fun photographing the crooked bell tower. The island is also a natural oasis and a place of cultivation of native vines of the lagoon. Before returning to the hotel by vaporetto, you can stop for a drink in one of the restaurants overlooking the main square. Return to Venice by vaporetto.

Night in Hotel in Venice

In the morning, you will leave Venice to reach by train in just over two hours the city of Trieste, a leading city in the cultural and literary panorama of the last century. Built on the border between the Italian peninsula and the Istrian peninsula on a strip of land between the Adriatic Sea and the Karst region, it has a Habsburg atmosphere and the typical characteristics of a border town. Once you reach your hotel and leave your luggage, you will head towards the center where you will admire the Habsburg architecture of Trieste. The walk will start from the most beautiful square in Europe that overlooks the sea, where the splendid historic buildings of the town hall and the regional council are located. You will then continue on the Molo Audace, at the end of which is the bronze wind-rose, then along the Grand Canal with a short stop on the Red Bridge to admire the landscape it offers and the statue of James Joyce. Continuing on the canal, you will find on the right a beautiful Serbian Orthodox church and, in front of it, the largest neoclassical church in the whole city. In the square in front of it stands a historic café, where Joyce began writing the famous novel Finnegans Wake and where you can breathe an air of other times. Stop here to taste a spritz, the typical drink of the city, then continue to the Roman Theatre and later you will enter the Old Town, the area of the Trieste nightlife, going through a Corinthian style arch dating back to the first century BC, which constitutes one of the Roman gates of Trieste. Walking through the beautiful communal garden, you will arrive to the Cathedral dedicated to the patron saint of the city, and the medieval castle. For dinner, we advise you to taste the typical dishes of the Trieste tradition, such as polenta and frico or jota, accompanied by one of the many local wines.

Night in Hotel in Trieste

After breakfast, you will take the bus to the Miramare Castle, built between 1856 and 1860 at the behest of Maximilian of Habsburg, designed by architect Carl Junker. Built in white Istrian stone, it was the Trieste residence of Princess Sissi; you can also visit the beautiful park of over 22 hectares that also houses the Marine Park protected by the WWF. At the end of your visit, you will continue with your journey to other destinations, or you will reach the departure airport for your return home.

INCLUDED

Hotels

Tranferts

Tours/Attractions

Travel Accessories

Travel Service

NOT INCLUDED

Tour Price

Starting at Euros 3.710,00 for 2 persons
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