This May I traveled to Northern Italy. This was an area I hadn’t visited in the past.
Joining me were my dear travel friends Sylvia, Cindy and Janie.
The tour started in Milan and we all arrived 1-3 days early to recover from jet lag as well as spend additional time in Milan.
The weekend we arrived was also the 100th anniversary gathering of the Italian Alpine Troopers (the Alpini). The city expected 500,000 visitors that weekend and I don’t believe they were off by much. On Sunday the Alpini held a parade that snaked through downtown starting at 9 AM and lasting until 9 PM. It was wonderful to watch. About every 5th group in the parade was a band.
After leaving Milan we headed to Tirano with a lunch stop at Lake Como. During our time in Tirano we took the Bernina Express train into Switzerland to see the Swiss Alps. The train ride was wonderful and filled with great scenery. Unfortunately the Alps were covered by thick clouds.
From there we headed to the Franciacorta region near Lake Iseo. Our hotel was right on the lake. While there we visited a vineyard and winery producing the famous Franciacorta sparkling wine. We had a blind taste test also with wonderful finger foods.
Our next stop was Verona. During our time there we visited the Juliet Club where volunteers respond to letters written to Juliet from around the world in many languages. Very interesting organization that was the inspiration for the 2010 movie “Letters to Juliet”.
Leaving Verona we travel to the town of Brixen in South Tyrol. Over the decades this has been a disputed territory between Italy and the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. Approximately two thirds of the population speak German as their primary language. Quite the contrast to Southern Italy. During our time here, Brixen was holding their annual Water Lights Festival. It was fun to wander the streets downtown starting at 9 PM to view all they displays. My favorite were the color-changing fish floating in front of the Brixen Cathedral.
While here we spend a day visiting the Dolomites. It was a beautiful sunny day and Wow, they were spectacular.
Our final night was at a hotel in a former villa near Venice.
The trip included two different cooking lessons, a home-hosted dinner in Tirano, a visit to a family-owned olive farm including lunch, and too many other sights to mention. Though it was often overcast with some rain we managed to have a fantastic time exploring Northern Italy.
Dates: May 10 – 26, 2018
Operator: Overseas Adventure Travel