Join us for a very special experience for eight guests highlighting the local food, wine and stunning beauty of Northern Italy from the home base of a beautifully renovated 18th c Italian family villa located between Milan and Lake Como.
Lunches include a mix of Michelin-starred and good local restaurants (and can be planned according to the group’s interests). Dinners at the villa are prepared by Chef Katharine Elder of Elderslie Farm in Wichita, Kansas, and feature ingredients sourced locally. They are accompanied by some special, mostly small-production Northern Italian wines.
The order of the days and the activities may change a bit depending on arrival dates and group preferences.
Day 1: Lunch and Dinner at Villa
We’ll unpack and then enjoy lunch outside on the “Portico Coperto” if weather permits. After lunch we’ll settle in and get to know the villa and each other, maybe play a game of badminton, bocce, foosball, or just relax until dinner at the villa. If there is time or interest, some may choose to visit the nearby hilltop town of Montevecchia for the climb up the 180 steps to the church and the views!
Day 2: Bergamo, San Vigilio
Lunch at Frosio
We’ll visit the stunning Renaissance and Roman sites of the city, one of the most beautiful hill towns in Italy, with our excellent guide, Elena, then enjoy lunch together at one of our favorite restaurants nearby. After lunch we’ll make a stop in the nearby Val Curone for a short walk in the vineyards before heading back to the villa to prepare the special pasta we picked up in Bergamo.
Day Trip 3: Valtellina
Lunch at Ristorante Fracia
After breakfast we will head north along the east side of Lake Lecco and then turn east toward the beautiful and steep wine-growing area of Valtellina. We will begin with a tour and tasting at Aldo Rainoldi then continue to nearby Ristorante Fracia, perched among the famous Nino Negri vineyards, for a wonderful lunch (and sampling of the accompanying Nino Negri wines). From there we’ll turn up the Via Panoramica and see the ruins of Castel Grumello, taking in the gorgeous view of the valley and mountains. On our way back to the villa we’ll make a stop at the VERY old Ciapponi grocery store in Morbegno and at an agriturismo, Fiorida, for some gelato. We’ll also pick up some local specialties (bresaola, speck, Bitto and Sciumidin cheese) to enjoy that evening and the rest of the week. We’ll return to the villa in time to relax a bit before dinner.
Day 4: Como
Lunch at Kitchen or Trattoria Laghee
Our driver will take us to the beautiful lakeside town of Como. If there’s interest, we can visit the interesting Como Silk Museum. We’ll stop in at the Como cathedral with its stunning tapestries and peek in a few of the shops near the square, if desired, then we’ll walk along the Como Greenway to see the beautiful lakeside grounds of Villa Olmo. Our driver will pick us up there and take us just up the road to the Michelin-starred Kitchen restaurant or Trattoria Laghee for wood-fired pizza or other local specialties. We’ll make a quick stop at the pretty little lakeside town of Cernobbio, then return to the villa in time to relax a bit before dinner. If there’s interest, we can make a stop at the Mantero silk factory outlet store.
OR Day 4: Milan
Lunch at Obika
Our driver will drop us off in Milan, where we will spend the day with our very knowledgable tour guide, Sara. She’ll share her expertise with us as we visit the Last Supper, Duomo, Galleria, La Scala, Brera Art Museum, Castello Sforzesco and other spots beloved by art lovers.
Day 5: Bellagio, Villa Balbianello
Lunch at Ristorante Silvio
Our driver will take us to Bellagio where we will have lunch of local fish specialties at Ristorante Silvio with a beautiful view of Lake Como. From there we’ll walk down the lovely path toward the lake, through the beautiful Giardini Melzi and into Bellagio. Our private taxi boat driver will deliver us across the lake to visit the grounds of the stunning Villa Balbianello. On return to Bellagio we can explore the town and its shops a bit before heading back to the villa. If time allows we’ll also walk out to the point with a nearly 300-degree view of Lakes Como and Lecco.
After breakfast, our driver will take guests (and their bags and wonderful memories) to the Malpensa (MXP) airport for their return home. Transportation to the train station can be arranged for guests departing Poggio Verde to continue travels by train.
The price (double occupancy, choice of queen/king or twins) includes lodgings at Poggio Verde Country Villa, Italian continental breakfast, all lunches, dinners and wine, entrance fees, museums, and ground transportation on day trips. Everything but airfare and personal purchases is included. Transportation between airports and train stations to and from the villa can be arranged but are not included.
A non-refundable deposit of 750 euros per person will save your spot; the balance is due 30 days before departure. When you register we will email you an invoice to pay the deposit (converted to dollars). Email us and we’ll send you the link to register.
Adjustments to the itinerary will be made as needed in response to weather conditions, etc.
Hosts: Katharine Elder and Judith Wencel
Chef: Katharine Elder of Elderslie Farm in Wichita, Kansas.