May 2-9, 2020 (full)
May 11-16, 2020 (6 remaining)
September 20-25, 2020 (full)
September 27-October 2, 2020
October 4-11, 2020
Or check our calendar and choose any available week for your group of 8-12
2950 euros per person, double occupancy; 3400 single occupancy.
Join Mark and Judith Wencel for a very special experience for a maximum of 12 guests highlighting the local food, wine and stunning beauty of Northern Italy from the home base of a recently-renovated, beautiful 18th c Italian villa located between Milan and Lake Como.
Lunches are at Michelin-starred restaurants most days. Dinners, at the villa, feature ingredients sourced locally and are accompanied by some special, mostly small-production Northern Italian wines not easily available in the US.
Early Arrival, Lunch and Dinner at Villa
If you’d like to come a day early to de-jetlag, feel free to arrive on Saturday! We’ll get settled 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. (200 euros per guest to add an early day).
Day 1: Montevecchia
Guests who have chosen to arrive today can be picked up and delivered to the villa and get settled in before we walk to Pierino, a Michelin-starred restaurant, for a lovely Sunday lunch all together. After lunch, our driver will take us to the beautiful nearby hilltop village of Montevecchia with views of the Val Curone to the north and the Brianza countryside to the south. If the local gelato shop is open we’ll avail ourselves of its treasures. 🙂 We’ll arrive home in time for a game of bocce before dinner at the villa.
Day 2: Bergamo and Franciacorta
Lunch at Frosio
Our driver will take us to the famous Franciacorta sparkling wine region to visit the Castelveder winery for a tour and tasting. We will then stop for lunch at the superb Frosio restaurant outside of Bergamo. After lunch we’ll tour Bergamo, one of the most beautiful hill towns in Italy. After visiting the stunning Renaissance and Roman sites of the city with our excellent guide (and picking up some casoncelli, the local pasta specialty), our driver will take us back to the villa to relax a bit and then enjoy dinner together.
Day 3: Como, Brunate
Our driver will take us to the beautiful lakeside town of Como. If there’s interest, we can visit the interesting Como Silk Museum. If the weather is nice we can take the funicular above the city to the tiny village of Brunate and have a peek inside the pretty church in addition to enjoying the view. We’ll stop in at the gorgeous Como cathedral with its stunning tapestries and peek in a few of the shops near the square, if desired, then we’ll enjoy lunch. After lunch at either Trattoria Laghee in Cernobbio or I Tigli in Theoria, with its wall of windows into the bustling kitchen and pastry kitchen, we’ll walk along the Como Greenway to see the grounds of Villa Olmo, where our driver will pick us up and return us to the villa in time to relax a bit before dinner.
Day 4: 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 make a stop at the incredible Ciapponi grocery store in Morbegno and pick up some local specialties (bresaola, speck, Bitto and Sciumidin cheese) to enjoy that evening and the rest of the week. From there we’ll continue to the ruins of Castel Grumello and take in the gorgeous view of the valley and mountains before continuing to Aldo Rainoldi or Ar.Pe.Pe winery for a tour and tasting. From there we’ll continue to nearby Ristorante Fracia, perched among the famous Nino Negri vineyards, for a wonderful lunch (and sampling of the accompanying Nino Negri wines) or to La Presef, near Morbegno, a highly regarded Michelin-starred restaurant. Afterwards we’ll walk the grounds of La Fiorida to visit whatever parts of the farm look interesting (cheesemaking, salami-making, the ample store). We will return to the villa in time to relax a bit before dinner.
Day 5: Lake Como – Bellagio, Villa Balbianello
Lunch at Ristorante Silvio
Our driver will take us to Bellagio where we will have lunch 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 drivers will take guests (and their bags and wonderful memories) to the Malpensa (MXP) airport or the train station (Monza or Milan) for their return home or to continue their adventure.
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, etc., and ground transportation. Everything but airfare and personal purchases is included.
A non-refundable deposit of 500 euros per person will save your spot; the balance is due 60 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.
Hosted by: Mark and Judith Wencel
Chef: Mark Wencel or a local chef, depending on the group. Groups may also choose to do all or some of their own cooking.
Chef for Oct 6-14: Katharine Elder of Elderslie Farm
For more information, or to sign up, or to schedule a Wine and Food week (Taste of Northern Italy) for your group of 8-12 friends, e-mail Judith.
Want a little more info? Here are some helpful FAQs (internet, trip insurance, facilities, etc.).