Taste of Northern Italy – Current Trips

Sept 13-18, 2022 (full) 3350 euros
Hosted by Mark and Judith Wencel
and Katharine Elder of Elderslie Farm

May 8-13, 2023 (10 available) 3700 euros (with Katharine Elder)
May 15-20, 2023 (6 available) 3400 euros

Or check our calendar and choose any available week for your group of 6-10

Join us for a very special experience for a maximum of 10 guests highlighting the local food, wine and stunning beauty of Northern Italy from the home base of a recently-renovated, beautiful 18th c Italian family 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. The order of the days may change a bit depending on arrival dates.

Early Arrival Day
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!

Early Arrival Day: 275 euros per person

Day Trip 1: Bergamo, San Vigilio
Lunch at Casual

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 Casual, a Michelin-starred restaurant. After lunch we’ll take the funicular or walk 10 minutes up to San Vigilio and take in the stunning views before heading back to the villa.

Day Trip 2: Como
Lunch at Kitchen
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 gorgeous 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 t]here and take us just up the road to the Michelin-starred Kitchen restaurant. We’ll make a quick stop just up the road at 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.

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 make a stop at the VERY old Ciapponi grocery store in Morbegno. From there we’ll continue up the Via Panoramica past 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). We’ll make a quick stop at a nearby grocery store with a wine shop run by a sommelier who stocks and is an expert on all the tiny producers in the valley. 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 Trip 4: 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.

Day Trip 5: Val Curone
Lunch at Frosio or Galbusera Nera

Our driver will take us to the exceptional Frosio restaurant, a lovely spot run by two brothers, the chef and sommelier, and their wives. After lunch our driver will deliver us to Val Curone, the lovely regional park close to the villa, where we’ll walk from Galbusera Nera to Agriturismo La Costa and through the vineyards. At the top, our driver will meet us and take us back to the villa. (Guests may opt to return to the villa after lunch and skip the uphill walk).

Optional Milan Day
Lunch at Obica

We can arrange an optional 6th day to visit Milan. Guests can visit a few important sites on their own or with an excellent guide, then do a bit of shopping and wandering on your own before returning to the villa in time for dinner. Lunch is on your own (we recommend Obica on the 7th floor of the La Rinascente store facing the side of the Duomo.)

The extra day is 300 euros per person and includes breakfast and dinner at the villa and transportation to/from the train to Milan or to Milan. An optional 3-hour tour of Last Supper, Duomo, Castello Sforzesca is about 75 euros per person (to be confirmed).

Departure Day
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 unless a group is arriving all together.

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.

Hosted by: Mark and Judith Wencel
Chef: Mark Wencel or Katharine Elder of Elderslie Farm in Wichita, or a local Italian chef, depending on the group and trip. Groups may also choose to do all or some of their own cooking.

For more photos, see our blog and Flickr photo albums, follow us on Facebook and Instagram @poggioverdevilla. Sign up for our newsletter here.

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.).