October 8-15, 2016 (full)
Especially tailored for the young at heart, this Poggio Verde and Elesta Travel trip is a silver honeymoon experience that captures Northern Italy’s romantic scenery, delicious cuisine and outstanding cultural offerings in a single marvelous week. Starting with a magnificent tour of the Alps on the award-winning Little Red Train to St. Moritz, the week includes visits to Lake Como and Lake Maggiore as well as a personalized tour of the National Trust (FAI) Villa Panza di Biumo and a lovely luncheon at a restaurant nestled in the midst of one of Italy’s top regional winemakers. The itinerary is completed with a visit to Milan’s Last Supper and and an overview of the city’s fabulous new architecture.
Saturday, 8 October (Day 1) – Arrival, farm lunch among the vineyards.
After we unpack and our luggage is stored away for the week, our driver will pick us up for our first outing, which of course will be a wonderful Italian lunch together! We will be dropped off at La Scarpata, a delightful rustic farmhouse restaurant that we love just 20 minutes away from Poggio Verde Country Villa, to enjoy a leisurely lunch and wine tasting in the middle of the Val Curone State Park. Those who wish will take a short walk amongst the pretty rows of vines. We’ll return to the villa for a rest before an aperitivo and a home-cooked dinner of our Poggio Verde specialities.
Flickr Photos from a recent visit to Val Curone
Sunday, 9 October (Day 2) – Little Red Train through the Italian and Swiss Alps.
We’ll rise early for a 7:30 AM departure for Colico, Italy where we will catch a train through Valtellina to Tirano. There we change to the Bernina Express (the famous Little Red Train with its enormous observation windows) heading through stunning alpine scenery to St. Moritz. On the way, we’ll have a fun picnic lunch with a glass of wine on the train, arriving at 1:00. Our exploration of the picturesque Swiss town will include a visit to the historic pastry shop Cafe Hanselmann. We will return to Italy via PostBus through the magnificently scenic Engadine valley to Chiavenna where our driver will meet us to take us back to Poggio Verde by 7pm. A long day, but worth it! A cocktail and light meal awaits us at the villa.
Monday, 10 October (Day 3) – Milan – Last Supper, Fondazione Prada, Lunch overlooking the Duomo, minibus tour of city architectural highlights (including hop out and walk through the Galleria to the magnificent Duomo). The day begins at the Fondazione Prada, a recently renovated distillery that has become Milan’s latest contemporary art showpiece and then on to Leonardo’s masterpiece the Last Supper. After lunch in central Milan overlooking the Duomo, an architect friend of ours will accompany us on a fascinating tour of Milan’s fabulous new landmarks (including the Corso Como area), created by the world’s top architects in the last three years, by comfortable minibus. Back to Poggio Verde for dinner featuring the Milan’s prized “risotto alla milanese” and other Milanese specialties.
Flickr Photos from a recent day in Milan.
Tuesday, 11 October (Day 4) – Private boat tour of Lake Como (Bellagio, views of Villa Carlotta, Villa Balbianello).
We will drive north along Lake Lecco to the famous and stunning Bellagio where we will board a boat for a private tour around the “mid-lake” region of Lake Como. In addition to the gorgeous scenery we will see three of the most beautiful villas around Lake Como. Following our visit to the striking Villa Balbianello, Giacomo, our private boat tour guide will take us the few minutes’ ride to Lenno, where we will enjoy lunch at a small restaurant with local pasta specialties. We will then return to Bellagio for a walk around its charming streets, taking in views and checking out its unique shops along the way. We will board our bus in Bellagio and our driver will then return us to Poggio Verde for a relaxing dinner.
Wednesday, 12 October (Day 5) – Valtellina.
After breakfast we will head north along the east side of Lake Lecco and then turn east into the gorgeous and steep wine-growing area of Valtellina. We will have a lunch of local specialties at the charming Ristorante Fracia then visit the famous Nino Negri vineyard. This area is also known for its superb Italian cured meats, such as bresaola and speck, and some tasty cheeses are produced in this region. We will return to the villa in time to relax a bit before an aperitivo and dinner.
Thursday, 13 October (Day 6) – Brianza Villas, Dac a Tra, afternoon free.
Poggio Verde Villa is nestled in the region of Brianza, where, in the 18th and 19th centuries, many well-heeled Milanesi families established their country homes. We will visit three of the best of these, have lunch at the wonderful Michelin restaurant Dac a Tra, then head back to the villa for a free afternoon. We meet again at the Aperitivo hour for a fun game of Bocce, weather permitting, including Negroni Italian cocktails on the lawn and a delicious meal of local specialities and salad at home.
Friday, 14 October (Day 7) – Villa Panza di Biumo above Varese, overlooking Lago Maggiore, farewell dinner. This is a National Trust (FAI) property and aside from being a beautiful villa filled with weird and wonderful contemporary art, it is a great place for a delicious light lunch and a short but leisurely walk in its beautiful gardens. We will follow this up with a drive to Stresa, one of Lake Maggiore’s most beautiful lakeside towns and, if time allows, a short stroll along the gorgeous lakefront. Our driver accompanies us home to Poggio Verde to celebrate our last evening together: a final Italian meal prepared by our friend Cicchi, including her signature pasta ring and pumpkin soup, with a glass (or two) of Franciacorta sparkling wine.
Saturday, 15 October – Departure. After a goodbye breakfast, we wish our dear friends “arrivederci” (see you soon)!! We hope to see you soon at Poggio Verde!
This trip is full. We are happy to organize a tour like it for you and your friends! For inquiries, please contact Gretchen.