Bask in the sophistication of Milan, Lake Como and Lombardy’s famed cities of art. From chic galleries and noble palazzi to classical theaters and Belle Epoque villas, luxuriate in the filigree facets of elegant Lombardia.
Elegant Lombardia: Milan, Lake Como & The Art Cities
Sample 9-Day Private Trip Itinerary
Milan, Cremona, Mantua, Sabbioneta, Lake Garda, Bergamo, Lake Como
Upon arrival to the airport of your choosing in Milan be met by your private chauffeur and be transported to your deluxe 4-star boutique hotel located minutes from the illustrious Teatro alla Scala opera house. Start your journey in the cosmopolitan heart of the city, where you will partake in a privately guided walking tour of iconic Milanese landmarks such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Duomo and Palazzo Reale. Afterward, make your way to the Brera district, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods more recently transformed into a trendy enclave known for its vibrant café culture, art galleries and bohemian roots. End your day with dinner at one of Brera’s chic eateries where you can sample such classic recipes as ossobucco and cotoletta alla Milanese.
Zigzag through the borough of Naviglio, with its canals, avant-garde spirit and sultry alleyways with the help of a local guide. Feel like a local as you peruse the vast wares of an immense farmer’s market held in the center of the borough before having lunch at one of Naviglio’s quaint bistros. Next, tour the Castello Sforzesco to learn about Milan’s noble Sforza family and visit the castle’s art gallery that houses works by Mantegna, Michelangelo and Da Vinci. Enjoy a free evening to shop in Milan’s premiere designer fashion district, the quadrilatero della moda, or take part in the city’s exuberant night life.
Today you will behold perhaps one of the most revered works of art known the world over – “The Last Supper.” Experience the intricacies of Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterwork housed inside the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, with the unique insights of an art expert. After your morning of art appreciation, depart Milan for the countryside surrounding Cremona, the sophisticated birthplace of master luthier Stradivari and operatic legend Monteverdi. Arrive via private chauffeur at your deluxe retreat that was once a Roman fort turned 17th century Benedictine monastery. Relax in the inviting sophistication of your hotel before learning the secrets of making the region’s signature pasta dishes with a local food expert. After your cooking lesson, dine on your delicious creations al fresco. In the early evening be greeted by your local guide and embark on a walking tour of Cremona’s medieval Cattedrale and Torrazzo. Along the way, stop to try the city’s famed nougat confection known by the Cremonese as Torrone.
Spend the day exploring Cremona’s rich fine arts tradition starting with an intimate musical performance played on Stradivarius violins. Afterward, make your way through the Stradivarian museum with a local expert to study some of his most prized violin masterpieces, then visit a present day luthier’s workshop to learn the art of crafting the perfect violin. Next, stop for lunch at a locally favored eatery and sample the region’s famed Mostarda Cremonese. Enjoy the rest of the day at your own pace perusing the city’s elegant shops and cafes before returning back to your countryside retreat.
Depart Cremona via private car and driver for Mantua, an ideal Renaissance city perfectly preserved in time by the masterful architecture of Giulio Romano and the painted works of Andrea Mantegna. Arrive at your 12th century medieval tower converted into luxury suites and owned by one of Baldesar Castiglione’s descendants located directly in front of the city’s Ducal Palace. Enjoy a typical lunch of risotto alla Mantovana before being met by your local guide and embarking on a private walking tour of the city, which has been a historically important center for art, culture and music for centuries. Visit the Ducal Palace of the noble Gonzaga family with its lush interior gardens and grotte, before touring Mantua’s esteemed Teatro Scientifico Bibiena, which in 1770 hosted one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s earliest concerts. As you walk along the city’s cobblestone streets you will be able to contemplate the importance of a town that produced the likes of Virgil and inspired Verdi’s opera Rigoletto.
Be greeted by your local expert guide and set-off via chauffeur for the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sabbioneta, built by the illustrious Gonzaga dynasty. Revered as an ideal Renaissance city, Sabbionetta is also esteemed for its well preserved Ducal Palace, Jewish quarter and Palazzo del Giardino (Garden Palace). After your morning of architectural wonder you will depart for the quaint shores of Lake Garda where you will savor a Michelin-starred lunch then enjoy some free time to meander the promenades of Lake Garda at your own pace. Return to Mantua in the late afternoon for a free evening.
Depart the elegant avenues of Mantua by private car for the classical sophistication of Bergamo, located at the foothills of the Alps. Meet your resident guide and set-off on a fascinating cultural walking tour of “la Citta’ Alta”, Bergamo’s hilltop medieval neighborhood. Savor a panoramic lunch of Bergamasco classic dishes before departing for the alluring Lombardy lake country. Arrive at your four-star lakefront villa and let the tranquility of Lake Como enchant you as you enjoy free time to visit the lake’s most charming hamlets at your leisure.
Be met at your hotel by your local expert and depart by boat for Bellagio to enjoy a private visit of Villa Melzi and its 19th century parks. Stop at an 18th century cantina for an special wine tasting featuring locally produced artisanal wines paired with local charcuterie. In the afternoon, whisk away to Tremezzo for a visit to the breathtaking Villa Carlotta, known for its exquisite late 17th century architecture, botanical gardens and historical significance as a wedding gift from Princess Marianna of Prussia to her daughter Charlotte End your day with a private boat ride to an enchanting lake island for a unique culinary experience where you will indulge in century old recipes. After dinner concludes your boat will be waiting to transport you back to your hotel.
Depart Lake Como via private chauffeur for your return flight home or the next leg of your trip.-As part of our Enriched Booking process your customized itinerary will be designed with the assistance of a CountryBred specialist. -This trip can be specifically tailored for organizations, associations and corporate incentives.
The recommended tour length for this sample itinerary is 9 days/8 nights with pricing options beginning at $6,500/person. Please note that the “Share Bred With Friends” preferred pricing program will be applied to travel parties of four or more.
The final price of your custom trip will be determined by your travel party size, departure dates, trip length, amount of meals included, percentage of guided time requested, cities chosen in your itinerary and signature CountryBred excursions selected. This sample itinerary can also be crafted for solo travelers.
Included in this sample CountryBred Encounter are:
- 8 Nights at CountryBred approved, deluxe accommodations
- Deluxe and/or Superior room stays
- Private luxury chauffeur for all intercity travel, day trips and excursions
- Airport / Train station transfers with baggage assistance
- Private touring with professionally licensed local guides and cultural experts
- Flexible guided time with local experts based upon your preference
- 2 Gourmand dinners
- 7 Regionally authentic lunches
- Boat fares
- Daily breakfasts
- Museum tickets & entrance fees
- All gratuities & taxes
- Traveler welcome package including customized Culture Guide
- Please note that transfers to airports and/or train stations outside of Milan Malpensa Aiport and Stazione Centrale Train Station for arrival/departure, are available upon request for an additional, supplemental fee. Airfare is not included.
Featured Deluxe Hotels
Located within just steps of La Scala Opera House, the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Hotel Milano Scala is a sophisticated four-star boutique hotel that places guests in the midst of some of Milan’s chicest districts like Brera and Via Montenapoleone. The first of its kind, Hotel Milano Scala is the only zero-emission property in Milan, using an exclusive heat exchange system to generate its own energy and thus preventing the emission of pollutants into the environment. Housed within a former 19th century mansion in the historic heart of the city, the hotel combines the sensibility of its Milanese heritage with a forward-thinking attitude toward environmental innovation.
Palazzo Castiglioni is a 12th century palazzo located in the heart of Mantua and positioned just in front of the city’s legendary Palazzo Ducale. Once home to the Bonacolsi family who ruled the city from 1272 to 1328 and the oldest existing palace in all of Mantua, it remains the residence of the Castiglioni family who are descendants of Baldesar Castiglione, politician, scholar of the 16th century and author of “Il Cortegiano”. Over 700 years of history sits atop the palazzo’s epic tower that has been transformed into a luxury accommodation combining ancient grandeur with modern luxuries. Guests will enjoy the romantic splendor of this uniquely frescoed suite through its period decor, original tapestries and breathtaking panoramas of all of Mantua and the surrounding lakes and countryside.
Situated in the countryside outside of Cremona, Relais Convento is rustic elegance at its finest. With only four exclusive rooms, the estate offers luxurious amenities like an infinity pool overlooking the Lombardian countryside, a floor to ceiling glass encased library and a sprawling courtyard, all combining elements of its historic pedigree with a modern approach to farmhouse couture. Originally a Roman fort turned family farm, then the site of an infamous battle between Spanish and French troops, before being inhabited and renovated by Benedictine monks in the 17th century, Relais Convento’s charm lies not just in its beauty but in its heritage – a legacy that is truly special and uniquely Italian. Today the estate is family owned and operated by Danielle and Barbara, who greet each traveler with kindness and generosity, happy to welcome you into the sanctuary that is Relais Convento.
A glorious ode to both the Liberty style and elegance itself, Grand Hotel Victoria in Menaggio is a jewel faceted on the banks of breathtaking Lake Como. Built in 1890 as a premier accommodation for travelers enjoying their very own European Grand Tour, the hotel remains a classic centerpiece of Lake Como’s tradition of signature, historic accommodations. While treasuring its late 1800’s style with such features as an original grand staircase decorated with golden friezes, crystal chandeliers, luxuriously furnished parlors and a serene lakefront veranda, the hotel has been completely restored to bathe guests in an environment of modern sophistication. Where contemporary convenience meets the tradition of classic hospitality, guests are pampered in genuine courtesy and comfort at Grand Hotel Victoria.
Encounter Something Unexpected
Experiential travel takes time, passion and local ingredients to make something truly special. When you travel with CountryBred, you can look forward to the following:
- A personalized and private travel experience, whether you’re a solo voyager, a couple, group of friends, family or an organization
- A well crafted itinerary that is a reflection of your cultural interests, which we bring to life through our unparalleled insider knowledge, local access and dedicated team
- A thoughtful travel pace that leads you down roads less traveled while leaving time to enjoy the quiet moments that make for remarkable memories
- Enriching activities that immerse you in local culture and traditions
- Premium accommodations that are distinct reflections of the regions they reside in, with real histories and real people behind them
- Regional ambassadors and local cultural experts that go beyond educating, to invite you into their community and introduce you to their unique corner of the world.
- Authentic dining that ensures you enjoy the finest in regional culinary traditions from quaint family owned eateries to innovative Michelin-starred restaurants. Each meal is in itself a work of art, passionately prepared and uniquely local.
Authentic is Premium