Story Land & Sea®

Bella Italy!
Undiscovered Beauty:
The Veneto to Emilia-Romagna

"Open my heart and you will see, Engraved inside of it, Italy!"

Our small group tour of Bella Italy presents a unique approach to discovering the truly undiscovered treasures from the Veneto to the Emilia Romagna.

The perfect balance of inclusions and free time in some of Italy's most un-discovered, yet beautiful cities beginning in Asolo.

This is my special itinerary that will have a wonderful element of cuisine and wine perfectly intertwined through our discovery of "new" places: Asolo, Treviso, Padua/Vicenza, Verona/Lake Garda, Ferrara and Bologna. And in Asolo, where we begin, one of my favorite English poets Robert Browning who coined the phrase above, found inspiration and harmony in this amazing village, and we plan to do the same! —  Mark Story

Ferrara, Italy

Verona on the Adige river

Our Daily Itinerary

I enjoy a wonderful 'job' in travel designing dream itineraries to destinations all around the globe for our esteemed Story Guests. One place in particular that appeals to me is Italy. I am thankful for my job and for being able to travel to Italy at least once a year with such wonderful adventurers!

It's true, I love seeing the look of satisfaction and pleasant surprise on the faces of our Story Guests — I see it when they have tasted that unique varietal of wine in Tuscany, or that incredible sunset over Florence, or seeing their delight as the Amalfi Coast unfolds around them — so, in 2018 I decided it was time for more experiences in Italy but on a different routing. I am pleased to present to you our itinerary for "Bella Italy — Undiscovered Beauty: The Veneto to Emilia-Romagna."

—  Mark Story


Your Overnight Transatlantic Flight 

Today, you will depart your home airport on your Trans-Atlantic flight bound for Venice, Italy. Your flight is not included but you can request a best-rate fare from our Air Service.

More of the StoryArrive Early to the Veneto Region. Many Story guests prefer to arrive a day early to recover from their Transatlantic flight, and often extend at the end of their trip as well. Story provides a special pre-tour or post-tour overnight hotel service and can make your reservation for you. 
Inquire here or call today 1 (877) 865-6711. 

Note: Day 1 is the published tour date and is the date you will arrange your air travel. Your small group tour commences on itinerary Day 2 upon arrival into the Veneto.

Veneto Vineyards
Veneto Vineyards


Welcome to The Veneto — upon arrival you will be met by our chauffeur service and transferred to our accommodation in the beauty of the province of Treviso.

We begin in the northern sections of the Province of Treviso. The Province of Treviso is still called by its ancient name “Marca,” a Medieval term used to indicate the borderlands that during the First World War were the backdrop for very heroic events. The area is marked by the waters of the Piave, Sile and Livenza Rivers, beautiful landscapes that blend with hills, and fields are dotted with stately homes. The Capital - Treviso - we will visit later in the tour and is described by poets as a città cortese or "courteous city." It boasts a peaceful atmosphere that also tempted 18th-Century Venetian aristocrats to make the greater Province of Treviso as their ideal vacation spot.

We check-in and freshen up before our orientation together.

Treviso, Italy

At 4:30 pm, join your Tour Captain for an Orientation Walk on your arrival day at our property. You will learn about the history of the venue and the amazing village.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace. Volume: Light

star icon   Story Exclusive®: Tonight, join in a Story Land & Sea® original experience with our reception & welcome from the Tour Captain from one of our classic perspectives: a unique vantage point to survey in the company of your fellow travelers.

Your Small Group Tour Vacation to Italy is underway! After our reception, we'll walk to our Welcome Dinner Event.

food icon   Special Story Way® Dining: The Story Land & Sea® approach to dining debuts as you join your Tour Captain for the Welcome Dinner in the greater province of Treviso. Experience what can only be described as a night of the best cuisine and vino from the regions of Italy and especially the Veneto with our special experience.

About the Story Way®: Slow Food: Locally grown, farm to table.
Our approach to dining is truly unique just like each of the regions of Italy. The Italian chefs and families are proud of their delicious dishes which hail from each of the regions in which Story travels.

Story of Food in Italy: In the Veneto region you will enjoy a variety of dishes with pasta. Many seafood dishes represent the traditions of this historic sea port but not to fear, there are many options other than seafood. In the region of Emilia Romagna, known as "la grassa," or 'the fat,' (in a good way!), we will dine on cuisine and vino from a region which even Italians brag about!

Story Land & Sea®'s unique, off-the-beaten-path venues provide an immersion into authentic regional Italian food and wine. Your Tour Captain will select a variety of appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your vino for the evening: a variety of red and white wine from the region you're traveling, and yes, "the wine flows." Then you will be presented with a menu with Story's top recommendations (where available) in tandem with the restaurant's primary menu. It's an intentionally slow evening of delight so you can savor the experience.

Story of the Slow Food Movement: Story Land & Sea® is committed to the Slow Food Movement which was founded by Carlo Petrini in Piedmont, Italy in 1986. This "movement" strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages the farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic to the local ecosystems found throughout Italy.

Albergo al Sole in Asolo or Similar —  3 Nights



We begin our exploration of the province's capital city with the same name, Treviso.

Exploring the Medieval Town
We make our way to the Capital of Treviso for a walking tour this morning.

Enjoy a taste of Treviso with our aperitivo and then in the afternoon we visit a local winery for a special experience.

Story Exclusive®
Today we are treated to a delightful culinary and vino experience this afternoon. Enjoy the estate as we tour and taste.

We return to our hotel. Tonight, your Tour Captain will invite you to an optional dinner.



This morning we make our way to Vicenza, the city of Palladio, as well as to an amazing experience at La Rotonda.

Read on: Vicenza and Palladio: an inseparable pair, because the former doesn't exist without the latter, and the latter, although he worked in other provinces too, left the biggest concentration of his wonderful masterpieces in this territory.

La Rotonda

La Rotonda

Story Exclusive®
Today enjoy a tour of La Rotonda along with our special experiences characteristic of Story.

    About Andrea Palladio
    Andrea Palladio lived November 30, 1508 – August 19, 1580 and was an Italian architect widely considered the most influential person in the history of Western architecture. 

    The Palladian style, named after him, adhered to classical Roman principles, similarly to styles of the Early and High Renaissance, when classical revivalism was at its highest. His architectural accomplishments "been valued for centuries as the quintessence of High Renaissance calm and harmony," describes author D. Watkin in A History of Western Architecture. Palladio designed many churches, villas, and palaces, especially in Venice, Vicenza and the surrounding area. A number of his works are protected as part of the World Heritage Site Palladian Villas of the Veneto. 

Return to our hotel and then later join your Tour Captain for a special dining experience.

food icon    Special Story Way® Dining
Tonight, culinary feast from the region of the Veneto with Chef, and did we mention the vino?



We make our way to the heart of the Veneto today on the way to our home for the next 3 days and nights in Verona.

Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy

Story Exclusive®
This morning we explore hill towns of the Veneto including a stop in the village of Marostica for a stroll through the charming medieval streets and see the square where the town’s famous ‘living chess’ game is played.

We then arrive the very heart of Old Verona and check in to our hotel.

Orientation Walkabout
Join your Tour Captain for a Welcome Orientation Walk in Verona along cobblestone streets in the very heart of this magical city as you become familiar with the location around our hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Due Torri or Similar —  3 Nights

food icon   Story Way® Dining
Join your Tour Captain for a welcome dinner tonight.



Enjoy Morning in Verona
Enjoy a walking tour of Verona this morning and take in all the notable sites of the very heart of this city. And if you have already been here, simply opt out and enjoy free time before our fabulous afternoon exclusive activity.

Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy on Adige River

Story Exclusive®
Experience a unique culinary tasting paired with wine today as we enjoy our time in the Veneto region. This Chef prepared and hosted experience features olive oil, balsamic, wine and local cheeses from north of the Po River. You will learn all about the famous cheese history involving the Po.

Return to our lodging for a free evening.

Join the tour Captain for an optional dinner tonight or enjoy exploring at leisure.




A delightful experience on beautiful Lake Garda today with our own private boat.

Enjoy a walking tour of Sirmione, the lake-side village that boasts the remains of the greatest Roman villa in Northern Italy along with a magnificent castle. In addition to its enviable position on the beach, the village boasts olive groves, along with its vistas of sparkling waters and distant peaks.

Lake Garda, Italy

Lake Garda, Italy

Story Exclusive®
From our landing in Sirmione, we will board our private boat for a Lake Garda excursion continues. Enjoy a special tasting experience in our very exclusive venue.

We return to our home in Verona later in the afternoon.

Optional dining with the Tour Captain tonight or explore at leisure.

Sirmione, Italy villa & Lake Garda

View of Lake Garda From Villa in Sirmione, Italy

Villa at Sirmione, Italy

Interior view of villa, Sirmione, Italy


Bologna at night

Bologna, Italy


Even if you have been to Bologna with Story previously, I promise this experience will be unique to anything you have experienced before. Nestled in the Emilia-Romagna region and noted as Story's premiere city on our Italy's Enchanted North Tour, Bologna is a delight. I've fallen in love with the city initially inspired by the doings of John Grisham's character in The Broker, and more recently by my Tour Captains continuously singing the city's praises. You, too, will enjoy this magnificent city with nicknames including La Grassa (the fat as in delicious, the Bolognese have been very serious about their food for some time), La Rossa (as in the home of the political left earning its second nickname), and La Dotta (the Learned as noted for the oldest university).

I've made it a directive to ensure new and interesting experiences for us all!

Italy is known for its cuisine but the region of Emilia Romagna might be the best swath of Italy for true culinary delights.

Emilia Romagna Region, Italy

Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy

Story Exclusive®
Today enjoy the tastes of the famed Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, prosciutto, homemade cakes, the delicious Malvasia and Lambrusco sparkling red wine from the region, along with balsamic vinegar and olive oil —  and we're just getting started!

food icon   Story Way® Dining
The day of tastes culminates in Bologna where our Chef prepares and delights us for tonight's welcome to Emilia Romagna dinner.

Grand Hotel Majestic Giá Baglioni, 3 Nights

Grand Hotel Majestic, Bologna, Italy

About Our Hotel
The Grand Hotel Majestic "già Baglioni," the oldest and most prestigious hotel in Bologna, sits in the heart of the city on Via dell’Indipendenza, within walking distance of Piazza Maggiore and the famous Due Torri. This superb five-star deluxe hotel is situated in a Palazzo designed by architect Alfonso Torregiani during the first half of the 18th century and built by order of Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, who later became Pope. The palazzo is in fact, built on top of an ancient Roman road, part of which can be seen within the hotel.


DAY 9: FOOD & WINE? SI! Buona Forchetta!


We explore part of the city this morning as well as venture to a Food & Wine experience that promises to deliver tonight! It is a unique venue "found" by our very own Pascal Locatelli.

food icon   Story Exclusive®
The finalé for our day includes a fresh variety of cuisine and wines to enjoy at a unique venue.

Return to Bologna for an optional dinner with your Tour Captain.




We make our way to the heart of Ferrara to learn of this city's history and the influence of the Este Family. We will see the impressive Castello Estense and we will visit the inside of the Romanesque cathedral. The Este family ruled the city for about three centuries and helped Ferrara become the 'modern,' planned city we visit today. It features a merging of Medieval and Renaissance styles in architecture.

Ferrara, Italy

Ferrara, Italy

An undiscovered jewel in the Emilia-Romagna region. Ferrara, which grew up around a ford over the River Po, became an intellectual and artistic centre that attracted the greatest minds of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. Here, Piero della Francesca, Jacopo Bellini and Andrea Mantegna decorated the palaces of the House of Este. But wait until you walk through the heart of this city boasting a perfectly preserved medieval and Renaissance character and you notice there is barely a car or a tourist to be seen — it's wonderful.

Tonight is a special time as you join the Tour Captain for an included Farewell Dinner with your new friends.

food icon   Story Exclusive®
Included Farewell Dining Experience in a very unique venue. One of our favorite nights of fun and celebration, as we toast one another to a wonderful journey together. The venue and activity we have designed for you tonight along with the music, will make for the perfect finale to your Italian vacation. It is a night of great cuisine and, of course, vino along with your new friends.

Our days have been filled with new sights, tastes and discoveries - tonight enjoy reflecting on the incredible journey we've had together. 

Ferrara, Italy

Street in Ferrara decorated with umbrellas




Maybe before you leave consider extending 'back' to the enchanted Amalfi Coast. Or is it time for your villa in Tuscany? The Story of Travel through Bella Italy continues.

Join us on another adventure soon.



Heart of City Hotels mean your experience is like none other in the travel industry.

There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Story's Heart of City hotels and as is the case with this special itinerary we have gone to far lengths to find the "right accommodation property."

PROVINCE OF TREVISO IN VENETO Accommodations - 3 Nights

Ferrara, Italy


IN VENETO Accommodations - 3 Nights

Ferrara, Italy

IN EMILIA ROMAGNA Accommodations - 3 Nights

Ferrara, Italy

What's Included in Your Small Group Tour?

What's Included in this Small Group Tour of Italy?

We've tried to include everything on our Guaranteed Departures ~
However, make note of the following:

  • Breakfast is included daily
  • Culinary & Wine Estate Experiences Throughout
  • Lunch is not included - Our Tour Captain and Guides will offer great, affordable suggestions for delicious lunches everyday.
  • 6 dinners are included, on other nights our Tour Captain will invite you to join them to unique restaurants each night.
  • We Stay in the Very Heart of Cities & Towns, except when we're at unique properties such as castles and villas.
  • Airfare is not included.
  • Travel Protection is not included. Story Land and Sea recommends that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travelex plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. Click here to get a quote and purchase on their website. Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of tour origination. If you are delayed for any reason, your vacation may be at risk even if Story made your airfare arrangements. Airfare is a completely separate booking from your land vacation. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application should you have to cancel.
  • Gratuities Included: Story Land & Sea® includes gratuities for Local Tour Guides, Drivers, Hotel and Restaurant Staff included.
  • Customary gratuities for your Tour Captain are not included and should be extended on a voluntary, individual basis.

That's it ~ everything else excluding personal item purchases is included. Read on below for all of the inclusions to this tour of Puglia and Basilicata:

Something for everyone…Whether you’re a “first-timer” to Italy or have visited many times, we invite you to join us for this exciting tour program. For one set price, you’ll be staying in first-class accommodations in each city and have the experience of local, English-speaking tour guides. You’ll have a chance to visit all the major, “must-see” sites, plus enough free time on your own to visit the places that really matter to you…or, you can simply enjoy that time relishing your first taste of Italy - it’s entirely up to you. Also included are in-depth tours in each city, group transportation in an air-conditioned motor coach, admission and entrance fees for each stop on our tours, breakfast each morning and five all-inclusive dinners with wine!

And if you have been to Italy before and maybe want something a little different, you have the opportunity of choosing to go as a “first-timer” (there are many sites you could see a hundred times and still find something new!) or adding on whichever tours and attractions are to your liking and interest, essentially building your own trip (simply call us at 1 (877) 865-6711 for a custom quote).



2018 - 2019 Small Group Tour Prices

Guaranteed departures.
This unique itinerary has limited departures available. Please inquire.

Published Date Tour
Departures in September 2018
September 24: Sold Out
This departure is now sold out.
Max 16 Guests $6,579
Departures in September 2019
September 14
Max 16 Guests $6,579
  • Optional AnyTime Arrival Experience into ................ Airport: Includes Meet & Greet by Story Land & Sea®' Representative Host, Shuttle from Airport to hotel and all gratuities. Regular Rate: $89/person, 2 Guest Minimum. Solo arrival transfer rate is $188.
  • Departure Transfers in Bologna to Bologna Airport, Regular Rate: $59 per person, Hotel to Airport, minimum two (2) guests. Solo departure transfer rate is $59 per person.
  • Solo Supplement for a double occupancy room for solo use is $1648. No Triple Reduction available.


Get Started: Ask a Question, Schedule a Call, Request a Trip Quote, or Have us Craft Your Trip




What questions do you have?: