Story's Hand-Crafted Small Group tour through Undiscovered Italy
10-Day Northern Bella Italy Tour
Featuring Treviso Asolo, Verona, Vicenza, Palladian Villas, Prosecco Hills, Lake Garda, Parma and Bologna
It Was a Day Like No Other.
Our small group tour, Northern Bella Italy, presents a unique approach to discovering the truly undiscovered treasures from the Veneto to Parma and Bologna.
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, Vicenza, Verona, Sirmione and Lake Garda 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 - they even named a street after him. Check out this amazing itinerary.
— Mark Story
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, 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 "Northern Bella Italy — Veneto to Parma & Bologna with Asolo, Verona, Lake Garda, Vicenza, Sirmione and Bologna."
— Mark Story
DAY 1: INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT
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 Story: Arrive 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.
DAY 2: ARRIVE VENICE
Exclusive: Story Land & Sea® Original Welcome Experience
Welcome to Venice! Make your way to San Marco or opt for our airport arrival experience - inquire with reservations.
Your Small Group Tour Vacation to Italy is underway!
Tonight, meet in the lobby and enjoy our special "Hidden Venice" experience with Italian apperitivo hosted by your Tour Captain.
Afterwards, you may join the Tour Captain for an optional dinner or enjoy exploring at leisure. May we recommend one of the Michelin-Starred restaurants on San Marco? Inquire with reservations.
Hotel Bauer or Similar, 1 Night
DAY 3: PROVINCE & CITY OF TREVISO
IN THE REGION OF THE VENETO
Welcome to The Veneto —
This morning we make our way north of Venice to 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 enjoy a walking tour of the heart of Treviso. Discover the Roman ruins, and learn of the rich history of Treviso and the pride of its citizens as our Local Expert Guide brings to life this amazing city.
After a morning tour of the city, we continue our way to amazing Asolo where we check-in and freshen up before a special reception.
EXPLORING OUR HOME FOR THE NEXT 2 DAYS AND NIGHTS
From Robert Browning to a 'hundred horizons,' Asolo is filled with surprises and delight.
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.
Special Story Way® Dining: The Story Land & Sea® approach to dining debuts as you join your Tour Captain for the Veneto Welcome Dinner in the greater province of Treviso in the delightful 'slow living' town of Asolo. 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 or Villa Cipriani in Asolo — 2 Nights
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DAY 4: EXPLORING ASOLO
Exclusive: Emilia Romagna Experience
Included Dining: Welcome Dinner
Sightseeing Immersion in the City of 100 Horizons We enjoy a walking tour of Asolo this morning while learning of Mr. Browning's exploits, and those of Freia Stark, Hemmingway and more. This city truly is a 'city of a hundred horizons!' Learn all about Asolare today — Asolare, means simply pleasurable aimlessness and Asolo is the perfect 'slow living' village to discover this special art of living!
It was here in the late 1400s that Cardinal Bembo, a literary figure of the time, coined the expression "Asolare," meaning the experience of spending one's time in pleasurable aimlessness. After our tour the balance of the day is at leisure, as it should be when you're in Asolo.
City of 100 Horizons
Tonight, your Tour Captain will invite you to an optional dinner.
DAY 5: PALLADIAN VILLAS & VICENZA
IMMERSION IN THE VENETO
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. But first we enjoy the amazing village of Marostica and Vicenza.
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 make our way to the city of Vicenza — the city of Palladio.
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.
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.
We then arrive the very heart of Old Verona and check in to our hotel.
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.
Story Way Dining
Join your Tour Captain for a welcome dinner tonight.
Accommodation: Hotel Due Torri or Similar — 3 Nights
DAY 6: TASTES OF THE VENETO
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 on Adige River
Verona, Italy on Adige River
Join the tour Captain for an optional dinner tonight or enjoy exploring at leisure.
DAY 7: LAKE GARDA
ESCAPE TO THE LAKE: SIRMIONE
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
From our landing in Sirmione, we will board our private boat for a Lake Garda excursion. Learn a bit of the history of the castles, fortresses and people along the shores of Lake Garda.
Then we enjoy a special tasting experience on the grounds of Masi Tenuta Agricola – set between the blue of Lake Garda, the green Valpolicella hills and the slopes of Monte Baldo, Tenuta Canova opens its doors us as they prepare delicious morsels paried with amazing vareitals of wine.
We return to our home in Verona later in the afternoon.
Optional dining with the Tour Captain tonight or explore at leisure.
View of Lake Garda in Sirmione, Italy
Castle in Sirmione
DAY 8: TO BOLOGNA
This morning we make our way into the Emilia Romagna region — known for its gastronomy (incredible cuisine, oil, balsalmic and wine) — and enjoy a true Story Exclusive experience (just wait!).
After our surprise exclusive we make our way to Bologna.
WELCOME TO BOLOGNA
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, 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).
Italy is known for its cuisine but the region of Emilia Romagna might be the best swath of Italy for true culinary delights.
Vineyards of Emilia Romagna, Italy
A JOURNEY OF EDIBLE TREATS
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!
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
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.
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DAY 9: Bologna
We explore the city this morning with our Expert Guide as we learn of its history, culture and cuisine. Bologna is home to the traditional Bolognese food such as tortellini, ragù, mortadella, and features its own robust local wines.
The afternoon is at your leisure to soak up Bologna.
In preparation for your visit to Bologna, may we suggest you read John Grisham's The Broker — Joel Backman is "the Broker," and is considered to be one of the most powerful lobbyists in Washington, D.C. However, Backman's life falls apart when a deal collapses involving a hacked spy satellite that nobody knows about, and he ends up in jail. Six years later, the political wheels have turned and other power-hungry men are eager for Backman's blood. Bargains are made, and after an outgoing disgraced President grants him a full pardon at the behest of the CIA, Backman finds himself spirited out of the prison in the middle of the night, bundled onto a military plane, and flown to Italy to begin a new life. He has a new name and mysterious new "friends" who teach him to speak the language and to blend in with the people in Bologna.
Our Finalé Experience
Tonight, meet your Tour Captain in the lobby to walk to a wonderful dinner to celebrate our time together through Northern Bella Italy.
The finalé dining experience with your Tour Captain means a wonderful night of celebrating cuisine, wine and new friendships.
DAY 10: Arrivederci!
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 Northern Bella Italy continues.
Join us on another adventure soon.
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Heart of City Hotels.
Story's Deluxe hotel properties are exceptional.
There is a difference between centrally-located hotels and Story Land & Sea®'s Heart of City hotels. No taxis or shuttles required when you're in the historical heart of the cities and villages. Our Deluxe tour hotels feature a full, hot breakfast included daily with cappuccino, tea, juice and an assortment of meats, fresh, local vegetables, fresh-baked pastries and fruit.
Our small group Italy tour hotels feature historical architecture with all the amenities to expect from 4- and 5-star luxury Italian hotels. The properties are located in the heart of the Italian cities, towns and villages. We proudly feature the following Italy tour hotels which have been personally inspected for quality and standard. On very rare occasion, we may substitute any Italian hotel for an Italy tour property of equal or greater quality and standard.
Remember, availability in tour hotels may be affected based on seasonal demand. Alternate hotel properties of equal quality will be used when the following hotels are not available.
VENICE Accommodations - 1 Nights
ASOLO Accommodations - 2 Nights
BOLOGNA Accommodations - 2 Nights
What's Included on your Small Group Tour?
Deliciously Slow Travel through Northern Bella Italy
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.
- Select Story Way dinners and exclusives 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.
- 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.
Create a personal Northern Italy Itinerary: This tour itinerary is available as an independent vacation led by our expert local guides. Contact us at 1 + 877 865 6711 or online by completing this form.
Airfare is not included but it can be quoted here. Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of your small group Italy tour origination. If you are delayed for any reason, your vacation may be at risk even if Story Land & Sea® made your airfare arrangements. Airfare is a completely separate booking from your Italian land tour 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.
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. A Protection Plan can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more.
For your convenience, we offer travel protection through Travelex Insurance Services. For more information on available plans or to enroll, go to travelexinsurance.com or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9297 and reference location number 06-0051.
The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex Insurance Services, Inc CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 11.17 83I
That's it! Everything else excluding airfare and personal item purchases is included.
Story Land & Sea®'s Unique Walking Tour Experience
We do walk a lot on our small group tours of Italy. It's unhurried and there are ample opportunities to sit and relax. You must be physically capable of walking and experiencing the many stairs of Italy. Please inquire with Story Land & Sea® Reservations for more details.
10 day round-trip travel including STORY's unique approach to Italy with Slow Travel themes through Treviso, Asolo, Vicenza, Verona, Lake Garda, Parma and Bologna — an amazing adventure.
Choose from STORY's Deluxe or Classic Hotels -- Both feature Heart of City locations.
The finalé of Spring in Italy (Average High 65, Lows 50s). It's not yet high-season in Italy during April.
A great time to visit Italy - (Average Highs 70s, Lows 50s-60s).
Considered 'high-season' in Italy, June is the near perfect weather month. (Average High 74).
Summer-like days usher warmer temps earlier in the month (Average High 70s, Low 60s).
The "True Start of Fall" is heralded in (Average Highs 70s, Lows 50-60s).
Deluxe Solo* Supplement : $1,959
Classic Solo* Supplement: $1,179
*Solo supplement provides a double occupancy room for solo use and is with a tour that already has at least six (6) other guests booked.
Published prices are based on a guaranteed departure with at least six (6) Story guests — Inquire with reservations to find out your preferred departure's current tour size and pricing.
Or do these dates not work for your schedule?
Call us: 1 877 865 6711
Take over a departure for your own private group.
Inquire for details.
Prefer to travel with just the two of you? Inquire for our Private Journey option.
Head North! Start exploring Italy's Enchanted North today. We're ready to help!