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The Hidden Gems of Northern Italy

Bologna to Bergamo

May 10-18, 2025

Lake Como add-on, May 18-21


Discover the heart of Northern Italy—its picturesque lakes, storybook villages, and famed cuisine. This Delicious Expedition will travel more than usual, taking us from Bologna to Bergamo as we delve into the history and culture of this enchanting land.

Northern Italy is the home of polenta, risotto, Osso Buco, and amazing Ragu alla Bolognese. And of course wine, from sparkling Lambrusco and Prosecco to the famed Amarone and Valpolicello. We’ll sample balsamic vinegar from ancient barrels and marvel at enormous rounds of Parmesan placed on storehouse shelves. We’ll eat homemade ravioli stuffed with pumpkins grown in nearby fields and devour gnocco fritto—fried puffed dough stuffed with paper-thin slices of prosciutto.


Our accommodations, in mostly 4-star hotels, vary as we move among the hidden gems that possess a wealth of art and architecture but not the crowds of Italy’s top tourist destinations. We’ll stay in the heart of historic centers to make walking and exploring easy. In Reggio Emilia, our hotel dates to the 15th century and by 1684 was considered a respectable inn. We know this because they fined 25 gold coins to “anyone staying all night with the sole purpose to get drunk or lay with a prostitute.” (You’ve been warned!) In Mantua, we’ll reside in a lovingly restored palazzo. (Since most of our accommodations are situated in older buildings, there are no elevators and will require walking up 1-2 flights of stairs.)


Continue your journey by joining us on Lake Como. We’ll travel from Bergamo to the quiet village of Lezzeno, located near Bellagio but far away from the crowds. Spend 3 nights lakefront relishing the beauty of the area and learning about its history, culture, and cuisine.


Experience Northern Italy

$4800 per person, double occupancy

$750, single supplement

Extra night in Bologna upon arrival: $290

Lake Como add-on:

$1400 per person, double occupancy

$400, single supplement


Our Northern Italy tour includes 8 nights accommodations with breakfast: 1 night at the Art Hotel Orologio in Bologna, 3 nights at Hotel La Posta in Reggio Emilia, 3 nights at either Palazzo Arrivabene in Mantu or Ca’ Degli Uberti Palace, and 1 night at Palazzo Vecchio in Bergamo. Also included: ground transportation after arriving to the Art Hotel Orologio and until drop-off at either the Bergamo train station or airport, all group activities and tours, expert guides, and either lunch or dinner daily. Since this is a food tour, we’ll be sampling and tasting a lot along the way.


Our Lake Como add-on includes 3 nights at the Villa Aurora with a lakeview room, all transportation until drop-off at the Milan airport or train station, all group activities and tours, expert guides, and either lunch or dinner daily.

A $1000 deposit is required to secure your place in our Hidden Gems of Northern Italy tour. Since the number of participants is limited and accommodations vary in size and design, early registration is advised. All rooms will be assigned on a first-to-register basis, including three balcony rooms on Lake Como.

Register Now!

Delicious Expeditions also offers culinary tours to:

Croatia,  France,  Guatemala,  Istria,  Michoacán,  San Miguel de Allende,  Slovenia,   Spain,   The Camino,   Tuscany,  Umbria,  Venice  & Vienna 

Don't just take our word for it!

Read our testimonials and see for yourself that Delicious Expeditions are trips of a lifetime!

A Culinary Journey into a Fabled Land


A delicious expedition   ¡Benvenuto! Winery

Arrive to Bologna and the Art Hotel Orologio, next to the town’s main square. Gather for introductions and a glass of wine before a guided walking tour. Stroll under the covered archways that make this city unique; marvel at the medieval towers that soar into the sky. We’ll dine on traditional dishes that have made Bologna one of the world’s top culinary destinations.

See Northern Italy photo gallery


day 2   La Cucina Italiana

Discover the town of Modena through its food with a moveable feast. We’ll start at the historic Albinelli covered market and continue on to various botteghe storiche, or historical gastronomic stores. Then indulge in award-wining (and often misunderstood) Lambrusco wine at a family vineyard in the village of Cristo di Sorbara. Arrive to Hotel La Posta in Reggio Emilia. Spend the evening strolling through the town’s many squares and alleyways, stopping for a glass of prosecco as locals often do.


day 2   The Enchanting Town of Parma Winery

We're off to Parma, an UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, for a guided walking tour with a featured stop at the breathtaking Teatro Farnese. Lunch of local specialties, including gnocco fritto--the local, tantalizing fried bread. Dicover Fontanellato Castle and its village.


day 4   The Wonderful World of Parmesan

Immerse yourself in the world of Parmesan—the most popular cheese in the world—as we visit a DOP-certified diary farm and sample how the cheese changes with age. Countryside lunch. Explore the 15th-century Torrechiara Castle, considered one of the most important in Italy. Discover its trove of frescoes and Renaissance art.


day 5   Another Hidden Gem

Visit the Paltrineri family and sample their balsamic vinegar. Learn about preparation and aging. Cooking class lunch featuring the specialties of Lombardy. Travel to Mantua and settle in at Palazzo Arrivabene. Amble through the narrow streets and discover this hidden gem known to few, sip a glass of wine on the piazza or dine on pumpkin ravioli, a native dish.


day 6   Lake Garda

We’ll travel to the shores of Lake Garda, first stopping at a 17th-century mill that today produces one of the top Carnaroli rices used in making risotto. Tour, tasting, and lunch at Allegrini Vineyards in the Veneto, known for its Amarone wine. Guided walking tour of the fortified island town of Peschiaria del Garda.


day 7   A Feast of Music

Enjoy some free time to see more of Mantua before setting off for Cremona, the internationally renowned home of violinmakers. Lunch on local fare at a historic tavern. Visit a master luthier, or violinmaker. Learn about his work, hear his notes and his story. Evening cocktails in the piazza, in front of the stunning cathedral.


day 8   Bergamo Beauty

We’re off to the foothills of the Italian Alps and the magical hill town of Bergamo. Settle into Hotel Palazzo Vecchio. Free afternoon to wander the medieval streets on your own, walk the Venetian defensive walls, or savor the amazing frescoes in the Basilica. Dinner featuring the local pasta--casoncelli alla bergamasca, a meat-stuffed ravioli served with butter, bacon, and apple--along with other treats.


For those continuing on to Lake Como:

day 9   Borgo di Clanezzo

After additional time to explore Bergamo, we'll head to the medieval hamlet of Borgo di Clanezzo. Lunch at a local trattoria. Arrive to Lake Como and the Hotel Aurora in time for a sunset cocktail lakeside.


day 10   Villas, Villages & Boats

Tour the famed botanical gardens of Villa Melzi on our way to Bellagio, considered the gem of Lake Como. Roam the alleyways and enjoy the vistas with our local guide. Lakeside lunch. Afternoon boat tour of the middle lake that will end with a wine tasting at Crotto del Misto, an old wine cellar.



day 11    Quiet on the Waterfront

Free day to explore more villages on the lake—Como, Varenna, Menaggio. Hike the Reggina trail, the donkey path that once connected Como to Bellagio, or stay at the Aurora and lounge along the waterfront. Our farewell dinner will be with our neighbors at the acclaimed Osteria Il Governo 1801.



day 12   A Final Farewell

After breakfast, we’ll pack our bags and head to Milan for a drop-off at either the airport or train station.

Our itinerary is designed to showcase the best of Northern Italy while allowing enough free time for you to also explore of your own. We'll be spending time in towns with pedestrian centers, walking at least 1-2 miles most days.