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+Itinerary

Flavors of Northern Italy

Day 1: En route from U.S.
Day 2: Arrive in Verona, Italy / Province of Brescia
Day 3: Verona
Day 4: Valeggio sul Mincio / Valpolicella
Day 5: Marano / Lago di Garda
Day 6: Modena / Mantua
Day 7: Roncà
Day 8: Sirmione
Day 9: Depart Verona for U.S.
Optional Post-Tour: Venice

Day 1: En route from U.S.

Day 2: Arrive in Verona, Italy / Province of Brescia
Welcome to Italy!

Transfer to Selva Capuzza—a charming Italian farmhouse on a historic, country wine estate in the Province of Brescia—which will be home base for this week's adventures. Escape the bustling Verona motorway and experience a striking atmospheric dichotomy as paved roads transform into seemingly endless vineyards dotted with towering cypress trees.

Arriving at Borgo San Donino—Selva Capuzza's appartamentos—warm greetings await, making each guest feel as if they've visited countless times before. The property's surroundings are of romantic dreams, where every aspect ignites the senses. Remarkable vine-covered stone walls, fresh countryside air, and songbirds trilling lively lilts all set the stage for the exciting days to come.

Settle into your accommodations before meeting fellow travel companions to stroll through the vineyard to Cascina Capuzza, Selva Capuzza's restaurant, for a welcome drink and dinner.
Overnight: Borgo San Donino (D)

Day 3: Verona
Today, explore Verona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a long, colorful history and infinite artistic architectural landmarks. Meet up with a local guide for a panoramic tour around the city to view the Renaissance Gates of the 16th century and various Roman monuments.

Then set out by foot for a guided walk along the meandering Adige River, crossing the 14th-century Castelvecchio Bridge—an iconic photography opportunity—toward the city center. Stop for an inside visit at the Basilica of San Zeno to admire its Romanesque architecture, centuries-old frescoes, and exceptionally detailed 12th-century bronze doors.

Continue on to Piazza delle Erbe, whose courtyard is surrounded by quaint cafés being mindfully watched over by the Statue of Dante, and saunter the cobblestone streets to capture a glimpse of Juliet’s balcony.

After lunch on your own, rejoin the group for an inside visit to the Roman amphitheater—Verona's best preserved Roman monument. Once an arena that hosted jousting matches and carnage-filled gladiator games, the current structure—which has been impacted by numerous earthquakes throughout the years—serves as an open-air theater for operas and modern music performances.

Late this afternoon, return to the property to refresh and gather at Selva Capuzza's winery for a tasting before another lovely dinner at Cascina Capuzza.
Overnight: Borgo San Donino (B,D)

Day 4: Valeggio sul Mincio / Valpolicella
After breakfast, visit Parco Giardino Sigurtà—extraordinary and lush gardens that span over 148 acres, extending to the edges of the hills by Lago di Garda. Meet with a park guide for a tour aboard a motorized cart and learn about Dr. Carlo Sigurtà and his impact on the grounds since purchasing the park in 1941. Travel down the Avenue of Roses, see countless blooming flowers and trees, glimpse the sundial in front of the Great Lawn, admire the colorful water gardens, and perhaps catch site of the family of deer that peacefully inhabit a protected valley within the park.

Next visit a charming, family-run pasta shop and restaurant to learn the art of preparing fresh tortellini. Descend into a stone-walled cellar for a cooking demonstration, and hear the mythical legend behind this simple pasta's genesis before trying your hand at the unique folding technique. Return back upstairs for a lovely lunch featuring a tasting of a variety of tortellini and ravioli paired with wine.

If time allows, stop for a brief visit to Borghetto beside the Mincio River. This splendidly diminutive village features a single entry point—the Visconti Bridge, that after crossing, one feels transported into a world of centuries ago. Adorable cafés line the exterior of aged stone buildings, overlooking ancient watermills and the rushing canals below. Amble through the narrow cobble streets to discover the various shops and picturesque surrounding hillside scenery.

Afterward, head north to the hills of the Valpolicella area to meet winemaker Giuseppe Lonardi, one of the best producers of Amarone in Italy. Tour the winery before sampling a few varietals, including Giuseppe's special blend, Privilegia.

After the tasting, take a short stroll through the bucolic neighborhood to a tiny bistro to meet Chef Vittorio. Join together around his kitchen work table while he demonstrates how to create slow-cooked, Amarone-infused risotto. As it’s stirred over a wood fire, observe the finer points of making polenta, learn about other seasonal and regional fare, and then gather to enjoy a freshly prepared dinner featuring the decadent Amarone risotto.
Overnight: Borgo San Donino (B,L,D)

Day 5: Marano / Lago di Garda
After breakfast, enjoy a special dessert-focused cooking class at Selva Capuzza. Your hand-made treats will be ready to sample after tonight's delicious dinner.

Then, head north to the de Tarczal estate in the mountainous Trentino region of Northern Italy. Renowned for centuries for the quality and variety of its distinguished grapes, this prestigious small, family-operated vineyard specializes in classic local varietals. Enjoy a tour of the cellars, wine tasting, and lunch in “la Vineria,” featuring the gastronomic products of Trentino.

The leisurely returning drive to Selva Capuzza first delivers you to the shores of Italy’s largest lake, Lago di Garda, in the lively medieval village of Malcesine. Wander the sloping avenues featuring a myriad of boutiques and restaurants up to stately Scaliger Castle to capture the panoramic views over the majestic azure water below.
Overnight: Borgo San Donino (B,L,D)

Day 6: Modena / Mantua
This morning, set out for Modena to meet Simone Caselli, an award-winning producer of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena. During a private tour, visit the old attic where the Caselli family story of creating balsamic vinegars began, and still remains a part of the continuing tradition today. Then retire to the tasting room to compare the characteristics of three aged balsamic vinegars followed by lunch including an array of homemade regional dishes featuring various Aceto vinegars.

Afterward, stop at beautiful Mantua for an inside visit to Palazzo Ducale, the former noble residence of the Gonzaga family. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this building is one of the most important Renaissance monuments in Italy. Peruse the museum, or venture into Mantua's main plaza for a bit of free time before returning to Selva Capuzza.

This evening, enjoy a light dinner at Cascina Capuzza.
Overnight: Borgo San Donino (B,L,D)

Day 7: Roncá
Today, discover the culinary delights of the Lessinia region, known for its lush pastures, olive groves, and cherry and chestnut orchards. Visit La Casara—a family-run, artisan cheese shop in the Roncá municipality. Enjoy an up-close cheese-making demonstration and venture into the cheese cellar before settling into the tasting room for a sampling of La Casara's savory creations.

This afternoon, visit San Martino tower—a monument positioned on the site of an important historic battle. Traverse the winding incline to reach the top for a 360-degree view of the vast countryside stretching to the waters of Lago di Garda.

Enjoy free time back at Selva Capuzza before dinner at Cascina Capuzza featuring a variety of slow foods—a food movement started in Italy emphasizing an integrated approach uniting the enjoyment of growing, preparing and eating food with responsibility, sustainability, and harmony with nature.
Overnight: Borgo San Donino (B,L,D)

Day 8: Sirmione
This morning offers a special treat—a lively cooking class featuring pasta and dessert recipes. Roll up your sleeves and get ready to prepare a variety of traditional gnocchi and spaghetti, sauces, and treats popular in this region. Then join together to taste your creations during a jovial, relaxing lunch.

In the afternoon, you may stay back for leisure time at Selva Capuzza or take the short trip to Sirmione—an idyllic resort town at the tip of a peninsula in Lago di Garda. Spend free time roaming the enlivened cobble streets, sip a cold apértif at a waterfront café, or peruse the plentiful boutiques for last-minute souvenir shopping.

Tonight, a special farewell dinner at Cascina Capuzza marks the end of a fabulous week.
Overnight: Borgo San Donino (B,L,D)

Day 9: Depart Verona for U.S.
Today, guests departing during the suggested times will take a complimentary transfer to the airport for flights home. Guests continuing on the optional post-tour will depart by train to Venice.(B)

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level:

Moderate

Activities are generally not very strenuous, however, we expect that guests can enjoy two hours or more of walking, are sure-footed on cobbled surfaces, and can walk up and down stairs without assistance. On the estate, unpaved roads and pathways separate its various structures, and walking is required to get from one building to another and to reach the restaurant. Historic city centers are usually more accessible by foot than vehicle, and sometimes it is not possible for your motor coach to drop you off at site entrances. Due to the structure of some buildings, facilities for the disabled may be limited. Also, dexterity to use kitchen tools and participate in lessons is not necessary, but adds to the enjoyment of this program.