Lake Como, Barolo, Portofino Tour

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Small-group tour to northwest Italy

Lake Como, Barolo, Portofino tour is a tour vacation in the most coveted gems of Piedmont and northwest Italy.

Join our small-group tour limited to 12 guests and travel in style between the Alps and the Mediterranean, on a land of richness, with the decadent atmospheres of the idyllic vineyards of Piedmont and the blue water of Cinque Terre.

Indulge in a Michelin-star dinner, family-run wine cellars, organic food purveyors and see why Piedmont boasts one of the most refined cuisines and wine regions of Italy.

Enjoy handpicked boutique hotels and a slow-paced itinerary filled with memories that will last for a long time. Our Lake Como, Barolo, Portofino Tour has the right balance between the must-sees of northwest Italy and offbeat cultural exchanges.

  • small group 6-12 guests only
  • 9 days / 8 nights (3 on Lake Como + 3 in the wine region + 2 in Portofino area)
  • Fly in Milan. Fly out from Genoa (or Milan)
  • Visit Bellagio, Varenna, Barolo, Alba, Camogli, Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino and Cinque Terre
  • Charming boutique hotels
  • Private boat on lake Como and luxury van throughout the tour
  • Michelin-star dinner in Piedmont
  • Premium wine tastings in boutique wine cellars of Barolo, Nebbiolo, Barbera d’Asti
  • Cooking class in a farmhouse and truffle hunting with the dog
  • Indulge in freshly-baked focaccia on the Mediterranean coast
  • Personable, informative and highly-skilled Italian tour guide for the entire tour

2023 departure: September 6th – 14th 2023

Day 1: Wednesday September 6th 2023
Tour starts in Milan city center at 2pm. We encourage guests to arrive in Milan a day earlier (to arrive on the 5th, depart from the US on the 4th)

  • 3 nights at Hotel La Darsena in Tremezzo (lake front rooms) – arrive Sep 6th, check out Sep 9th 2023
  • 3 nights at Villa Del Borgo in Canelli (junior suites) – arrive Sep 9th, check out Sep 12th 2023
  • 2 nights at Hotel Continental (or similar) in Santa Margherita Ligure (sea view rooms with balcony) – arrive Sep 12th, check out Sep 14th 2023

Day 9: Thursday Sep 14th 2023
Tour ends with a transfer from Santa Margherita Ligure to Genoa airport. Flights should not be booked before 10:00am. Guests who decide to fly out from Milan Malpensa can book a private transfer for an extra charge. In this case flights should not be booked before 1:00pm.

  • Arrive in Milan the day before the tour starts and meet our driver in the arrival hall of the airport.
  • Transfer on a private van to the city center of Milan.
  • Check-in (from 2pm) in a centrally-located 4-star hotel, within a walking distance from all major attractions.
  • Dinner on your own.
  • The following morning (day 1), meet our Milan’s local expert in the lobby of the hotel
  • Private walking tour of the city center, exploring some of the highlights as well as other hidden gems. Enter the majestic Cathedral of Milan with a reserved entrance for a guided tour of the interior.
  • Enjoy some free time before meeting with the rest of the group.

Rates for the Milan extension are available on request.

  • A 30% down payment is required in order to confirm the reservation.
  • The remaining balance is due 45 days before the tour.

The Customer has the right to withdraw, without providing any reason, under the following conditions:

  • There shall be a 250€ non-­refundable processing fee (per person) on any cancellation request, regardless the time frame within the cancellation is submitted;
  • From 90 days to 46 days before the performance of the Tourist Package, by paying a penalty equal to 30% of the price;
  • From 45 days before the performance of the Tourist Package, by paying a penalty equal to 100% of the price
  • COVID CLAUSE: any payment previously sent to Meet Voyager (except for the 250€ processing fee) can be fully refunded only in case of new travel restrictions (lockdowns or border closure) imposed by local Governments (in Europe or in the Country of origin of Customers) as a consequence of the spread of the COVID pandemic. Alternatively, the Customer can ask to Meet Voyager, in writing, to hold that sum for future travel dates.
  • Meet Voyager is not responsible for costs associated to testing positive to Covid-19 before, during or after the tour and for any delays or change of travel plans or quarantine caused by the results of such testings or by the lack of proof of tests or vaccination required to travel

Read here the full terms and conditions.

Trip of a lifetime in Northern Italy

Tom L. – May 2022

“This is our second tour with Marco and he has made both (the other trip was to the Amalfi coast) trips an amazing experience. Many ”wow locations” and off the beaten path destinations that take you away from the “touristy” spots and connect you with the real people and culture of the Italian regions. His tours are small (we had 6 people) and in both trips made amazing friends along the way.”

Awesome trip!

Mary Ann B. – May 2019

“The trip was flawless and we were able to experience meals and activities that normally we would not have been able to do on our own. The view from our hotel room on the lake and at the wine resort were spectacular. My least favorite thing was Cinque Terre but probably because it was at the end of the tour.”

Piemonte is beautiful

Wisconsintraveler17 – July 2017

“Piemonte is so beautiful that my pictures don’t do it justice; panoramic views everywhere you go. We spent the better part of a week with Marco in Piemonte and he is an excellent guide. He is extremely knowledgeable about the area and I learned so much from him. In addition to being a wonderful traveling companion (and translator) he is organized, prompt, patient, funny, a true foodie and his English is excellent. He took us to so many out-of-the-way, non-touristy places that we never would have seen otherwise. We visited two picturesque vineyards, complete with wine tasting, we toured a rice farm, we visited several small towns, including Barolo, and took a cooking class at a beautiful organic farm in the countryside. Marco even took us to a local grocery store when we decided we wanted to pick up a few things for a night on our terrace. He planned almost all of our meals and was wonderfully flexible with those of us who were a bit pickier than most. And all with a smile:) I would highly recommend this trip to anyone looking for a unique adventure in Northern Italy and I would more than highly recommend Marco as your guide.”

Read all reviews on Tripadvisor and on Google

Day 1 – Welcome to Lake Come, Barolo, Portofino tour

Meals included: dinner

The tour begins officially at 2pm when our guide will meet you on a rooftop in Milan city center for a toast with a traditional “aperitivo” and a first introduction to the tour (see above the details of the Milan extension with hotel, airport transfer and tour of the Cathedral).

Later, we transfer on an air-conditioned van to the  hotel located in the central area of Lake Como. Check-in and enjoy some time off recharging yourself as you admire the calm water of the lake.

Tonight we toast to our Lake Como, Barolo, Portofino tour with a 3-course dinner in a renowned restaurant of the area, where traditional recipes are re-imagined with a modern twist. Wine included!

Day 2 – Bellagio and the private boat on Lake Como

Meals included: breakfast

We meet at the dock of the hotel the boat captain and our local expert. A private boat ride is an affordable luxury treat to take in views from the water of Lake Como and its hamlets surrounded by lush vegetation.

Your local expert will point some of the villas of artists and celebrities who have been calling home Lake Como for centuries.

Our Lake Como, Barolo, Portofino Tour stops for at the famous Villa Balbianello, with its perfectly manicured garden, the original furniture and the art collection of the rooms overlooking the calm water of the lake.

We continue by boat to Bellagio where your guide suggests the best options for an al-fresco lunch. Enjoy some free time among stores specialized in leather, silk and jewelry.

In the afternoon we get to the town of Varenna for a picture of its peculiar flights of steps descending toward the lake.

Enjoy a free evening. For dinner, our guide can recommend different dining options and book a table in your behalf.

Day 3 – Dinner overlooking lake Como

Meals included: breakfast and dinner

Today you can experience Lake Como  at your own pace. Maybe you simply prefer to have a late breakfast and stroll around your hotel, enjoying a gelato and people-watching.

Maybe you want to follow our guide on a hiking trail overlooking the lake or board a high-speed hydrofoil to the city of Como for some shopping in the elegant city center.

We can even arrange a full day trip to Switzerland, all the way to St. Moritz, have lunch and ride the Bernina Express, one of the most scenic train rides in the world with views over glaciers!

Our guide is there to assist you.

In any case, tonight we can admire the lake from a higher perspective as we partake on a dinner in a traditional restaurant located on the slopes of the mountain overlooking Lake Como.

Day 4 – Michelin-star dinner in Piedmont

Meals included: breakfast, light lunch, dinner

Say goodbye to Lake Como as we cross the plains of the Po valley and arrive in the wine region of Piedmont. Our first stop is a winery on the Monferrato hills, near Asti.

We get an introduction to the full-bodied Barbera d’Asti wine and to a rare local grape varietal called Ruchè, both aged in oak. Enjoy the typical farmer’s brunch with a selection of salami, cheese and other local specialties.

This afternoon check in at the next luxury boutique hotel set on the hills of Piedmont covered with idyllic vineyards and relax before heading out again for a special treat.

Tonight we introduce you to one of the finest cuisine of Italy in a Michelin-starred restaurant of the region where new food pairings and flavors will stimulate your senses.

Day 5 – Small-group tour to the Barolo wine region

Meals included: breakfast

We explore on a comfortable van the most scenic wine routes of the Langhe hills. This is where Nebbiolo grapes are grown to be aged in oak and become Barolo wine.

Our Lake Como, Barolo, Portofino Tour today takes you to see this unique landscape of hilltop villages and castles nestled amongst vineyards, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

We visit a boutique wine cellar for a premium tasting of Nebbiolo and Barolo wines coming from different vineyards with contrasting soil facts.

Our guide is on hand for lunch suggestions in one of the villages of the Langhe hills of Piedmont. Then, an optional stroll in the countryside would be the chance to get a closer look to this beautiful countryside.

In the afternoon we meet another winemaker either set in Barolo or Barbaresco territory for a deeper understanding on the different shades that Nebbiolo grapes can get depending on the hillside where they are grown.

Dinner on your own.

Day 6 – Truffle hunt and cooking class in Piedmont

Meals included: breakfast and dinner

Day 6 of Lake Como, Barolo, Portofino Tour begins with a lecture on how to unearth truffles from the rich soil of Piedmont.

We meet a passionate truffle hunter and the friendly dog to learn the secrets of this wise and ancient activity.

Next stop is the elegant town of Alba with its medieval towers, the imposing Cathedral and the high streets for shopping.

Later, we step in a kitchen of a local host for a full hands-on cooking class followed by dinner. The class is focused on seasonal ingredients.

The cuisine of Piedmont features a rich array of starters, aka “antipasti”, paper-thin egg noodles called “tajarin”, succulent main courses slowly cooked in wine and tempting desserts.

Day 7 – Welcome to the Italian Riviera

Meals included: breakfast and light lunch

This morning we drive from the hills of Piedmont to the Liguria region. After crossing the Apennine mountains, the bright colors of the Mediterranean will unfold in front of our eyes.room

Late morning we arrive in the sea-side town of Camogli and we partake on a food crawl, tasting the most famous focaccia of Italy: the one stuffed with cheese and the one with caramelized onions, together with other specialties.

We continue to Santa Margherita Ligure, a popular beach resort with a long waterfront promenade.

In Portofino we take some pictures of the famous bay where luxury yachts are anchored and we burn off some calories by walking to the lighthouse. Some climbing of steps is required but paid off by spectacular views over peaceful olive orchards, blooms and the rocky coastline.

Relax in your sea-view room that you can call home for the next two nights. Our guide can recommend the best seafood restaurant in town.

Day 8 – Lake Como, Barolo, Portofino tour: Cinque Terre

Meals included: breakfast and dinner

The last day of our small-group tour in northwest Italy is all about Cinque Terre.

Our guide will take care of all logistic details to visit these villages which can only be reached by train or boat, subject to sea conditions.  We visit Monterosso and Vernazza and, time permitting, Manarola.

You can join our guide on a hike in the National Park of Cinque Terre through citrus orchards and terraced vineyards overlooking the Mediterranean.

Back to our hotel, we celebrate the end of this Lake Como, Barolo and Portofino Tour with a farewell dinner in a traditional restaurant.

Day 9 – Arrivederci

Meals included: breakfast

The Lake Como, Barolo, Portofino Tour is almost over as your driver escort you to Genoa airport*. Enjoy some extra glimpses of northwest Italy as we say goodbye until next time.

*An extra charge applies for a transfer back to Milan.

Book now your Lake Como, Barolo, Portofino Tour

  • 3850€ per person, minimum 6 participants (in double occupancy)
  • single supplement 560€

For private departures, please fill in the form below or send an email to info@meetpiemonte.com

The rate includes

  • 8 nights in double room, breakfast and porterage included
  • private luxury minivan throughout the tour (as per itinerary), with permits and parking included
  • transfer to Genoa airport (extra charge applies for a transfer back to Milan)
  • tour guide for 9 days (fully-escorted tour and 24h assistance while on tour)
  • rooftop aperitif in Milan on day 1
  • guided tour of a private villa on lake Como
  • one-day private boat on the lake
  • 2 dinners on lake Como
  • light lunch in a Barbera d’Asti winery
  • 1 Michelin-star dinner
  • 2 boutique Barolo wineries tour and tasting of 4-5 wines in each one
  • truffle hunting with the dog
  • cooking class and dinner with wine included
  • focaccia tasting (light lunch)
  • day trip to Cinque Terre by train
  • Farewell dinner with wine included
  • VAT 22%
  • Tour Operator limited liability insurance
  • Assistance throughout the planning process and travel tips

The rate does not include

  • Hotel City Tax (between 3 to 5€ per person per night)
  • Truffles at meals
  • Wine at the Michelin-star dinner
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Airfare to/from Italy
  • Milan extension (airport transfer, 1 night in 4-star hotel, guided tour and Cathedral tickets)
  • Any other meal, tasting, entrance fee, transfer, personal expense, tips and anything else not mentioned above in the field “The rate includes”. The wine included is the one presented during the meal or wine tasting and it is never unlimited. Any extra is at each guest’s discretion.

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