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26th June - 3rd July 2022

The Discover Northern Italy’s Secret Gems tour starts with a 4 night stay in the beautifully scenic and gloriously green Imagna Valley, which is nestled in Lombardy, just a few kilometres to the east of Lake Como’s shores. It feels like a rural and untouched oasis where you can really get under the skin of Italy and capture the essence of Italian life. From Lombardy the tour then takes you to Veneto for a 3 night stay at Castel Brando, a spectacularly restored ancient castle in the Treviso Hills. 

ITINERARY

Day 1: Depart the UK for our flight to Italy. On arrival we will be met by our local guide and coach for the transfer to the Miramonti hotel. After check-in we will have time to relax before dinner. The hotel is located within the small hilltop village of Rota d’Imagna, there are a few shops, restaurants and a pretty 15th century church close by. The hotel itself has the most wonderful views – its terrace cuts in the hillside and looks out over the rolling hills and stunning scenery of the surrounding valley. 

Days 2 -4:

Full day guided excursion in the Imagna Valley region. There are several unique and 

interesting attractions beyond its abundant greenery, unspoilt landscapes and mountain scenery. We will visit the unusual Cornabusa Cave Church – this spiritual sanctuary within a natural grotto has been adapted into a functioning place of worship over hundreds of years. A popular destination for pilgrimages, the church also has ties to the late Pope John XXIII. The Imagna Valley is a wonderful place to explore the region’s gastronomy – indeed, getting to know the regional specialities is the key understanding life in the Imagna Valley. The cuisine is influenced by its Alpine location and abundance of cattle, and as such many unique and delicious cheeses are produced here such as the soft and creamy  stracchino. A brilliant way to experience this craft is to visit to a cheesemaker and see how the experts do it! Lunch (Included today) will be taken in a local authentic trattoria. Located in an historic building in the village of Roncaglia, it takes pride in serving dishes from the local tradition using produce from the valley, created with age-old recipes. Tonight a light dinner will be served at the hotel.

Day 5 – After breakfast and check-out we travel to Castel Brando with a stop at Padua for walking tour (1.25 hrs approx) of the city. It's an ancient city with a youthful population, Padua was once a medieval city-state that vied for power with Venice and Verona. Today, Padua is vibrant town with an authentic feel and a lovely place to stroll the streets, markets and parks, but its previous position of power is still evident in the incredible frescoes found within the town’s churches and chapels. Giotto’s extraordinary, luminous work in the Scrovegni Chapel is the jewel in the crown. Padua played a role in more recent history too, providing a stage for Mussolini’s Fascist oratory. After check-in at Castel Brando there will be time at leisure before dinner in the ‘Fucina’ Pizzeria. Dinner at the hotel.
 
Days 6 - 7

Day 8: Early check out of the hotel for return transfer to the airport and our return flight to Manchester. 

Our Hotels:   

The 4* Miramonti Hotel, Rota D’Imagna is an impressive spa

hotel with immaculate and tasteful rooms, and brilliant facilities include an indoor pool that advances outside to make the most of the views. The outdoor terraces are staggered down the hillside, and at the bottom is a small woodland which is lovely for a short stroll. The heart of this hotel, however, is the lovely family that run it – they have real pride in their hotel and the region, and this comes through in their hospitality and the delicious cuisine in the hotel’s restaurant.

All rooms are equipped with en-suite, internet, a mini-bar, TV, safe deposit box and a hair-dryer. Breakfast is cold buffet-style and dinner is traditional Italian cuisine.

Castel Brando Hotel is one of the largest and oldest castles in Europe with amazing views over Valmareno. Castel Brando is a national historic monument and the careful restoration has brought to light its original splendor, the beauty of a place with 2000 years of history, home for centuries to noble and illustrious venture captains or Condottieri. The hotel has atmospheric bars, terraces, wine cellar and Museum areas. A Unique funicular takes you to the hotel!

All rooms are equipped with en-suite, TV, safe deposit box and a hair-dryer. Buffet breakfast each morning served in the main restaurant

Price per person (Based on 2 Adults sharing Twin/Double Room):

Price Includes:

Not Included:

For further details and bookings, you can either use the Reservation Form or contact Bob Walker 

Please include your Name, Home Address, Contact Telephone Number, Membership Number and the Number Places Required (Member/Non-Member)