Tour description

Food, Wine & Culture Tour of Italy and France

This 12-day tour takes you to the most mesmerizing and undiscovered gems of Italy and France, in one glamorous and relaxing vacation! A food, wine and cultural tour that includes exceptional wines, mouth-watering cuisine, fascinating history and truly stunning natural landscapes. From the historical city of Padua, to the quaint villages of Piedmont and the magnificent coastline which leads from Italy into France’s Cote d’Azur’; enjoy the best of Italy and France. Not only will you have the pleasure of visiting some of Italy’s most picturesque vineyards, you will also get to experience the culinary heart of Emilia Romagna. Our unique accommodation, whether in medieval towns or relaxing countryside, will allow you to live in the moment. Along with our charismatic guides and chauffeurs, this is a European holiday of Italy and France which will have you wishing you need never leave!



Our excellent chauffeur will collect you from Venice Airport to begin your Tour of Italy and France. In Padua you will be met by our charismatic art guide, who will take you on a fascinating guided tour of this historic city. The old town of Padua, established in 1222, will fascinate you with its historical monuments, charming old streets and delicious foodie hot spots. Together with your guide you will explore the famous frescoes by Giotto and the 13th century Basilica, with its Byzantine domes and beautiful artworks. You will visit the amazing Scrovegni Chapel, and afterwards, you may like to visit Museo Civico di Padova; the art and archaeological museum attached to the chapel. You will find fascinating Renaissance and Baroque Art from Bellini, Giotto and Tintoretto just to name a few. Your food and culture tour will also visit Sotto il Salone, a deli food market like no other! Here you will find high quality regional produce in specialized butchers, delicatessens with fresh cheeses and colourful selections of fruit and vegetable – the array is just phenomenal!

For something a little different, walk to the breathtaking Orto Botanico di Padova, the world’s first university botanical garden, where research into plant species began in 1545! The recent botanical hothouse is a gorgeous architectural gem. After all your walking exploring this fantastic city why not treat yourself to the favorite pasticceria of Paduans; Pasticceria Biasetto, not far from the Botanical garden. The pastry selection and quality are out of this world! This evening relax in your family-run 5* spa hotel on the outskirts of Padua. Why not enjoy an afternoon of wellness at the wonderful hotel spa, take a dip in one of their thermal pools and / or time in the saunas, steam bath and thermal water pool with massaging water jets. There are also many spa treatments available if you would like to book a massage, facial or body treatment.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transfer. Free day in Padua. Overnight in a relaxing 5* spa hotel, on the outskirts of Padua.



Your tour of Italy & France takes you to the Veneto Grappa area today, the largest and most important of the 5 grappa producing areas in Italy. Heading to Bassano del Grappa, a tiny town with a pretty and compact historic center, you will stroll through squares as you pass fine buildings, enriched with ornamentation. Bassano is extremely photogenic so don’t forget the camera! The 16th century Ponte Vecchio (designed by Palladio) is gorgeous and the view of the town over the Brenta River is special. Here you will visit an important artisan Grappa distillery dating back to the 15th century. It was not until the 1980s when they began to source the best leftovers from Italy’s finest vintners for their pomace. Rather than allowing the pomace to sit around for days, they decided to distil it as soon as possible. Now headed by the fourth generation, their Grappas are among the most renowned in the world, known primarily for their mesmerizing ripeness and juiciness. Your in-house guide will take you on a tour of the distillation room and cellars. Finishing in the tasting room, you can try a variety of Grappas, including some interesting Grappa Aromatizzata flavored by adding natural herbal extracts and fruits.

You will then head to Vicenza composed of palazzi, villas, monuments and churches that make it an aesthetically perfect city. At a lauded local restaurant, enjoy a delightful lunch with wine and of course, some Grappa to aid digestion! Vicenza is the city of Andrea Palladio; the 16th-century Renaissance architect, who gave us the Palladian style. An afternoon aperitivo behind Piazza dei Signori will perfectly finish your visit here. Our chauffeur will then transfer you to your luxury hotel, surrounded by vineyards. This 5* hotel is renowned for its offbeat art collection, which will surely grab your attention as you stroll through to your room.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Grappa distillery visit and tastings. Visits to Bassano del Grappa and Vicenza. Regional lunch with local wines and grappa. Overnight in a luxury 5* art hotel, in the Valpolicella wine region.



Another wonderful part of Italy awaits you on your tour of Italy and France; enjoy a relaxing day at the edge of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. On the way, you will stop at a small but revolutionary Bardolino winery. The region itself is not prestigious (yet), and is still quite unknown, but this small organic tenuta is a contrast to the well-established players you will be visiting. The wines are great and very affordable, the olive oils are excellent and the passionate winemaker will surely engage you in the visit while sharing their latest developments! Their winemaking is quite different, with surprising experiments and an interesting approach.

You will then head along the shore to Malcesine, a pretty little medieval town clustered at the edge of the lake at the base of majestic Monte Baldo. Here you will have free time for lunch and to visit the castle that offers the most panoramic spots of Malcesine and the lake. Otherwise, what about taking a cable car up Monte Baldo? The views up the mountain allow you to see right across the lake; and at the surrounding lesser-Dolomites. We will provide you with great suggestions and recommendations in your Food, Wine & Culture Tour of Italy and France Travel Journals. This evening you will be dining at the glamorous restaurant in your hotel. An original cuisine, combining mouth-watering flavors, scents, colors and exceptional technique, will, of course be accompanied by some top Valpolicella wines.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Bardolino winery visit with tastings. Visit to Lake Garda. Dinner with wine. Overnight in the Valpolicella wine region.



Your food and wine tour of Italy and France has you visiting a truly incredible piece of history today; where wine meets literature, surrounded by vineyards. This estate was purchased in 1353 by the son of the renowned Italian poet, Dante. The estate has remained a part of the family for 21 generations with winemaking taking place continuously since the 1500s. Today the estate produces all varieties of Valpolicella wines, especially an excellent Amarone which, after two years aging in oak barrels, spends another four months in cherry wood ones. You will tour the estate and discover the history of this land and the techniques behind their wine production. After walking through the gardens, vines and visiting the ancient cellars, your winery tour ends with a tasting of their best Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto wines. For lunch you will be eating at a classic family-run trattoria in a tiny hamlet, whose traditional cuisine is regionally famous.

Later this afternoon, a legendary Valpolicella winery awaits, high in demand and stratospheric in quality. An in-house expert will take you on a complete tour of this family run winery, where you will hear how they avoid using herbicides or chemical fertilizers. In the winery you will learn the phases of their wine-making process with cultivation of the highest quality grapes, harvest, vinification and ageing being carried out directly by the family. Particular attention and care are given to the delicate process of grape drying, appassimento, that is essential for the making of Recioto and Amarone. An exclusive tasting of their top-class wines will finalize your visit. The rest of your afternoon / evening is free. Maybe you would like to take a short taxi ride from your hotel and stroll through Verona’s picturesque centre. An aperitivo on a delightful terrace in Piazza Bra overlooking the amphitheatre and watching the world go by will surely round off the day nicely.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Two prestigious Valpolicella winery visits and tasting. Authentic trattoria lunch with local wines. Overnight in the Valpolicella wine region.



From wine to food today, when you catch the high speed train to Bologna; ‘La Grassa’ (the fat one). Bologna is Italy’s first university town and the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, but more than anything, it is renowned for its devotion to all things edible; famously known as Italy’s ‘food capital’.
Your historic 4* hotel, in the heart of Bologna, allows you to step out along the timeless streets and explore the squares and churches, food markets and cafes. The kilometres of porticos for which Bologna is famous, offer endless shopping choices and authentic eateries. Bologna’s lively Piazza Maggiore contains fascinating medieval architecture from the likes of Basilica di San Petronio and Fountain of Neptune, to the city hall. To the east of Piazza Maggiore, you will find Il Quadrilatero, the street of locksmiths; this small yet vibrant area is a fun place to try gourmet delights and cafes.

As you stroll through the historical streets make sure to see the Basilica di Santo Stefano, the city’s most unique religious site. Not only is the unique combination of Lombard and Romanesque influence fascinating, but also the fact that it was originally made up of seven churches; of which only four now remain. Another great place to visit is the Museo della Storia di Bologna to gain an insight into Bologna’s golden past. The modern, interactive and educational museum skillfully takes you back to the medieval era. Hard to miss are Bologna’s two towers, Torre degli Asinelli and Torre Garisenda. Why not burn off your delicious Bologna cuisine lunch by climbing the steeper, taller tower of the two, which is open to the public? In your Food, Wine & Culture Tour of Italy and France Travel Journals, we will provide suggestions for additional visits and places of interest, and will also take care of your restaurant bookings.

Tour in a nutshell: High speed business class train tickets to Bologna. Overnight in an historic 4* hotel, in the heart of Bologna.



Say ‘arriverderci’ to Bologna, because today you are heading to the countryside of Parma: a truly gourmet day awaits! First you will learn more about the world of cheese as you visit a wonderful Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese producer. Parmigiano-Reggiano can only be officially named if it is made in this particular region of Italy; if not then it must be called Grana Padano. On your guided Parmigiano tour you will learn the specific process of making this cheese, as well as enjoy a fascinating tasting. Your next gourmet visit is to one of the oldest producers of Balsamic Vinegar in Modena. Take a step back in time as you discover a fascinating attic full of ancient casks that centuries later are still used to achieve distinctive and incredible flavours – remember the older the cask the better the balsamic vinegar will be! A complete tasting will finalize your tour to discover the differences, nuances and singular versatilities.

After lunch you will head to your hotel, a farm estate, owned by one of Italy’s most cherished food producers. On the farm you will see and learn about the Nera Parmigiana ancient breed pigs, and then you will head to the famed cellars where thousands of culatello di Zibello cured hams and Parmigiano Reggiano cheeses are left to age. Afterwards you will enjoy a tasting dinner at their lovely rural restaurant, with a selection of their fine cured meats and other on site produce, along with more local specialties and Emilia-Romagna wine.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Visit and tastings at a Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese factory. Visit to one of the oldest producers of Balsamic Vinegar in Modena. Visit and tastings dinner to a Culatello di Zibello ham producer. Overnight in a romantic 16th Century mansion in Emilia Romagna.



As you get closer to France, it’s only fitting that your Italy & France tour takes you back to discovering wine! In Piedmont you will learn why this region’s wines are so iconic. Passing by rows of vineyards, our chauffeur will take you first to the quaint village of Barbaresco, where you will pop into the Enoteca Regionale; a fascinating combination of architecture, history, commerce and tourism. This wine temple is stocked with representative wines of most of the wine producers of Barbaresco, with bottles from 130 different wineries and 250 labels which you will surely enjoy perusing.

From here you will visit a winery on the outskirts of Barbaresco, which owns one of the DOCG’s finest single vineyards, the mythical Martinenga (all of it Nebbiolo planted) where an ancient Roman temple once stood. On your visit you will hear all about this landmark of Piedmontese winemaking, tracing back to the 18th century, with exclusive tastings to finish. Your regional lunch at a delightful farmhouse restaurant overlooks the vineyards, and will be accompanied of course by more wonderful Barbaresco wines. Your final visit of the day is to the family home and winery of a Barbaresco favorite. The family warmly welcomes you into their world with the head of the family Giulio shaking hands with nearly every guest who visits. You will hear how they maintain their traditional values with particular attention to the vines, especially during pruning, crucial for yield control and fruit quality. Your home for the next two nights is a privileged location in the heart of the most beautiful Barolo vineyards. Their restaurant offers traditional Piemontese cuisine and they also produce their own excellent Barolo wines.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Two prestigious Barbaresco winery visits with tastings. Regional lunch with wine. Overnight at a charming villa in the heart of the Barolo wine-making region.



If your Food, Wine & Culture Tour of Italy and France coincides with autumn, a fun adventure of truffle hunting awaits you this morning! Your truffle hunting guide will escort you to the woods to find truffles. After your experiences yesterday with Barbaresco, the Queen of Italian wines, today you are going to meet the King – Barolo. You are already in the heart of the Barolo wine region but this morning you will start by exploring the northern part of this wine lover’s paradise. Our chauffeur will take you through unspoiled wine country with undulating hills of vines, to an historic family run estate in La Morra. This lovely winery not only produces excellent Barolos, their juicy Dolcetto d’Alba and fragrant Langhe Arneis are also top notch. Your visit will finalize with a tasting of their finest wines in a room overlooking the most beautiful part of the valley.

Following a delicious Piemontese lunch, you will continue to the southern part of Barolo, the Monforte area, where many prestigious cellars are clustered. You will visit one of the region’s premier producers of Barolo wine, famous for their majestic Barolo wines of extraordinary depth, complexity and longevity. To end your Barolo day, we can arrange a visit to the 10th century castle that dominates the town of Barolo, now converted into a fascinating wine museum where you can discover the traditions, history and personalities that have shaped the history of Piedmont and Italy, highlighting the excellence of Langhe wines.
Upon return to your luxury retreat, enjoy a fantastic dinner of traditional Piedmont dishes, with the local truffles from Langhe, maybe the ones you found this morning? Your meal will be accompanied with their Barolo wines and served in their smart dining room overlooking the vineyards, against a stunning backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the Alps.

Tour in a nutshell: Morning truffle hunting with a local guide. Chauffeured transportation. Two prestigious Barolo winery visits with tastings. Local lunch with wines. Exquisite Piedmontese cuisine dinner with truffles and wines. Overnight in the Barolo wine region.



Today is where you will finally cross over into France, but beforehand you will visit the coastal city of Sanremo, famous for its music festival and flowers. On arrival you can enjoy exploring this vibrant and pretty seaside town. We will gladly provide the services of our excellent guide to make the most of your morning if you wish. Discover the lively and historic district of La Pinga, a must-see to explore the maze of old streets, alleys and squares. The hilly, narrow streets have quaint shops that have been passed down from generation to generation. Walk uphill until you reach the Santuario Madonna Della Costa. Perched high above the town, it is well worth the workout for the best panoramic views of Sanremo! The church itself is beautiful with a baroque interior covered in gold and marble, including astonishing statues and paintings. It is also worth visiting Bussana Vecchia, a hauntingly beautiful town abandoned after the earthquake of 1887. During the 60s it was reclaimed by artists and hippies and the narrow cobbled streets now contain vines and wisteria as well as the many empty shells of medieval buildings, made quirky by mosaics and artworks.

This late afternoon you will arrive at your hotel in Nice, capital of the French Riviera. If you wish we can happily arrange for our charismatic, licensed guide to take you on an afternoon tour of the city. You will get a true French flavour for the history of Nice as you visit the Old town, Massena Square, the Opera House, Galerie des Ponchettes, the Belanda tower, Rossetti square and the famous Cours Saleya market. The most visited monument in Nice is probably the Russian cathedral – the most beautiful Orthodox Church outside of Russia. The exterior is outstanding with its cupolas, mini steeples, turrets and polychrome tiles, it is like the cathedral has been plucked straight out of St Petersburg and placed in Nice! It was built before the Great War for a noble Russian community who were as keen on spending the winter in Nice as the British, and is still a place of worship today.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Visit to Sanremo and Nice, with optional guided tours. Overnight in a 4* hotel overlooking the sea, in the heart of Nice.



A French adventure awaits you, as you explore three very different yet spectacular places along the French Riviera, including Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Èze and Monaco. You will learn about, be amazed by and experience the contrasting differences of each, yet you will still find one thing in common; they all share and take advantage of the incredible Mediterranean views. On the way to Èze you will stop at the glamorous Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, the meticulously designed seaside villa. In 1905 Baroness Beatrice fell in love with the breathtaking cape of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, and seven years later the art enthusiast had built one of the cape’s most beautiful sites. The magnificent mansion gives a glimpse of how the Baroness lived; containing incredible masterpieces she collected all over Europe, whilst the exterior is an idyllic garden which has varying themes; the ultimate picturesque property to host elite European society.

To follow, you will be driven along the famous Grande Corniche, the iconic cliff top road featured in the Cary Grant and Grace Kelly movies you will visit the jaw dropping, medieval village of Èze. Steeped deep in history, amongst beautiful colors, you will discover winding, narrow cobbled streets lined with artists’ and craftsmen’s workshops, local perfumeries and art galleries. At its summit, in the ruins of a medieval fortress there is an exotic garden where several hundred plant species are displayed. Here you will enjoy a delicious lunch of local specialties, maybe Salade Niçoise, Ratatouille or Bouillabaisse, followed by a delicious Tarte Tropézienne, a la Brigitte Bardot. Next, your Tour of Italy and France takes you to the tiny principality of Monaco. This unique area in the Côte d’Azur is intimately linked to the history of the Grimaldi family, who still reign over it. Monaco is synonymous with luxury; casinos, the jet set, designer brands and the prestigious Grand Prix motor race. Once back in Nice, take a delightful stroll along the Promenade des Anglais that curves almost five miles round the Bay of Angels.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Visit to Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Èze & Monaco. Authentic lunch with local wines. Overnight Nice.



Explore historic Antibes, fashionable Cannes and the tiny artsy village of Saint Paul de Vence today! Antibes is a maritime city with Greek and Roman origins, and is now a port for many of the world’s most expensive super yachts, still containing an incomparable charm. Navigate your way around the narrow streets or wander up to Château Grimaldi, which owes its name to the Grimaldi family; who ruled Antibes from 1385 to 1608. There you’ll enjoy spellbinding views over the surrounding coast and mountains. Next you will visit the modern and glamorous town of the Cote D’Azur; Cannes. Home to the famous Cannes Film Festival, expect luxury, glamour and glitz to ooze out of (almost) every fashion boutique and fine dining restaurant. This French Riviera town offers more such as La Croisette, the old town of Le Suquet and the Isles of Lérins (Saint-Honorat and Sainte-Marguerite). Admire the Belle Époque and Art Deco façades and contemplate the sea views as you enjoy a fantastic seafood lunch.

This afternoon stroll amongst the galleries and antique shops hidden in the quaint nooks of the small yet artsy town of Saint Paul de Vence. Wander through the tiny cobbled streets, where lush greenery overhangs the old stone buildings and brightly colored flowers flow from high terraced pots, for a great bird’s eye view make sure you visit the ancient city walls. There are plenty of cafes to sit and relax whilst taking in the charming, historic village, amongst fun art work that fills the small, authentic village. Late this afternoon you will head back to Nice where you may like to visit one of the excellent art galleries; The Matisse Museum or Chagall Museum.

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transportation. Visit to Antibes, Cannes & Saint Paul de Vence. Overnight Nice.



Today is the last day of your private Food, Wine & Culture Tour of Italy and France! Our chauffeur will be waiting to transfer you to Nice airport for your onward journey home.

We hope that we have exceeded your expectation of our very best wine, food and cultural experiences here in Italy and France! You will surely take home with you some truly unforgettable memories, as well as experienced some fine wines, delicious foods and unique cultural discoveries!

Tour in a nutshell: Chauffeured transfer to Nice airport.

Tour quotation

Food, Wine & Culture Tour of Italy and France Quote Request

We are excited that you are considering joining us on one of our fabulous custom-built tours of Spain, Portugal, SW France and/or Italy! Please fill in the form below and we will happily provide you with a non-committal initial quote for the sample tour itinerary chosen.

In case you would prefer us to build a personal tour proposal for you from scratch, please e-mail us at [email protected] and we will be delighted to start working with you on your personal and very special travel itinerary with us.

Contact Form TOUR
Food wine and culture tour of Italy and France

Tour in a Nutshell

The Veneto, Lake Garda, Piedmont – the beauty of Northern Italy

Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Monaco – the glamour of the French Riviera

Exceptional wines, mouth-watering cuisine & fascinating history

Chauffeur driven transportation and charismatic guides

12 days/11 nights, boutique 4* and 5* hand selected hotels

Read what our clients say

Tour Reviews

Read what our clients say about our food, wine & cultural tours here:

Need Help?