(Limited to Only 10 Couples Per Tour)
Join us on this small group tour led by Uva Imports founder,
Adam Richard, and wife, Natalie Richard.
Co-hosted with The Palmetto Bluff Club.
Explore a few of Italy’s top wine regions with family producers and learn from the winemakers themselves. Enjoy a selection of our favorite restaurants ranging from fine dining Michelin-rated gems to festive osterias. Savor beautiful pairings of local wine with the native grapes of each region.
Our goal is to provide a stress-free travel experience allowing you to relax and immerse yourself in the culture while personally connecting you with the people, food & wine of Italy.
Discovering Italy has been our passion for more than 25 years! The people, food, villages, and wines make it a lifelong journey. We own and operate Uva Imports, a US-based wine importing company and have been lucky to call Italy our second home. We spend a part of every year in Italy and our relationships have grown over time.
While traveling the United States hosting wine dinners and events at some of the country's most elite restaurants and clubs, people ask for recommendations on our favorite off-the-beaten-path destinations, restaurants, and local wines to try.
In 2012, we began taking distributors, sommeliers, restaurateurs, and other wine professionals to join us on our Northern Italy travel experiences, visiting the places we know so well. Over time the excitement and interest in our Northern Italy tours spread and private customers were regularly asking to join our industry tours so today we share our Joy of Italy with everyone.
Our tour begins in the Piedmont wine region, a
cultural and culinary gem nestled between the Alps and the Ligurian Sea in northwest Italy.
This area is home to some of the most collected and age-worthy reds in Italy - most notably the “King of Wines”: the famed Barolo. We also introduce you to another noteworthy appellation of the noble Nebbiolo grape. Not to be overlooked are the multitude of indigenous varietals grown in the Piedmont wine region.
Food is the historic passion, art, and entertainment of the region. This is a gastronomic paradise to be savored with the local delicacies of fresh made pasta and foraged truffle.
Luxury 5-Star Castle built in the 18th century perched atop a hill overlooking the rolling vineyards of the Langhe and Roero (A Relais & Chateaux Property)
Tour and Tasting at the historic Tenuta Santa Caterina winery built around a Benedictine Abby dating back to 961AD, led by the winemaker followed by lunch celebrating the local cuisine
Michelin-starred dining experience featuring the local foraged truffle of Alba with top wine pairing
Tour and Tasting of the family production at the Demaire winery led by one of the members of the family followed by a gourmet lunch with fresh shaved Alba truffle
Free time to explore the medieval town of Alba & the famous wine village of Barolo
Truffle hunting with the traditionally-trained dogs of the area
Verona is a city steeped in romance and history with idyllic marble streets and Roman ruins scattered among quaint shops and alleyways.
While exploring Verona, you quickly realize why Shakespeare used the city as the setting for Romeo and Juliet.
Just north of Verona before you reach the Dolomite Mountains, find the famous Valpolicella wine region. This ancient wine making area has a unique process for producing some of the most age worthy wines of the world.
Luxury 5-Star Historic Palace, featuring fresco-covered walls dating back to the 13th Century. Located in the heart of Verona, this first class structure: its rooms have hosted some of the most prestigious people of all time including; King Louis XVII of France, The Hapsburg Royal Family, Napoleon III and Mozart. Present day, this 5-star hotel caters to elite International VIPS including; World leaders, Diplomats, and A List Celebrities.
Michelin-starred dining experience hidden in the heart of the city with excellent wine pairing
Visit to a medieval walled village of Lazise, located on the shores of the beautiful Lake Garda
Pasta & Risotto Cooking Class with a Private Chef
Walking tour with a Private Guide of the City of Verona
Visit the stunning Le Morette Winery with a tasting lead by the family, followed by a lesson on the art of vine graphing.
Free time to shop and explore historic Verona
Trieste’s historical legacy is as a significant port city dating back to the Roman Empire. Its elegance grew as the port of the Austrian Hungarian Empire throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
The people of Trieste embrace life with an infectious passion. A truly unique stop on our luxury tour of Italy.
Nestled in the shadow of the Julian Alps, one hour north of Trieste, lies the gentle rolling hills of the Collio wine region. Here you find small wineries producing some of Italy's best white wines! These wines tend to be mineral rich, age-worthy and highly sought after.
Luxury 4-Star Seaside Palace built in the 19th Century, located just steps away from one of the most elegant piazzas in all of Europe (Awarded 2021 World's Best by Travel+Leisure)
Free time shop & to explore charming Trieste
Visit & guided tour of the breathtaking Castle of Miramare
Private tour of award-winning Collio winery Borgo San Daniele with a tasting led by the winemaker followed by lunch at the winery
Walking tour with a Private Guide of the City of Trieste
Personal guides: Uva Imports founder : Adam Richard & wife Natalie Richard
9-Nights accommodations in 4 & 5 Star Luxury hotels
Luxury coach throughout tour with private driver
9- Lavish Breakfast Spreads
6- Exceptional lunches
5- Memorable dinners (including 2-Michelin starred restaurants)
Italy’s best wines paired with each lunch and dinner
4- Exclusive winery tours and tastings with the winemaker
Walking tours with private guides in Verona & Trieste
Visit to a local open air market
Pasta & Risotto - Cooking Class with a local Chef
Visit to the medieval village of Lazise on the shore of Lake Garda
Truffle Hunting Excursion
Visit to Miramare Castle
All transportation to and from the airport
Personal wine shipping service
Lunch & Dinners during your leisure time
Your Northern Italy tour begins in the Piedmont region, a cultural and culinary gem nestled between the Alps and the Ligurian Sea in northwest Italy.
We welcome you at the Marriott hotel connected to the Milan (MXP) airport for a quick toast before we transfer by private coach to our 1st winery located in the village of Grazzano Badoglio, in the heart of Monferrato’s province of Asti. Enjoy a tour, tasting, and a light lunch with the winemaker followed by a short stop to enjoy the panoramic views from the tower of Barbaresco.
The journey continues to our home for the next 3 nights – a breathtaking castle built in 18th century and renovated into a luxury 5-Star Hotel located in the heart of the rolling hills of the Roero.
After time to unpack, relax and refresh, the day finishes with a welcome dinner where you get to know your fellow travelers and ease into the rhythms of La Dolce Vita.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departing for the Demarie winery in the Roero.
Sit with the winemaker, Paolo Demarie, for a wine tasting at his family cellar in Vezza d'Alba to learn more about the vineyards and wines produced.
A traditional lunch at the cellar will give us more time to understand the history of the area and savor local flavors including the famed truffle of Alba.
Enjoy a short tour through the heart of the Langhe hills, home to Italy's most famous and important vineyards, with a stop in Barolo wine country to admire the endless views. The rolling hills are blanketed with picturesque vineyards, dotted with castles and framed by the snowcapped Alps.
Spend free time meandering the winding cobblestone streets and enjoy a glass of Barolo at your own pace as you take in this magical UNESCO World Heritage zone.
With time to refresh at our hotel, the day finishes with a remarkable dining experience at one of our favorite Michelin-rated restaurants located in the countryside.
If you would like the day to explore Alba on your own - this is your day! A short orientation walk through the streets and piazzas will help acquaint you to the gourmet capital of Italy. Food is the historic passion, art and entertainment of the Piedmont region. The morning will be free to relax in Alba or take in the city of 100 medieval towers.
A short walking tour through the streets and piazzas helps orient you to Italy's gourmet capital.
Alba is a perfect place to enjoy a lunch alfresco while taking in the small town Italian pace of life!
Following lunch, you have the option to explore Alba on your own or to immerse yourself in the culture by hunting the region’s rare and delicate Alba truffles (weather permitting) with our friend Stefano, a 4th generation truffle hunter.
With time to refresh at our hotel, the day finishes with one of our favorite family-run osterias where serval generations of the family are eager to service us as we savor freshly made pasta and a multi-course dinner paired with local wines.
It’s the perfect way to say goodbye to Piedmont.
Today we motor east to the region of the Veneto.
We will break up the drive by spending the afternoon in the cellar of Le Morette. Here, we are surrounded by vineyards and images that are sure to become lifetime memories. The winery is truly a visual treat with its classic architecture, gothic cellar for barrel aging and romantic courtyard.
We will explore the estate with a tour, tasting and a classic lunch with a third-generation owner and winemaker
After a lovely visit to Le Morette we proceed to Verona, a city steeped in romance, with idyllic marble streets and quaint shops interspersed among Roman ruins. We will check into our 5-Star hotel for the next three nights, a 13th-Century palace nestled in the city’s historic center.
At the heart of the city is a preserved Roman amphitheater that was one of the largest in all the empire. After a brief orientation walk, the afternoon will be free to explore the market in Piazza delle Erbe, to shop, or get lost in the city of love. As you explore you will quickly realize why Shakespeare decided to use this city as the setting for Romeo and Juliet.
The passagata is ritual here in Verona, too. Start with a spritz in Piazza Bra and then follow the couples young and old slowly winding through the marble streets hand-in-hand taking in the elaborate window displays.
This evening is completely free to relax, explore some of our dining recommendations on your own.
Today is your day to explore the beautiful city of Verona on your own but of course we have lots of incredible suggestions of ways to spend your leisure day.
Why not begin your day with a romantic stroll on the Ponte Pietra, a roman arch bridge crossing the Adige River.
Verona is the perfect city to stroll hand-in hand through charming streets & piazzas. Piazza Bra, Piazza Erbe and Piazza Dante are not to be missed.
Mid-morning take the opportunity to learn the art of pasta & risotto making with our friend, Chef Maria.
Another optional excursion is to venture with us into the Valpolicella countryside for a driving tour and pasta lunch at a family owned restaurant named some of the best pasta in all of Italy. Mama is still in the kitchen and always willing to sign copies of her cookbook, Palenta & Amarone.
When it comes to high-end shopping Verona does not disappoint with designer brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Max Mara, Burberry, Givenchy, and Valentino just to name a few.
Is History your thing? Consider touring some of Verona’s many historic churches and museums including, Castelvecchio, an impressive castle built in the 13th century that now houses a museum displaying a collection of sculpture, statues, paintings, ancient weapons, mostly from the Romanesque period of Verona.
If you are looking for a guided tour of the city. We suggest joining our private guide as she explains the history of this beautiful city.
Plan to catch the sunset on one of the hills overlooking the city before finding a romantic dinner spot. Verona is full of excellent cuisine from seven-course tasting menus to simple osterias that serve delicate small plates – the perfect city for a romantic date night on your own.
Your morning will be free to enjoy a little extra rest or a massage in the Palace Spa.
Mid-morning join us for an optional excusion to explore to the coast of Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, and the breathtaking medieval village of Lazise. The weekly open-air market with a backdrop of lake sets the pace for the day with free time to explore stall & quite shops for some hidden gem.
After a few hours we will depart for our
hotel in Verona leaving plenty of time to rest or to continue exploring this romanic city.
Later that evening the Father & Son Team of the Rizzo family will welcome us to dinner for another stunning Michelin star experience. The frescoed dining room will be our stage for an incredible culinary performance as the chef sends out an imaginative and elegant tasting menu.
Departing mid-morning we will take a break from the multi-course dining to enjoy a classic pizza at one of our favorite spots. An Italian tour wouldn't be complete without a handmade pizza topped with the freshest ingredients followed my homemade gelato.
Then we will continue our trip eastward to the pristine region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Friuli is a tranquil region full of welcoming locals, boutique vineyards, and a backdrop of the Alps that forms the border with Austria and Slovenia.
Once in Trieste, we will check into our grand hotel for the next three nights, a 4-Star 18th Century palace on the Adriatic Sea.
After some free time to unpack and refresh we will regroup for happy hour and a brief orientation walk in Piazza Unita nestled in this elegant city by the sea. A short walk will quickly reveal the charm and ease of navigating this historic city center at our hotel’s doorstep.
This evening we encourage our guests to explore some of our dining recommendations including traditional Triestine dishes and fresh seafood – all paired with the region’s most interesting wines. Trieste is a young and vibrant city. After dinner we will suggest a few of our favorite spots for a nightcap or to take in the city’s fabulous nightlife.
After a leisurely morning we depart late morning as a group for our fourth winery tour & tasting.
Spend the morning perusing the one-of-a-kind boutiques selling everything from clothing to artisan crafted eyewear. Then, indulge in the Italian delicacies at Trieste’s Eataly, an Italian food & wine haven.
Late morning, we will travel one hour north to meet with BorgosanDaniele, an artisanal producer of the Collio wine region's signature wines, and one of the most award-winning boutique wineries in Italy. Winemaker Mauro Mauri guides us through his wines with passion and humility at one of the most tranquil winery settings we have ever visited. There we enjoy a casual lunch together.
This evening we will take a break from our group dining to give you a date night on your own. Take part in the Italian tradition of the passeggiata, the nightly stroll across town, taking in the locals and stopping off for a spritz when you spot that perfect table for two. We have several excellent restaurant recommendations.
This day is completely free to explore the elegant city of Trieste, however we do have a few suggestions of things not to miss.
Trieste is the coffee capital of Europe and the home of Illy coffee - as a result the locals take their coffee very seriously. We suggest starting your morning by exploring one of the many charming cafés - some date back to the 18th century. Find our favorites along the Grand Canal.
Join our private guide, Sonia as we depart for a visit to the breathtaking Miramare castle and gardens, dating back to 1856.
Lunch on this day will be on your own with many great recommendations to pick from.
After lunch if you feel like a bit more history, join our private guided walking tour focused on the royal Hapsburg family and history of the city. Trieste’s historical legacy as a significant port city dates back to the Roman Empire.
This captivating seaside city is full of energy, warmth and welcome.
In the evening we will feast! Down a secret alley way is an oasis of culinary deliciousness by Chef Luca. We will enjoy on evening of grilled specialties paired with beautiful local wines.
Morning bus transfer to Venice (VCE) airport.
If you prefer to extend your stay in Italy, Verona is a perfect spot to continue your journey. Verona has a major train station that is a great connection to all of Europe.
Many of our guests like to extend a few days in Venice, a high-speed train connection away from the Grand Canal in the heart of Venice. The trip is less than one hour, much quicker than the 3 hours by car and boat.
We would be happy to share recommendations if you wish to extend your exploration of Italy.
Our goal is to deliver the perfect balance of curated experiences as a small group while giving you time to explore on your own, with our treasured - and, thoroughly tested - recommendations, of course.
You are on vacation, so most planned experiences don't begin until 10 a.m., allowing you the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely morning and a gourmet breakfast. Early riser? Great! Feel free to venture out into the city for some additional sightseeing.
We have built in leisure time that are completely free for you to explore at your own pace. These evenings are also free to enjoy a romantic date night with your partner. We are happy to offer suggestions of some of our favorite spots!
Over the course of the tour enjoy incredible opportunities to taste many of Italy's top appellations and undiscovered gems.
During winery visits, producers often open special vintages and wines that are only sold at the winery.
Uva Imports, a national importer in the USA, moves refrigerated containers from Italy on a regular basis. Thus, we offer transportation services for any wine you wish to purchase directly from a winery.
This lets you stock your cellar with rare and unusual wines at winery prices.
Take a moment and determine which of our available dates works best for you!
If you are unable to find a date that works for you or if you are interested in booking a private tour please contact us for options.
Select any book now button to securely pay your deposit and reserve your spot!
It is time to celebrate! You are about to spend 10 days eating and drinking your way through Northern Italy!
Your Northern Italy travel guide and companion is Adam Richard, a national wine importer who is passionate about quality wines and sharing the stories of the families and small boutique wineries his company brings to the United States. Adam has called Italy home on two separate occasions and has spend the last 25+ years exploring this beautiful country.
Natalie Richard, a lover of all things food, brings you a passion for exploring new and interesting ingredients and flavors. Hospitality is one of her super powers and she loves nothing more than to make sure guests have the time of their lives.
Our tour includes no more than 20 Wine Lovers (mostly couples). Many tend to be passionate travelers having already visited some of Italy's major sites and cities and desire a more intimate luxury food and wine tour experience.
Do you love exploring new and interesting foods and wines? Are you interested in learning more about the wine making process with exclusive access to winemakers?
Do you love the idea of filling your cellar with new favorites?
Do you enjoy sleeping in luxury hotels and eating at Michelin-rated restaurants?
Do you relish the thought of kicking back with a full glass of wine while we handle all the details?
Great! Our luxury food and wine tour is for you!
Please note, Most Italians do not enjoy their evening meal until late so most restaurants do not open until 8 pm. Each day we will have at least one multi-course dinner or lunch. These meals are pre-selected months in advance to allow for a seamless group dining experience and to give diversity and authenticity to our menus. Our chefs will happily accommodate dietary needs while still crafting exceptional and creative dishes. The cities we are visiting on this tour are designed for walking so be prepared to get your steps in and acclimate to an Italian way of life.
This is definitely something we are closely monitoring as we are daily in communication with our Italian contacts through-out Italy. From our own experience after recently spending more than 3 months in Italy, we can confidently say that the Italian government is taking Covid-19 and the recommended preventative measures very seriously.
In the areas we will be visiting, as of May 2023, the percentage of fully vaccinated residents is near 96%.
Currently, a negative Covid PCR test is NOT required upon entry into Italy or upon return to the United States.
While we can not guarantee your safety, we will adhere to all recommended guidelines for Covid-19 prevention while on this tour. We will do our best to keep you up-to-date on any new requirements as we receive them.
If we must cancel or reschedule a Joy of Italy Tour due to Covid-19 or other government regulations we will contact you with alternate tour date options and any deposits paid will not be lost.
We also highly recommend purchasing trip insurance to cover any unexpected situations that might prevent you from traveling.
Our goal is to deliver a balance of curated experiences as a small group while giving you ample time to explore on your own, with some thoroughly tested recommendations, of course.
You are on vacation, so we plan experiences to start at or after 10 a.m., allowing you to enjoy a leisurely morning and a gourmet breakfast. Early riser? Great! Venture out into the city for some more sightseeing.
We have built in two leisure days that are completely free for you to explore at your own pace. These two evenings are also free to enjoy a romantic date night with your partner. We are happy to offer suggestions of some of our favorite spots!
Many of our guests choose to arrive at least one day early to acclimate to the time zone and refresh before beginning our tour.
We will meet you and your fellow travelers at 10:30am to begin the tour at the Marriott Hotel (Sheraton), attached to the Milan MXP Airport, for a short welcome reception.
Many guests stay a few extra days after the tour to continue exploring other parts of Italy. Our Northern Italy tour ends in Verona before returning by private coach to Venice (VCE) airport. If you plan to continue on, there is a major train station in Verona that offers connections to all of Europe.
We know a good night's sleep is extremely important during travel. For this reason, we test every accommodation throughout your tour right down to the quality of the sheets.
We believe chain and boring hotels are no fun! So we searched high and low to find the very best Luxury
4 & 5-Star hotels in the cities we visit.
We spend three nights in a seaside palace built in the 19th Century (Awarded 2021 World's Best by Travel+Leisure), three nights in a enchanting castle built in the 18th century, and three nights in a palace built in the 13th Century featuring fresco-covered walls in the heart of Verona.
With each included lunch and dinner, Adam expertly selects and pairs sparkling, white, and red wines sourced from quality family producers in the area. The mission of this vacation is to provide a generous exposure to the wine traditions of each region.
Whenever possible we taste back vintages, large formats, and compare some of the top appellations we visit. We value the rich winemaking tradition throughout Italy and look forward to sharing with you the unique local grape varietals and history in hopes that you find some new Italian wine favorites.
Have no fear! We host plenty of guests with special dietary requirements. Due to the close relationships we cultivate with our chefs, they happily accommodate dietary needs while still crafting exceptional and creative dishes. We go to great efforts to ensure all guests have exceptional culinary experiences.
The tour begins at the Milan MXP Airport and ends at the Venice VCE airport. We intentionally selected this airport based on our planned Northern Italy Itinerary, both airports offer many daily direct flight options from the USA.
If you plan to arrive in Italy early or stay longer, please select the airport that works best for your trip.
The tour includes a private group transfer from Milan MXP Airport returning to Venice VCE Airport at the end of our tour together. You will need to make other arrangements if you choose to arrive or depart from a different airport. Ask us for suggestions.
Although the majority of our guests tend to be couples, we host lots of duos, including mother and daughters, girlfriends, and travel buddies. Solo travelers are welcome with a $3500 supplement. All rates are based on double occupancy.
Absolutely, let's chat. With 14 guest or more we are happy to book a private Northern Italy tour exclusively for your group.