FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Who will we be traveling with on this tour? 

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 14 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. 

Is this Northern Italy tour right for us?

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!

Picky eater? Insist on eating dinner before 8 p.m. (most restaurants in Italy don't open until 7:30pm). If 2- to 3-hour multi-course dinners are not your style, this trip is not for you.
If exploring quaint villages by foot seems like too much work or
if you are looking for American standards and unwilling to embrace the differences of European travel, this Northern Italy tour is not for you.

We are concerned about traveling to Italy during a Pandemic. What is the COVID-19 situation like in Northern Italy? 

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 August 2022, 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. 

Is there free time to explore or do we stay with the group the whole time?

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 built in two completely free leisure days for you to explore at your own pace. These two evenings are also free to enjoy a dinner on your own. We frequently offer suggestions and are able to book a reservation at one of our favorite spots.

We would like to travel before the tour or might like to stay a little longer. Where do we meet the tour?

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 11:30am 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 Milan MXP airport. If you plan to continue on, there is a major train station in Verona that offers connections to all of Europe.

Where do we stay?

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
 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.

Will we enjoy wine with each included meal on this tour?

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. 

What if I have a food allergy, am gluten-free, or vegan? 

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.

What airport should we fly in and out of?

The tour begins and ends at the Milan MXP Airport. We intentionally select this airport based on our planned Northern Italy Itinerary, MXP offers 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 to and from Milan MXP Airport only so you need to make other arrangements if you choose to arrive or depart from a different airport. Ask us for suggestions.

What if I am traveling alone? Is this tour only for couples or can I bring a friend? 

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. 

We want to go on this tour but the dates don't work for us. Can we book a custom date if we have friends who also want to go?

Absolutely, let's chat. With 14 guest or more we are happy to book a private Northern Italy tour exclusively for your group. 

What if something unexpected happens and we need to cancel?

OUR 'LIFE HAPPENS' GUARANTEE...

If for any reason you must cancel, you get a full refund
 120 days before your departure date. (If we are forced to cancel or reschedule your tour due to Covid-19 or government enforced travel restrictions we will contact you with alternate date options and your deposit will not be lost.)

If needed, you may transfer your seat to a friend 3 days prior to your departure date at no additional cost. 

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