MILAN, LAKE COMO, & FRANCIACORTA WINE COUNTRY

2018 DATES ON SALE NOVEMBER 2017:
MAY 28-JUNE 3, 2018 // JUNE 10-16, 2018 // SEPT. 2-8, 2018

Email us at travel@saltandwind.com  to reserve your spot for a specific trip! 

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SEE WHY WE LOVE LOMBARDY ITALY

Andiamo in Italia!

Join us for a 6-night, 7-day trip to Italy's Lombardy region. The week is a mix of urban and rural as we head from chic Milan to stunning Lake Como and the off-the-radar Franciacorta wine region. Our trip includes shopping tours, street food crawls, cooking classes, wine tastings, day trips, and boutique hotel accommodations.

SEE ITINERARY & FAQs FOR MORE

Email us at travel@saltandwind.com  to reserve your spot for a specific trip! 

Salt & Wind Travel Spain Trip by Christine Davis
Salt & Wind Travel Italy Trip by Christine Davis

GET TO KNOW THE NEW MILAN

Why Milan?

 

 

Often overshadowed by popular Italian cities, to us, Milan is the most diverse and international city in Italy. It's a unique mix of old and new — classics like the Duomo and the Last Supper alongside fashion houses and indie businesses — that shows a more modern look into Italy. In the last few years — thanks to the 2015 Expo — it has become the center for innovation as creatives from across the country head there to work in design, media, tech, fashion, and food.

SEE ITINERARY & FAQs FOR MORE

Email us at travel@saltandwind.com  to reserve your spot for a specific trip! 

 

THE LESSER-KNOWN ITALIAN BUBBLY REGION

Why Franciacorta?

Just an hour east of Milan lies the lesser-known wine region of Franciacorta where some of Italy's premier sparkling wines are produced. Largely consumed by Italians, this wine is relatively unknown outside the country but we're big fans. We'll introduce you to our favorite producers and give you a peek into the region before it's on everyone's radar.

SEE ITINERARY & FAQs FOR MORE

Salt & Wind Travel Spain Trip by Christine Davis
 
Salt & Wind Italy Trip: Milan Streetcar
Campari Soda Camparino Milan
Salt & Wind Italy Trip: Wine Country
Milan Piazza Del Duomo
Salt & Wind Travel Spain Trip by Christine Davis
Salt & Wind Italy Trip:  Fall Produce
Salt & Wind Italy Trip:  Piazza del Duomo Milan
Salt & Wind Travel Italy Trip by Christine Davis
Salt & Wind Trips Italy Polenta
Salt & Wind Italy Trip:  Aida Mollenkamp Milan
Salt & Wind Italy Trip:  Lake Iseo View
 
 
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All In The Details

Your Trip Includes...

Here's what's included in the trip fare:

  • A group photographer so you can enjoy the moment

  • Hands-on cooking class with host and chef, Aida Mollenkamp 

  • Street food tour conducted by the regional food expert 

  • Market tours, art gallery visits, and pop-up meals with local creatives

  • A group concierge to help with any extra events you may want to plan

  • Professionally shot 20 edited group photos daily 

  • Group transportation from Lake Iseo to airport and to/from all events listed 

  • Boutique hotel accommodations with complimentary wifi

  • Meals listed in the itinerary (plus 1 alcoholic drink at each lunch and dinner)

  • Tips for all meals, hotels, and drivers

  • Wifi hotspots at all times

  • A few gifts from some of our favorite food & travel brands

  • A couple surprises! (You didn’t think we’d tell you every last detail, did you?)

The following are not included in the trip fare:

  • Any incidental expenses 

  • Tips for photographer, concierge, and trip host

  • Required travel insurance

  • Any extra excursions or events you plan with our concierge

  • Transportation from your home to/from Milan, Italy

  • Ground transportation from Milan area airport to Milan hotel

  • Alcohol except for 1 alcoholic drink at both lunch and dinner

 
Salt & Wind Travel Italy Trip by Christine Davis
 

Sample Itinerary

Each trip is unique so we don't have a one-size-fits-all itinerary, but we work with the same partners to guarantee quality.  Here's a sample itinerary:

Note: Our Milan trip kicks off with a full schedule on Day 1 so we suggest you fly in at least one day prior.  We can help book you a room in our hotel (not included in the listed rate) so you're well rested (see FAQs for more details). All activities listed are included in the trip price unless otherwise noted with an asterisk.


 
Salt & Wind Travel Italy Trip by Christine Davis

Day 1: City Tour, Market Visit, and a Classic Dinner

7:00 - 10:00 AM // BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL RESTAURANT

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant at your leisure 

10:00 AM -12:00 pM // MARKET VISIT & walking TOUR

Visit a local market and walk for an overview of Milan

12:30 pM -2:00 PM // MODERN MILANESE LUNCH

Head to one of Milan's latest trendy spots for lunch

2:00 -4:00 PM // Free Time

Relax at the hotel. Walk the neighborhood. Or have our concierge arrange an excursion.

4:30 PM-7:30 PM // BOUTIQUE TOUR & aPERITIVO

Explore local boutiques and aperitivo before dinner

8:00 PM-9:30PM // CHic Milanese dinner

Dine in the shadow of the Duomo

EVENING // OVERNIGHT IN MILAN


Salt & Wind Travel Italy Trip by Christine Davis

Day 2: Day Trip To Lake Como 

7:00 - 8:00 AM // BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL RESTAURANT

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant at your leisure 

8:00AM // DEPART FOR LAKE COMO

Board private transportation for Lake Como

9:30 AM -1:30 PM // LAKE CRUISE & Villa VISIT

Cruise Lake Como on a chic boat and do a private guided visit of a villa

1:30 -3:00 PM // LAKESIDE LUNCH

Lunch like a local at one of the chicest spots on the lake 

3:00 - 3:30 PM // STROLL BELLAGIO TOWN 

Visit the famous island of Bellagio or just grab a coffee and relax

3:30 PM // DEPART FOR MILAN

Board private transportation for Lake Como

5:00 - 7:30 PM // Free Time

Relax at the hotel. (Or have our concierge arrange an excursion.)

8:00 PM // CONTEMPORARY DINNER

Have an easy (and quick) dinner of fresh farm-to-table fare

EVENING // OVERNIGHT IN MILAN


Salt & Wind Travel Italy Trip by Christine Davis

Day 3: Street Food Crawl, Shopping Day, and Aperitivo

7:00 - 10:00 AM // BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL RESTAURANT

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant at your leisure 

10:00 AM -1:00 PM // food tour of city center

Get a look into the city's history through its most delicious food.

1:00 PM -2:30PM // PRIVATE BOUTIQUE VISIT + LUNCH

Private atelier visit of an up-and-coming Milanese brand followed by lunch

2:30 - 6:30 PM // SHOPPING TIME (OPTIONAL) OR FREE TIME

Time to shop along one of the city's most famous shopping streets

7:00 PM // APERITIVO + LAST MEAL IN MILAN

Do a classic Milanese aperitivo followed by dinner

EVENING // OVERNIGHT IN MILAN


Salt & Wind Northern Italy Trip: Brescia City Center

Day 4: Milan to Brescia to Lake Iseo

7:00 - 9:00 AM // BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL RESTAURANT

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant at your leisure 

9:00 AM // CHECK OUT & DRIVE TO BRESCIA

Leave Milan and head to the town of Brescia.

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM // BRESCIA WALKING TOUR

Walk the city center of Brescia which has architecture from every major era in Italian history

1:00 - 2:30 PM // CANTINA LUNCH

Have lunch in a family-owned gourmet shop and wine cantina

3:30 - 6:30 PM // CHECK IN TO FRANCIACORTA HOTEL

Check in to the hotel in Franciacorta and relax

7:00 PM - 9:00PM // TRATTORIA Dinner

Have a casual dinner at a local trattoria

EVENING // OVERNIGHT IN FRANCIACORTA


Salt & Wind Travel Italy Trip by Christine Davis

Day 5: Slow Food Tour

7:30 - 10:00 AM // BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL RESTAURANT

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant at your leisure 

10:00 AM -11:00 AM // OLIVE OIL TASTING

Visit a family-run Olive Oil mill — one of the only in Northern Italy!

11:30 - 12:30 PM // SLOW FOOD SARDINA FISH LABORATORY VISIT

Learn what makes this local fish a Slow Food Presidium product

12:30 - 2:00 PM // lunch

Lunch lakeside with classic local food

2:30 - 5:00 PM // Free Time

Relax at the hotel. (Or have our concierge arrange an excursion.)

5:00 PM - 9:00PM // Wine tasting, cooking class, & Dinner

Meet local winemakers while doing a casual cooking class and dinner

EVENING // OVERNIGHT IN FRANCIACORTA


Salt & Wind Travel Italy Trip by Christine Davis

Day 6: Wine Tasting and Michelin Dinner

7:30 - 10:00 AM // BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL RESTAURANT

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant at your leisure 

11:30 AM -1:00 PM // WINE TASTING

Wine tasting at a classic local winery

1:30 -3:30 PM // WINE TASTING & Lunch

Lunch at a local winery

4:00 - 7:30 PM // Free Time

Relax at the hotel. (Or have our concierge arrange an excursion.)

8:00 PM // MICHELIN-STAR DINNER

Enjoy a Michelin-starred restaurant for our last meal together

EVENING // OVERNIGHT IN FRANCIACORTA


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Day 7: Head Back Home

7:00 - 10:00 AM // BREAKFAST AT THE HOTEL RESTAURANT (OPTIONAL)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel restaurant at your leisure 

9:00AM // CHECK OUT + DRIVE TO MALPENSA

Guests heading to Malpensa airport will depart at this time. The drive takes 2 hours FYI.

11:00AM // CHECK OUT + DRIVE TO MALPENSA

Guests heading back to Milan will depart at this time. This drive takes about 90 minutes.


Hotel Accommodations

Hotel Senato Milan

Previously the private home of the Ranza family, this 43-room boutique hotel opened in mid 2015. With a chic design and top-notch hospitality, you could easily spend your day enjoying the curated cocktails at the bar or in the private patio. Its prime location near the famous shopping district of the "Golden Rectangle," around the corner from the Modern Art Gallery, and less than a 10 minute walk from the Duomo means you can make the most of your free time. 

 

Hotel RivaLago, Lake Iseo

Located lakeside in the charming town of Sulzano, this boutique property with 28 rooms feels like home away from home. During your free time you can just kick back with a cocktail and take in the view or enjoy the pool.  Just a few steps from the ferry, you can head across the lake to the island of Monteisola, home to the Slow Food protected sardina fish and the tallest lake island in Europe, in a matter of minutes. 

 
 

I HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS...


WHY NORTHERN ITALY?

Why did you guys choose Milan and Lombardy?

As Italy's second largest city and its fashion and finance capital, Milan needs no intro. Yet the city is not nearly as popular among tourists who often write it off as too modern or too serious. But, to us, Milan is fascinating because of its duality: it's a metropolis that's just as European as it is Italian. Wander the city and you'll see Italian influences in food, architecture, and culture, but you’ll also hear a mish-mash of languages as bankers close deals over espresso and designers stroll local boutiques. 

And the time to visit Milan is right now. Hosting the 2015 World Expo — during which nearly 22 million visitors descended on the region — ushered in an era of modernization in Milan . Skyscrapers shot up in Isola, the canal neighborhood of Darsena was redeveloped, new museums and restaurants opened. The gist? If you haven’t been to Milan recently there's a lot to see from the traditional (the Duomo and La Scala) to the modern (unique architecture, indie design, and chic boutiques).

I've never heard of Franciacorta. What's that all about?

Here’s the deal with Franciacorta: it’s that perfectly quaint Italian region you’ve dreamt of but never heard of. Our founder discovered the region and couldn’t stop raving about its glorious vineyards and it’s beautiful backdrop of the lake.

Among Franciacorta’s high points? It is one of the only regions in Italy making wine in the traditional (aka Champagne) method, it’s a getaway for the chicest of Milan residents, there's a glacial lake setting, and lots to do from biking to hiking to wine tasting and spa time. And its close proximity to Verona means we can day trip there in a sec. We’ve been waiting patiently to blow the top off on this best-kept-secret of Italy, and we’re finally ready to share this little slice of heaven exclusively with our Salt and Wind travelers.

ITALY TRIP ATTENDEES

What sort of traveler would enjoy the Italy trip?

Our Italy trip is curated for the easy going traveler who enjoys the cross-section of high and low tourism. We’ll be mixing the two often to create an authentically Italian experience for our travelers, meaning one day will be lunch in an alley of Milan with a Panino in hand, and another will be dinner at a Michelin-star restaurant. The days are long and packed with oodles of activities, and some surprises are in store, so high energy, get-up-and-go attitudes are encouraged.

How many guests are there total? Who else is going on this trip?

We cap these trips at 12 guests and then 3 to 5 staff with us at any given time (including drivers, the photographer, the concierge, tour guides, and our founder/host, Aida Mollenkamp). This makes for a big enough group to keep it lively but small enough you don't feel like its group travel. 

We encourage you to bring a friend, significant other, or family member, because our trips are priced for double occupancy rooms and we think it's always more fun to have a roomie you know. Of course, solo travelers are more than welcome too!

TRIP DETAILS

How much travel is involved?

We’re exploring two completely different sides of Italy with this trip, getting an inside look at one of its largest cities, and uncovering the local’s best-kept-secret that is the Franciacorta wine region. 

The entire itinerary takes place within about 100 mile radius so there’s not too much car time. And, we do our best to break it up so you never have to be in the car for more than 2 hours at one time. Of course, unforeseen circumstances or traffic could cause delays but we’ll do our best! 

How much walking is involved?

To us, the best way to get to know a city is by walking it. That said, while we're in the city, we'll plan on walking anywhere from 1 to 4 miles daily, weather permitting. We go at a leisurely pace and it's all flat so it's never too overwhelming. When we're in wine country, the best way to get around is by car so you'll only be walking to get around wineries or around the town where we're staying. 

Can I bring a friend or significant other with me?

Please do! Rooms are priced for double occupancy to make it super simple. Just indicate when you book that you would like to room together so we can arrange it for you!

Are food and drinks covered?

For the most part, yes! All wine tastings and meals listed in the itinerary are included (including 1 alcoholic drink at each lunch and dinner). Our seated meals will be served either family-style, as a fixed menu, or as tasting menus, which allows our restaurant partners to service our large group in a consistent manner. Please inform us in advance of any food allergies or dietary restrictions.

What kind of food and drink will there be? 

Regional Foods

When it comes to Italian food: there is no "one" Italian food but rather tens of regional styles that come together as "Italian." Over the course of the trip you'll get an idea of the food from Lombardy as we visit markets, gourmet stores, and restaurants. 

Here's what you should know now: Lombardy's proximity to the Po River means it is part of Italy's "rice bowl," so you'll see risotto everywhere you turn. While the southern parts of Italy are all seafood, tomatoes, olive oil, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, Lombardy has been historically about the land, using lots of veal, cream sauces, butter, and Grana Padano.

Milan is known first and foremost for Veal Milanese and Risotto Milanese but there are a ton of regional dishes you’ll see throughout our trip from the local casonsei pasta, the addictive sbrisilona dessert, carpaccio di Bresaola, polenta, panettone (a Christmastime cake), and Amaretti cookies. The region has a ton of local ingredients from the better known — Grana Padano and other cheeses and local cattle — to the more hyper regional — including a salumi only made on the island of Lake Iseo and a Slow Food-protected salt-cured fish.

Because we’ll be traveling to Northern Italy in the Fall, expect a lot of seasonal flavors - we’re talking squash, chestnuts, mushrooms, truffles, and game – in the more classic restaurants. The more modern restaurants aren’t quite as rigid about seasonality and flavors so you’ll still see light appetizers and fish well into the Fall. Our itinerary has a mix of meals so that by the end of the week you’ll have a mix of classic and modern and richer and lighter meals. We do our best to balance it all so you never have one day where you’re too hungry or too full. 

Types Of Alcohol

Milan is the epicenter of Italian aperitivo culture, which means cocktail hour is taken seriously. From classic cocktails invented in the area (like the Negroni, Americano, and Spritz, to name just a few) to seasonal modern Gin & Tonics, there is a lot to try.

Lombardy is also home to or nearby some really amazing wine regions home to wines like Barolo, Asti, Amarone, and, of course, Franciacorta so you’ll have many wines to choose from on almost any wine list. The Franciacorta wine region specializes in premiere sparkling wine so we’ll mostly drink that during wine tastings in wine country. However, there are also locally-produced still wines if you want to mix it up! 

Will I need extra spending money? Should it be Euros?

If you would like to shop for yourself, there will be a few opportunities to do so. Anything you shop for is to be paid by you, separately. We will make various ATM stops so you can pull out some euros. Oh, and be sure to your bank know your leaving the country.

I don’t speak Italian, is this a problem?

Absolutely not! All of our partners speak Italian and our host, Aida, is a highly proficient at Italian.

There’s a lot here — how busy will I be?

We want you to really get to know the areas we’re traveling; however,  we know that you’re on vacation and will want some downtime too! That said most days will have a few hours of activities, but, to keep it doable, we don’t usually start until around 10AM and we try to pepper in a fair amount of free time in the afternoon as well as optional activities.

What is the weather like? What should I pack?

Northern Italy's weather is similar to the East Coast of the United States. We head there in the Spring and Fall when the temperatures ranges from the high 40s at night to the low 70s during the day and it does rain every so often. We recommend packing lots of layers, some rain gear, and a few scarves and hats.

ACCOMMODATIONS

We have partnered with hotels that meet the Salt & Wind standards of service. 

Room Options

Double Occupancy

Double occupancy pricing is the price for (1) person to stay in a shared (i.e. double) room. In other words, each person staying in that room will pay the posted double occupancy rate. If you're a couple or friends traveling together, please know that you'll each pay the double occupancy rate. Please indicate if you want two separate beds or one bed so we can plan accordingly.

Single Occupancy

Need some alone time? We hear you. That's why we offer single occupancy rooms. The single occupancy rate is what you will pay to have the room all to yourself. 

Roommates

If you do not have a travel partner, you can purchase single occupancy and have the room all to yourself. Please contact us at travel@saltandwind.com to discuss further. 

How many Americans will I run into? 

The fact it’s an under-appreciated tourism destination? That means it’s not (yet) as touristy as better known regions. While you’ll get to experience it before it becomes overrun, it also means service can vary. An open-minded traveler who is sympathetic to the changing environment of a foreign country will have the best time.

LOGISTICS

So, do I have to get to and from the airport by myself?

Upon arrival in Italy, you are responsible to get FROM the airport to Milan; however, included in your trip fee is car service back to the airport or Milan on the last day. Contact us at travel@saltandwind.com once you have your flights and we can help arrange car service on the front end of the trip if you so desire.

 

I don’t live close by. Can you book my flight?

The trip price cover airfare from your hometown to Milan, Italy, but we can help! Just ask and we'll connect you with our travel agent who can assist you with flight and other travel details.

I need more time off! Can I add additional days on to the trip?

Great! We plan to add on day trips or trip extensions to the trips in the near future. For now, you can use our concierge (for an additional fee) to arrange additional tours, restaurants, or hotel nights. And, if you want to stay longer in Italy or Europe, we can help you get preferred rates with our hotel partners.

SAFETY & PRECAUTIONS

I gotta ask...is it safe?

Our team members have all spent an extensive amount of time traveling, drinking, eating, shopping and hanging out in all of the locations we will visit.  We would not be running trips there if we didn’t think it was safe, but we urge you to check the U.S. State Department website to make your own determinations. You can also enroll in the STEP program for travel warnings and updates. As with any unfamiliar location, we urge you to take precautions against pickpockets and to minimize traveling with unnecessary valuable goods, like high-end jewelry. All of the hotels we partner with have their own security and safes.

Not to be a downer but what happens in case of a medical emergency?

This area of Italy has a long history of U.S. tourists so the quality of care is excellent. You can also look into buying a MedeVac such as AirMed if you want to be taken somewhere else for medical care.

Do you recommend trip insurance?

Yes, we actually require travel insurance for each and every traveler. There are a variety of services for providing trip insurance and note that many credit cards (such as Chase Sapphire and American Express) include the service as part of a trip purchase. Please check with your credit card to confirm. 

Does Global Entry help with expediting customs?

If you travel a lot, you'll want to look into the CBP Global Entry program, which allow you to have expedited customs experience. Global Entry is used anytime travelers return to the U.S. from an international trip and it help expedite customs and border patrol, so you'll be able to use it above and beyond the Salt & Wind trip too! Also, FYI, Global Entry enrollment includes TSA Pre Check so you'll get both when you apply.

PRICING & PAYMENT

For a specific trip's pricing please visit the "Reserve" section of the site.

For more specifics on payment, head to our general FAQs and be sure to take a look at our Booking Terms and Conditions for the fine print.

FURTHER QUESTIONS?

Have additional questions? Contact us at travel@saltandwind.com