Essence of Lombardy

While Lombardy is famous for its glittering lakes, it has much more to offer and much that’s missed by the tourists who rush to its Lakes Garda, Como and Maggiore. Among them are quiet cobbled towns, quaint villages, trattorias serving age-old recipes, and the valleys of the Bergamasque Pre-Alps, where meadows and woods reign.

An immersive 6-night tour of beautiful and often-overlooked Lombardy based in one hotel, the Miramonti Resort Hotel & Spa in Rota d’Imagna, probably one of Italy’s best family-run 4 star hotels.

Departure dates available: 8 October 2024 and 23 March 2025

Handpicked Highlights

  • Relax in the lush Valle Imagna, a secret valley in the hills between Bergamo and Como
  • Visit cobbled Bergamo and historic Brescia, Italy’s joint Capitals of Culture 2023
  • Dip into tiny rustic villages to see wonders like the mystical Cornabusa Sanctuary cave church
  • Savour the spoils of Lombardy with wine – and food-tastings at hand-picked agritourism farms and wineries
  • Enjoy an authentic lunch at a superb village trattoria renowned for its local fare
  • Enjoy a truly special culinary experience: learning to make local casoncelli pasta from hotel owner Giampiero

Tour Itinerary

This tour casts the spotlight on this largely undiscovered corner of northern Italy: unfurling Lombardy’s history, charms and rich cuisine over seven rewarding days. Based in Rota d’Imagna, time is spent exploring medieval jewels like Bergamo, sampling home-made delicacies and wines at family-run farms, discovering peaceful Lake Iseo, and enjoying a personal demonstration of local pasta-making from a master – your hotel owner, Giampiero and his Mama!

Day 1 Morning flight to Milan

We fly to Milan airport and after meeting our tour manager, transfer to our hotel, the 4-star Miramonti Resort & Spa, in Rota d’Imagna – our base for six nights. On the way, we stop for a fantastic lunch at a local trattoria. Once at our hotel, we enjoy a prosecco or non-alcoholic drink as a welcome followed by dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

Miramonti hotel resort and spa, fresh pastries in the breakfast room

Day 2 Imagna Valley

Today we set our sights on Lombardy’s Imagna Valley, an oasis of green in the Alpine foothills which is rich in history, art, culture, and culinary tradition. We visit the Arnosto Museum to trace the story of the ‘roof of the Imagna’ and call at the Cornabusa Sanctuary, a spiritual refuge inside a mountain cave. A highlight is a fabulous, authentic lunch at Antica Locanda Roncaglia, a historic eatery in the lovely village of Roncaglia, which specialises in using local ingredients to recreate ancient regional recipes. This evening we will enjoy a light dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Mountain landscape at Valcava pass

Day 3 Brescia

A visit to Brescia awaits today. This underrated city bristles with artistic and archaeological treasures, including elegant piazzas, Venetian villas, Roman ruins, an 8th century monastery, two cathedrals, an astronomical clock and captivating museums. We discover the main sights and learn how this lovely place was recently honoured as a European Region of Gastronomy – a sure sign of quality of its cuisine. We then continue to the Redaelli de Zinis, a farm-winery in the Valtenesi hills, where we enjoy a wine-tasting accompanied by local delicacies and explanations of local history and prosecco-making. This evening we enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The old town street with coloured houses and outdoor cafe, Brescia, Lombardy

Day 4 Rota d’Imagna and Pasta-Making Demonstration

Today is spent at leisure, perhaps relaxing at your hotel, enjoying the spa and swimming pool or sampling the sights of pretty Rota d’Imagna independently. During the day, we attend a cooking demonstration by our hotel owner Giampiero and his Mama, who shows us the techniques behind the region’s beloved casoncelli – a generations-old sweet and savoury stuffed pasta redolent of Imagna’s earthy home-cooking. We also experience a cheese-tasting, savouring some of the valley’s unique cheeses, such as soft and creamy stracchino, which reflect the area’s Alpine location and abundant dairy farms. A selection of local wines adds to our enjoyment! This evening we enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant with our very own handmade casoncelli on the menu!

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Ravioli at Antica Locanda Roncaglia in Lombardy

Day 5 Bergamo

We travel to Bergamo for another day of discovery. This bustling city has a historic hilltop core divided from its lower city by Venetian walls that command spectacular views, and was named Italy’s cultural capital in 2023. A guided walking tour of this Città Alta sees us wind through the cobblestoned streets to view its medieval houses, atmospheric churches, and picturesque piazzas, together with its fine museums and galleries. This afternoon, we delve deeper into the heart of Lombardy by tasting a selection of the region’s most distinctive wines. This evening we enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 Lake Iseo

Lake Iseo, north Italy’s fourth-biggest lake and one of Lombardy’s hidden gems is our focus today. Often overlooked by tourists, this idyllic, mountain-ringed lake is hemmed with medieval villages. After strolling the pretty alleyways of Lovere, we ride a boat along the lake to Iseo where there is time to experience its harbourfront, historic centre and perhaps browse its market. On our way back to Rota d’Imagna, we visit the Cascina Carretto, an agritourism estate run by the Lamberti family. Sample some of the wines produced here alongside platters of tasty bruschetta, tomatoes and aromatic cheese. This evening we enjoy a light dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7 Departure

After breakfast, we begin our journey back to Milan airport, stopping en route for a superb farewell lunch at a traditional restaurant. After this final opportunity to relish Lombardy’s rich and hearty cuisine, we catch our return flight to the UK.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Miramonti Resort Hotel & Spa

This privately run 4-star hotel combines sweeping views over the Valle Imagna with top-notch service and a traditionally inviting Lombardian welcome. Set in the hillside village of Rota d’Imagna in the Bergamasque Pre-Alps, the hotel’s family owners are passionate about ensuring guests enjoy a relaxed stay filled with warmth and hospitality, and connected with the local community.

The hotel’s commitment to sustainable tourism is showcased in its restaurant, which serves excellent regional cuisine crafted using only local ingredients, so supporting the valley’s farmers and producers. Most of the comfortable and spacious rooms benefit from a private balcony with valley views, while all feature a private bathroom, LCD TV, safe, minibar, Wi-Fi, and thoughtful touches like bathrobes. An undoubted highlight of the hotel is the stunning spa (additional charge), which offers a luxurious indoor pool extending outdoors onto a beautiful terrace ideal for unwinding and enjoying the surrounding panoramas.

What's included

  • Flights

    Return flights London Heathrow to Milan
    LHR-LIN Dep 07:10 Arr 10:10
    LIN-LHR Dep 19:25 Arr 20:25

  • Accommodation

    6 nights in the 4 star Miramonti Resort Hotel & Spa

  • Meals

    6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners

  • Handpicked Highlights

    Itinerary and handpicked highlights as stated above 

  • Tour Manager

    Services of a local, experienced English speaking Tour Manager

  • Coach Transport

    All coach transportation as stated in itinerary above 

Extras

  • Travel insurance 
  • Local tourist and city taxes  
  • Gratuities for tour manager and coach driver 

Ready to book? Click your chosen date below

Want to download this tour?

Click below to download a PDF of Essence of Lombardy, direct to your device.

Download your PDF

Other Destinations You Might Like

We're here to help

Get in touch

Emma Brooks profile picture

We're here to help

Close form