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Northern Italy Tours and Trips

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Home to the floating city of Venice and the stylish streets of Italy's fashion capital, Milan, Northern Italy is a captivating region known for its rolling vineyards, colorful coastal towns, dramatic mountains, and alpine lakes overlooked by elegant villas. Each of the eight regions in Northern Italy has its own gastronomy, cultural heritage, and natural beauty, inviting you to discover entirely different worlds, all within a day's walk or a short drive of each other. 

From experiencing a cycling tour in the Italian Lakes District and trekking among granite peaks in the Dolomites, to immersing yourself in history and culture on enchanting city walks in Venice, our signature tours take in the must-sees and hidden masterpieces. Connect with fellow travelers on our small-group tours or explore on your own with self-guided tours and itineraries.


And, of course, no Italian tour itinerary would be complete without food and drink. That's why our trips include plenty of stops to savor local wine, cheese, pizza, and fresh pasta dishes.

Our most popular Northern Italy trips

E-bike option
8 Days From US$2310 without flights
Italy Walking and Trekking Trip code DW
8 Days From US$2350 without flights
Italy Walking and Trekking Trip code TOER
8 Days From US$2150 without flights


Regions and cities of Northern Italy

Our Northern Italy tours explore the cuisine, terrain and culture of regions from Piedmont, Liguria, and Emilia-Romagna to Veneto, Lombardy, and Trentino-South Tyrol. Discover the unique identity of each, as well as the Swiss and Austrian influences of those that lie along the Italian Alps.

Venice, Milan, and Turin are Northern Italy's major cities. Venice, home to national treasures such as St. Mark's Basilica and St. Mark's Square, is a crown jewel of the region. The art-filled metropolis of Milan balances the new and fashionable with centuries of fascinating history. Turin is known for its elegant boulevards and piazzas lined with Baroque churches and refined cafes.
Northern Italy has some of the country's most diverse and memorable landscapes. In the Dolomites, villages lie in verdant valleys surrounded by jagged peaks, with mountaintops accessible by cable car. The Italian Lake District is home to the crystalline waters of Lake Garda and the graceful villas and Renaissance architecture of the lakeside city of Como. In Liguria, brightly painted fishing villages are a stroll away from sandy beaches along Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. Piedmont's undulating hills peppered with tiny towns embody that picture-perfect mental image of the Italian countryside.


How to explore Northern Italy

Italy is a country of romance, appreciation and unhurried self-enjoyment. So the best way to discover her treasures and hidden gems is at the leisurely pace of a walking tour or a cycling tour. A guided walking tour through cobbled streets with a local guide, or a relaxed bike ride along country roads, offering magnificent views, will help you get to know Italy on an intimate level.


You can also choose how easy or difficult your tour is. If you prefer to take leisurely bike rides along the shores of Lake Garda, or meander between vineyards, laid-back trips like the self-guided Piedmont walking tour are the perfect fit. If you would like something more challenging, you can explore the mountainous terrain of the Italian Alps.


Northern Italy Tours FAQ

Learn more about the region and what to expect on our Northern Italy tours below.

What is Northern Italy known for?


Diverse landscapes, culinary traditions, and historic cities just scratch the surface of all you can see and do in Northern Italy. Milan and Venice overflow with art, architecture, and cultural institutions such as the famed La Scala opera house. In towns and villages throughout the countryside, local wines and regional cuisine await. Outdoor sports enthusiasts flock to the Italian Alps for hiking and trekking through spectacular scenery.

Food-wise, each region in Northern Italy offers its own local specialities, from Piedmont's rich variety of delicious antipasti to buttery fontina cheese from the Aosta Valley. Dishes to relish range from fresh seafood in the coastal zones to hearty alpine meals with plenty of meats and cheese up in the mountains.


Northern Italy encompasses some of the country’s major wine-producing regions. Each has its own key grapes and varieties, such as barolo from Piedmont, amarone from Veneto, and lambrusco from Emilia Romagna. Our culinary-themed tours like A Taste of Italy - Walking in Emilia Romagna and the walking tour around Piemont offer deep dives into the gastronomic delights of each region.


When is the best time to visit Northern Italy?


With long days and warm weather, April to October is the best time to visit Northern Italy. Our walking and cycling tours around the region take place throughout the spring, summer and early fall to ensure the best weather and plenty of daylight for outdoor activities.


Should I do a self-guided walking tour or a small-group tour?


You can choose to explore Northern Italy with fellow travelers on a small group tour, as part of a family vacation, or to go solo on a self-guided trip. Self-guided travel in Italy allows you to take things at your own pace, while group tours with a guide benefit from having a local expert to provide information and background on each destination and experience, really adding to your understanding and enjoyment of Italy.

Either way, all the accommodations for your trip are arranged and booked in advance, so even self-guided travelers will have an itinerary to follow but without the stress of planning. Free time is also included on group tours.


What is included in my Northern Italy tour?


The specifics of what is included vary from tour to tour, but accommodations and some private transport options are included across the board. On guided tours, one of Explore’s expert guides will be with you every step of the way, offering guided activities and information. Included meals vary by itinerary.


What is the physical difficulty of the walking and cycling tours?


The physical difficulty ranges from mild to demanding depending on the tour.  Most of our Italian walking tours are easy to moderate, with the most challenging option being the multi-day Tour du Mont Blanc mountain trek. The cycling tours like the Dolomites, Lake Garda and Venice itinerary are all fairly easy, with no major ascents or descents. Individuals in good shape and good health should have no problem with the physical activities on the tours.


What should I pack for my trip?


You can find more tour-specific packing recommendations on your tour page. But in general, breathable, comfortable and sturdy shoes for either cycling, hiking or walking are a must. Layered clothing that you can take off as the day heats and cools is also recommended, as well as waterproof jackets, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.

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