By on 1st Nov 2019
3 minute read
Our familiarisation trip to Italy's Imagna Valley
In October we hosted a familiarisation trip to northern Italy, to showcase one of our newer tours which is based in the Imagna Valley. The itineraries we create for this area are tailored to each specific group, but generally they take in the hidden jewels of the Lombardy region as well as its star: Lake Como.
The Imagna Valley enjoys a fantastic location between Lakes Como and Iseo, yet despite this it remains relatively untouched by tourism. This results in a delightful sense of authenticity, and from our recommended hotel in the valley there are unspoilt views across the hills in every direction. Our Success Tours hosting team greeted our guests at Heathrow to begin the trip, and everyone flew to Milan to be welcomed by a further member of the team – our Italian hotels contractor. The visits over the 4-day trip included both highlights and hidden gems. The group spent an afternoon at Lake Como, where the ferry took them to beautiful Bellagio and then on to gorgeous Varenna. There are numerous villas and gardens around the lake that can be explored for those who wish to spend more time here. They also visited the Cornabusa Sanctuary – a unique church that has been built into a natural cave – and another lesser-known gem: Lake Iseo. Although it is Italy’s fourth-largest lake, it’s not as busy as Como, Garda or Maggiore. The group explored the pretty town of Lovere before moving on to historic Iseo town for lunch. Finally, they explored the wonderful medieval city of Bergamo, both by foot and funicular.
This itinerary also includes several unique experiences that really get to the heart of life in Lombardy. The group loved a hands-on pasta making demonstration, in which they learnt how to make the regional speciality, casoncelli alla bergamasca. Another highlight was a leisurely multi-course lunch at a unique farmhouse and trattoria deep in the Imagna Valley, whose menu consists of traditional regional fare. There was also a tour and wine tasting at Cascina Carretto – after all, what trip to Italy is complete without wine?!
What made this trip really special, however, was the hotel. The reason we have contractors who spend a lot of time in their specialist regions is so that we can offer the right hotels, with the right service standards, to our discerning clients. The Miramonti Hotel has been hand-picked because we know that it’s one our groups will love: it has all the warmth and charm of a family run property, as it has been managed by the same family for three generations, yet maintains a fantastic level of professionalism and efficiency. The family’s high service standards mean that nothing is too much trouble for their guests. The Miramonti Hotel enjoys a spectacular location, with breathtaking views, which can be enjoyed from the lovely terrace (which is used for breakfast and for barbeques in the summer). The food at the hotel is of excellent quality, offering local produce and international dishes, and the icing on the cake is the hotel’s wonderful spa. With facilities including an indoor and outdoor pool, Turkish bath and a sauna, it’s the perfect place to relax.
If you’d like to get to know Lombardy off-the-beaten-track, do get in touch and find out what other secrets we have up our sleeves!