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Lake Garda Italy

Beyond the shores of the Amalfi Coast, and Rome's iconic ruins lies an Italy waiting to be discovered. Northern Italy's lesser-known locations, offer real connection to local life, while serving up all the pleasures that make Italy so special!

Vine-striped hills tended by passionate local vintners. The tranquility of shimmering Alpine Lakes dotted by charming villages. Take in local stories as you stroll ancient street or cycle rolling hillsides.
Here, life is celebrated through food, wine, tradition, artistry and pleasure. Come with an appetite for authentic adventure, revel in stunning vistas, linger over delicate bites, and open your heart to La Dolce Vita. From the Alps to the Mediterranean, welcome to our Italy.

Northern Italy Highlights

Limone sur Garda Italy photo credit leon

Lake Iseo and
Lake Garda

Alpine jewels, surrounded by green hills, idyllic villages and lakeside promenades made for strolling between gelato stops.

Bergamo Upper Town in Fall

Cultural Cities of Bergamo & Brescia

Wander medieval streets, savor local cuisine, and soak up the vibe of lively piazzas filled with friendly locals.

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Unique Wines & Winemakers

Passionate winemakers welcome you into their cellars to experience a craft that unites artistry and tradition.

Dolomites behind an Italian lake photo credit thewonderoflife.jpg

The Dolomites & Alps Ranges

Ethereal mountain towns, hearty cuisine, and warm locals eager to share their unique alpine culture and passion for the mountains.


The Food & Motor Valley: Emilia-Romagna

A showcase of passionate pursuits, Italy's foodie heartland is the home of legends; Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati.

Woman in Venice Italy photo credit jakob

The Stately Cities of Milan & Venice

Northern Italian heritage is embodied in the energy of cosmopolitan Milan, and grandeur of noble Venice.

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Heritage Sites

Magnificent naturals landscape, architectural marvels and ancient ruins invite you to connect with human creativity & achievement.

making pasta

Regional Cuisine 

Devotees of quality ingredients, sacred recipes, & Nonna's hand-rolling pasta - feel the warmth of Italy through its culinary heritage.

Northern Italy

From the shores of Lake Garda to the hilltop towns of Valpolicella, the landscapes of northeastern Italy are a mosaic for travelers seeking roads less taken.

Spanning the Po Valley to the foothills of the Alps, Northern Italy’s diverse landscapes are steeped in history. From ancient trade routes to medieval kingdoms and Europe’s Renaissance heart, discover how geography shaped culture. Alpine vistas, glittering lakes, and Adriatic harbors that once launched crusader ships now welcome you. Each region surprises with its unique heritage.

Traverse the canals and marble palaces of a powerful medieval republic in Venice. Wander through the colorful streets of Verona,  marvel at Milan’s Gothic cathedral and soaring modern architecture. Journey through the vineyard-striped hills and castles of Piedmont and Trenito.


From Alpine vistas, to frescoed villages and sun-soaked Mediterranean coastlines, northeast Italy unveils charms around every turn for those eager to veer off the tourist track.

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Northern Italy Itinerary

Our favorite way to design your trip includes locally-focused, absolutely stunning, and culturally rich places. We encourage you to travel slowly, allow time to get caught up in the moment, and enjoy each special moment.

  • In the Alto Adige region, alpine air and Austrian influence blend in Bolzano, where villages retain their Tyrolean charm. Swap travel tales with fellow hikers as you traverse the craggy peaks of the Dolomites, pausing to refuel with cheese, speck and hearty red wines in cozy mountain rifugios.

  • The Alpine jewels of Lake Garda and Lake Iseo, where blue water shimmers beneath lush mountains. Sun-drenched shores by day meets moonlit waters by night.

  • On Lake Iseo, soak up the tranquility of quaint villages surrounded by the vineyards of the Franciacorta wine region. 

  • West to Lake Garda, picturesque towns like Sirmione and Riva del Garda, complete with promenades, gelaterias and restaurants lining the shores., where laughter and language mingle during an afternoon aperitivo! 

  • In Liguria, help harvest olives, learn secrets of pesto from a chef, and dance with locals at a village festival. 

  • Bergamo means two cities in one, from the medieval Città Alta perched on a hilltop to the more modern Città Bassa connected by funicular. Take in the view from the city's UNESCO Venetian walls before indulging in the fabulous Lombardy cuisine only the locals know.

  • West to Verona, famed as the backdrop for Romeo and Juliet's romance, today its frescoed piazzas set the stage for sipping an aperitivo before a live performance at the Roman arena.  

  • Cycle the vineyards of Franciacorta, where Italy sparkling wines have emerged as an unexpected treasure, the conditions had just been waiting for the right spark of genius to bring them to life.

  • Bond with a Bolognesi chef as you roll out pasta by hand in her countryside villa, then feast on the fruits of your labor paired with wines from her family's vineyard.

Italian nonas cooking photo credit annie-spratt
Village with vineyards and river

"Celebrated 40yrs of marriage touring the stunning Lombardy region of Italy. Huge thanks to Tara at Conscious Travel Collective for customizing a perfect itinerary with passionate & knowledgeable guides especially our driver, our dear Italian friend Francesca and the beautiful women in Milan who graciously welcomed us into their home for a cooking class making homemade Pasta, Ragu and Tiramisu.

Vacanza Perfetta !!"

J. H on her trip to Northern Italy, October 2023

Northern Italy

As diverse as it is spectacular, Northern Italy is home to vineyards, glacial lakes, rugged mountains, rolling hills, dramatic coastline, fertile valleys, and iconic villages and cities.

With influences from its German and Austrian neighbors in Trentino and the seafaring spirit of the Mediterranean in Liguria. The common thread can be found in the culture of food, wine, family, nature and the spirit of living life in its present moment.

Northern Italy promises insider delights: visiting a cheesemaker in his 500-year-old cellar, soaking in an ancient Roman bath fed by natural hot springs, strolling a market and learning secrets from a chef. With its old-world charm, sweeping landscapes and authentic local experiences, this is the Italy that awaits off the well-worn tourist trail.

So revel in each stunning visit, savor every delicate bite, linger over your glass, and sit a little closer to one another.

And welcome to Italy!

Verona Italy at sunset
Italian Piazza

Did you know...

Our trips are created in collaboration with, and led by locals! Travelers will spend their days with a local to experience and connect you to this lively place, its history, and the people that make it so incredibly special.


How long do you suggest for a trip to Northern Italy?

We usually advise from 6-12 nights, depending on the pace you like to travel, and the places you are interested in visiting.

Do I need a Visa to travel to Italy from the USA?

U.S. passport holders can travel to Italy for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without a visa. Just make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your departure.

What is the weather like in Northern Italy?

It depends on the exact location and season, but generally speaking, expect warm summers, with temperatures warming up between May and September. Spring and Fall are great times for travel to this area, as they tend to be only slightly rainy, with warm days and cool nights. Winters are generally mild with moderate rainfall. The mountains can vary widely from season to season. We will share suggestions for packing based on the location and time period you are traveling, as well as tips for how to layer up in colder areas.

What time of year is best for this region?

We love spring and fall for the mild weather. Summers can be quite warm, which many travelers find uncomfortable when doing a lot of walking in town, and a/c is not as common as in the US. Fall is harvest time, making winery visits especially fascinating! Some wineries will be closed to visitors for a period to work, however our team will coordinate to make sure you can visit at a time that will not conflict with their important work of harvesting their grapes.

What currency is used in Italy?

Italy uses the Euro (€) as its official currency. ATMs are widely available to withdraw cash (euros), and credit cards are widely accepted, but some places may only accept cash, especially in rural areas or for small amounts.

I don't speak Italian, will I be able to communicate with just English?

It's helpful to learn basic Italian phrases, however English is widely spoken, especially in cities, or towns popular with tourists. We recommend giving a few phrases a try, as a little goes a long way in connecting with locals.

Is the water safe to drink?

Yes, tap water is safe to drink across Italy. Bottled water is also readily available to purchase.

I’m gluten-free, can I still eat pasta in Italy?

Gluten-free options are becoming more widely available, even in smaller towns. Travelers with an allergy should take precautions like they would at home since not all kitchens can avoid cross-contamination. We will provide options for gluten-free restaurants that work to reduce any possibility of allergens.

Is Italy welcoming to same sex couples?

The answer is, it depends - the current government in Italy is viewed as taking measures that disempower same-sex couples, however many LGBTQ citizens in Italy feel safe and welcomed in their communities. We’ve spoken with local LGBTQ friends who shared that they feel most comfortable in Italy’s largest cities, as small towns and rural areas can still feel “old-fashioned”. We take safety seriously, please share any concerns with your travel designer, we’d be happy to explore this issue in depth with you.
We partner with local guides, drivers, and experts, many who are part of the LGBTQ community, and we encourage travelers to learn about current politics and social issues by engaging in dialogue with locals.

What airports are in this area?

Milan Malpensa, and Venice (Marco Polo) are the largest international airports serving direct flights to the US. Bergamo airport is also large and well located. Travelers can also look into regional airports of Verona and Treviso. Your CTC travel designer will make suggestions for arrival and departure airports based on your specific itinerary.

What is the best way to get around?

Trains in Italy are generally a great way to get around. In Milan the metro is excellent, and even easily links the city to Malpensa Airport. Many other parts of Northern Italy will require a car. Most of our travelers opt for private drivers, with a combination of private drivers, trains, boats, and some self-driving. Blending various forms of transport allows you to not only experience more of Italy, but to take advantage of what is best for your route, and experiences.

Do you only work with small groups?

We welcome all travelers - this means solo, couples, trios, groups, whole families, you name it! We encourage small group travel because it's a great way to have a private, fully curated experience at a greater value, plus the immersive experiences we specialize in are extra special when shared with a group.

That said, we have lots of expertise in travel design for just 1-2 travelers and know how to capture the essence of immersive travel for groups of every size!

My flight gets in the day before my group, can you arrange a hotel and activities for me?

Of course! We tailor design each trip for the group, as well as individual needs of each traveler.

Need clarification or have additional questions?

We are happy to be of service! Just send an email to hello@conscioustravelcollective.com 

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