Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Milan and the Lakes Region

Personalized Itineraries for Families, Groups and Business Travelers to Experience the Architecture, Arts and History of Lombardy Region, Traditions and Creativity in Gastronomy, Fashion and Design, as well as Milan’s Innovative Approach to Energy Efficiency and Water Resources Management. 

City Overview Arrival at Milan airport/train station and transfer by private bus service to your accommodations. Milan is located in the north-western section of the Po Valley, between the Po River and the Alps and Italian lakes region. The concentric layout of the city center has been influenced by the Navigli, an ancient system of navigable and interconnected canals, now mostly covered. Afternoon and Evening: driving tour to admire the city’s unique architecture, visits to the Duomo and Sforza Castle and a presentation on its culinary traditions. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Tradition, Creativity and Innovation in the food business are Milan’s Expo 2015 themes.  For a complete experience, your visit to the Expo Pavilions requires a full day. The exhibition area recreates the typical “food cycle” of each nation, from production to consumption. The center of the avenue is occupied by tables where visitors can sample the foods produced in the pavilion of each country. Also, bioclimatic greenhouses function as thematic pavilions and for the cultivation and production of basic foodstuffs used in the individual country pavilions. Water is an important element, with a large navigable canal surrounding the Expo site. The themes:
Water, History and Leonardo Da Vinci Unlike most European and world leading cities, Milan was not settled on a river or by the sea, but in the middle of the Po River Valley.  Hence, Milan’s is a history about water and how water was brought to the City. Water as a source of energy, for transportation route and as a defense system throughout the centuries. Leonardo Da Vinci spent his most productive years in Milan, and his activity as an engineer has crossed with the water history of the city; marks of his activity are still visible after hundreds of years. Water, sustainability and Leonardo are the threads that unify the different epochs in the city’s history and your visit to this part of Italy.    
Piedmont and the Langhe – blog link Turin and Piedmont have a long and sophisticated culinary tradition. You will visit the Langhe region whose vineyards have been recently bestowed with a Unesco World Heritage Site appellation. A traditional environment where innovation makes the difference with the celebrated Barolo Wine and the Alba White Truffles, along with Ruché, a vine variety recovered in the past twenty years and now producing a superb wine. Also, innovative beer masters and cheese manufacturers are giving life to new tastes. You will experience this and more in local restaurants and visits to local vineyards. All this in an idyllic setting of sloping hills and ancient castles.
In the Evening, return to Milan and A Show Cooking Experience.
Milan the Classical City A day dedicated to the old Roman City and the more hidden parts of Milan, with opportunities to visit old artisan shops as well as the new Museum of Cultures, Villa Necchi Campiglio and Leonardo’s Last Supper.
The Royal Villa, Monza and the Lake Area Monza has its own history dating back to the middle ages. Here, you will visit the Royal Villa and the surrounding Monza Park, The recently restored Villa is an amazing building rivaling in size and quality Versailles and Caserta’s Royal Palace. It will host the Museum of Italian Design during EXPO2015. Behind the Royal Villa, Monza Park is the largest walled park in Europe. You may be already familiar with it as the racetrack where the Monza Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place every September.

On Lake Como you will visit Bellagio, a cozy old village where the two branches of the lake converge, the “Orrido of Bellano” a narrow Canyon where the water is still feeding an old fashioned power plant, and Isola Comacina, an old settlement where you’ll see ruins dating back from the middle ages, and a terrific view of the Lake. The drive back to Milan is via the Strada Regina (Queen’s Road) along the lakeshore and an opportunity to look at some gorgeous villas, including George Clooney’s residence.
Shopping and Design Milan is a global capital in industrial design, fashion and architecture. It is also a mecca for food lovers. As the commercial capital of Italy and one of Europe's most dynamic cities, it accounts for the lion’s share of the fashion trade, with some of the most renowned fashion houses headquartered here. Its upscale fashion district- quadrilatero della moda – and Galleria (world’s first shopping mall) offer the best shopping opportunities anywhere.  In the Evening: a Beer Tasting Experience and Farewell Dinner.

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