Northern Italy is composed of eight provinces, each boasting unique and delicious culinary traditions. The varied topography of the North (mountains, coastline, lakes, rivers and verdant farmland) means varied ingredients, from fine meats and alpine cheeses to stuffed pasta and fresh seafood. The cooking heritage is also influenced by neighbouring countries France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia, so you will be rewarded by exploring!
You can enjoy a guided foodie walking tour in Milan and a Tuscan cooking masterclass on Culture Trip’s specially curated 10-day Northern Italy trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Fontina Cheese, Aosta Valley
Aosta Valley is entirely mountainous. It forms part of the Alps, and the proximity to France, Switzerland and Austria is reflected in the cuisine. Although crops struggle to grow at such a high altitude, the mountains provide pastures for livestock. After the snow melts, highlanders allow their animals to graze here, and summer is spent making formaggio d’alpeggio, such as fontina. It’s claimed the fragrant herbs of the mountain fields gives the milk a special sweet flavour. Fontina is tasty to nibble on or to use in fonduta (fondue) topped with white truffle shavings.
Piedmont is renowned for antipasti, offering an immense variety of hot and cold small dishes. A hot speciality is fiori di zucca ripieni: pumpkin, courgette or squash flowers, stuffed with meat, parmesan and parsley, and then quickly deep-fried. Also popular is vitello tonnato, fine slices of veal served cold with tuna-flavoured mayonnaise and capers.
Pesto Bianco, Liguria
The coastal region of Liguria, and specifically the city of Genoa, is synonymous with pesto Genovese, everyone’s favourite green paste and quick fix for pasta. Less well-known is pesto bianco (white pesto): a rich blend of walnuts, olive oil and fresh ricotta often served with corzetti,a disc-shaped Ligurian pasta.
Panettone is a Christmas culinary tradition throughout Italy, but it originated in Milan. The tall, dome-shaped loaf is light and airy with a savoury buttery flavour. Candied fruit and orange peel bring moments of sweetness to it. Most panettone in Italy is produced on an industrial scale, but in Milan, there are still many artisan bakers and confectioners who bake the traditional recipe. In the weeks before Christmas, every pastry shop and bakery displays their personal variation, but the classic version is arguably the best. At breakfast, enjoy it with coffee. Alternatively, after lunch or dinner, pair it with a dessert wine, such as Moscato.
Zucca Tortelli, Emilia-Romagna
The cuisine of Emilia-Romagna is a fusion of Byzantine and Lombard traditions. The province is home to prosciutto di Parma (unique to Parma); balsamic vinegar (from Modena and Reggio); and the king of cheeses, parmigiano reggiano. Tortelli is also synonymous with the region, and there are many classic variations to enjoy. Zucca tortelli is an autumnal classic: freshly prepared pasta parcels stuffed with a sweet pumpkin filling, dressed with a fragrant butter and sage sauce, then finished with a crumbling of amaretti. The dish originated in the Renaissance period with the arrival of pumpkins from America.
Risotto al Neri di Seppi, Veneto
Medieval merchant city Venice had a major influence on the cuisines of the wider Veneto province, most notably on the introduction of rice from trade with the Arab States. Rice began to dominate the regional diet and is still featured prominently in Venetian cooking. You can always enjoy fresh seafood in Venice, as well; risotto al neri di seppi is a typical Venetian primi piatti that brings these two elements together in a simple risotto flavoured with cuttlefish and coloured with its black ink.
Prosciutto di Sauris, Friuli-Venezia Giulia
Friuli-Venezia Giulia borders Slovenia and Germany, and many years under Austro-Hungarian rule had an impact on the culinary practices; sauerkraut, cabbage soup and apple strudel are all very common here. The famous San Daniele Prosciutto originated here, but the Prosciutto di Sauris is also widely celebrated; it has a distinct aromatic flavour that comes from a smoking method only practiced in the Udine province (beech wood from local woodland is used in traditional smoking rooms). Enjoy this sweet and delicately smokey ham with a soft red wine.
Trentino-Alto Adige / Südtirol
Bordering Austria to the north and the Italian Veneto region to the south, Trentino-Alto Adige (or Südtirol) forms part of the Dolomite mountain range. Many of the mountain-dwelling communities identify with Tyrolian culture and even speak German. Moving further down the mountains, life is more similar to that of Veneto. The Hungarian-inspired goulash served with polenta is a popular dish. Onion is heavily featured in this hearty beef stew, flavoured with marjoram, bay leaf and lots of red wine. Polenta is common in Northern Italian cooking, but the Valle de Chiese (Valley of the Churches) in Trentino are specialists at cultivating it.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.