Arts and historical towns
Arts and historical towns from Milan : some ideas for a pleasant trip.
THE ISRAEL OF THE ALPS
The Waldensian valleys
In the alpine region north east of the Mount Viso, just before the mountains give abruptly way to the vast plains of Piedmont, you can enter in the only area of Italy where the majority of the inhabitants are protestant. The Waldensian heresy dates back to the end of the XIIth century and anticipated by some 400 yers the Protestant reformation.
Persecuted by the Catholic Church, the Duke of Savoy and the King of France, the Waldensians were able to survive thanks to their retreat in these remote valleys which was dubbed by the English reformators The Istrael of the Alps in honor to the strenuous resistence of these predecessors of the Reformation.
Geographically, the Waldensian Vallies comprise the valley of the Pellice, the gorge of the Angrogna and parts of the Chisone and Germanasca Valeys, formerly belonging tothe Kingdom of France.. The main center is Torre Pellice, where the principal institutions of the Wandensian Church are located, as well as an interesting Museum where the century long history of the Waldensan people is recalled. The valley of Angrogna – just off Torre Pellice – on the other hand hosts most of the historical locations where the main events of the Waldensian history took place. These are enriched by a series of small museums and markers, like the monument of Chanforan recalling the meeting by which the Waldensian decided to join the Calvinist reformation in 1532, and the Beckwith schools, a number of small classrooms organized thanks to the initiative of he British Colonel Charles Beckwith in the first half of the XIXth century.
Living in a miltilingual environment and with strong ties with Germany, Switzerland, France, Boemia and Britain, this area has anticipated along the centuries the dream of a single European dimension.
For more information, visit the site http://www.valdesi.org/page.asp?Page=museoOdin
For a week-end in this amazing region, approximate rate 180.- €/person in half board including :
- One night accommodation in a country hotel – double occupancy
- One dinner and one lunch in typical restaurants (drinks escluded)
- One day guided visit to the main attractions (entrance fees included)
Rate excludes travel cost and any personal extras.
West Piedmont among abbeys and villas
The Abbey of Staffarda
Travelling along the edge of the plains west of Turin you can find countless hidden treasures dating back to the middle ages. The Abbey of Staffarda is one of the biggest medieval buildings of Piedmont, built originally in the XIIth century to host a Cistercensian momnastery. Although if enlarged and modified several times till the late XVIth century, the complex maintains its original structure and is rich in scultures and paintings.
The location was the place of one of the biggest battles between the Duke of Savoy and the King of France in 1690.
The ancient town of Saluzzo – few miles from Staffarda – is a well preserved medieval town, with its ancient builing, the charming main square, an impressing castle of the XIIth Century and the beautiful Cathedral of the late XVth century. Saluzzo was in the Middle Ages the headquarter of an independent County and retains several signs of its past as capital.
On the outskirts of Saluzzo, one should pay a visit to a manor of the XVth century, the Villa Belvedere, a former hunting mansion which retains – skillfully restored – most of the decorations and furniture of that time.
For the lovers of the Italian history, not far from Saluzzo lies the small town of Cavour, whose name is linked to the Count of Cavour, probably the greatest actor in the creation of the unified Italian state. Although if the location is more a large village, without real interest, it lies underneath an impressive glacial hill where prehistoric graffitis can be seen and offering from its top an amazing 360° view over the plains.
A journey along these sites does not require more than a week-end, and can be done independently following an itinerary we will supply. Small lodges can offer overnights for less than 100.- € in a double room and countless little restaurants can satisfy the gourmets with the delights of the piedmontese cuisine.
A week-end to discover the first Capital of Italy in a quite different way.
High speed train from Milan to Turin and time to discover independently the city. Possibility to join the tour UNDERGROUND TURIN to visit the tunnels of the XVIIIth century, the ancient crypts and the old refrigerated warehouses of the food market.
Guided tour of of the town followed by the tour MAGICAL TURIN, a discovery excursion through the locations of the wizardly tradistion of this city of magicians and witches.
Train back to Milan
Rate in double BB occupancy in a centrally located hotel, including guided tour and high speed non-refundable ticket : 160.- € per person
FLORENCE WEEK-END BREAK
Florence the town of art and commerce, the place where the first banks of the world were established, the source of secret plots dignified by Machiavelli’s theories, the birthplace of two of the most influential Freench queens… This amazing city is less than 2 hours away from Milan by a frequent high speed train connection, so worth a week-end even for travellers on a hurry !!
Week-end from Milan including :
- – high speed train from Milan
- -one night in a central hotel – double occupancy
- – guided tour in Florence
Cost per person 300.- €
ITALY BY TRAIN
The Italian highspeed train network enables to travel across the Country effortlessly and in full confort. This journey is designed to guide the visitor to know four of the most famous towns in Italy, Venice, Florence, Rome and Turin. The base quote includes the highspeed train ticket and 4 nights in a conveniently located hotel on double occupancy and B&B accommodation. With a supplement, it is possible to complete the package by booking in advance the guided orientation tours in each city, the entrances to the main points of interest and additional nights to make the journey more pleasant.
Base cost per person : 850.- €
CATANIA THE SICILIAN CAPITAL OF BAROQUE
Few think that in Sicily you can find treasures of baroque architecture, but the ancient city of Catania, on the east cost of the island, constantly reconstructed against the odds of its position exposed to the fury of the Etna volcano, hosts some of the best examples of this art in the Mediterranean. Convenient flight links to Milan enable to spend a short week-end there to taste the charming atmosphere of Sicily, the bridge between Europe and the Arab world.
- -return flight from Milan (taxes and fluel supplement excluded)
- -one night in a central hotel – double occupancy
- – guided tour in Catania
Cost per person 150.- €
CAPRI WEEK-END BREAK
Luxuriant, extraordinary, and with such a mild climate. !! Capri is a mix of history, nature, worldliness, culture and events that daily blend together and bring the Legend of Capri to life; a legend that sees no comparison anywhere in the world. Thanks to the high speed train onnection from Milan you can spend there an amazing week-end including
- return train from/to Milan
- two nights in a 3 star hotel – BB and double accommodation
- ferry from/to Neaples port
- Transfer to and from the ports
Cost per person 400.- €
In Lombardy there is a small region, just below the Iseo lake and near the city of Brescia, that since many years has been successful in spreading its fame worldwide for the quality of its precious bubbles – be careful not to call them spumante – and which are called Franciacorta, a historical wine area having ancient origins and its wines, since past times, were known and appreciated for their qualities. Today the noble bubbles of Franciacorta belong to the small group of excellent wines of the world, a remarkable success achieved thanks to tenacity and seriousness and in a relatively short period of time, in less than 40 years.
- private transfer from and to Milan
- half day guided visit around the lake, the wineries and of the lake island (Monte Isola)
- one night in a 3* hotel on the lake -double occupancy BB
- guided journey on the historic “Train of Flavors” including food tasting lunch
This week-end can be organized with a minimum of 8 participants and has a cost per person starting at 350.- €
Due tu the limited availability on the hiostoric train, the journey must be booked at least one month in advance