Lombardy – Unveiling the majesty of Oltrepò Pavese

  • 4 days
  • Lombardy
  • Food & Wine, Cultural


Oltrepò Pavese is an area in southern Lombardy, 1.30hours driving from Milan. Its cluster shape suggests the history of this land: 75% of Italy’s Pinot Nero is produced here, confirming it as the third largest area of production in Europe. Underlying this excellence is a synergy between the richness of its soil and pronounced night time excursions. The vibrant food and wine culture is embedded in picturesque landscapes and historical heritage, including medieval castles and churches, which add a sense of enchantment and significance to the cultural fabric.


What to Expect

This itinerary guides you through the treasures of Oltrepò Pavese. Starting from the architectural masterpieces of Pavia and the Certosa of Pavia, it heads south, delving into the vineyards of this land. Tenuta Travaglino and Tenuta Conte Vistarino are the symbols of wine production in this area of Lombardy, which produces most of Italy’s Pinot Noir. Here you can taste the local products and their iconic wines, renowned throughout the world. EXCLUSIVE accommodation on this trip is the Castello di Mornico, an ancient building dating back to the 12th century, ideal for experiencing and feeling the essence of this land and connecting with nature. This trip continues with a visit to one of the Most Beautiful Villages of Italy, Zavattarello. The village preserves the traces of its past, such as the Castello del Verme and the thousands of ancient objects collected in the Magazzino dei Ricordi (literally storage of memories). Then Cremona, another symbol of Lombardy’s food & wine and crafts. Optionally, we stay an extra day to enjoy a guided tour of Milan among iconic and unusual places.

  • Enogastronomy
  • Cultural Heritage
  • EXCLUSIVE accommodation
  • Tastings


Day 1 - Milan – Pavia – Mornico Losana (70km)

Arrival in Milan and transfer to the Certosa di Pavia. Here we visit one of Italy’s greatest
masterpieces, a monumental complex that includes a sanctuary and a monastery, built in the
14th century by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, lord of Milan. The complex features different
architectural styles, from late Italian Gothic to Renaissance.
We then travel to Pavia to visit the city. Founded by Ligurians and Celts, the city later became
a Roman municipium under the name Ticinium. Later it was the capital of the Lombard
Kingdom and the hub of trade between the Po Valley and the great rivers. The Duomo, built
during the Sforza seigniory, houses the third largest dome in Italy. Also, we visit the ancient
courtyards of the University, Piazza della Vittoria, Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral, the
Basilica of San Michele and the medieval towers. The latter were built between the 11th and
12th centuries and still denote the city as “the city of a hundred towers”. Also noteworthy
is the Visconti Castle, built in 1360 as a hunting and leisure residence, and today home to the
city museums. During the visit we cross the Ponte Coperto, also known as the “Devil’s Bridge”,
a Roman bridge modified during the Middle Ages on which there are numerous legends to
discover. Pavia is also home to the Broletto, the oldest palace in Lombardy, built in 1100.
Afterwards, we reach Mornico Losana, for dinner, check-in and overnight.

Overnight at the Castel in Mornico Losana or similar.


Day 2 - Mornico Losana - Rocca de Giorgi – Zavattarello – Romagnese – Mornico Losana (71 km)

After breakfast we move to the Conte Vistarino Estate in Rocca de Giorgi, a historic winery located in Rocca de’ Giorgi. Known as “The House of Pinot Nero,” the first Pinot Nero from Oltrepò Pavese was produced here. We visit the estate and we enjoy a local wine tasting* and a light lunch. We then move on towards Zavattarello, an ancient village characterized by a fluorid production of shoes, called “savatte,” the term from which the village takes his name. This tiny village is listed among The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy.
Here we visit the Castello dal Verme, which is one of the symbols of the Oltrepò Pavese. It is an imposing stone fortress that dominates the surrounding area from an elevated position and whose earliest traces date back to the 7th century. We then move to the Museum Magazzino dei Ricordi (literally storage of memories) to learn about the culture and traditions of this village. The museum aims to preserve the rural culture of the area and offers visitors an itinerary of daily life through the display of emblematic rooms as they were once**.
After the visit we travel to Romagnese***, another ancient village of just 600 inhabitants. Here we find natural wonders and important relics of the past such as the splendid church of San Lorenzo, a Baroque jewel from the first half of the 17th century, and the Oratorio dei Morti di San Lorenzo, a charming 19th-century building that stands among the woods of Mount Penice. In this hamlet, we visit the Museum of Peasant Civilization, and then we return to our accomodation, dinner and overnight stay.

* Possibility to enjoy the wine tasting in Villa Fornace, (min. 6 pp.) an ancient 18th-century villa that is still the heart of the estate, surrounded by a magnificent garden designed by Achille Majnoni, the architect of the King of Italy Umberto.

**Possible local experience in Zavattarello: lavender oleolite production with maceration in oil to produce an ancient traditional medicine OR soap making with a local expert.

*** If we enjoy wine tasting in Villa Fornace in the morning, due to time constraints, we will not be able to visit Romagnese. 

Day 3 - Mornico Losana - Calvignano – Cremona (100km)

Today we visit the Travaglino Estate, a winery in a village out of time, where, among millennia-old stones and brick vaults, we find the thread of a wine vocation handed down from generation to generation. Here we learn about the winemaking process and enjoy a local wine tasting. Lunch at La Locanda di Calvignano (or similar), a historic place from which we can admire the green landscape of Oltrepò Pavese. Here we experience authentic dishes paired with Travaglino wines.

In the afternoon, we leave Oltrepò Pavese and we travel to Cremona where we meet a local guide and enjoy a city tour. The medieval architecture of the Piazza del Comune with the Torrazzo, the tallest brick bell tower in Europe, is fascinating. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which critic Longhi called the “Sistine Chapel of the Po Valley”, enchants with its frescoes. The Palazzo Comunale, with its typical Lombard broletto structure (Broletto is an ancient Italian word, from medieval Latin “broilum, brogilum”, which probably derives from a Celtic word. Its first meaning is “little orchard or garden”; hence the meaning “field surrounded by a wall”), and the Loggia dei Militi, with its 14th-century statues, have always been places for chatting and meeting. Interesting to visit is the more hidden Roman Cremona, enclosed within the aisles of the Archaeological Museum and told by the restored Nymphaeum domus, with paintings and mosaic fragments.
Late in the afternoon, we check-in at our hotel, for the overnight stay*.

*OPTIONAL EXTRA DAY at leisure at Castello di Mornico to enjoy the surroundings.

Day 4 - Cremona – Milano (95km)

After breakfast we visit a violin workshop in Cremona‘s historic center. There are more than 150 of them, scattered throughout the streets, protected as UNESCO Intangible Heritage since 2012. In the visit we learn the method of making violins in the Cremonese tradition. Afterwards we visit the Violin Museum, built to strengthen the thread of memory, which preserves Amati, Guarneri and Stradivari. The city is part of the East Lombardy network with its food and wine excellences such as marubini and tortelli al Gran Bollito, Cremona IGP salami with mostarda, and typical cheeses. Here we enjoy a delicious lunch in a local restaurant, before going back to Milan in the afternoon.
Transfer to the hotel or transfer to the airport*.

*OPTIONAL extra day in Milan.

Day 5 - Milan OPTIONAL*

After breakfast we enjoy a guided city tour in Milan to see the iconic symbols of the city and some unusual and remote sites. We visit the iconic Dome and the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery. Then we walk to Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro to visit the magnificent architectural illusion by Bramante. Later on, we move to Pinacoteca Brera to admire the historical collection, including the famous painting The Kiss by Hayez and some masterpieces of the famous Caravaggio. Then, we move to the Castello Sforzesco, a huge fortress by XV century, which preserves the Pietà Rondanini by Michelangelo.

Transfer to the airport and departure.

Price Includes

  • Transfers from/to airport
  • Transport by car or van (according to the group size)
  • 3 Overnights
  • Guided tour in Zavatterello, Certosa di Pavia, Pavia and Cremona
  • Entrance tickets
  • Tastings on day 2 and day 3
  • Lunch on day 3

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Everything not specified in "the quote includes"
  • Optional extra activities


When can I travel ?

From April to October.

How much does it cost ?

On request – quotations from 2 to 12 pax.


How's the climate ?

The climate of Oltrepò Pavese is similar to that typical of continental areas, with harsh winter and hot summer.

Are meals included ?

Daily breakfast and one lunch are included.

Which transportation will be used ?

Transport will be by car or van, according to group size. 

For logistics or technical reasons, the itinerary can be run with some amendments on the sequence of the visits and excursions.

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