Is an Italy road trip calling your name? If you’ve visited the biggies like Rome, Venice and Florence, it’s time to travel on a boomer road trip to Northern Italy that’s slightly off-the-beaten-path. Fly into Milan, then come along with us on a road trip to Italy that included delightful stops in unexpected Italian destinations.
Rather than drive ourselves, we contracted with Claudio Fontana of Italy A La Carte for a 9-day driving tour of Northern Italy before Claudio delivered us to a cruise ship in Civitavechhia. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, use this itinerary to create an independent driving tour of the region.
Our nine-day boomer road trip began in Milan and ended at Civitavecchia where we boarded Seabourn Sojourn for an Atlantic Crossing, Rome to Ft. Lauderdale. We shared the cost of a private van and guide (Claudia Fontana of A La Carte Italy Tours) with our boomer friends, Jack and Sue.
Claudio hauled our cruise luggage in the van, which saved us the cost of shipping luggage (enough for 21 days including numerous formal nights) to the ship. Alan and I had such a great time that we returned to road trip Southern Italy with Claudio.
Tips for Planning Your Italy Road Trip
Using a guide has its advantages. Alan and I discussed destinations we’d like to visit for this Northern Italian road trip. Claudio offered his opinion, sometimes gently steering us to a better choice.
Once the itinerary was set, Claudio emailed a list of lodging choices for each destination in the category that we had selected (we chose the 4 star option). After checking reviews at TripAdvisor, we notified Claudio of our choices and he made the arrangements, including the hotel price in the cost of his services. If you’re on a do-it-yourself road trip in Northern Italy, start your search for hotels in Italy with us.
When it came time to purchase our flights to Italy (we rode a ship home), we searched for the best rates in flights with Skyscanner. Their apps are especially handy for researching flights while you’re on the road: Skyscanner iOS App Download or Skyscanner Android App Download.
I think it’s essential to purchase travel insurance for international trips. Comparing prices at Insure My Trip is very helpful. And joining an evacuation program like Medjet is also a must in today’s travel climate.
Boomer Travel Tip
We’ll be adding more great road trip ideas for Northern Italy so be sure to bookmark this page. Or subscribe to our weekly broadcast so you’ll be the first to know!
Northern Italy Road Trip Itinerary
From our headquarters at Lake Como, we explored Orta San Giulio and Bergamo. Then we moved on to castle accommodations at La Tavola Rotonda and a day in Italy’s Motor Valley. You do want to drive a Ferrari, right? We spent a day on the coast at Cinque de Terre before peeking behind Lucca’s walls. Are you curious about where Michelangelo found all that marble for his statues? You’ll find exploring a Carrara marble mine. And the grand finale? Spending a night in Southern Tuscany at the Sovana Hotel and Resort. Now that’s a road trip Northern Italy style.
Three Hours in Milan
Although Alan and I are happiest when we’re traveling slow, occasionally we find ourselves cramming as much as we can into a travel experience. That was the case when we stopped in Milan at the beginning of a Northern Italian road trip. Arriving at Malpensa Airport in the late afternoon, we opted for a good […]
Orta San Giulio: Northern Italy At Its Best
Cobblestone streets, a 1580’s era town hall with a frescoed facade, outdoor cafes on a plaza bordering a mountain lake, a fairy tale looking island in the middle of that lake—atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere. This is exactly what Alan and I hoped to find on our road trip in Northern Italy. When we told Claudio Fontana […]
Medieval Italy is Alive in Bergamo
On a walking tour of Bergamo, Italy, Alan and I marvel at the stone walls surrounding Città Alta, the upper town of Bergamo, Italy—a medieval city that’s still thriving. In the 17th century, Venetians built the walls to protect the town from Milan. Today, residents and university students live and shop here, dine at local restaurants […]
Boomer Adventure in Ferrari Land
Have you dreamed of a Ferrari test drive in Italy? On a road trip in Northern Italy, Alan did just that—while I watched. How did that happen? When it comes to our adventure in Italy’s Motor Valley, there’s no better person to describe it than Alan. After all, he’s the one who actually drove the […]
Drooling Over Lamborghinis
If you’re planning a boomer trip to Italy’s motor valley, be sure your itinerary includes the Lamborghini Museum. During our road trip through Northern Italy, Alan may have gotten his kicks test driving a Ferrari, but I’m the one who drooled over the Lamborghini sports cars. The museum’s gleaming concept cars, vintage production models and […]
La Tavola Rotonda: My Italian Castle
When you think of places to stay in Italy, does a castle come to mind? It does if you’re staying at La Tavola Rotonda. My idea of castle lodging is a fairytale building perched in the Bavarian hills of Germany, perhaps with snow-capped mountains in the background. I never expected to be sleeping in an […]
Spend a Day in Cinque Terre
If you only have one day in Cinque Terre, what should boomer travelers see and do? That was the question Alan and I asked ourselves as we planned a road trip in northern Italy. Our guide, Claudio Fontana of A La Carte Italy Tours, came up with the perfect idea. We’d spend a day in Cinque Terre […]
Behind The Walls In Lucca
Did you know that Lucca is the only town in Italy to be totally surrounded by walls? Behind those medieval ramparts, Renaissance architecture in the form of churches, elegant shops and picturesque piazzas beckon to be explored. When Alan and I were planning a road trip to northern Italy with our friends, Jack and Sue, we […]
Exploring Inside a Marble Mountain
When you think of visiting Italy, is a Carrara marble mine tour on your boomer itinerary? On a guided road trip in northern Italy, we told Claudio of A La Carte Italy Tours, “the more off-the-beaten-path, the better.” That’s why during our stay in Lucca, Alan and I found ourselves inside a mountain with white […]
Romantic Relaxation in Tuscany
The end of a long-anticipated trip should leave travelers wanting more, don’t you agree? That’s what Alan and I appreciated so much at the end of our trip to Italy…the ending. When Alan and I stepped through the nondescript entry to Sovana Hotel and Resort in southern Tuscany, we discovered a lobby that felt as […]
Italy Travel Planner
Read our Italy Travel Planner before your next trip to Italy. Discover travel guides, resources, tips, where to go and gear for an Italian boomer travel adventure.
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Cities to Add to Your Road Trip in Northern Italy
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Bologna Travel Tips from a First-time Visitor
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Baby Boomer Adventure in Cortina, Italy
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Exploring Florence: Art and Culture in Italy
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Travel Tips for Venice from a First-time Visitor
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