Florence & Milan


On this unparalleled experience, you will enjoy the finest art, culture, and cuisine that Italy has to offer! Your experience begins in Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance and home to some of the great historical patrons of the arts. Enjoy a private operatic recital featuring performers from the Puccini Opera Company, take in a presentation on West African Ghanaian Ewe music by Professor James Demby, and get behind the wheel of an Italian icon at the Ferrari Museum in Maranello.

In Milan, you’ll have the chance to learn about Ambrosian chant, one of the world’s oldest choral traditions, from an expert in the very church that inspires its name. Visit the Museo del Violino in Cremona where two virtuosi will perform a private concert on instruments hand crafted by Stradivarius himself and back in Milan enjoy privileged access behind the scenes before attending an opera production at Teatro alla Scala! This program offers a truly unique experience of Italian musical and cultural highlights. We hope to see you there!

What's Included

  • 4-star deluxe hotels in city centers
    • Florence: Hotel Pierre
    • Milan: Sina De La Ville
  • On-site Encore Travel Concierge
  • Private Coach
  • Full breakfast daily
  • 3 sumptuous dinners
  • Tuscan farmhouse lunch
  • Balsamic tasting and lunch
  • Culatello tour and tasting
  • Private performance at Conservatorio di Musica Luigi Cherubini
  • Private operatic recital
  • Private performance at Museo del Violino
  • Presentation on Ghanaian Ewe Music
  • Ambrosian chant lecture/performance
  • VIP experience at La Scala
  • Visit the Ferrari Museum
  • Guided tour of Florence
  • Guided tour of Milan


Cremona is a city in northern Italy that has become famous for its production of high-quality violins. Featuring a beautiful and historic city center, participants consistently name Cremona as one of their favorite day trips. Cremona has been a famous music center since the 16th century and is still renown for their artisan workshops producing high-quality string instruments.

Antonio Stadivari, an iconic luthier, produced over 1100 violins, which are widely considered to be among the finest ever produced. Not only will you hear a private concert on one of these beautifully crafted instruments, but you’ll also be able to enjoy sights like the Palazzo Comunale, Loggia dei Militi, and the Torazzo, the second-tallest brick tower in Europe, which offers a magnificent view of the city.


11 Days

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Day 1 Overnight Flight

Depart for Italy.

structure in Italy

Day 2 Florence

Your experience begins in Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance and home to some of the great historical patrons of the arts. Your Travel Concierge will be available to you at the hotel welcome desk and will have any concert tickets reserved pre-departure, ready for collection. Early evening, join us for a cocktail reception where an Encore host will whet your appetite with some highlights of the experiences to come! This program begins in Florence at the hotel, with guaranteed room availability from 3pm. Transfers from Florence Airport (FLO) by luxury mini-coach or limousine are available upon request. (D)

Destination Italy

Day 3 Florence

A local guide will offer a morning walking tour around the city's historic center for those who wish to join. This afternoon, join the list of Florentine musical patrons today as you receive the score and copyright to an original composition at its world premiere. Meet with the Dean and students at the Conservatorio di Musica Luigi Cherubini in Florence who have specially composed a piece inspired by input from you. The performance will take place in the auditorium of the Conservatory, attached to the Galleria dell'Accademia, where Michelangelo’s David is displayed. (B)

Day 4 Florence

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, prosperous families built private horseshoe theatres providing an intimate performance venue for the local population. Teatro dei Rassicurati in medieval hill-top Montecarlo di Lucca is a beautiful example and the venue for our private operatic recital featuring performers from the nearby Puccini Opera Company. After the event we move to another idyllic Tuscan setting for a wine tasting and lunch at Fattoria di Montechiari. (B,L)

Day 5 Florence

Your Travel Concierge is available to share a host of cultural and culinary suggestions for your day in Florence. This evening our host is James Demby, composer, conductor and professor of Music Theory at the State Conservatory of Music of Florence and also a researcher and scholar in West African Ghanaian Ewe Music. The professor will be delighted to make a presentation of Ewe Music, its own structure and philosophy, and the language of Talking Drums, together with his drumming group Italian Sankofa and the students of his Conservatory Workshop. The presentation will be held either in the historical branch of the Museum of Anthropology or Palazzo Nonfinito. (B)

Day 6 Milan

En route to Milan, take in two very different Italian icons, the world famous automotive brand, Ferrari and one of the country's oldest and finest producers of Balsamic vinegar. At Maranello, the home of the prancing horse, visit the museum featuring a collection of the most famous models while those who choose may opt to experience the thrill of getting behind the wheel or enjoy being driven by a professional driver. For those who may prefer, continue directly to the estate of a top producer of balsamic vinegar, including tastings of their finest 'aceto' and where we will all re-unite for a light lunch featuring regional specialties. Later this afternoon arrive in Milan and check into your hotel, located within a few minutes walking distance of the iconic Duomo. (B,L)

Day 7 Milan

A local guide will offer a morning walking tour taking in highlights such as the cathedral, the ritzy Galleria Vittoio Emanuele II and the Brera Museum. Your Travel Concierge is available to help you plan a memorable day in Milan. This afternoon you may elect to learn about Ambrosian chant, one of the worlds oldest choral traditions, from an expert in the very church that inspires its name: S. Ambrogio. A musical lecture is enhanced by the accompaniment of the church choir who chant at service three times a week. (B)

Day 8 Milan

The Stradivarius Experience takes place in Cremona, reached by private coach. Relax and enjoy the gentle scenes of Lombardy passing by. At the Museo del Violino the curator offers a welcome before you take in the collection of many of the worlds' finest stringed instruments. The stunning museum auditorium was built solely with the perfect acoustic in mind for violin and it is here that two virtuosi will play a private concert for you on a violin and cello hand-crafted by Stradivarius himself, as well as a violin made by the great Guarneri del Gesu.

Before returning to Milan a visit to a centuries old producer of the very finest culatello in region will be appreciated by connoisseurs of fine cured meats. There will also an opportunity to taste the estate made wines and cheeses. All appetites will surely enjoy the culinary excellence of Antica Corte Pallavicina, the lovely setting for a meal featuring regional specialties of Lombardy. (B,D)

Day 9 Milan

Today is yours to explore the beauty and culture of Milan at your leisure, with your Travel Concierge at hand for suggestions and assistance. (B)

Day 10 Milan

Our visit this morning to the workshop of La Scala is an insight into the passion and expertise that has made it one of the most prestigious opera companies worldwide. This vast space houses artisans at the peak of their trade, responsible for the costumes, stage design, and set that the grandest productions demand.

After time to relax downtown or back at the hotel, don your evening wear for the grand finale. At the historic opera house, we are treated to a VIP backstage visit where you will learn about the history, technology, and personalities of the theater. Then take your seat for Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera and experience opera at Teatro alla Scalla. (B,D)

Day 11 Departure

Transfers to Malpensa (MXP) or Linate Airports (LIN) by luxury mini-coach or limousine are available upon request. (B)

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