June 20, 2018

Mandarin Oriental, Milan has launched three self-drive tours, where guests can explore the surrounding region in a vintage Alfa Romeo sports car. With itineraries taking in some of Northern Italy’s most attractive and lesser-known destinations, the self-drive tours allow guests to immerse themselves in regional culture and learn first-hand from local artisans about their world-renowned craftsmanship. Guests can book the hotel’s Bed and Breakfast offer to make the most its five-star facilities and to enjoy the tours.

Guests booking the self-drive tours will take to the roads in an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider built in 1955. Prized among classic car collectors for its beauty, performance and rarity, this stylish classic offers guests a complete vintage experience in comfort and style.

The three self-drive tours will be to destinations rich in art and architecture. They include travellers’ favourite Lake Maggiore, which stretches from north of Milan into Switzerland, the pretty town of Bergamo, treasured for its steep narrow streets lined with beautifully preserved Medieval and Renaissance buildings, and Cremona, a community celebrated since the 16th century for its violin makers, such as the world-famous Antonio Stradivari.

Lunch is included in each tour, and guests can call upon a personal road assistant driver, at an additional charge, to ensure a smooth rental experience from start to finish. The service includes valet parking, car wash, refuelling, technical support and voice connection between vehicles, along with the possibility, at all times, for guests to switch to a modern car.

Tour one: visit to historic violin maker’s workshop in Cremona

During their visit to the picturesque town of Cremona, which has 100 violin makers’ workshops, guests will be given a one-hour tour of one of these premises, where they can learn about the art of shaping and assembling violins in the tradition of Antonio Stradivari, master luthier and crafter of stringed instruments. Lunch is enjoyed at a traditional restaurant. Available for up to two guests, this self-drive tour is priced from EUR 3,100.

Tour two: learning to make handmade casoncelli pasta in Bergamo

Bergamo is renowned for its robust hearty cuisine featuring dishes such as casoncelli, stuffed pasta traditionally made with pork and beef. During their visit, guests will take part in a hands-on cooking class at one of the city’s best restaurants, where they will learn how to make casoncelli. Afterwards, they will enjoy a delicious lunch made with top-quality local ingredients. Available for up to two guests, this self-drive tour is priced from EUR 2,800. 

Tour three: visit to Villa Taranto at Lake Maggiore, and more

On Lake Maggiore’s southwestern shores, some of the world’s best cheese refiners can be found, including Luigi Guffanti, where guests will enjoy a cheese tasting session and tour of the shop’s cavernous cellars, home to maturing chambers that age cheeses to perfection. Following lunch at a two-Michelin starred restaurant, guests will explore the spectacular botanical gardens of lakeside Villa Taranto, home to nearly 20,000 varieties of plant. Available for up to two guests, this self-drive tour is priced from EUR 3,500.