WORLDWIDE CULTURAL AND CULINARY VACATIONS
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A Culinary Holiday along Switzerland's Italian Riviera

(A Tasty Adventure along Lake Maggiore and the Locarno Region of Switzerland)

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Priced From
$6,598 USD *
(For One Person, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
7 days | 6 nights

Fall in Love with Ticino and Lugano...
Where the Swiss Alps meet La Dolce Vita

Ticino, Switzerland, is a captivating canton where Mediterranean flair blends seamlessly with Alpine scenery, known for its vibrant towns, sunny climate, and delicious cuisine. From a culinary perspective, this region showcases a delightful fusion of Italian and Swiss traditions, offering a tantalizing array of dishes that highlight fresh local produce, artisanal cheeses, and hearty mountain fare infused with Mediterranean flavors. In Locarno, the colorful and lively Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, you'll discover a delicious blend of Italian and Swiss flavors—influenced by local ingredients and a blend of culinary traditions. You'll see the similarities with the culinary legacy of Lombardy coupled with earthy authenticity of the alpine lifestyle. Fresh is the key word—freshly caught lake fish, freshly picked produce, and freshly harvested fruits. Home-grown ingredients cooked with a Ticino touch make the local dishes unforgettable. Add to these, a fabulous array of spicy sausages, smoked meats, and tangy cheeses—some only made in these valleys—and dishes take on a distinct regional flair. Ticinese cuisine is aromatic, earthy, and authentic. The breads, pastas, soups, sauces, and pastries from Ticino reveal the influence of centuries of invasion by neighbors as well as frequent visits from foreigners traveling on this busy trade route. Both flamboyant and refined—the Ticinese table deserves to be tasted and savored.

A Culinary Holiday along Switzerland's Italian Riviera

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Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ Testimonials
VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
Please note: Tour inclusions can change depending upon seasonality and weather conditions.
6 Nights Deluxe Accommodations
Round-Trip Train Transfers from Airport
6 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 4 Dinners
Ancient Corn Mill Tour & Demonstration
Cheese Making Demonstration
Gelato Demonstration
Guided Chocolate Tour
Lugano Guided Tour & Lake Cruise
Hands-On Risotto Class
Cruise to Lago Maggiore
Lago Maggiore Market Visit
Ticino Winery Tour & Wine Tasting
Locarno Arcade Visit
Cooking Class in Ascona
Bellinzona Castlgrande Tour
Tibetan Bridge Hike
While our tours are designed as soft adventure experiences, walking, climbing stairs, and in rare cases mild hiking may be required. If you have mobility issues, you should speak with one of our culinary travel specialists to determine if this tour is appropriate for your situation.
AVAILABLE DATES
Departure dates include select dates in May, September and October for both 2024 and 2025. Click the orange "Check Pricing & Dates" button above to see all available dates.
SAMPLE ITINERARY
Please note: Actual itineraries are subject to change due to seasonality.
Click arrows () to show details
Day 1
Benvenuto | Transfer to Minusio-Locarno | Welcome Dinner On arrival in Milan, you'll take a train under the alps and the new Gotthard Base Tunnel—the longest in the world—to arrive in Locarno. Your hotel is situated on the shores of Lake Maggiore with gorgeous views in the heart of the Ticino region. Your welcome dinner and evening will be in Muralto and Locarno this evening. (Train ticket provided to you prior to your departure).
Day 2
Swiss Riviera Breakfast Buffet Fresh fruits, freshly baked bread, croissants and sweet treats, homemade jams, Ticino cheese and cold cuts, yogurt from the region, and muesli with nourishing nuts and grains, are only some of the delicacies that you will find in your morning breakfast buffet. Seasonal products are sourced directly from local producers whenever possible, with a desire to satisfy everyone's morning energy boost to start the day.
Traditional Corn Mill of Bruzella | Artisan Cheesemaking of Zincarlin | Gelato Demonstration Depart after breakfast for an ancient mill still powered by water for grinding mais to make polenta. Then it's off to the dairy of an artisan cheesemaker that produces tangy and golden Zincarlin. Taste the amazing and distinctive local cheese. Next is lunch at a grotto near Mendrisio (Riva San Vitale), to experience polenta along with a sampling of seasonal specialty meats and vegetables. The afternoon will take you to a gelato demonstration at one of the best ice cream makers in the region, followed by a big tasting of the gelato just made! Transfer back to the hotel. Evening and dinner on your own to explore the area. From the hotel, you can enjoy a wonderful walk along the lake for a dinner in Locarno or – our suggestion, on the other side – Ristorante l'Approdo in Tenero. Please note, lunch experience provided in lieu of dinner this evening.
Day 3
Swiss Riviera Breakfast Buffet Fresh fruits, freshly baked bread, croissants and sweet treats, homemade jams, Ticino cheese and cold cuts, yogurt from the region, and muesli with nourishing nuts and grains, are only some of the delicacies that you will find in your morning breakfast buffet. Seasonal products are sourced directly from local producers whenever possible, with a desire to satisfy everyone's morning energy boost to start the day.
Chocolate Maker | Lugano | Chiesa di Santa Maria degli Angioli | Lake Lugano Cruise | Cooking Class and Grotto Dinner After breakfast, we head out on an excursion and visit to Ticino's best-known chocolate maker, where you'll have a chance to taste all different chocolate flavors. Then head off to the lakeside resort of Lugano. A guided tour through town introduces you to some of the most important monuments, the colors and tastes of the market district. You'll be treated to taste of typical amaretti, torta di pane ticinese and marrons glacé artigianali along the way as you learn of traditional foods available only in Ticino. We visit a 500-year-old church with ancient frescoes and a remarkable story. The late afternoon takes you for a cruise on Lake Lugano and arriving at a traditional grotto. Our host will share the history of Risotto while we prepare this traditional Ticino rice dish for dinner – and also some stories about his secluded restaurant. Enjoy a lovely lakeside dinner including your freshly-made creation.
Day 4
Swiss Riviera Breakfast Buffet Fresh fruits, freshly baked bread, croissants and sweet treats, homemade jams, Ticino cheese and cold cuts, yogurt from the region, and muesli with nourishing nuts and grains, are only some of the delicacies that you will find in your morning breakfast buffet. Seasonal products are sourced directly from local producers whenever possible, with a desire to satisfy everyone's morning energy boost to start the day.
Cruise to Lago Maggiore | Market Visit | Wine Tasting After breakfast, we head to the Locarno Pier and board the ship to Luino (in Italy – please remember to take your passport with you). This is the nicest and biggest Italian Market at Lago Maggiore. There are loads of goods of all kinds on offer, and you can drift from food stalls to clothing, from flowers to accessories, from kitchen utensils to beauty products. You can also find the best local handicraft products and various folklore items – since 1535! Next, head back to Locarno and continue to Losone, where you'll visit the most famous winery in Ticino - I Vini Delea. Visit their wine cellar, the barrique cellar, the museum, the vinegar cellar for the production of balsamic vinegar and the brand new distillery. The tasting will be followed by an opportunity to discover the specialties of their wines, from sparkling wines to whites and reds, accompanied by a Ticino plate of coppa, salami, lardo, parmigiano and bread.
Day 5
Swiss Riviera Breakfast Buffet Fresh fruits, freshly baked bread, croissants and sweet treats, homemade jams, Ticino cheese and cold cuts, yogurt from the region, and muesli with nourishing nuts and grains, are only some of the delicacies that you will find in your morning breakfast buffet. Seasonal products are sourced directly from local producers whenever possible, with a desire to satisfy everyone's morning energy boost to start the day.
Locarno | Explore the Locarno Arcade | Cooking Class | Wine Tasting After breakfast, we head for Locarno, a lakeside resort famous for its sunshine and palm-lined lakeshore. Strolling and browsing in the Arcades surrounding Locarno's Piazza Grande will allow you to find sought after local treasures. Head back to the hotel in the early afternoon and have some time to relax at the pool before the rest of the days events. In the afternoon you'll head for Ascona, a favorite at Lago Maggiore! Ascona is known for its Mediterranean architecture and the café-lined promenade on Lake Maggiore. After a stroll through this gem, join Chef Daniel Heiserer & wine icon Nicola Hohler at the Hotel Castello Seeschlösschen on the Lake to explain all the secrets of the seasonal Ticino-kitchen.
Day 6
Swiss Riviera Breakfast Buffet Fresh fruits, freshly baked bread, croissants and sweet treats, homemade jams, Ticino cheese and cold cuts, yogurt from the region, and muesli with nourishing nuts and grains, are only some of the delicacies that you will find in your morning breakfast buffet. Seasonal products are sourced directly from local producers whenever possible, with a desire to satisfy everyone's morning energy boost to start the day.
Bellinzona Market | Bellinzona Castelgrande Join your local guide in Bellinzona to go up to the iconic castle of Bellinzona which comprise the UNESCO World Heritage Site. After this historical tour, you have the opportunity to experience the Tibetan bridge "Carasc": The 270 m long Tibetan bridge built by the Foundation Curzútt-S. Barnard allows the passage of the rugged valley that separates the communities of Sementina and Monte Carasso, two towns located in front of Bellinzona. The bridge joins the stone made village of Curzútt to the hiking path of "Via delle Vigne", allowing you to make excursions in an area characterized by a landscape rich in cultural heritages. If you don't feel like hiking, just take the train back and enjoy a more time on Lake Maggiore before meeting the group for the transfer to apéro and a farewell dinner which will be held at Restaurant Casa Berno above Ascona – with the most wonderful view over Lago Maggiore.
Day 7
Swiss Riviera Breakfast Buffet Fresh fruits, freshly baked bread, croissants and sweet treats, homemade jams, Ticino cheese and cold cuts, yogurt from the region, and muesli with nourishing nuts and grains, are only some of the delicacies that you will find in your morning breakfast buffet. Seasonal products are sourced directly from local producers whenever possible, with a desire to satisfy everyone's morning energy boost to start the day.
Check-Out and Departure | Transfers Time flies when you're having so much fun, but alas…it is time to check out and depart this delicious, "Edible Destination." After a bounteous breakfast at the hotel, you'll depart Minusio-Locarno for your return to Milan or onward destinations (via train ticket provided to you prior to your departure). May your future travels come from sweet dreams and create tasty memories!
Hotel Remorino
Boutique Hotel Remorino - central, charming and quiet - is an exceptional, superior four-star hotel unlike any other: nestled in the heart of the stunning Ticino landscape on Lake Maggiore and not far from the old heart of the village of Minusio it is the ideal starting point for excursions with our E-Bikes or the hotel's own cabrio to visit the famous valleys. The Remorino is a real oasis of relaxation, and its Mediterranean charm will impress you at every turn. Your room will overlook the park and Lake Maggiore. All rooms have air conditioning and Nespresso coffee machine for your comfort and convenience. A 5-minute walk from Lake Maggiore, Boutique-Hotel Remorino offers free WiFi and a Mediterranean garden with a terrace where you can enjoy breakfast, palm trees and an outdoor swimming pool. The air-conditioned and elegantly furnished rooms have a large balcony and a view of the lake.
Locarno, SwitzerlandLugano, SwitzerlandBellinzona, SwitzerlandLago Maggiore, Italy
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Currency is being quoted?
The Currency Code is listed directly after the published amount. If it states USD, then the quoted price is in United States Dollars. If it states CAD, then the quoted price is in Canadian Dollars. If it states EUR, then the quoted price is in European Union Dollars…etc. However, please note that all charges are processed in USD, and Epitourean’s Merchant Bank automatically calculates the currency conversion on the day of the charge.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or customerservice@epitourean.com to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Are Transfers included in the Itinerary?
Round-trip transfers from the airport or train station are normally included in our international tours. Transfers to the destination (for both international and domestic tours) are not included in the tour price. Please see the Sample Itinerary. If it mentions that transfers are included, then yes, transfers are included at no additional cost.
What meals and excursions are included in the tour?
The Sample Itinerary should be your reference. If the meal or excursion is described in the Sample Itinerary, then it is included at no additional charge. For those days where it expressly notes Free time, then any optional activities you elect to participate in might have an additional cost. In addition, if the itinerary states "evening on your own," it would imply that you have the opportunity to visit a restaurant of your own choosing, and at your own expense. If you have any question about inclusions, please submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button under the price section.
Is it possible to book pre or post tours or stays through Edible Destinations?
Yes, we often do have optional 2 and 3 night excursions that are priced separately from the tour. We can also assist with pre and post night stays in a hotel if you choose to come in early before the tour starts, or stay on after a tour ends. The price of those hotel stays are not included in the price of the tour, but we would be happy to provide a quote. Simply ask your Culinary Travel Specialist, or submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button.
Are Guide or Host Gratuities included in the price of the tour?
Since tipping guidelines and customs vary widely between countries, we do not include gratuities in the price of the tour. Your Culinary Travel Specialist can provide you with recommendations. But the general rule is to tip modestly when you are pleased with a guide’s services, either at the end of the tour, or at the conclusion of a specialty day excursion where you will only be with that guide (or chef) on that day.
Should we plan on any personal expenses during the tour?
All lodging, meals, transfers, classes and excursions mentioned in the Sample Itinerary and Vacation Highlights are included in the price of the tour. However, we highly recommend taking local currency for purchasing personal items, souvenirs, tipping, etc. You can either get the local currency at an airport exchange service, ATM or from your local bank prior to travel. However, you should note that many hosted destinations do not accept credit cards for personal purchases.
Do you recommend Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 06-0248. The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 E7N
Although it is nice to be back home, I already yearn to go back to Switzerland! Your tour and the three days after were amazing!! Cinzia (tour host) was fantastic and as you can see from these photos- we all hit it off incredibly well! They treated us like family at Hotel La Tureta and bent over backwards to make our trip special. I highly recommend this hotel! Loved the cooking classes and the gelato experience, each was different and special. We had just enough free time combined with fun experiences to make the tour full, lively, new and special, but not exhausting. I will definitely be investigating more of your tours!
Charlotte and Maitlyn - June 2022
Winner
OUTSTANDING
CULINARY TRAVEL
Category
Member of ASTA Member of ATTA Member of GSTC