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A Culinary Holiday along Switzerland's Italian Riviera

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Priced From
$4,598 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

In Ticino, 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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Small Group Friendly
Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ
VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
Please note: Our tours are designed with flexible itineraries to accommodate seasonality and desired dates of travel.
6 Nights Four-Star Accommodations
Round-Trip Train Transfers from Airport
Daily Swiss Breakfast Buffet
Daily Dinners
Guided Chocolate Tour
Lugano Guided Tour & Lake Cruise
Hands-On Risotto Class
Locarno Guided Tour
Hands-On Gelato Workshop
Mendrisio Vineyard Walk & Wine Tasting
Ancient Corn Mill Tour & Demonstration
Cheese-making Demonstration
Valle Onsernone Excursion
Bellinzona Guided Castle Tour
Bellinzona Guided Market Tour
Cheese & Honey Tasting
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, 2021.
SAMPLE ITINERARY
Please note: Actual itineraries are subject to change due to seasonality.
(click item for details)
Day 1
Benvenuto | Transfer to Ticino | Welcome Dinner On arrival in Zurich you'll take a train under the alps and the new Gotthard Base Tunnel—the longest in the world—to arrive in Giubiasco. Your 4-star hotel is set within a 400-year-old villa in the heart of the Ticino region. Dinner and evening in Ticino. (2nd Class train transfers 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, 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 in Mendrisio, 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 tasting of the gelato just made and of different types of panettone! Evening and dinner on your own to explore Bellinzona. 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, 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 make your own chocolate bar. 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 of Ticino 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 afternoon takes you for a cruise on Lake Lugano and arriving at a traditional grotto. Our host will share the history of the grotto while we prepare dinner from the terrace of 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, 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 | Valle Onsernone | Mills of Vergelletto | PagliArte After breakfast, we head for Locarno, a mountain 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. In the afternoon we will head to the Valle Onsernone and visit the Mills of Vergelletto, where Farina Bòna is produced. A visit to a local artists' shop will teach us how beautiful straw objects are made, traditional of the Onsernone Valley.
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, 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.
Cooking Class | Cheese & Honey Tasting | Wine Tasting After breakfast, you get to work side by side with a chef to create a traditional dish of Ticino. You will get the chance to visit a summer pasture for some cheese tasting, accompanied by several types of honey. The small Ticino wine region might date back to the Roman Era, but it wasn't until the introduction of Merlot in 1906 when it became known as a quality wine producer. A simple wine tasting will be a fun experience for all!
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, 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 Castlgrande After breakfast, join your guide at the Bellinzona Market, where vendors from all over the region bring their locally produced foods and artisan wares. Cheese, bread, sausage, preserves, and fresh produce make up a colorful marketplace. Then it's up to the iconic castle of Bellinzona which comprise the UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, you will have some free time to explore on your own and pack, before your final dinner among new friends.
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, 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 Ticino for your return to Zurich, Geneva or onward destinations (via 2nd class train ticket provided to you prior to your departure). May your future travels come from sweet dreams and create tasty memories!
Hotel La Tureta
Hotel La Tureta, ensconced in a beautifully preserved and faithfully restored four-hundred-year-old palace, is replete with elegant frescoes, dramatic architectural details, ornate vaulted ceilings, and thick stone walls that transport you to an ancient time. Within this historic hotel, the owners, a luxury hotelier and her architect husband, have designed 31 distinctive and beautiful rooms that provide every modern convenience to make you feel royally pampered during your visit. La Tureta’s restaurant has established a reputation for delightful interpretations of traditional ticinesi dishes. Set in a small village, La Tureta is an ideal location to launch explorations of Bellinzona, Locarno, and Lugano, only minutes away by train.
Giubiasco, Switzerland
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.
Is a Deposit required to book a tour or getaway?
Yes. We require a 30% refundable deposit for all our domestic (USA and Canada) getaways and tours, and a 50% refundable deposit for international destinations outside of the USA and Canada. Reservations made for destinations within the USA and Canada must be paid in full 30 days prior to departure. Reservations made for destinations outside of the USA and Canada must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.
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.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Generally, you may cancel any tour or getaway package within 30 days of making a reservation, and receive a full refund of any deposit or payments made, as long as the cancellation is made at least 31 days in advance of departure for domestic tours or 61 days in advance of departure for international tours. Cancellations made after 30 days incur a 10% cancellation fee (10% of the deposit amount paid, not the full price of the tour package). Cancellations made 30 days or less in advance of departure for domestic packages (60 days or less for international packages) cannot be refunded due to loss of inventory.
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
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