Lombardy - Unveiling the majesty of Oltrepò Pavese

4/5 Day Experiences

Oltrepò Pavese

A short break of 4/5 days in Oltrepò Pavese, an area in the south Lombardy, 1 hour from Milan, which is not so famous as it really deserves to be for the quality of its wine. The most interesting aspect of this itinerary is the accommodation: a castle from the 12th century, called Castle of Mornico, given to us exclusively. This area of Oltrepò Pavese is the first producing area of Pinot Nero in Italy, very interesting for wine enthusiasts for its authentic landscapes and savoir faire which make this region like a small "undiscovered" Tuscany.

Oltrepò Pavese:

Oltrepò Pavese is an area in southern Lombardy, 1.30 hours driving from Milan.

Its cluster shape suggests the history of this land: 75% of Italy's Pinot Nero is produced here, confirming it as the third largest area of production in Europe.

Underlying this excellence is a synergy between the richness of its soil and pronounced night time excursions.

The vibrant food and wine culture is embedded in picturesque landscapes and historical heritage, including medieval castles and churches, which add a sense of enchantment and significance to the cultural fabric.

*What is “BORGO”
The literal translation of Borgo in English would be “Hamlet” or “Village“ but these words do not fully explains the meaning of “Borgo” is.
A “Borgo” is a fascinating, ancient, small Italian town, generally fortified and dating back to the period from Middle Ages to Renaissance. Walking in a “Borgo” is a step back in time, a walk through history, a typical Italian experience.



Day 1: Milan – Pavia – Mornico Losana (70km)

Arrival in Milan and transfer to the Certosa di Pavia. Here we visit one of Italy's greatest masterpieces, a monumental complex that includes a sanctuary and a monastery, built in the 14th century by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, lord of Milan. The complex features different architectural styles, from late Italian Gothic to Renaissance.

We then travel to Pavia to visit the city. Founded by Ligurians and Celts, the city later became a Roman municipium under the name Ticinium. Later it was the capital of the Lombard Kingdom and the hub of trade between the Po Valley and the great rivers. The Duomo, built during the Sforza seigniory, houses the third largest dome in Italy. Also, we visit the ancient courtyards of the University, Piazza della Vittoria, Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral, the Basilica of San Michele and the medieval towers. The latter were built between the 11th and 12th centuries and still denote the city as "the city of a hundred towers". Also noteworthy is the Visconti Castle, built in 1360 as a hunting and leisure residence, and today home to the city museums. During the visit we cross the Ponte Coperto, also known as the "Devil's Bridge", a Roman bridge modified during the Middle Ages on which there are numerous legends to discover. Pavia is also home to the Broletto, the oldest palace in Lombardy, built in 1100. Afterwards, we reach Mornico Losana, for dinner, check-in and overnight.

Overnight at the Castel in Mornico Losana or similar.

Included: Transfer from the airport, private transport, guided tour in Certosa di Pavia and Pavia, entrance fees, dinner, overnight.

Castel in Mornico Losana

Day 2: Mornico Losana - Rocca de Giorgi – Zavattarello – Romagnese – Mornico Losana (71 km)

After breakfast we move to the Conte Vistarino Estate in Rocca de Giorgi, a historic winery located in Rocca de' Giorgi. Known as "The House of Pinot Nero," the first Pinot Nero from Oltrepò Pavese was produced here. We visit the estate and we enjoy a local wine tasting* and a light lunch. We then move on towards Zavattarello, an ancient village characterized by a fluorid production of shoes, called "savatte," the term from which the village takes his name. This tiny village is listed among The Most Beautiful Villages of Italy.

Here we visit the Castello dal Verme, which is one of the symbols of the Oltrepò Pavese. It is an imposing stone fortress that dominates the surrounding area from an elevated position and whose earliest traces date back to the 7th century. We then move to the Museum Magazzino dei Ricordi (literally storage of memories) to learn about the culture and traditions of this village. The museum aims to preserve the rural culture of the area and offers visitors an itinerary of daily life through the display of emblematic rooms as they once were**.

After the visit we travel to Romagnese***, another ancient village of just 600 inhabitants. Here we find natural wonders and important relics of the past such as the splendid church of San Lorenzo, a Baroque jewel from the first half of the 17th century, and the Oratorio dei Morti di San Lorenzo, a charming 19th-century building that stands among the woods of Mount Penice. In this hamlet, we visit the Museum of Peasant Civilization, and then we return to our accomodation, for dinner and overnight.

*Possibility to have a visit and the wine tasting in Villa Fornace (min. 6 pp.) an ancient 18th-century villa that is still the heart of the estate, surrounded by a magnificent garden designed by Achille Majnoni, the architect of the King of Italy Umberto.

**Possible local experience in Zavattarello: lavender oleolite production with maceration in oil to produce an ancient traditional medicine OR soap making with a local expert.

*** If we enjoy wine tasting in Villa Fornace in the morning, due to time constraints, we will not be able to visit Romagnese.

Overnight at the Castel in Mornico Losana or similar.

Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner, entrance fees, wine tasting, local guide in Zavatterello and Romagnese, private transport, overnight.

Villa Fornace

Day 3: Mornico Losana - Calvignano – Cremona (100km)

Today we visit the Travaglino Estate, a winery in a village out of time, where, among millennia-old stones and brick vaults, we find the thread of a wine vocation handed down from generation to generation. Here we learn about the winemaking process and enjoy a local wine tasting. Lunch at La Locanda di Calvignano (or similar), a historic place from which we can admire the green landscape of Oltrepò Pavese. Here we experience authentic dishes paired with Travaglino wines.

In the afternoon, we leave Oltrepò Pavese and we travel to Cremona where we meet a local guide and enjoy a city tour. The medieval architecture of the Piazza del Comune with the Torrazzo, the tallest brick bell tower in Europe, is fascinating. The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, which critic Longhi called the “Sistine Chapel of the Po Valley”, enchants with its frescoes. The Palazzo Comunale, with its typical Lombard broletto structure (Broletto is an ancient Italian word, from medieval Latin "broilum, brogilum", which probably derives from a Celtic word. Its first meaning is "little orchard or garden"; hence the meaning "field surrounded by a wall"), and the Loggia dei Militi, with its 14th-century statues, have always been places for chatting and meeting. Interesting to visit is the more hidden Roman Cremona, enclosed within the aisles of the Archaeological Museum and told by the restored Nymphaeum domus, with paintings and mosaic fragments.

Late in the afternoon, we check-in at our hotel, for the overnight stay. Overnight in Cremona.*

*OPTIONAL EXTRA DAY at leisure at Mornico Castle.

Included: breakfast, lunch, wine tasting, entrance fees, local guide, in Cremona, private transport, overnight.

Travaglino Estate

Day 4: Cremona – Milano (95km)

After breakfast we visit a violin workshop in Cremona's historic center. There are more than 150 of them, scattered throughout the streets, protected as UNESCO Intangible Heritage since 2012. In the visit we learn the method of making violins in the Cremonese tradition. Afterwards we visit the Violin Museum, built to strengthen the thread of memory, which preserves Amati, Guarneri and Stradivari. The city is part of the East Lombardy network with its food and wine excellences such as marubini and tortelli al Gran Bollito, Cremona IGP salami with mostarda, and typical cheeses. Here we enjoy a delicious lunch in a local restaurant, before going back to Milan in the afternoon.

Transfer to the hotel or transfer to the airport.


Included: breakfast, entrance fees, guided tour in Cremona, private transport, workshop experience, transfer to the airport/hotel in Milan.


Day 5: Milan OPTIONAL

After breakfast we enjoy a guided city tour in Milan to see the iconic symbols of the city and some unusual and remote sites. We visit the iconic Dome and the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery. Then we walk to Chiesa di Santa Maria presso San Satiro to visit the magnificent architectural illusion by Bramante. Later on, we move to Pinacoteca Brera to admire the historical collection, including the famous painting The Kiss by Hayez and some masterpieces of the famous Caravaggio. Then, we move to the Castello Sforzesco, a huge fortress by XV century, which preserves the Pietà Rondanini by Michelangelo.

Transfer to the airport and departure.

Included: breakfast, entrance fees, guided city tour, transfer to the airport.

Arrivederci Oltrepò!

* OPTIONAL EXTRA DAY at Mornico Castle to enjoy the surrounding hills and vineyards. Mornico Castle offers a variety of indoor and outdoor experiences. You can choose yoga classes, beauty treatments, botany classes, pottery workshops, relaxing pool, archery, e-bikes or hiking itineraries. These activities can be tailored to your interests and combined with lunch box or picnic lunch.

Mornico Castle

COST: Request for pricing

The quote includes:.

  • 2 overnights in Mornico Castle or similar in BB
  • 1 overnight in Cremona
  • Guided tour in Pavia, Certosa di Pavia, Zavattarello, Romagnese, Cremona
  • Dinner day 1, day 2
  • Lunch day 2, day 3
  • Workshop in Cremona
  • Visit and tasting at Conte Vistarino Estate
  • Visit and tasting at Travaglino estate
  • Private transport by van for the whole tour
  • Entrance fees
  • TL EXTRA quote on request

The quote does not include:

  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Flights
  • Insurances
  • Optional extra activities
  • Anything not expressly specified in "the quote includes"

For more information
Dive Discovery
1 800 886-7321
(415) 444-5100

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