October in Italy means foraging for wild mushrooms, truffle hunts, cozy fireplaces in mountainside cabins, and if you’re fancy… luxury heli-hiking in the Dolomites. Heli-YES, amiright? Be transported by helicopter every day to a new location on one of the most stunning mountain landscapes in the world, hike valley by valley as you experience the area’s three different cultures and cuisines (Italian, Austrian and Ladin), and sleep each night in new luxury accommodations. Contact dolomitemountains.com for a quote.


Fall weather means it’s time to start sipping red wine again to warm up our toes. Only 30 minutes from Verona, Tenuta Santa Maria Valverde Vineyards is perfect for a romantic wine tasting while gazing at the Valpolicella Hills. This boutique winery makes artisan vino, rich in history — generations of the same family have made wine here since the 1800s. Try their Amarone, you won’t be disappointed. Check out their website by clicking here.


Montecatini Terme, located in Tuscany between Florence and Pisa, is pretty much synonymous with “spa” and “hot springs” in Italy. In fact, the town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the Great Spa Towns of Europe. Hotel Grotta Giusti is our top pick for a stay here. Not only is the hotel beautiful, but it happens to have it’s own thermal cave and an extraordinary underground lake right on site.


Lucca’s our fave little gem of a town as you head towards Tuscany from Liguria. It’s tiny and contained within ancient stone walls, so you can easily do a satisfying stopover of a few hours as you head from the Cinque Terre to Florence, for example. Make sure you eat at least one meal there at Da Pasquale’s. They have a small menu packed with what we consider to be the “Best Ofs” in this area. And they’re famous for their wine pairings, so it’s a party for your tastebuds all round. This is where we send our guests who want to add a destination or two to their trip before or after our week-long Cinque Terre tour.


It’s mushroom picking season right now in the Cinque Terre. Here’s what one of the locals scored on a hike the other day. Yummm!



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