Northern Italy - Turin, Milan, & the Lakes: Exceptional Private Estates, Gardens, & Historic Sites

The ICAA is pleased to present this tour of the beautiful private estates, gardens, and historic sites of Northern Italy, including the areas of Turin, Milan, and the lakes. The tour will be led by expert lecturer and author, Frank Dabell.

Main Program - Private Turin & Milan, May 16-24, 2020

Over the course of eight exceptional days, the group will discover Milan and Turin's most creative and significant interiors and interact with distinguished hosts along the way, including interior designers, architects, and other prominent members of the cultural community.

Extension - Lake Como and the Countryside, May 24-27, 2020

During this tour, the group will admire the most refined private villas and gardens of Lake Como in bloom. The itinerary will offer behind-the-scenes visits to beautiful gardens in Northern Italy, as well as bespoke private access to exquisite villas and architectural wonders.

This tour is arranged by Pamela Huntington Darling, Consultant and creator of exclusive cultural travel programs. For more information, please email Pamela Huntington Darling ([email protected]), visit, or call +33 1 45 67 62 81.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this travel program. All travel program participants have the opportunity to receive a complimentary Individual level membership for one year to the ICAA.

Historic Center of Turin

This tour includes an architectural discovery of the Historic Center of Turin, the first capital of the Kingdom of Italy. Participants will view refined architecture such as the Baroque palazzi built by the Dukes of Savoy, under the Kingdom of Savoy and the Kingdom of Italy.

Villa Silvio Pellico

During the tour of Private Turin and Milan, participants will enjoy a private visit and luncheon with the owners at Romantic 18th Century Villa Silvio Pellico, surrounded by remarkable gardens designed by Russell Page.

Francesco Federico Cerruti Collection

This tour includes a private visit to the Francesco Federico Cerruti Collection, which includes more than 300 sculptures, paintings, rare books, and priceless furniture pieces and showcases the history of art from the 14th Century to the early 21st Century.

Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi

During the tour of Turin and Milan, participants will receive a special welcome from the Director of the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi. A Residence of the Royal House of Savoy, this location was built from 1729 on Filippo Juvarra's plans and includes a royal hunting lodge.

Private Cocktail Reception

This tour includes a private cocktail reception at the private residence of renowned collectors of art of unique quality from the antique to the contemporary period.


Participants will be welcomed by renowned landscape designer Paolo Pejrone to his residence garden, Bramafam, in Revello. Pejrone is a student of Russel Page and President of the Associazione Parchi e Giardini d’Italia.

Castello Pralormo

Participants will enjoy a private reception with the Conte e Contessa Beraudo di Pralormo at their residence, Castello Pralormo. Originally a medieval fortress, Castello Pralormo was transformed over the centuries into a Savoy castle with beautiful English gardens designed by landscape architect Kurten Xavier.

Palazzo Venaria Reale

Tour participants will be welcomed by the Director of Palazzo Venaria Reale, a former hunting lodge and country retreat what showcases the influence of the House of Savoy. Designed and built from 1675 by architects Filippo Juvarra and Amedeo di Castellamonte, Palazzo Venaria Reale includes stunning gardens of the traditional Italian and French style, with ponds, pergolas, and views of the Alps, while featuring sculptures by Giuseppe Penone.

Teatro alla Scala de Milan

Included is an optional evening at the Teatro alla Scala de Milan to view a performance of the opera L'amore dei tre re on May 20. This option is only available for participants who register before December 24, 2019.

During the tour, the group will also enjoy a tour of the Teatro alla Scala when closed to the public. Built to replace the Royal Ducal Theatre, destroyed by fire in 1776, La Scala was designed by the great neoclassical architect Giuseppe Piermarini. Today, it is considered one of the most significant venues in the world for opera, ballet, and more.

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana

Tour participants will be welcomed by the Director of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana library and picture gallery. Established in 1618 by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana is a world-class collection of ancient books, paintings, drawings, and statues, including the greatest masterpieces by Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, Sandro Botticelli, and Jan Brueghel.

Fondazione Prada

Participants will have the opportunity to visit Fondazione Prada, designed by Rem Koolhaas and OMA. This transformed distillery expands the repertoire of spatial typologies, and houses permanent and contemporary art exhibits.

Studio of Prominent Architectural Firm

The group will enjoy an unprecedented visit to the studio of a foremost architectural firm in Europe for a discussion of the firm's philosophy and creativity, and how they create exceptional residences for their clients.

Villa Necchi Campiglio

The group will enjoy a private visit, welcomed by the Chief Curator, to the Villa Necchi Campiglio house museum. The Villa was built between 1932 and 1935 by the renowned Milanese architect Piero Portaluppi and is still preserved intact.

Private Dinner at Baroque Style Palace

Featured on the tour is an exceptional dinner at Milan's grandest private palace, of the Baroque style, welcomed by the hosts, international patrons of the arts. The palace is decorated in a Lombard style, and houses a unique collection of art from the 14th to 21st Centuries.

Villa Visconti Borromeo Litta

Included in the tour of Lake Como and the Countryside is a visit to Villa Visconti Borromeo Litta, first built in 1585 by Count Pirro I Visconti Borromeo with architect Martino Bassi. Inspired by the Medici villas in Tuscany, this vast estate houses an exceptional collection of mosaics, statues, frescoes, and more.

Private Luncheon at Villa Cicogna Mozzoni

The group will enjoy a private luncheon with Conte Jacopo Cicogna Mozzoni at his exquisite villa featuring unique Renaissance frescoes and elaborate gardens.

Gardens of Villa Melzi

This tour includes a visit to the gardens of Villa Melzi in Bellagio, a Grande Giardini Italiani, commissioned by Luigi Canonica. The axis of the garden extends up the slope from Lake Como to a high point above the Villa, offering spectacular views.

Private luncheon at Villa Sommi Picenardi

Participants will enjoy a private luncheon with the owners at the magnificent Villa Sommi Picenardi. This villa features a remarkable example of terraced Italian gardens and is composed of a mansion with an adjoining chapel dedicated to San Galdino, dating back to 1703.

Villa Sola Cabiati

This tour will conclude with a farewell dinner with the owners at the 16th Century Villa Sola Cabiati, often described as the pearl of Lake Como. This elegant villa was transformed into the summer home for the Dukes of Serbelloni in the 18th Century.

What’s included

  • Private Turin & Milan: Accommodations at 5-star Grand Hotel Sitea in Turin for four nights
  • Private Turin & Milan: Accommodations at 5-star Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan for four nights
  • Lake Como and the Countryside: Accommodations at 5-star hotel and spa the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni for three nights

Reggia di Venaria, Turin (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Reggia di Venaria, Turin (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Paolobon140)

Ceiling in Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Paris Orlando)

Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi

Teatro alla Scala (Image: Wikimedia Commons/cisko66)

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Riccardo Ortelli)

Villa Necchi Campiglio

Villa Cicogna Mozzoni (Wikimedia Commons/Phyrexian)

Villa Melzi (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Paebi)

Villa Sommi Picenardi (Image: Wikimedia Commons/Carlo Dell'Orto)


How do I register for an ICAA travel program?

If you would like to register, you may contact the travel operator organizing the program. Please note that a $500 donation per person to the ICAA is required in order to participate in each travel program.

What does the required $500 donation fund?

Your $500 donation helps to further the ICAA’s goal of advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts by supporting its varied educational programs, including continuing education courses, college workshops, the Summer Studio in Classical Architecture, New Heights, and many more.

Am I required to pay a $500 donation for each travel program I register for?

Yes, a donation of $500 to the ICAA is required for each travel program you register for. The donation is required for each person attending a tour.

How do I make my $500 donation to the ICAA?

You can make your $500 donation to the ICAA online, or you can download, complete, and mail this form to the ICAA. You can alternatively fax a copy to 212-730-9649. You may also call 212-730-9646 x109 or email [email protected] to make a donation. Donations must be made separately from the registration fee.

Do I have to be a member of the ICAA to participate in an ICAA travel program?

No, membership is not required to attend an ICAA travel program. However, complimentary Individual membership to the ICAA is included with your $500 required donation.

I don’t see the full itinerary for the tour I am interested in. When will it be released?

Please contact [email protected] for more information. Due to the exclusive nature of our tours, some private locations or visits may be omitted from the ICAA's website.

What kinds of trips does the ICAA offer?

Over the past several years, the ICAA has travelled to destinations including Paris; Andalusia; Atlanta; Barbados; South Africa; Chicago; the Netherlands and Belgium; Scotland; the French Riviera; Morocco; the Italian Lake Region; Charlottesville; Naples; and New Delhi, among many other locations. The ICAA is always looking to diversify its travel offerings. If you have a suggestion or location you would like to see added, please email [email protected]