The Italian Lakes and Verona

may 1 to 10, 2020

The Italian Lakes and Verona

May 1 to 10, 2020

Legendary Landscapes, Fairytale Beauty and Utter Enchantment

Daily Itinerary
Pricing

Highlights

  • Lake Orta, the Italian Lakes tiny jewel
  • Beguiling Orta San Giulio
  • Majestic Lake Maggiore
  • Visit to Unesco World Heritage site, Sacro Monte di Varallo, one of Italy’s oldest “Sacred Mountains”
  • Dramatic Lake Como
  • Medieval castles and Renaissance gardens
  • Private boat ride and lunch on the unforgettable Isola
    Comacina, Lake Como’s lone island
  • Chic hillside village of Bellagio
  • Ferry ride to picturesque village of Varenna
  • Breezy & beautiful Lake Garda
  • Fairy-tale town of Sirmione
  • Bergamo and Città Alta a completely intact walled city
  • Piazza Vecchia, one of the most beautiful main squares in all of Italy
  • Breathtaking medieval and Renaissance architecture
  • Romantic Verona, picturesque city of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet
  • Wine tasting at Allegrini, a renowned Amarone winery in Verona

Overview

A place of magical landscapes and almost unimaginable beauty, the Italian Lakes have for centuries been the fairytale refuge of Europe’s princes and princesses as well as Hollywood royalty like George Clooney. The shores of the Lake District overflow with extraordinary charm…from enchanting towns & quaint villages to mountaintop castles & storybook fortresses to elegant villas & rustic ports to Roman ruins & Renaissance gardens. The watery paradises of Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore, Lake Como & Lake Garda are like a siren’s song, calling with an irresistible allure of elegance, simplicity, nature and a touch of the fantastic.

The Italian Lakes and Bellagio, Bergamo & Verona - Day by Day Itinerary

Departure from the United States

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Day 1 -  Lake Orta & Orta San Giulio

Friday, May 1

Late Morning: Arrive in Milan and transfer to the beguiling Orta San Giulio, principal town of Lake Orta, the Lake District’s tiny jewel. Since Lake Orta is lesser known and less visited than the larger lakes, you’ll be better able to appreciate the traditional & powerful allure of the Lakes as it has always existed. Check-in to your first class hotel, your home for the next three nights from where we are going to explore the secret treasures of the western Lake District.

Afternoon: Enjoy an orientation walk of Orta San Giulio, followed by a short boat ride to the enchanted Island of San Giulio with its old Benedictine monastery.

Evening: Welcome reception

Day 2 - Lake Maggiore

Saturday, May 2

Morning: From our base in Orta San Giulio we’ll take a scenic drive to majestic Lake Maggiore.  Set along the southern flank of the Alps, Maggiore is Italy’s second-largest lake as well as its most active with vast stretches that are still untamed. We’ll spend the day touring the famous Borromean Islands, named after the Borromeo family, who to this day still own the islands as well as the fishing rights to the lake.

Walking Tour with a local, licensed guide of the islands: Isola Madre (the Mother Island), Isola dei Pescatori (Island of the Fishermen) and Isola Bella (Beautiful Island)

Afternoon: Return to Lake Orta with en route stop for a stroll in elegant Stresa, a famous 19th century resort with many artisanal shops, townhouses and a beautiful lakefront promenade with glorious views of the lake and islands.

Evening: Dinner on your own.

Day 3 - Monte Sacro di Varallo

Sunday, May 3

Morning: Visit of Sacro Monte di Varallo, one of Italy’s oldest “Sacred Mountains” and Unesco World Heritage site. This mountaintop shrine contains 26 chapels, each with incredible life-size terracotta figures, depicting scenes from the life of Christ.

Afternoon: Return to your hotel and enjoy a leisurely rest of the day in Orta San Giulio. Stroll the central stairway of Orta San Giulio leading from the ocher-and-cream-colored Santa Maria Assunta church to the lakeside Piazza Mario Motta, which is lined with arcades and outdoor cafés.

Evening: Dinner on your own.

Day 4 - Bellagio & Lake Como

Monday, May 4

Morning: Departure for Lake Como. Located in the foothills of the Alps and nestled like a fjord in a cradle of mountains sloping down to the water’s edge, Lake Como is the most dramatic of the Italian lakes. Bragging both the chic hillside village of Bellagio, with its rainbow-colored villas and the old stone fishing villages of Bellano and Varenna, popular with culture & nature buffs, as well as a host of medieval castles and elaborate Renaissance gardens, Lake Como embodies a low key glamour, history and tradition. We will visit the town of Como with its beautiful cathedral, the ancient town hall and the lakefront promenade.

Afternoon: Free time for lunch and shopping in Como. After lunch, check-in for three nights at your Bellagio first class hotel.

Evening: Group dinner.

Day 5 - Bellagio & Lake Como

Tuesday, May 5

Morning: Departure by private boat to the stunning Villa Balbianello, located on the tip of a small wooded romantic peninsula on the western shore of Lake Como. Villa Balbianello is famous for its beautiful terraced gardens and picturesque structure and has served as the setting for several movies.

Afternoon: By boat, we will reach the destination of our unforgettable lunch on the unique island of Lake of Como, Isola Comacina (the only island on Lake Como). After lunch, return to Bellagio.

Evening: Dinner on your own.

Day 6 - Bellagio & Lake Como

Wednesday, May 6

Morning: Today we will navigate Lake Como by ferry. Our first destination will be the western shore town of Tremezzo with a visit to the Villa Carlotta and its splendid botanical garden.

Afternoon: By ferry we will also reach the picturesque village of Varenna, located on the eastern shore of the lake. Walking tour of Varenna will include the Church of S. Giorgio and Riva Grande and free time to explore Varenna on your own before returning to Bellagio.

Evening: Dinner on your own.

Day 7 - Lake Como-Bergamo-Verona

Thursday, May 7

Morning: Departure from Lake Como to Verona with en route visit to Bergamo. Our expert local guide will lead us on a walking tour of the old upper town of Bergamo known as Città Alta, a completely intact walled city with one of the most beautiful main squares in all of Italy, Piazza Vecchia, surrounded by a breathtaking collection of medieval and Renaissance architecture.

Afternoon: After free time in Bergamo for lunch and some shopping, we will depart for Verona and check-in for 3 nights at our first class hotel.

Evening: Group dinner.

Day 8 - Lake Garda

Friday, May 8

Morning: Departure for Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. Walking Tour of fairy-tale Sirmione, with its jumble of alleyways and picturesque houses. Beyond the town center, there is a beautiful wooded park, which stretches out to the tip of the peninsula and the remains of an ancient Roman villa, known as the Grotte di Catullo, dating from about 60 BC. Boat ride to one of the most fascinating locations of the whole of Lake Garda, Punta San Vigilio.

Afternoon: After lunch, our day will continue to the off-the-beaten path gem of Torri del Benaco before returning to Verona.

Evening: Dinner on your own.

Day 9 - Verona

Saturday, May 9

Morning: Walking tour of Verona. Tour will include the main Verona sights as well as culinary attractions such as the town’s antique bakeries. Optional visit to Giardino Giusti, Verona’s beautiful historic garden.

Afternoon: Departure for Villa del Torre, Allegrini Winery, top producer of Amarone wine. Wine Tasting at Allegrini.

Evening: Farewell dinner at Allegrini Winery

Day 10 - End of Tour

Sunday, May 10

Morning: Private Transfer to the Verona, Venice or Milan airport

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

  • You must be in good physical condition to sign-up for this trip. This is not considered a physically challenging trip, nonetheless, there will be a lot of walking uphill, downhill, walking over uneven pavement, and standing for extended periods of time.

The Italian Lakes plus Verona Tour - Pricing

Your tour price includes:

  • Beautiful, elegant accommodations at four star hotels (room upgrades available upon request):
    • Orta San Giulio - 3 nights
    • Bellagio - 3 nights
    • Verona - 3 nights
  • Breakfast daily
  • Lunches:
    • Lunch at Isola dei Pescatori on Lake Maggiore
    • Lunch at Monte Sacro di Varallo
    • Lunch at Isola Comacina on Lake Como
    • Lunch at Punta San Vigilio on Lake Garda
  • Dinners
    • Welcome dinner in Orta
    • Dinner in Bellagio
    • Dinner at local restaurant in Verona
    • Farewell dinner at Allegrini Winery, outside Verona
  • Wine tasting
  • Ferry rides in Lake Como and Lake Garda
  • Entrance fees
  • Hotel taxes and City taxes
  • Gratuities for drivers, guides and restaurants
  • Guided Walking tours on Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, Lake Garda, Bergamo, Verona
  • Private transportation throughout the itinerary - (except for airport transfers)

Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Meals and drinks not specified
  • Airport transfers – If interested, we will coordinate transfers so you can share with other travelers
  • Travel Insurance (strongly recommended)

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Tour Cost based on double occupancy

10 days/9 nights in The Fascinating Italian Lakes and Verona......... $5,895

Single Supplement ..........................................................................+ $1,995

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All aspects of the tour will be coordinated by Giovanna Chiti of Discover my Italy.

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