The Lakes of Lombardy Tour
Beniamino & Anne
I Laghi della Lombardia
14 days (13 nights)
Price TBA (to be advised)
On this tour, you will:
gain real insight into Italian life and customs
enjoy maximum freedom to do what you want while being appropriately looked after
enjoy luxury accommodation in fabulous locations
NOT be getting up every day at 7am and moving on to your next stop
have the opportunity to learn some Italian from an experienced teacher and put your learning into practice
mingle with the rich and famous – who knows, we might even see George Clooney
cruise along gorgeous lakes gazing in awe at the majestic alpine scenery
visit the Palazzo Borromeo and 10 tiers of terraced gardens at the spectacular Isola Bella
see where Stradivarius created his masterpieces
visit the home of the best Italian champagne – food and wine will be a major feature of this tour
NOT have absolutely everything mapped out for you – there will be surprises along the way that you will want to tell all your friends about when you get home and MOST IMPORTANTLY you will have fun!
Start date: DTA
End date: DTA
Note: The tour package is a land package only. Flights to suit your individual needs can be arranged for you through us or you can make your own flight arrangements if you prefer.
Commencement and conclusion of the Tour: Milano
The tour group will meet at our elegant hotel situated in the heart of the historic centre of Milan. We will stay in Milan for three nights. After a half day with a local guide to help us get our bearings, we will be spoiled for choice for things to do. In fact, you may want to extend your time in Milan immediately after our tour and we will be happy to make arrangements for you. We will talk to you about this before we finalise our tour arrangements.
Some of the highlights to visit in Milan include the magnificent pink marble Duomo with the largest stained-glass windows in Christendom, fabulous art galleries and museums including the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia set in a 16th century monastery. It is a fitting tribute in a city where Leonardo da Vinci did much of his finest work. Of course, we mustn’t miss out on seeing his most famous painting, The Last Supper, one of the world’s most iconic images.
You can’t mention Milan without commenting on fashion and shopping and the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II is one of the oldest and probably the most glamorous shopping mall in the world, housed within a four storey double arcade full of exquisite shops and restaurants.
And of course, there is La Scala. We can organise tickets for a performance in this iconic opera house for those who dream of Maria Callas. And you must try the Panettone!
On 8 June, we leave Milan and set off in our minibus with our local driver to Lago di Garda for our base for the next 4 nights. We will be staying in a delightful hotel with lake views situated in the historical centre of Sirmione, close to the thermal springs and the Roman Grotte di Catullo.
From Sirmione we will be visiting medieval villages and passing through vineyards and olive groves. Anne is looking forward to tasting the pink Chiaretto from Bardolino. We will also take ferry trips up the lake enjoying majestic Alpine scenery. Another place that is definitely on Anne’s list for visiting is Franciacorta, the home of the closest rival to champagne and generally regarded as Italy’s finest sparkling wine.
Of course, it’s not all about the wine. We are a very short distance from Juliet’s balcony in Verona and some of you might want to visit the magnificent Roman amphitheatre there.
On 12 June, we will set off for the fabulous hill town of Bergamo on our way to Lake Como. We will have to stop for a coffee at least in the Piazza Vecchia in the old walled town, described by Le Corbusier as “the most beautiful square in Europe.”
Music lovers will also enjoy a visit to Cremona, where Stradivarius put together his first violins. There are now over 100 violin making workshops ustered around Piazza del Comune, which is considered one of the best-preserved medieval squares in Italy; church buildings on one side and secular buildings on the other.
Our base for 4 nights from 12 June to 16 June will be an absolutely divine hotel in Bellagio, on the shore of Lago di Como. This is a luxury 5 star hotel complete with lakeside terraces for al fresco refreshments. We suggest you take binoculars so you can keep a look out for George Clooney☺
We will travel up the lake on ferries visiting gorgeous villages with their stone staircases, cypress groves and beautiful gardens. We can also wander along ancient mule tracks visiting picturesque villages off the usual tourist route.
The town of Como remains one of Europe’s most important producer of silk products so if you are looking for gifts to take home, top quality scarves, ties and fabrics can apparently be purchased here for a fraction of the cost you’d pay elsewhere. While we are in Como, we’ll take the funicular railway to the village of Brunate, climbing 1000 metres in seven minutes to enjoy breath-taking views of the lake.
Whether you want to spend time on your own or travel around with the group during our stay is completely up to you. On 16 June we will leave Bellagio for Stresa on Lago Maggiore where we will spend two nights with Ernest Hemingway - While there we will visit the fabulous Isola Bella shaped like a vessel with a villa at the prow and 10 tiers of terraced gardens dropping down to the lake. We will also visit the famous cheese aging caves at Arona. On 18 June, we will return to Milan after what we are confident will be an unforgettable experience.
All accommodation costs sharing a double or twin room including breakfasts. Note - a single supplement may apply for single travellers wanting their own room. We will discuss this with you prior to confirmation
All tour travel costs including de-luxe coach or minibus transport and associated charges such as fuel, tolls, taxes, with local drivers
Daily sightseeing: It will be completely up to you whether you want to participate or spend the day at leisure
Ferry services on Lakes Garda, Como and Maggiore, pending summer schedule but including up to 3 sectors per lake with a
One group dinner including wine and soft drinks at a venue to be confirmed
Local tour guides – Milan, and Lakes Garda and Como
Meals and beverages other than those included
City taxes, room service meals and mini bar refreshments
Individual sightseeing not undertaken as part of the tour