- Viewing Da Vinci’s masterpiece “The Last Supper” at Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan
- Enjoying a performance at world famous La Scala opera house
- Exploring the quaint, medieval hilltop village of Bergamo on the way to the Italian lakes
- Visiting the Lake Maggiore islands of Isola Bella, Isola Pescador and Isola Madre by private boat
- A private walking tour of Verona including Juliet’s balcony
- Shopping with the hotel’s chef at the Rialto Market in Venice and then preparing lunch in the hotel’s kitchen
Day 1 Depart USA
You board your flight for the overnight journey to Milan the fashion and commercial capital of Italy and gateway to the scenic splendor of northern Italy.
Day 2 Welcome to Milan
Upon arrival in Milan you are met by your guide and escorted to your private vehicle which will take you into town and your hotel. Like the city itself, your hotel is hip, focused on fashion and committed to your enjoyment. It is also in the heart of town allowing you the opportunity to take a stroll around town before enjoying dinner in the hotel's noted dining room.
Day 3 Milan and La Scala
After breakfast you are met by your guide who will take you on a private tour of the highlights of Milan old and new. You will start at Castello Sforzesco since it is in proximity to your hotel. The Castello was built in the 14th Century and its red brick walls remind some people of the Kremlin. You then go to Santa Maria delle Grazie church made immortal by DaVinci's frescoe masterpiece "The Last Supper". You then visit Santa Maria Nascente which is the Cathedral of Milan and also known as the Duomo. You take an elevator to the roof for some attractive views particularly of the Piazza del Duomo, the large square that sits in front of the Cathedral. It is the main gathering place of the city and lined with sidewalk cafes. Your last visit is to Galleria Vittorio Emmanuelle II which is the ultimate in malls but with a little more history. You have lunch in the Galleria and then your guide leaves you to enjoy shopping on your own. In the evening we have reserved tickets for the world famous Teatro Alla Scala the renowned opera house. We have left the dining options open allowing you to choose either pre or post theatre supper.
Day 4 Bergamo and Lake Como
In the morning your guide is waiting to take you out of the city into the lake region that connects Italy and Switzerland. Your first stop after leaving the city is the quaint town of Bergamo at the foothills of the Alps. There are actually two towns, Bergamo Bassa is on the lower part of the city and is the modern commercial center. Bergamo Alta is the walled hilltop mediaval city which is reached by a funicular and is obviosly of greater interest. You will have some time to explore the old town before heading back down to the car and the town of Como from which the lake derives its name. You will spend some time in Como having lunch and visiting the silk center. Como is the center of the Italian silk industry and provides entities as diverse as Velentino and the Vatican. After your visit you head to Lake Maggiore and your hotel situated on the lake and offering spectacular views of the lake and the Borromeo Islands. Enjoy dinner alfresco this evening.
Day 5 Visiting the Borromeo Islands
Today your guide will take you to the hotel's dock where you will board your speedboat for a delightful tour of the Islands located in the Lake and not far from the hotel. The three islands, Isola Bella, Isola Pescador and Isola Madre all share magnificent scenery but each has its unique elements which you will discover. You will have time for lunch lunch on one of the islands depending on your selection of island. After lunch you return to the hotel where you have the option of kayaking on the lakes tranquil waters with an Italian Olympic and world champion rower..
Day 6 Lake Garda and Verona
This morning you will depart for Vicenza in the heart of the Veneto. You will pass by beautful Lake Garda and take time for a brief visit.You then head to Verona a Roman town particularly famous for two things. First the Arena, an amphitheatre built by the Romans and still used for outdoor concerts throughout the summer months. The second is Via Capello 27 which was once owned by the Del Cappello or Capulet family. According to legend, Juliet stood on the balcony as Romeo pledged her eternal love. Whether true or not the city certainly inspired Shakespeare since he also wrote " Two Gentlemen of Verona" about the city. You will have lunch and a walking tour of the city before heading to Vicenza and your hotel.
Day 7 “La Strada del Vino”
While not as robust as the wines of Tuscany, the wines of the Veneto make up in volume that which they may lack in body. These are wines meant to be drunk young and the world apparently agrees since names such as Soave, Valpolicella, Bardolino and Amerone make this area one of the biggest exporters in Italy. You will follow the "wine road" to enjoy the countryside and visit some of the wineries along the way. Lunch in a country town adds to the pleasure. This evening you toast goodbye to the Veneto with some wines of the region
Day 8 Vicenza and the Arrival in Venice
After breakfast your guide will pick you up to take you to Venice. Your first destination is the nearby town of Vicenza the birthplace of Andrea Palladio and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many of the buildings in the town are Palladian design including The Rotunda which has inspired buildings as far away as London and Delhi. You will also see the Basilica, the Loggia del Capitano and the Teatro Olimpico, Europe's oldest indoor theatre. You will then continue on to Mestre which is on the mainland of Venice. Here you will board a boat to take you across the lagoon to the Grand Canal and your hotel which located directly on the canal. You have a chance to have lunch on your own before meeting your guide who will take you on a walking tour of the key highlights of classical Venice. You will start in St. Mark's Square. Your first stop will be the Doges Palace where you will learn about the history, art and culture of the Venetian Republic. This former seat of government is richly decorated by some of the most important artists of the 16th Century and this is especially so in the Doge's private apartments which you will also visit. You cross the Bridge of Sighs to see the old prison of the republic before returning to St Mark's square where you enter Saint Mark's Church. This was originally the Doge's private chapel but is now the Venetian cathedral and is a rare example of Byzantine Art with its golden mosaics and the "Pala d'Oro" (Golden Altar), rich in enamels, precious stones and jewels. After your tour you return to the hotel. This evening enjoy dinner on the verandah as the life of the Grand Canal moves before you.
Day 9 Islands of the Venetian Lagoon
You have a leisurely breakfast before your guide arrivesto take you out to three of the most notable outlying islands in the Venetian Lagoon . Your first stop will be the island of Murano famous for its magnificent blown glass. You will visit the glass museum and also the old church of San Donato with its fantastic mosaics. Re-boarding your boat you head for the quaint and colorful island of Burano with its multi-colored houses and narrow streets. You will have the chance to have lunch at a typical restaurant saving room for "bussola" typical biscuits of the island. Your final stop will be Torcello where you visit the oldest church in the area, Santa Maria Assunta and its unique Byzantine mosaics. This evening we have reserved a table at a charming restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.
Day 10 Food Shopping and Cooking in Venice
After breakfast you will meet the hotel's chef and head across the Grand Canal on a "gondola shuttle" where you actually stand up for the short journey across. Directly across from the hotel is the renowned Rialto Market with areas dedicated to fresh fish, meat and vegetables. Along with the chef you select ingredients for a special lunch which you are going to help prepare. After completing the shopping you return to the hotel and its spotless kitchen where you work with the chef and staff in creating a three course lunch. Once completed you have the opportunity to enjoy the lunch you helped create. The afternoon and evening are at your leisure to explore many of the side streets and eventually find a restaurant that either catches your eye (or nose) or has been recommended by friends.
Day 11 Your Own Personal Venice and a Gondola Serenade
By now you will have become familiar with the key sights of Venice and so we have left the day open for you to create your own private memories of the city. In the early evening, you will board a gondola for a trip through some of the back canals accompanied by a musiciian and a singer. It is a bit touristy but hearing Santa Lucia from the seat of a gondola makes Venice come alive. After your gondola ride you return to the hotel for a farewell dinner overlooking the Grand Canal and enhanced by a bottle of wine with our compliments
Day 12 Return to USA
After breakfast your guide is ready for the trip to airport where your return trip to the US begins. You will arrive back in the USA later the same afternoon.
Available Year Round
Luxury Guided Tours - Lakes and Lagoons of Northern Italy ULIT05 Location and other villas and tours nearby
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Tour Location / Places Visiteds
Milan, Lake Maggiore, Vicenza, Venice
Additional Pricing Information
- 1st Class rail travel as indicated on the itinerary
- Superior Rooms at the properties indicated in the accommodations area (We reserve the right to substitute a property of equal quality in advance of departure should the designated hotel be unavailable)
- Private Transfers to and from the airport or rail station at destination
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary by B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
- Private guides for city explorations and private driver/guide while traveling.
- Entrance fees to all museums, attractions and other venues as indicated on the daily itinerary
- Baggage handling at all hotels
- All applicable taxes and service fees
Services Not Included
- International airfare (round-trip from hometown departure gateway to destination)
- Beverages with included meals (unless otherwise indicated on itinerary page)
- Any meals not indicated on the Itinerary page
- Items of a personal nature e.g. minibar, film, postcards etc.
- Gratuities to Guides and Driver/Guides (we provide suggested guidelines for your selected destination in your pre-departure material)
- Any passport or visa fees or government departure taxes (It is the traveler’s responsibility to secure the latest information regarding passports and visa requirements)
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