|5 days and 4 nights|
Italy (Milan, Bellagio, Como, Tremezzo, Sirmione, Desenzano del Garda)
Day 1 Varese
Arrival in afternoon in Varese. Check-in at your hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2 Lake Maggiore: Borromean Islands
We will spend a full day exploring the famous Borromean islands. We wiil travel to Stresa for a short cruise to Isola Bella to see the 17th century baroque palace built by Carlo III of the House of Borromeo for his wife Isabella. Surrounded by terraced gardens that were inspired by the ‘Hanging Gardens of Babylon’, the palace was the scene of sumptuous and lavish parties, attended by the cream of European nobility. We then continue to Isola Pescatori, the ‘island of fishermen’, with its narrow cobbled streets and pretty harbour. The island was thought to be first inhabited in the 10th century and there are now approximately 50 residents. Our final visit is to Isola Madre. In contrast, to Isola Bella, Isola Madre has a simple, unspoilt aspect. The English romantic feel is due to re-working of the former Renaissance terraced gardens. Return for dinner and overnight stay in Varese.
Day 3 Lake Como: Como, Tremezzo, Bellagio
The Como Lake is said to be Italy’s most beautiful lake. In the morning we will take a brief tour of Como, a charming and popular town perched on the waterfront of the lake. Narrow streets, artistic monuments and the ancient city walls from most of which has remain unchanged, serve to document the Middle Age times. Then we continue on to Tremezzo and the mid-17th century Villa Carlotta, known for its centuries-old botanical gardens and the much appreciated Italian-style garden. Important works of art are found both in the garden and inside the villa, now a museum. After the tour, we will ferry back to Bellagio, one of the prettiest village in all of Italy. Bellagio sits in front of Lake Como with its promenade, stairways and streets from the bottom to the top, lined with shops and cafes. Return for dinner and overnight stay in Varese.
Day 4 Franciacorta, Lake di Garda: Sirmione, Bardolino
Today we set out for the Grada Lake. En route, short stop in Franciacorta, a renowned area area where the most famous sparklig wins are produced for visiting a local winery. Here we will taste some wine and snacks. The next stop is Sirmione, a historical town perched on a thin and craggy peninsula jutting four kilometres into the lake. Strolling its cobbled streets we discover the imposing Rocca Scaligera, a beautifully preserved 13th century castle surrounded by the large water-filled moat, and above all, of one of the largest Roman villas in Italy lying at the tip of the promontory: the Grotte di Catullo. We continue on to Bardolino. This charming Italian town is still maintaining the look and feel of the medieval Europe with the old streets, roadside cafe, villas, olive cloves and vineyards It has beautiful lakefront views, much like any of the other towns on the lake. However, the world-renowned local wines contributed heavily to the establishment of Bardolino as an ideal vacation destination: the Bardolino ‘rosso’ wine is well-known throughout the world. Dinner and overnight stay in Desanzano del Garda.
Day 5 Desenzano del Garda
Breakfast and departure for return journey. End of our services.
Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, Lake di Garda
Accommodation, depending on your option, in good 4* hotels centrally located or 3* not centrally located hotels, double occupancy rooms, as described:
3 night accommodation in hotel in Varese on a half-board basis, drinks not included
1 night accommodation in Desenzano del Garda on a half-board basis, drinks not included
Entrance to the Villa Carlotta
Wine tasting accompanied by snacks in Franciacorta
Cruise to Borromean Islands on Lake Maggiore
Bus GT for the entire tour with arrival and departure from Milan airport, including all expenses (check point and parking fees, board and lodging for driver)