North Lakes – 4 Days/3 Nights
Italy’s lakes region is well known for its food and beauty. You’ll see glacial lakes nestled within limestone peaks, set against old world architecture.
Itinerary: Milan • Orta • Stresa • Como • Bellagio • Varenna • Bergamo • Brescia • Sirmione • Riva del Garda • Verona • Milan
- Visit the cities Milan and Verona
- Travel through the North Lakes region
- Lake Orta
- Lake Garda
- May: 3 • 10 • 24
- June: 7 • 21 • 28
- July: 12 • 26
- August: 9 • 23
- September: 13 • 27
- October: 4 • 11 • 18
*City Tax not included and must be paid directly at the hotel on check out
DAY 1 MILAN • ORTA • STRESA • COMO
Depart from the hotel Starhotels Ritz in Milan at 8:30 am to Lake Orta, a small and charming lake situated in the North-Eastern side of the Piedmont region. Stop in the beautiful village of Orta San Giulio for a short visit. Then, tour by boat to reach the Isola San Giulio, which is located just in front of the village. The tiny island is known as ‘the Pearl of the Lake’, and is almost entirely occupied by the Monastery Mater Ecclesiae, famous for studies on antique books. After a short tour, you will take the ferry back to Orta and then leave by bus for Stresa.
Stresa is situated on Lake Maggiore, one of the largest Italian lakes. The scenery at the lake’s upper end is alpine in nature – with high mountain peaks and perpetual snow. The middle region lies between more gentle hills, and the lower section meets the plains of the Lombardy region. These features make a year-round average temperature – milder in Winter than in the inner areas and cooler in Summer by the breezes that blow on the water’s surface, changing the lake’s colour. Thanks to its mild climate, many species of flowers and plants typical to the sub-tropical climate could adapt to the lake areas climate.
Arrival in Stresa will show you the stunning picturesque location of this international tourist town. The landmark buildings such as Villa Pallavicino, with its gardens and zoo, and the Grand Hôtel des Îles Borromées, where author Hemingway once stayed. Boats run from the waterfront to the Borromean Islands, home to palazzos, villas, a fishing port and the Museum of Dolls and Toys. You can opt to have free time for lunch in Stresa or Isola dei Pescatori (Fisherman’s Island). In the afternoon, you will be taken on a tour of the Isola dei Pescatori by boat. The island was named after its traditional occupation of fishing, which over the centuries, has characterised this tiny town. Although only few families still maintain the traditional activity, tourism is now central to the economic identity of the small community. You will be fascinated by the simple houses, the narrow lanes, the stone portals and the attractive under-passes. You will continue to the Isola Bella (The Beautiful Island), where you might opt for a visit of the Borromeo Palace with its magnificent gardens. Return to Stresa. At the and of the visit you will travel to Como and spend in your hotel.
DAY 2 COMO • BELLAGIO • VARENNA • BERGAMO • BRESCIA
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before setting off on a short tour of Como. Its proximity to Lake Como and to the Alps has made Como a tourist destination, and the city contains numerous works of art, churches, gardens, museums, theatres, parks and palaces You’ll witness amazing views of mountains, lake Como itself, and wild alpine valleys. You’ll also see the industrialised Brianzola Hill, downtown Como, and the small houses in the village. The lake itself, sometimes called Lario, has long been famous for its y-shape, its three branches intersecting at Bellagio.
You will visit Bellagio via boat. Separating the lake’s two southern arms with the alps dominating the horizon to the north; Bellagio is home to some of the most charming landscapes in Italy. Spend some time strolling this picturesque village with its small streets, luxury hotels, villas, and gardens, stopping for lunch in one of the many cafés in town (not included). Back on the boat, you will make your way to Varenna that afternoon, where you will enjoy a scenic tour, before moving on to Bergamo, a truly historic and artistic jewel characterized by its urban structure: the lower town (città bassa) is modern and dynamic, while the famous upper town (città alta) houses the city’s Medieval history. After a short walking tour in the city centre, you will travel to Brescia, where you will check in to your new hotel for the night.
DAY 3 BRESCIA • SIRMIONE • RIVA DEL GARDA • VERONA
Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, is your next destination. After breakfast at your hotel, you will enjoy a scenic tour of the lake’s west coast, taking in the beautiful environment: brilliant colors, the Dolomites of Brenta, and the gentle slopes of the Moraine Hills. Enjoy the area’s rich vegetation, including lemon trees, oleanders, magnolias, and bouganville that flourish, thanks to the Mediterranean climate. So be sure to taste some of the locally made olive oil and wine. Next, you will travel to Sirmione, where you will see Lake Garda and its surroundings at their finest. See the sun shining off of the lake’s blue waters and tree-lined shores during a boat tour – see the Sirmione cape, the Castle, and the Catullo’s ruins. Back on land, you will have free time for lunch before departing for Riva del Garda on the North side of the lake. Here, you will see its Venetian-style historic center. Verona will be your final stop for the day, where you will check in to your hotel for the night.
DAY 4 VERONA • MILAN
Fuel up on breakfast at your hotel before setting out to see the famous city of Verona, a work of art in itself. This fascinating crossroad of historical periods and cultures with Nordic and Mediterranean influences that are both ancient and modern. A walk through Verona’s narrow streets will allow you to get in touch with its varied and fascinating past: traces of its splendid Roman origins, its Medieval structures, its magnificent Renaissance palaces, as well as the impressive fortifications protecting the city. The combination of art and history is quite amazing. Spend some time enjoying lunch (not included) before departing for Milan, where your tour will come to an end.
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