THE NORTHERN LAKES &
26 Jun - 6 Jul 2017
The tour starts in Milano: the economic heart of Italy, where the group will enjoy a two day visit of the centre of Milano which will include a special tour of Castello Sforzesco and the famous gothic styled Duomo. After Milano we travel to Italy’s most beautiful lake: Lago di Como. Our stay will be in the picturesque town of Bellagio. A special ferry ride will take the group on a scenic ride around the lake to enjoy the romantic settings of Menaggio, Tremezzo and Cernobbio. Then we set off to Lago di Garda before the scenic spectacle of La Grande Strada delle Dolomiti.
Mario, Viny & Gianni will give you the opportunity to experience these very special parts of Italy. There will be daily strolls with many stops at mountain retreats which provide wonderful eating delights together with unparalleled views. This tour is characterised by a la carte menus and delicious local wines.
The tour ends in Venice in Piazzale Roma.
Day 1 Milano (D) Your tour leaders will meet you at the hotel in the centre of Milano at 4.00pm. Introductions and a small talk on the tour will precede an evening walk of the city. Milano is Italy’s economic centre and design capital of the world. We will visit Piazza Duomo and the impressive Cathedral. It will follow with a special dinner in a traditional restaurant.
Day 2 Milano (BD) Today, a local guide will take the group on a walking tour of the historical centre of Milan. Travellers will visit the imposing Castello Sforzesco and its museums, the shoppers’ paradise: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Piazza dei Mercanti and La Scala Opera House. The itinerary will give the group the opportunity to visit one of the world's great masterpieces: the Rondanini Pieta? by Michelangelo’. In the afternoon there will be free time to visit nearby sites such as Palazzo Reale or perhaps window shop down some of the most famous fashion avenues of the world. Dinner is organised in a traditional restaurant in the characteristic Brera district of Milan.
Day 3 Milano/Lago di Como/Bellagio (BD) After breakfast we make our way to the wonderful Lago di Como. Our first destination is the city of Como where the group will have free time to explore the historical centre of the City. There will be an opportunity to have lunch at Brunate where we will enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains and the lake. After lunch, the group will take a slow boat and meander from village to village before reaching the beautiful town of Bellagio. Our three days on the lake will be in a hotel with lake views in the centre of the town. After check in there will be time for a rest and then dinner in a truly magnificent setting on the edge of the lake.
Day 4 Bellagio/Lenno (BD) Our second day on the lake will be a special experience. Firstly, a small ferry ride will take us to Lenno for an interesting guided tour of the famous and mysterious Villa Balbianello with its amazing lake views. After lunch, the rest of the afternoon is free. During this time you may wish to visit Villa Carlotta: a luxurious palace, completed in 1690, with stunning English gardens. There are also the beautiful towns of Tremezzo, Menaggio and Varenna, also worth exploring. Back to Bellagio for dinner.
Day 5 Bellagio (BD) A peaceful tranquil day on the lake with the morning spent visiting the famous gardens of Villa Melzi on the edge of the lake. The afternoon is free to relax and take in the scenery or further explore the small streets of Bellagio. Dinner in a restaurant in Bellagio.
Day 6 Bellagio/Riva del Garda (BD) After breakfast we make our way to Lago di Garda: the largest of all Italian lakes and famous for its tranquillity and breathtaking scenery. Upon reaching Lake Garda, our morning drive will take us along the southern area of the lake before a stop at the picturesque town of Bardolino. After some free time for lunch we continue onto Riva del Garda, passing some of the lake’s delightful towns surrounded by lush groves of olives, vines and citrus trees. Dinner in Riva del Garda.
Day 7 Riva del Garda (B) After breakfast overlooking the beautiful town square of Riva a local guide will escort the group through the narrow streets of the historical centre of Riva to learn about the history and culture of this beautiful part of Italy. The afternoon is free to soak in the sun and enjoy the tranquil scenery of the lake. Free evening in Riva.
Day 8 Riva del Garda/Dolomite Road/San Vito di Cadore (BD) The group say goodbye to Riva and Lake Garda as we slowly make our way to La Grande Strada delle Dolomiti which links Bolzano with Cortina d’Ampezzo. It is 100kms of some of the most spectacular scenery in Europe: gorges, waterfalls, glaciers, high passes, bell laden mountain cows, thick forests, and incredible mountains characterise the whole of the journey. Our stay in the Dolomites is close to Cortina in San Vito di Cadore. Dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 9 San Vito di Cadore/Cortina D’Ampezzo (BD) After breakfast we continue to experience the scenic spectacle of the Dolomites. Our first stop will be nearby town of Cortina, known as 'The Queen of the Dolomites' where travellers will have the opportunity to explore this beautiful mountain village. The group then catch the Faloria cable car and experience some of the most spectacular views of the Cadore Valley and the imposing Monte Cristallo. There is an optional walk to Rifugio Tondi at 2327m or you can remain in Faloria where there will be time to have lunch and take in the natural beauty of this peaceful mountain environment. Dinner will be in a traditional restaurant in San Vito.
Day 10 San Vito di Cadore/San Candido/Lake Misurina (BD) Today we journey to the market town of South Tyrol, San Candido. The town has a historical centre closed to traffic making it perfect for exploring the many shops and Collegiate Church which dates back to the 8th Century. Then it is a short ride to the beautiful Lake Misurina to admire more unforgettable views of the Dolomites. There will be an opportunity to have lunch on one of the many lake front restaurants or take the Auronzo chair lift up to 1573m to see the impressive view of one of the symbols of the Dolomtes the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Dinner in San Vito di Cadore.
Day 11 San Vito di Cadore/Venice (B) Today after our final breakfast in the Dolomites we slowly make our way down to Venice. As we descend passing many beautiful mountain villages, there are opportunities to enjoy the spectacular views of the mountains and valleys carved out by the receding glaciers. The group will be dropped off in Piazzale Roma in Venice for the next part of your journey.
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