ITALIAN RIVIERA & LAKES REGION
Category: !!!Top Sellers!!!, Food & Wine, Group Tours, Travel packages
Duration: 10 days
Depart home for your flight to Italy; enjoy Dinner and Breakfast and in-flight movies.
Day 2: Arrival
Arrival at Genoa Airport and transfer to your hotel, where you will be staying for the next 3-nights. Enjoy welcome cocktails and a delicious three course dinner at the hotel. Welcome to the Italian Riviera!! And to the Dolce Vita!!
Day 3: Cinque Terre
After breakfast we will leave this morning for a full day excursion to the famous Cinque Terre. We will get by bus to La Spezia where will board a panoramic motor boat. Our first visit will be Portovenere. The village is dominated by the castle, and on its opposite you will see the island Palmaria. The quay is bordered by a terrace of tower-houses with up to seven floors with coloured fronts. Leaving a door with towers behind, you will arrive in Via Capellini, main axes of the medieval village, which runs along the coast, and which is flanked by antique houses often decorated with original architectonic elements: roof-gardens, doors in slate or in marble, fine door decorations. Our second stop will be Vernazza. Here the houses add to the classic tower-shape more elaborated architectonic forms, like open galleries, arcades and decorated doors. Vernazza is considered the most beautiful village of the Cinque Terre, and one of the most fascinating places of the whole Liguria. Monterosso will be the last village that we will visit. The village is closed between various hills (which go down to the sea), olive-trees, lemon-trees and above all vineyards which produce an excellent white wine. The municipality consists of two centers with two sand beaches: Fegina and Monterosso. It is really the ideal stop for a bath before to leave the Cinque Terre! Furthermore, the street along the sea is ideal for having a long walk.
~ Breakfast & Dinner at your hotel in Genoa.
Today we drive along the coast to reach two gems of the Italian Riviera: Portofino & Santa Margherita Ligure. From Sestri Levante to Santa Margherita Ligure, the Tigullio coast is a continuation of seaside resorts that have been an important tourist tradition for more than two hundred years. Extensive beaches with well-equipped bathing establishments, large marinas with full services, avant-garde sport facilities and refined, top quality hotels: in Tigullio all this blends with the beauty of sea landscapes, the liveliness of the town centres, the fascination of the water with its favourable currents.
Portofino, a magical and enchanting place where society and nature blend together: it is a refuge for VIPs, a meeting place for famous people, but it is also a Natural Park. Portofino was originally a fishermen village with its coloured tall houses which design an amphitheateraround the famous “Piazzetta” (little square).
~ Breakfast & Dinner at your hotel in Genoa.
Day 5: Leaving the Italian Riviera: Lake Maggiore & Stresa
After breakfast, check out and departure by private bus to Lake Maggiore. Upon arrival to Stresa we will enjoy a lovely cruise to reach the Isola Bella (beautiful island). Stresa is an elegant internationally famous holiday resort located on the shore of Lake Maggiore. We will visit the Borromean Palace and Gardens on Isola Bella, which were constructed from 1632 onward, transforming the pre-existing fishing village into an elegant residence which occupies two thirds of the island. The Italian style baroque gardens remind you of a ship, firmly anchored in the waters of the lake. We will have some free time for shopping and lunch on own on the island before to reach again Stresa and proceed to Como.
In the afternoon check in at your hotel in Como where you will be staying for the next 2 nights.
~ Breakfast & Dinner at your hotel in Como.
After your buffet breakfast, depart by private motor coach for an amazing day excursion to discover lake Como and the charming villages of Tremezzo and Bellagio.
We will drive along the lake western shore to admire Cernobbio with the famous Renaissance Villa d’Este; then we will bypass Laglio where George Clooney bought a marvelous estate some years ago; finally we will reach Tremezzo. Here we will board on a private launch to reach the village of Bellagio, considered the “pearl of Lake Como”.
The cruise will offer us splendid views of the Villas from the lake passing through the promontory where lies the XVIII Villa Balbianello in all its splendour till reaching Comacina Island.
The village of Bellagio is characterized by century-old buildings, stone lanes and picturesque cobbled stairways filled with shops showcasing the finest Italian wares. Enjoy some free time for lunch on own, shopping and individual visits.
~ Breakfast and Dinner at your hotel in Como.
Day 7: Leaving Como to Lake Garda: Milan & Sirmione
After breakfast, check out and departure by private bus to Milan. We will enjoy a guided tour of the city. The visit starts from the Castello Sforzesco, the imposing fortress built by the noble families of the Visconti and the Sforza, seat of one of the most magnificent courts during Italian Renaissance.
Next stop is the Scala Opera House, worldwide famous shrine of classic music.
A lovely walk along the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, the beautiful arcade nicknamed by the “milanesi” the city’s “living room” will take us to the Duomo square. We will enter the Duomo, the cathedral of the city, built by the Lords of Milan in medieval gothic style and the third largest church in the world.
Enjoy some free time to discover the Milan fashion district one of the most or even the most important of the world, known as the quadrilateral, because formed by 4 main roads such as Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga. This high-class shopping district is characterized by the presence of numerous boutiques and related retail outlets which represent most of the world’s major fashion houses.
After lunch on own we will proceed to Lake Garda. Garda is a great Mediterranean lake, blessed by Italian sun, surrounded by villages and mountains. We will reach Sirmione peninsula for a lovely stroll through its picturesque alleys. Check in at your hotel in Garda where you will staying for the next 3 nights. ~ Breakfast & Dinner at your hotel in Lake Garda.
We will then proceed to the Valpolicella wine country to visit a winery estate and taste the famous Amarone wine. Obtained from grapes dried in fruttaio (grape-drying building) for 100/120 days where the sugar fermentation is completed, Amarone is one of the most enduring wines among the great Italian wines. It has a very intense red colour with garnet shades and a perfume that reminds of dried fruits, tobacco and spices due to the noble rot which develops during the drying process.
The flavour is very fruity and fragrant, dry but highly soft, with a full body, warm, invigorating and robust.
~ Breakfast & Dinner at your hotel in Garda.
Day 9: Day at leisure
Time at leisure for relaxation at the resort, individual visits and shopping.
*** Optional Day trip to Venice
Possibility to join a day tour to Venice Lagoon: lovely cruise to Murano (glass blowing), Burano (the photographers’ paradise, famous for lace) & Torcello (ancient basilica with mosaics), lunch in Burano included.
Day 10: Departure
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the airport for the flight home.
* All Sightseeing subject to changes*
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