The favourite summer retreat for the who's who of Italy for centuries provides an enchanting backdrop for your first day in Italy. Airport transfers will be provided at set times from Milan Malpensa Airport to your hotel in the charming resort of Baveno on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Enjoy a Welcome Reception this evening to meet your fellow travel companions and Travel Director before embarking on your At Leisure jaunt. (WR) Stay: Simplon
Journey through Italy's exquisite Lake District to scenic Lake Como. Walk along the beautiful Como waterfront or relax by the lake indulging in a tasty gelato. Then it's time to ease into la dolce vita, ambling along the glamorous Baveno Marina – the gentle sounds of this lakeside setting are a soulful way to enjoy your afternoon. Spend free time exploring Baveno with its Romanesque bell tower and octagonal baptistery. (B)
The enchanting lanes of Bergamo, near the foothills of the Alps, yield architectural and artistic treasures which we will have an opportunity to explore this morning. Wander past centuries-old Renaissance façades and into the exquisite Piazza Vecchia built on the site of an ancient Roman forum, the heart of political power in the city for several centuries. See the ornate Contarini Fountain and 12th-century Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica, which you’ll learn the Bergamo people built to thank the Virgin Mary for coming to their aid in the midst of the plague during the 12th century.
We continue our love affair with the Italian Lakes, travelling to Lake Garda for a relaxing five-night stay, where long, lazy days are a way of life. This evening, we Connect With Locals at a Be My Guest experience featuring local fare with the Serenelli family. On this memorable MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, you’ll hear all about the farm’s incredible role in Napoleon’s Battle of Solferino, the bloody aftermath of which inspired the establishment of the International Red Cross. (B/BMG) Stay: Oliveto
Romance in the air, we journey to Verona engaging in the tragic tale of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers at Juliet's Balcony. Our walking tour with a Local Specialist will also take us past the Roman arena, still in use today, followed by some free time to explore the city alone. See the seven medieval towers of Castelvecchio, relax under the shady trees in Verona's expansive Piazza Bra or clamber up Lamberti's Tower for magnificent views. (B)
Sparkling Lambrusco, salty prosciutto and the intense aromas of parmigiano await in the gastronomic hub of Modena, which we explore today in the company of a Local Specialist. Wander past pastel-hued façades in Modena's Old Town into the magnificent Piazza Grande which, along with its 12th-century cathedral and Torre Civica, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dive Into Culture and experience the deliciously sweet and sour flavours of some of the world’s best balsamic vinegar when you uncover the talents of the artisans of Acetaia Malpighi in the heart of a city that was the birthplace of Ferrari and Pavarotti and is home to Michelin Star restaurants and tortellini. Our gourmet interlude nearing its an end, we visit the Enzo Ferrari Museum where we'll Dive Into Culture and explore the history of this Italian icon. This evening, we enjoy a leisurely dinner at our hotel. (B/D)
In search of spires that reach the sky, we leave our tranquil lakeside setting behind for the chic northern capital of Milan. Admire the extraordinary Gothic Duomo, La Scala Opera House and 19th-century Galleria with its impressive glass and iron-domed roof. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to jostle with the glamorous Milanese for your spot on the runways of Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and Via Sant'Andrea.
This evening we indulge in a Farewell Dinner, joining our fellow travellers to celebrate the end of an exquisite holiday together. (B/FD) Stay: Starhotels Business Palace