Italy’s Lakes District , Alps and Riviera
This is definitely an over the top trip to Italy which includes many of the finest sites that one can see and experience
This is the trip that you’re sure to remember for the rest of your life
Revel in the untrammeled splendor of the natural beauty of northern Italy, from the rolling surf of the Mediterranean pounding against the cliffs of Cinque Terre to the jagged teeth and soaring ridges of the mighty Alps.
From soaring peaks to sapphire waters, modern marvels and scenic splendor, the Alpine countries of Italy have something special.
Enjoy the more luxurious side of the mountains as you spend your time on the bucolic shores of Lake Como and Maggiore , taking the spectacular scenery and the elegant lakeside villages.
Walk through precious typical Northern Italy villages out of the beaten track and admire the famous Piedmont landcapes with their hills and wineyards.
City slickers will love the fine art and high culture of timeless capitals like Torino and Genova.
Live the life of a small italian town as you walk the streets of hidden gems from Aosta to Portofino.
You’ll get culture and the joy of the great outdoors, stunning architecture and stick-to-your-ribs food, the treasures of the city and the pleasures of the country.
When it comes to Italy, you truly can have it all !
For whatever reason you visit, make sure you don’t miss Northern Italy !
Milano to Milano
What is Included
Land transportation in Italy via private motor coach, as indicated on itinerary
Accommodation in double-occupancy rooms in 4 star hotels for 11 nights
15 meals ( 4 lunches , 11 dinners ). Drinks: wine and water.
Visit to the cellar and vineyards of a Langhe farmhouse with Wine tasting
Private Watertaxi cruise to Lake Maggiore Islands
Private Watertaxi cruise in Lake Como
Motorship Cruising Thirrenyan sea at 5 Terre
Motorship Cruising Gulf of Tigullio to Portofino
Cablecar Skyway to Mont Blanc
Services of a full-time tour guide
All guided tours as indicated on itinerary
Audio headsets throughout the tour
Entrance fees : Fenis Castle, Sarre Castle, Egiptian Museum , San Giorgio Castle , Lake Maggiore Islands Palaces and gardens, Duomo of Milano
Airfare to and from Italy
Shopping and personal expenses
All other expenses incurred during free time.
- Get away from the hustle and bustle in the peaceful and idyllic Lake District, famous for its aristocratic villas and lakeside promenades
- Turn to Lake Maggiore where the quaint and captivating isole Borromee awaits
- Make your way through the Val d’Aosta mountains enjoying the pleasures of this Alpine treasure
- Climb to the heart of the Mont Blanc Massif thanks to the cableways
(an experience that is described as the Eighth Wonder of the World)
- Travel through Piedmont’s wine region, visiting castles and vineyards along the way
- Sample artisan and boutique wines of this gastronomic area
- Take a tour of Torino, home to the 2006 Olympics and a city that boasts some of Europe’s finest pastry shops.
- Spend leisurely time along Portofino Italian Riviera, walking along palm-lined promenades.
- Discover Genoa, one of Italy’s upcoming towns and Christopher Columbus birthplace
- Discover the hidden gems of Cinque Terre, like the medieval-era port at Portovenere and the
excellent vineyards and wineries that produce a white wine of local fame
- ° See the world-famous La Scala Opera House in Milano
* Explore the shores and waters of luxurious Lake Como or simply enjoy the immaculate waters and the one-of-a-kind scenery
Trip at a Glance
Day 1: Arrival in Milan- Lake Maggiore
Day 2: Cruising Enchanting Lake Maggiore
Day 3: Medieval and roman Val d’Aosta
Day 4: The Monte Bianco: the highest peak in Europe
Day 5: Grand Paradise National Park
Day 6: Torino , the first capital of Italy
Day 7: Langhe UNESCO hills
Day 8: Portofino – The Elegance, Intimacy and Romance of the Italian Riviera
Day 9: The Stunning Coast of Cinque Terre (The Famous Five Cities of the Mediterranean)
Day 10: Milano and Como
Day 11: Captivating Lake Como
Day 12: Departure from Milan (Coming Back Home)
The panoramic terraces at 3375 mt and 11072ft Mont Blanc The breathtaking panorama and the view is out of sight to the Italian, France and Switzerland Alps .
Italy’s Lakes District , Alps and Riviera
Day 1 –(L, D) Lake Maggiore (2 nights) Beginning Your Italian Experience
Greet Italy at Malpensa Airport on the outskirts of Milan, where your local guide will be waiting to take you to the inimitable splendor on Lake Maggiore.
Lunch. Accomodation in your room and relax.
In the afternoon enjoy a walk on the lake shore in Arona. The afternoon can be spent exploring the town, where the narrow and winding streets are fringed with stirring 19th-century villas, offering a bustling foreground to the awesome rise of the towering Alps beyond. Walk the delightful promenade along the lakeside, where you’ll find charming cafes and boutiques as well as spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Don’t be surprised if you spend most of your time at a local cafe, sipping an espresso or enjoying a cone of gelato while gazing upon the splendid scene.
Dinner at the hotel
Day 2 – (B, L, D ) Stresa and Borromean Islands
Breakfast in hotel
We will reach Stresa and take a boat to the Borromean islands:
All of this Borromean Island is a botanical garden, the climatic protection of the mighty Alps and the tepid waters of Lago Maggiore. The cacti and palm trees here, so far north and so near the border with Switzerland, are a beautiful surprise.
On the Isola Madre Take time to see the profusion of exotic trees and shrubs running down to the shore in every direction. A special time to visit are April (for the camellias). Also on the island is a 16th-century palazzo, where the Borromeo family still lives for part of the year. The palazzo has an antique puppet theater on display, complete with string puppets, prompt books, and elaborate scenery designed by Alessandro Sanquirico, who was a scenographer at La Scala in Milan. Tiny Isola dei Pescatori , less than 100 yards wide, makes a great stop for your included lunch. The island’s little lanes strung with fishing nets and dotted with shrines to the Madonna are the definition of picturesque
End afternoon Visit Stresa, a characteristic northwest Italian town which has an aura of faded grandeur, where a young American named Ernest Hemingway recovered from wounds suffered World War I. He later wrote a book loosely based on the experience, and titled it A Farewell to Arms.
Dinner at the hotel
Day 3 – (B, D ) Medieval and roman Val d’Aosta (3 nights) Breakfast in hotel
Drive through Aosta Valley where you can find around 100 medieval castles, towers and fortresses, which over the centuries became Renaissance dwellings, or Romanesque and Baroque churches. Visit also the Fenis Castle, a medieval building and one of the most famous tourist attractions . In the afternoon we get to Aosta: also called “Rome of the Alps”, its beauty is in its diverse buildings. Start a walking tour from the Stone Bridge, and then continue to see the Roman theatre and the amphitheatre. The “ruelle” are the characteristic side streets which weave through the centre of Aosta to meet up with the main roads in the city centre. They conceal the most charming hidden corners of Aosta and are much sought-after by local residents. Sit and soak up the mountain views or people-watch from the main square, and visit the pretty 11th century cathedral, with its gorgeous stained-glass windows, colorful fresco, and mosaic floors. Dinner at the hotel
Day 4 – (B, D ) The Monte Bianco : the Highest peak in Europe
Breakfast in hotel We dedicate the morning to ride the cable car to the magnificent glaciers of Mont Blanc :
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Live a unique experience just steps from the sky.
This cablecar is an amazing piece of engineering . it is 15 km long and includes 3 sections, crossing 3 miles of glaciers under continuous movement, till 12000 feets. You will reach the heart of the Mont Blanc Massif, the magnificent circular terrace of Punta Helbrenner from which you can enjoy a 360 degree view of the Alps from the summit of Mont Blanc, which with its 4,810 meters high, dominating the horizon, the Giant’s Tooth, a view that stretches between seracs and granite towers from pastel shades. At the Horizon the famous “4000” in Europe: the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, the Grivola, Gran Paradiso.
Here there is the natural oasis that houses the Saussurea Alpine Garden(OPEN end June –August), the highest botanical garden in Europe, as well as a large sun terrace and a fully equipped network of trails that allows you to walk up to the glaciers
Before lunch take a leisurely stroll to discover Courmayeur, the pearl of the Alps.
Another castle protagonist of our afternoon is to Sarre, starting point of the hunting of Vittorio Emanuele II. we will discover the thirteenth century manor.
Dinner at the hotel
Day 5 (B, L, D ) Grand Paradise National Park
Breakfast in hotel
we move to the Gran Paradiso National Park, stopping overview by the orchards and vineyards in Aymavilles, in the shadow of the crenellated castle of the Challant family.
The day continues in the park in this ancient game reserve, since 1922 the first Italian national park. The walk of about two hours winds habitat of ibex, among the lush vegetation of larch, pine and spruce. it is in this region that the first national park of Italy was created, to protect the rich biodiversity of its environment. Lunch in a typical restaurant You’ve heard of the wine classifications DOC and DOCG, right? Well the locally-made Il Vallee D’Aoste Fromadzo cheese is DOP (yes, really), and is listed right up there with a local grappa as one of the two best products of the Aosta Valley. Dinner at the hotel
Day 6 (B, D ) Torino , first capital of Italy ( 1 night in the Langhe )
Breakfast in hotel
Drive down to Piedmont to discover the first capital of Italy
The Royal Palace that was once the home of royalty, including the first king of unified Italy, Vittorio Emmanuele II.
The major church of Turin, was built on the site of an ancient Roman theater.
The Duomo major claim to fame is the world-renowned Shroud of Turin. The linen cloth, said to be the shroud that held the body of Jesus, is kept in the Chapel of the Holy Shroud and is displayed rarely. Whatever your religious beliefs, it’s fascinating
Turin’s collection of Egyptian antiquities is second only to Cairo’s, an incredible collection of mummies, urns, statues, One impressive exhibit is the ancient Temple of El-Elessiya, brought to Turin in the 1960s when the Aswan Dam was constructed.
Tired of palaces? One of Turin’s greatest charms is its appeal to walkers. Miles of curved, open arcades shelter sidewalks and inviting shops, bookstalls and charming cafes. Via Garibaldi is Europe’s longest pedestrian-only street,
The city is also renowned for the chocolate candies and drinks produced and sold here; the classic is granduiotto, a delectable mixture of chocolate and hazelnuts.
Dinner at the hotel
Day 7 (B, L, D ) Langhe Unesco hills and the King of wines (3 nights in Genoa)
Breakfast in hotel. Tour the famous wine and truffle region around castles and vineyards starting from Alba and then Barolo from which “the King of wines and Wine of Kings” gets its name
For food and wine lovers, these neighboring regions are the connoisseur ‘s alternative to Tuscany. The cuisine is a mix of italian fundamentals and sophisticated french influences. The wine , led by the mighty Barolo , is the most lauded in Italy. Vineyards line the slopes around the hilltop towns, the perfect setting for leisurely hikes and winery visits.
Alba is also an important agricultural and wine center. It was originally an ancient Roman settlement- today we can visit the remains of its medieval buildings with its red towers. The cathedral has magnificent works of art from the sixteenth century and a wonderful inlaid-wood choir section. The imposing fifteenth-century bell tower was built around the remains of an original Romanesque structure.. An ancient, narrow street, full of shops, the lively commercial center. This is a shopping paradise, especially if you are looking for gourmet food and wine. The capital city of the Langhe holds several important festivals: Vinum (April/May) – a fair dedicated to the great wines of Alba, the Langhe and Roero
Visit a traditional wine cellar with a tasting of 3 different wines , accompanied by cheese and salami.
Head toward Liguria . Accommodate in hotel in Genoa. Dinner .
Day 8 (B, D ) The Intimacy and Romance of Portofino and the Italian Riviera Breakfast in hotel
Turn from the alpine country to the Mediterranean coast as you head for the incomparable Portofino and fancy italian riviera.This is an Italian resort town as it existed years ago, when life was slower and everyone took care to make sure they only offered the best. Hike up to Castello di San Giorgio, a castle with medieval relics, for sweeping views and impeccable gardens.
Do what everyone else is doing; kick back in a café, browse through the boutiques, and look at the super yachts docked in the marina
In the afternoon visit Genoa which is in a dramatic location, which goes a long way towards explaining its dominance of this part of the Mediterranean. Its curving waterfront is situated in the shelter of steep protective hills. Everywhere in Genoa you’ll encounter the name of the Doria family; they ruled the city, commanded its fleets and commissioned many of its palazzi.
Another famous local name is that of Christopher Columbus (Cristoforo Colombo), the explorer, who spent his childhood in the much-restored stone house next to the beautiful little cloister of Sant’Andrea.
Genoa’s striking cityscape, with pastel buildings piled up steep hillsides above the long curving waterfront, is a sight in itself, and can be admired from a variety of viewpoints,
Day 9 (B, L, D ) – 5 TerreBreakfast in hotel
Situated in Liguria, “The Five Lands” of Cinque Terre , the Riviera resort communities that are among the most picturesque seaside towns on Earth. are nestled into the rugged cliffs of the Mediterranean. These centuries’ old villages are filled with beautiful villas, colorfully painted homes, charmingly simple establishments and amazing cuisine.
Lunch with Pesto, the basil rich sauce that was invented here in Liguria, and it’s never been equaled elsewhere.
The five coastline villages make up a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site great for exploring day or night. Enter at Monterosso al Mare or Porto Venere before setting out to explore the winding streets and plunging cliffs of these five miracles, still relatively untouched by corporate development – and tourists.
From Riomaggiore You will walk through “La Via dell’Amore” (the Road of Love), the narrow walking path facing the sea, up to the village of Manarola.
Dinner at the hotel
Day 10 –(B, D ) Milan and Lake Como (2 nights)Breakfast in hotel
This morning drive to Lombardia. Italy’s romantic Lake District lies just north of Milan in the shadow of the Alps.
Milan has been a center of prominence since the Middle Ages. In this intriguing metropolis beneath the facade of post-WWII buildings, many surprises await you
Enjoy a guided tour of the city’s highlights. See the world-famous La Scala Opera House and learn about the illustrious history of the Duomo, a marvel of medieval architecture built when Milan was considered the “new Athens.” This gothic masterpiece seats 10,000 worshipers and is crowned with 140 spires and more than 2,000 statues. Stroll through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the “parlor” of the city, to check out designer shops and stop for espresso at Zucca, a favorite cafe of Giuseppe Verdi or have lunch on your own in one of the local restaurants. In the early afternoon reach “Lago di Como” in Italian, that has been a popular destination since Roman times, known for romantic settings especially suited for honeymooners or lovers of all ages. When you visit Lake Como, you literally step back into the late 19th century when this was the destination of Europe’s wealthy and elite
Dinner at the hotel
Day 11 ( B, D ) Cruise Lake ComoBreakfast
This morning you leave the shores and hit the waters of Lake Como, set out to explore the most spectacular villas by sea on board a private boat. Cruise by the stunning English-style gardens that harmonize perfectly with the surrounding natural Italian landscape at the famous Villa Melzi d’Eril in Bellagio, and make your way past the jutting peninsula that the village so opulently crowns. Then gaze upon the elegant facade and the scintillating Italian gardens of the Villa Carlotta, home to an unbeatable view of the Bellagio Peninsula, meticulously planned gardens filled with enchanting flora and classic statuary, and an art gallery that features a number of remarkable works, from Acquisti’s Mars and Venus to a selection of pieces by Canova. During the sail your eyes will be captured by the various villages scattered on the lake, the Medieval hamlets, the Romanesque churches, the views of the flora and, of course, a long series of villas with their luxuriant gardens, built for the aristocracy and the middle classes,
The peaceful Lake District offers the allure of Italy beyond the hustle and bustle, far away from the chaotic Italian tourist experience . Enjoy an afternoon of complete relaxation ! Breathe in the fresh air and commune with nature in this gorgeous alpine setting.
Farewell dinner in hotel .
Day 12 (B) – Saying Goodbye in Milan
Today you end your unforgettable journey to Italy, taking you to some of the country’s largest cities and most remote towns, showing you the best of culture, the best of cuisine, and the best of nature. From the Highest peak of Eutrope to the craggy cliffs of Cinque Terre, this is a northern Italian vacation that is sure to leave everyone in awe.