Italy Lakes and Verona Group Tour
3 Days/2 Nights
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS: Venice, Sirmione (Lake Garda), Lake Como, Milan (or Rome with optional free bus transfer)
Day 1 - Thursday: VENICE
Arrive separately at the designated Venice hotel by way of your own preferred transportation. In the evening you will attend an informative meeting led by the tour leader in order to learn more about the excursions to come. Sit down and enjoy a satisfying dinner at the hotel before taking advantage of the comfortable overnight accommodations provided in your package.
Day 2 - Friday: VENICE – VERONA – SIRMIONE (Lake Garda) – LAKE COMO – MILAN
Start your morning off with a buffet breakfast at your hotel before embarking on the day's journey. Traveling by motor coach, plan to make your first stop in Verona, the artistic town famous for being the backdrop for two star-crossed lovers, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Situated in northern Italy and spanning the Adige River, Verona has an abundance of historical architecture and Roman monuments that will be seen along the way. The city is home to the Arena, a Roman amphitheatre constructed in the expansive Piazza Bra around the year 30 AD. A landmark that once drew crowds for gladiator matches and other events continues to host fairs, operas, and theatre performances today.
Following your time in Verona, you will continue on to Sirmione. This historic resort town is located close to the end of the Sirmio peninsula of Lake Garda in Lombardy's Brescia province of northern Italy. You will be allowed time at leisure for lunch as you indulge on local cuisine and explore the many sights the area has to offer on your own. The Grotto of Catullus is a must-see landmark in the town as it is a superb representation of a Roman private edifice found in the northern portion of the country. Along the way you may come across the so-called compound's renowned thermal springs. Other stops you may choose to make might include the 13th century Scaliger Castle, Santa Maria Maggiore, and the San Pietro in Mavino church, with its Romanesque bell tower dating back to 1070.
In the afternoon, you will join the group and move on to Lake Como, or Lago di Como, for a panoramic bus tour of this historic and scenic portion of northern Italy. Located in the Italian Lake District, the area presents a natural beauty that has drawn visitors for many years. You will enjoy a panoramic tour by bus passing through some of the towns and villages that encircle the lake and experience the stunning views they have to offer. The resort town of Como is located on the southern end, while Menaggio, Nesso, and Griante can be found on the western side. The town of Tremezzo is known for the Villa Carlotta's remarkable botanical garden and scenic waterfront. Varenna and Bellagio are also very popular destinations on the lake.
When evening falls you will find yourself in the historical, yet modern city of Milan. It is here that you will sit down to a satisfying dinner at the hotel before turning in for the night.
Day 3 - Saturday: MILAN or ROME
You will start your day off with a buffet breakfast at the hotel prior to departing on your excursion. You will enjoy a panoramic tour of Milan, known for its extensive shopping opportunities and exquisite Italian fashion. A stop at the glass-domed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping gallery is a perfect example of the glamour to be had throughout this city. Constructed in 1877, the historic structure flaunts large plate-glass windows and decorative awnings on the exterior, while providing a spacious environment on the inside. Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and a number of famed cafes all call the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II home. The Sforza Castle will also be seen along the way. Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan, built the Castello Sforzesco in the 15th century on the ruins of a 14th century fortification. Since being renovated, the quadrangular structure now includes quite a few of the city's art collections and museums. You will also admire one of the world's biggest Gothic cathedrals, the Splendid Duomo. This symbol of Milan stands at the center of the city with all roads branching out from its grounds. While there be sure to take in the size of the ancient architecture and marvel at some of the more than 3000 statues placed throughout. Around 12:30pm the tour will end at the central railway station. Any transfers to the hotel in Milan or the nearby airport are not included in the package; however, there is the possibility of a complimentary transfer to Rome via bus, which will arrive in Rome around 7:30 p.m.