Best of Italy's Lake District and Italian Riviera Semi Escorted Tour
7 Days/6 Nights
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS: Lake Orta, Lake Maggiore, Stresa, Lake Como, Como, Bellagio, Varenna, Bergamo, Brescia, Lake Garda, Sirmione, Riva Del Garda, Verona, Genoa, San Remo, Portovenere, Cinque Terre, Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, Camogli
DAY 1: MILAN, LAKE ORTA, LAKE MAGGIORE, STRESA, LAKE COMO, COMO
Meet and greet with your group early morning at a designated meeting point in the historical center of Milan and depart by motor coach. The first stop will be on Lake Orta, a small lovely lake in Piedmont region. Visit the small village of Orta San Giulio and enjoy a boat tour to the Island of San Giulio, home of an ancient monastery. We will then continue to the Maggiore Lake, nestled in the mountains and surrounds by lush vegetation. You'll stop in Stresa, a charming tourist town, where you will have some free time for lunch (not included). After lunch you will take a boat tour of the Pescatori Island, an old fisherman's center, and the Bella Island, home of the Borromeo Palace with its magnificent gardens. Later you will board our motor coach and travel to the famous Lake Como, where you'll spend the night in the town of Como.
DAY 2: LAKE COMO, BELLAGIO, VARENNA, BERGAMO, BRESCIA
After breakfast, you'll take a brief tour of Como, a nice town on the lake where the snow capped Alps encounters the lake, famous for its silk factories and the elegant villas with beautiful gardens. You'll then take a boat to reach the lovely town of Bellagio, where you'll have free time to wander the streets and enjoy lunch (not included). The boat will then depart for Varenna, where you will enjoy a panoramic tour before departing to Bergamo. Bergamo is a lovely small town characterized by a division of the urban structure on two levels, the “Lower town” (Città bassa), modern and dynamic and the famous “Upper town” (Città alta), a truly historic and artistic jewel. After a short walking tour of the historical center of the town, your day will conclude in Brescia, where you will spend the night.
DAY 3: BRESCIA, LAKE GARDA, SIRMIONE, RIVA DEL GARDA, VERONA
You'll enjoy breakfast at the hotel, and depart for Garda Lake, the largest lake in Italy, surrounded by the Dolomites of Brenta in the north and gentle hills in the south. Thanks to its Mediterranean mild climate the territory is rich of lemon trees, oleanders, bougainvilleas, olives groves and vineyards. There'll be a boat tour from Sirmione, offering you spectacular views of Sirmione Cape, the Castle and the Catullo's ruins. You'll be able to continue enjoy the panorama of the lake while at lunch (not included). Afterward, you'll depart for the town of Riva Del Garda and tour its Venetian inspired historical center. You'll leave to spend the night in Verona.
DAY 4: VERONA, GENOA
The day will start with breakfast and a walking tour of Verona, home of Romeo and Juliet. There'll be a walking tour of the town, including the main highlights of its historical center such as the old market square Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza Bra with Verona’s Arena, an intact Roman amphitheater still home of great opera events and concerts. After lunch (not included), you will depart towards the lively and ancient seaport of Genoa. Genoa in the past was one of the Maritime Republics and you will experience its rich and important past with a visit in the historical center that grew around the dock, full of medieval buildings and twisting streets. You will visit also the area of the Ancient Port, restored for the anniversary of Columbus' sail to the Americas. You'll be have the chance to visit the Aquarium (optional visit on your own not included), the second largest in Europe, before heading to the hotel for the night.
DAY 5: GENOA, SAN REMO, GENOA
After a nice breakfast, you'll head to San Remo, home of flowers and the sun. The local economy is based on flower farming and tourism, and it hosts also the famous Italian Song Festival. You will enjoy a nice stroll along the charming beaches and promenades, shopping in the boutiques along the main street or visit the town Casino. Lunch will be on your own (not included), and you will drive back to Genoa through the scenic route of Riviera di Ponente, with many little villages on the shore and photo opportunities. You'll spend the night in Genoa.
DAY 6: GENOA, PORTOVENERE, CINQUE TERRE, GENOA
You'll have breakfast at the hotel, before leaving for Portovenere. This small fishing town contains many beautiful churches and scenic views of the sea. After a visit of Portovenere you'll take the ferry to Cinque Terre, a UNESCO world heritage site (If the atmospheric and sea conditions don’t permit the boarding, the visit will be done with a panoramic itinerary in minibus). The five fishermen’s villages of Cinque Terre are remarkable for their colorful buildings built in this breathtaking landscape suspended between sky and sea. You'll have some free time to explore and have lunch (not included) before heading back to the hotel in Genoa.
DAY 7: GENOA, CAMOGLI, PORTOFINO, SANTA MARGHERITA LIGURE, MILAN
You'll depart the hotel after breakfast for a short visit to Camogli, a beautiful town, with evocative architecture of the region. You will continue then towards Portofino, a charming small village tucked into a narrow cove overlooking the rocky coastline. Be sure to bring your camera and autograph book, as Portofino is a popular spot for celebrities and artists that ever year are attracted here. Last stop will be Santa Margherita Ligure, a picturesque town on the eastern part of the Italian Rivera, before returning to Milan, where the tour, and our services, will end.