Day 1 Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).
Day 2 Welcome to Italy
After a warm welcome at Milan's Malpensa Airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 09:30 & 12:30. In the afternoon join a Local Expert in the heart of Italy's renowned fashion capital to see the impressive façade of the cathedral and the world famous La Scala Theatre. Linking the two is the elegant glass vaulted shopping arcade of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, lined with luxury boutiques. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.(WD)
Day 3 Fair Verona and Trento
(Relaxed Start) Cross the fertile plains of Lombardy to ‘fair' Verona, the home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, with its maze of elegant squares and well-preserved Roman Arena (still used for Opera performances). Join a Local Expert in the Piazza delle Erbe (Square of Herbs), a lively market square surrounded by beautiful buildings. View the frescoed Casa Mazzanti and lofty Lamberti Tower. Continue to the Piazza dei Signori, the civic and political heart of the city, graced by a statue of Dante and see the Gothic tombs of the Scala family beyond. Take the opportunity to recite Shakespeare's immortal words and get cozy with Juliet's well-worn statue beneath the balcony where the Capulet family is said to have lived. Tonight, we stay in Trento, consistently rated one of Italy's most livable cities. Continue on to Trento.(BB)
Day 4 Climb up to Cortina d’Ampezzo.
(Relaxed Start) The day's route follows the Adige River northwards into the magnificent mountains and the distinctive limestone peaks of the Dolomites. Lunchtime finds you in the arcaded streets and squares of Bolzano, where Italy and Austria culturally collide. After time to explore, continue along the zigzagging scenic route to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy's most exclusive ski resort.(BB)
Day 5 The Dolomites at Leisure.
(Relaxed Start) A day to spend as you please in this fashionable playground of the rich and famous, surrounded by towering cathedrals of rock. Take in the fresh mountain air as you stroll the pedestrianised Corso Italia, lined with designer stores, backed by the impressive green-and-white bell tower of the parish church. Why not ascend to the summit of one of the nearby peaks by cable car for magnificent Dolomite panoramas?(BB / RD)
Day 6 Through Prosecco Country to Venice
Travel down through more majestic Dolomite scenery to one of the world's most breathtaking wine regions. Protected by the Alps to the north, and caressed by the warm breezes from the Adriatic, the vineyards around Conegliano produce Italy's most prized sparkling wine. Be tempted with a taste of the crisp and aromatic Prosecco, and see how production differs from its more famous French counterpart. Continue on to the unique and remarkable island city of Venice. Before checking into your hotel, visit an arts centre to witness the age-old skill of glassblowing.(BB)
Day 7 The Magic of La Serenissima
(Relaxed Start) Sightseeing takes you along canals lined with ornate palaces - memories of a golden age now long past. Alight by the Bridge of Sighs, named in the last century by Lord Byron. Turn the corner into St Mark's Square, dominated by its magnificently decorated basilica, and overlooked by the great Clock Tower where bronze Moors beat out the hours on a huge bell. No visit to Venice would be complete without a gondola serenade through the romantic canals. Later there is free time to shop or perhaps cruise out into the Lagoon to try local fish and wine specialties?(BB)
Day 8 Sirmione and Como.
Bid farewell to this enchanting city and take the scenic route along the Brenta Canal, lined with classical villas by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. Continue past the university town of Padua to the peaceful shores of Lake Garda, the largest of Italy's lakes. Near the tip of a narrow peninsula, jutting out into the lake, visit the charming resort of Sirmione, clustered around the 13th century Scaligers' Castle. Follow the southern fringes of the European Alps to reach the spectacular Italian Lake District and your hotel on the shores of Lake Como. In the evening, choose from a selection of restaurants for your dining pleasure.(BB / DA)
Day 9 Como at Leisure and Lake Maggiore.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a relaxed morning in Como, the playground for Europe's wealthiest people. Nestled in the foothills of the Alps, the lake plays host to the glamour set and is a great place to people watch. Head on to Lake Maggiore's Baveno, noted for its narrow cobbled streets and charming 16th century square.(BB)
Day 10 Italian Lakes at Leisure.
(Relaxed Start) A full day to relax and enjoy this popular resort and beautiful lake, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous. Napoleon came here to plan his Italian Campaign, and Mussolini and Chamberlain met here before World War II to sign the Treaty of Stresa. Why not take a cruise out to the lovely Borromean Islands, to the Isola Bella where Carlo Borromeo built his charming Palace? As evening descends, you have reservations for an end-of-tour Celebration Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.(BB / CD)
Day 11 Depart Milan
Your tour draws to a close in the morning. Transfers arrive at Milan's Malpensa Airport at 07:30 & 10:30.(BB)