Italian Lakes & Tuscany Tour - 2017
DestinationEurope: Eastern
Duration 16 days
Was: $6989pp
Save $900* per couple
Exchange price $6539* pp
includes $199 exchange fee per couple/booking

Italian Lakes & Tuscany Tour - 2017 Enquire Now

Tour Exchange Available

Features

Discover the delightful ports and villages that litter Lake Maggiore and Lake Garda, explore the palaces of Genoa, seductive Portofino and the famous Cinque Terre. Visit the fantastic Ferrari museum, dine at a Tuscan Osteria and stay in a Venetian Villa.

Highlights

•Stay 4 nights in Stresa beside wonderful Lake Maggiore, with private cruises to Villa Borromeo on Isola Bella and Bellagio on Lake Como.  Relax by lovely Lake Orta, and experience a scenic train ride to Locarno and Ascona aboard the Centovalli Express
•Spend 2 nights in Liguria, in historic Genoa with its magnificent UNESCO listed palaces and stately homes
•Visit beautiful Santa Margherita Ligure, cruise to world famous Portofino and the hidden Abbey of San Fruttuoso, and spend a delightful day exploring the famous Cinque Terre 
•Relax over 4 nights in the typically ‘Tuscan’ town of Lucca, visit renaissance Florence, Pisa and enjoy an expert Italian cooking demonstration followed by lunch
•Dine out in the olive groves at a Tuscan Osteria, and enjoy a wine tasting followed by dinner in a vineyard estate in Calvagese, near Lake Garda
•Visit the fantastic Ferrari museum and a private collection of Maseratis, and enjoy light lunch at the Panini Hombre Parmesan cheese farm
•Stay 3 nights beside glorious Lake Garda and explore D’Annunzio’s remarkable Villa and Gardens 
•As a finale, stay 2 nights in an elegant Venetian Villa hotel near Treviso, visit Romeo and Juliet’s Verona, romantic Vicenza, and taste Grappa in the hometown of Bassano del

Incredible Value Inclusions

•Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
•Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
•15 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
•Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
•Breakfast daily
•Lunch in Lucca and a light lunch at Panini Hombre
•10 dinners including 4 local restaurant dinners in Stresa, Lucca, Tuscan Hills & Lake Garda, plus farewell dinner in our Venetian Villa hotel
•Welcome drink in Stresa and Winnie’s Bar beside Lake Garda, wine & olive oil tasting in a Tuscan Osteria and Grappa tasting in Bassano del Grappa
•All excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
•Special Highlights - private boat Lake Maggiore and Lake Como, panoramic train Centovalli Express, cruises Portofino and Cinque Terre
•Local guides as described in the itinerary
•Personal audio system whilst on tour
•Free WiFi available on most coaches and at hotels
•End of tour tips to Tour Manager and Driver, tips for local guides

Highlights

Day 1: Stresa on Lake Maggiore
Commencing in central Milan at midday we will transfer you to Stresa on wonderful Lake Maggiore, where you will stay the next four nights. Join us tonight for a welcome drink before dinner in a local restaurant. This is an ideal chance to meet, and get to know, your Tour Manager and fellow travellers.
Meals: Dinner Hotel: Regina Palace Hotel

Day 2: Stresa on Lake Maggiore
This morning we drive north to Domodossola at the foot of the Italian Alps. Here we board the famous Centovalli Express train which runs through the ‘Hundred Valleys’ to Locarno. Relaxing in the panoramic carriages, we pass over numerous bridges and through numerous tunnels, travelling beside waterfalls, villages and vineyards. A spectacular journey! Arriving in Locarno we will make a short stop in the grand square before boarding our coach to visit nearby Ascona. Lunchtime will be at leisure in this delightful lakeside town. As a finalé, we follow the scenic route home hugging the shores of Lake Maggiore all the way back to Stresa. Dinner tonight is in your hotel. 
Meals: Breakfast Dinner

Day 3: Stresa on Lake Maggiore
Boarding our private boat we visit Lake Maggiore’s famous island of Isola Bella where we have included entrance and a guided tour of the palatial Borromeo villa and gardens, which dominate the island. The villa boasts Murano glass chandeliers, gobelin-covered chairs, intricate tapestries
and paintings. The spectacular formal gardens rise behind the ornate villa, with patterned flower beds falling in terraces, with statues and ornamental stonework completing the Italianate style. Lunchtime is at leisure back in lakeside Stresa. Later this afternoon we visit the delightful town of Orta San Giulio beside the beautiful, and some say most romantic, of all the lakes – Lake Orta. Your evening is at leisure to discover a local trattoria for dinner.
Meals:  Breakfast

Day 4: Stresa on Lake Maggiore
This morning we drive to Lake Como where we follow the western shore of the lake to Caddenabbia. Here we board our private boat and enjoy a cruise on Lake Como, past a number of striking lakeside villas, to delightful Bellagio. This beautiful town is situated at the tip of the peninsula separating the lake’s two southern arms, with the Alps visible across the lake to the north. It’s time to relax in this delightful town which boasts peaceful villas and gardens nestled by the lakeside, elegant shops and walkways plus stylish al fresco dining at its very best. Your evening is at leisure back in the lakeside town of Stresa.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5: Genoa
Bidding farewell to Lake Maggiore we drive south to the coastal region of Liguria, arriving around midday at Genoa. Once the capital of a naval empire, Genoa boasts the largest intact medieval city centre in the whole of Europe. Here we are joined by a local guide to enjoy a walking tour through the city’s old heart, with its pedestrian shopping malls, beautiful churches and squares, and nearly 50 UNESCO Listed palaces and stately homes. We have included a visit to the opulent Royal Palace.  
Meals: Breakfast Dinner Hotel: Grand Hotel Savoia

Day 6: Genoa
We spend the morning at leisure in the beautiful harbour town of Santa Margherita Ligure with its elegant shops, boutiques and cafés that litter the port. Later we take a boat along the rugged Liguria coastline to the world famous harbour of Portofino. Delightfully set in a tiny bay, overlooked by the church and castle high above, this old port makes a perfect afternoon stop. Later, we continue around the coast to visit the Abbey of San Fruttuoso, which is only accessible by boat. Your evening is at leisure in Genoa to discover a local restaurant and relax.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7: Lucca in Tuscany
A delightful day is planned as we explore the famous Cinque Terre. The name means ‘five lands’ and comes from the five unspoilt fishing villages that cling to the cliffs, overlooking the sea. Our first stop of the day will be in the pretty port of Monterosso. From here we catch a boat and cruise along the spectacular coastline of the Cinque Terre to visit the delightful villages of Vernazza and Portovenere. Arriving in La Spezia we board our coach and travel to Tuscany. We stay the next four nights in the typically ‘Tuscan’ town of Lucca – a medieval walled city, filled with palaces, churches and ancient houses. Dinner tonight is in a local restaurant.  
*27 August departure stays at Hotel Ilaria in Lucca
Meals: Breakfast Dinner Hotel: San Luca Palace, Lucca

Day 8: Lucca in Tuscany
Today is dedicated to nearby ‘Firenze’ (Florence). A local guide will bring to life this truly beautiful city which is otherwise known as the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’. Your tour starts with a visit to the famous Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and numerous other extraordinary Italian, Florentine and Renaissance works of art. We see the Duomo and take in the magnificent statues in the Piazza della Signoria. Your afternoon is entirely free to enjoy Florence at your own pace. Espresso coffee on Piazza Santa Croce where Michelangelo is buried? A gelato whilst strolling across the Ponte Vecchio? Don’t forget the excellent shopping.
Meals:  Breakfast

Day 9: Lucca in Tuscany
After a relaxing start we will visit a cooking school where a member of the Professional Association of Italian Chefs provides us with an Italian Pasta and Pizza cooking demonstration, showing us how pizza, focaccia and various pasta is created ‘dough to go’. Next it is time to taste it, as we enjoy a leisurely lunch. Your afternoon and evening are at leisure in Lucca. 
Meals:  Breakfast Lunch

Day 10: Lucca in Tuscany
After a relaxing start we will visit a cooking school where a member of the Professional Association of Italian Chefs provides us with an Italian Pasta and Pizza cooking demonstration, showing us how pizza, focaccia and various pasta is created ‘dough to go’. Next it is time to taste it, as we enjoy a leisurely lunch.  Your afternoon and evening are at leisure in Lucca.
Meals:  Breakfast Dinner

Day 11: Lake Garda
Driving north we visit the fantastic Ferrari Museum at Maranello, near Modena. A local guide will join us and show us around this fantastic exhibition of bright red, old, new and future Ferraris and Formula One racing cars. Later we continue to the Panini Hombre cheese farm to learn how ‘Parmigiano-Reggiano’ (Parmesan) cheese is made, before enjoying a cheese tasting and light lunch. Here you will also visit the Panini family’s private collection of historic Maseratis. Continuing to Lake Garda, we reach the charming lakeside town of Gardone Riviera, where we stay the next three nights. On arrival we have included a welcome drink on the tree shaded lakeside terrace of Winnie’s Piano Bar (named after Winston Churchill who frequented it!). Dinner tonight will be in our hotel restaurant, right beside the lake.
*27 August & 3 September departures stay at Hotel Villa Luisa, San Felice del Benaco
Meals:  Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Hotel:  Grand Hotel Gardone Riviera

Day 12: Lake Garda
We have left today entirely free to enjoy glorious Lake Garda. Often regarded as the most beautiful of all the Italian Lakes, Garda is also the largest and deepest. Do as little or as much as you want. Perhaps wander around Gardone Riviera town with its botanical gardens on the hill, or maybe catch a ferry down the coast to Salo, or across the lake to explore and shop in the characterful ‘picture postcard’ ports of Bardolino, Garda, Lazise or Sirmione.
Meals: Breakfast Dinner

Day 13: Lake Garda
This morning we have included a visit to one of the strangest museums you will ever visit. The Villa and Gardens of Il Vittoriale degli Italiani was created by D’Annunzio – the remarkable Italian patriot, aviator, hero, writer and poet and (of course) great lover. This amazing art and heritage museum will completely engage you. In the gardens around the villa, statues and walkways surround you, and there is even a huge WWII war ship he had reassembled high up in the hills! Incredible! After a free afternoon we will visit the Redaelli de Zinis in Calvagese della Riviera. This is a famous local winery and restaurant. Here we enjoy a delightful wine tasting and sample some of the locally sourced produce before a special dinner.
Meals: Breakfast Dinner

Day 14: Treviso in Veneto
Skirting the lake we will visit Romeo and Juliet’s Verona. A local guide will bring to life this beautiful city, where these tragic lovers avowed a love that spanned the centuries. This afternoon we continue to beautiful Vicenza, where a local guide will join us for a walking tour to explore the medieval centre. Later we arrive at our Venetian Villa hotel, where we stay the last two nights.
Meals: Breakfast Dinner Hotel: Hotel Villa Contarini Nenzi

Day 14: Treviso in Veneto
After a leisurely start this morning, we visit delightful Bassano del Grappa located on the foothills of the Alps. You will have free time to stroll across the ornate, centuries old, covered bridge which spans the River Brenta, before exploring the wonderful arcaded streets and piazzas in the heart of town. Later we will enjoy a visit to the Poli Grappa Museum to taste some Grappa liqueur. This afternoon we enjoy a stop in the historic centre of Treviso. Tonight we will enjoy a farewell dinner back in our historic Villa. 
Meals: Breakfast Dinner

Day 16: To Venice
Your tour ends today after breakfast. We have included a group transfer to drop off at Venice Marco Polo airport. We recommend you book flights that depart after 12 midday today.  
Meals: Breakfast

Italian Lakes & Tuscany Tour - 2017
*Pricing is per person double occupancy/twin share and based on the deposit of a resort week or equivalent points/credits per booking. All savings depicted are based off of Full Brochure Fare. Government Fees, fuel surcharges and Taxes are additional and subject to change unless otherwise specified. Special rates may not be applicable with other offers. Other restrictions may apply. Pricing is subject to availability and may change at any time and without notice. These offers cannot be used for group bookings. Cancellation, amendment and credit cards fees apply. Rates require a qualified two-bed room resort week deposit or equivalent points/credits. Price includes $199 exchange fee per couple/booking