Hidden Treasures of Northern Italy (6292) - 2014

8 Day Tour from Milan to Lake Maggiore

Hidden Treasures of Northern Italy
Lake Maggiore
Lake Maggiore
Stunning view of the beautiful Lake Maggiore
Lake Maggiore
Village of Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Lake Maggiore
Lake Maggiore
Isola Bella
Isola Bella

Vacation Overview

Enjoy northern Italy on this delightful tour that includes overnights in Milan and Lake Maggiore as well as five overnights in Salsomaggiore Terme. Explore charming Salsomaggiore with its café-lined pedestrian streets and beautiful public park. From here, enjoy excursions to San Vitale Castle in Fontanellato, an enchanting, moat-lined medieval fortress; Parma, where you’ll have a walking orientation tour; and Cinque Terre with its rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages. On the way to Lake Maggiore, stop in Pavia and Vigevano, where you’ll see its castle and arcades.

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Headsets throughout the tour

Visits to Milan, Salsomaggiore Terme

Scenic Highlights:
Lombardy plain, Cinque Terre, Lake Maggiore


Local Guides for city sightseeing in Parma, San Vitale Castle of Fontanellato, Meli Lupi Castle of Soragna. Professional Tour Director while touring

Day 1Arrive in Milan, Italy

Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to see some of Milan. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.

Day 2Milan–Salsomaggiore Terme

Morning guided sightseeing in Milan, with the opportunity to visit the great Duomo. Later, drive through the Lombardy plain and across the River Po to Salsomaggiore Terme. Enjoy an introductory walking tour of this charming town, exploring its handsome architecture, café-lined pedestrian streets, and beautiful public park. Visit its best-known landmark—the ornate Terme Berzeri spa house, an extraordinary example of liberty-style architecture and protected as a national monument. (B,D)

Day 3Salsomaggiore Terme

Enjoy a whole day at leisure to explore at your own pace or to join an optional excursion to Mantova. (B,D)

Day 4Salsomaggiore Terme. Excursion to Castles of The Duchy & Parma

First stop today is Sanvitale Castle at Fontanellato, an enchanting, moat-ringed medieval fortress. The castle is celebrated for its masterpiece by Parmigianino—a ceiling fresco depicting the myth of Diana and Actaeon. Next, visit the Meli Lupi fortress of Soragna and admire the castle’s lavish baroque frescoes, paintings, and furnishings. From here, continue to the fascinating Museum of Parmigiano Reggiano, turned famous with the export of its Parmesan cheese. Taste this local specialty before continuing to Parma. The visit includes a walking orientation with a Local Guide featuring the Duomo with its famous frescoes by Correggio, San Giovanni Evangelista Church, and the Romanesque Baptistry. (B,D)

Day 5Salsomaggiore Terme. Excursion to Cinque Terre

Enjoy wonderful scenery as you cross the Apennines to La Spezia, a small city with a rich naval heritage. Take a short train ride from La Spezia to the villages, where you will enjoy spectacular views of the Cinque Terre region, where the beauty of the rugged cliffs and romantic fishing villages once inspired Lord Byron. If you wish, you can walk along the famous Sentiero dell’Amore (Love Path), a breathtakingly beautiful trail carved into the rocks that affords dramatic sea views. (B,D)

Day 6Salsomaggiore

Another day to either rest or enjoy charming Salsomaggiore. Why not stroll along its tree-lined avenues or take advantage of some of the renowned wellness treatments for which the city is famous? Alternatively, join our optional excursion to Bologna. (B,D)

Day 7Salsomaggiore Terme–Pavia–Vigevano–Lake Maggiore

Leave Salsomaggiore this morning and head toward the Lake Maggiore area. En route, visit two more pearls of Italy’s cultural heritage. First stop is Pavia, the Roman “Ticinum” and, from the 6th century, capital of the Lombard kings. Then, on to Vigevano to admire beautiful Piazza Ducale—its castle and arcades still preserve remains of early renaissance decorations. Arrive in the scenic area of Lake Maggiore for an overnight. (B)

Day 8Lake Maggiore

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning (the nearest airport is Milan Malpensa). (B)

Scheduled transatlantic flights and airport transfers in Milan if Cosmos issues the air tickets. Touring by private first-class air-conditioned motorcoach. Train La Spezia to Monterosso.

MILAN Holiday Inn Garibaldi Station (F)

Buffet breakfast; 5 dinners

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