Headsets throughout the tourSightseeing: 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)
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)
Transportation: 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.
Buffet breakfast; 5 dinners
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Years of Experience: 8 years
There's sage travel advice that "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!" That's my goal...to help every traveler experience Italy through an Italian perspective. We'll get to the heart and soul of each town-the sights, sounds, and flavors that make each place so unique. You'll definitely come away with a better understanding of why we say, "Italians do it better!"