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Discover the heart of the Italian lakes on this magnificent getaway. Your vacation begins in Milan, one of the world’s fashion capitals and home to the splendid baroque Duomo. Heading east, your first stop on Lake Garda is the spa town of Sirmione at the foot of the Alps. Relax at one of the lakeside cafés and try the fabulous gelato. Continue north, explore the Lake Garda area, and enjoy its spectacular views. Visit Romeo & Juliet’s Verona, then on to beautiful Lake Como with its beautiful lakeside villas. Enjoy free time to relax as well as an included boat trip to picture-perfect Bellagio. On the way to enchanting Lake Maggiore, cross the border into Switzerland for free time in beautiful Lake Lugano, which stretches across both Italian and Swiss soil. Stroll along Lugano’s lakeside promenade, shop on Via Nassa, or explore the Piazza Riforma. Once you reach Lake Maggiore, you may choose to join a boat trip to its islands filled with quaint fishing villages and aristocratic villas.
Destinations & Sightseeing
Individual headsetsInside visits and special features:Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.Sightseeing:Visits to Milan, Sirmione, Verona, Bellagio, Lugano (Switzerland)Guides:
Professional Tour Director while touring
Scenic Highlights: Lake Garda, Lake Como, Lake Lugano, Lake Maggiore
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Transportation: Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; boat trip to Bellagio
Meals & Itinerary
Buffet breakfast daily; 4 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Arrive in Milan, Italy
Check into your hotel in the Milan area. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day 2 Milan Area–Sirmione–Lake Garda
Start the day with an orientation tour of Milan, stopping to admire the famous gothic-style Duomo. Travel east through the Po Valley, then catch your first glimpses of Lake Garda as you stop in Sirmione, the picturesque spa town on the south shore of Lake Garda. Stroll among the many shops and ice cream parlors that line the narrow cobblestone streets. Continue to your hotel on Lake Garda.
Day 3 Lake Garda
A whole day at leisure to enjoy this beautiful area, situated at the foot of the Alps and surrounded by mountains to the north and the gentle slopes of moraine hills to the south. Alternatively, join an optional excursion.
Day 4 Lake Garda–Verona–Lake Como
This morning, visit the romantic medieval city of Verona. See Juliet’s balcony and enjoy some time at leisure before continuing to Lake Como, where you'll spend two nights.
Day 5 Lake Como. Excursion to Bellagio
Inspiring everyone from Roman senators and great composers to Hollywood actors, Como is the romantic image of the lakes, its cobalt-blue waters lined with magnificent mountains, lush gardens, and grand villas. Join the included BOAT TRIP to Bellagio, which occupies one of the most scenic positions in all of Italy.
Day 6 Lake Como–Lugano, Switzerland–Lake Maggiore, Italy
Leave Lake Como and cross the border into Switzerland, and head towards beautiful Lake Lugano and the stylish city that bears its name. Time to stroll along the lakeside promenade, window shop on refined Via Nassa, or sip an espresso on the Piazza Riforma. Leave Switzerland and cross back into Italy, driving to Lake Maggiore to reach your accommodation in the late afternoon.
Day 7 Lake Maggiore
Set between Piedmont, Lombardy, and Switzerland, Lake Maggiore is a paradise of crystal waters, backed by towering mountains and surrounded by lush countryside. The day is yours to relax or to enjoy some of the many activities available around the lake. Maybe join an optional boat trip to the Borromean Islands of Pescatori and Isola Bella, with time to visit the extravagant Borromeo Palace, built like a ship anchored just off the shoreline.
Day 8 Lake Maggiore
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
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: 10
“In my 10 years of experience with Cosmos, I have escorted many multi-country European tours but there's no place like home. I am now proud to share with our passengers the passion that I have for my "bella Italia". Italy is a pleasure for the eyes with its enchanting art and architecture, but also a pleasure for the palate. I love introducing our guests to the flavors of my country through visits to vineyards or rolling olive groves. Come have a taste of Italy!”
MILAN Holiday Inn Garibaldi Station (F) or Holiday Inn Express (ST) at MalpensaLAKE GARDA Club Hotel La Vela (ST) at Torbole or Caravel (ST) at TorboleLAKE COMO Lario (ST) at MezzegraLAKE MAGGIORE Simplon (F)
The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.
Highlights of Lake Garda
Depart from the hotel after breakfast by coach driving along the motorway to the first stop - Riva del Garda. This town is the second biggest settlement on Lake Garda and has long been considered as a strategically important town since it controls the northern half of the lake and also influences the trade routes north and south going over the Alps. Riva del Garda developed as a tourist center from the mid-19th century onwards and became popular with the rich nobility and the cultural elite such as Thomas Mann and even D.H. Lawrence. After time for lunch and a stroll around this town the journey continues along the lakeside road to the pretty village of Malcesine, which commands the eastern side of the lake giving access both to north and south of the lake. Remains have been discovered from the days of the Etruscan settlers and the burial plots near the mountains are thought to provide one version of the town's name. The impressive Scaliger Castle on a promontory above the port of Malcesine has a rich history and is well worth a visit. If you prefer you can stroll through the pedestrian area and explore the town. Prominent visitors to Malcesine were Goethe (who spent time whilst locked up for sketching the castle) and Klimt (who painted settlements on the eastern side of the lake shore by means of a telescope). Later in the afternoon continue the scenic drive following the shores of the lake for a short stop in the old fishing village of Garda before returning back to the hotel. This excursion is available when hotel is located on the southern shores of Lake Garda.
Approximate value: 30 EUR per person
Depart from the hotel after breakfast and travel by coach winding your way towards the Dolomites - Italy's most eminent mountain - with its highest peaks of the Marmolada, the Sella and the Catinaccio shimmering most of the year round with snow-capped elegance. A stop will be made in the quaint market town of Ortisei, which is 1,236 m. above sea level, where you will have time for lunch, a stroll in the pedestrian area or even take the comfortable lift up to the Alpe di Siusi. Later in the afternoon return to Lake Garda area. This excursion is available from June to August, weather permitting and when hotel is located on the northern shores of Lake Garda.
Approximate value: 35 EUR per person
Magic of Verona
Verona is one of the main tourist destinations in northern Italy due to its artistic heritage and shows and operas which are often held in the beautiful ancient amphitheater built by the Romans - the Arena. The city has been awarded World Heritage Site status because of its architecture and urban structure. On the sightseeing tour of this fascinating city the local guide will take you first on a panoramic drive with the coach to see the Scaliger Bridge and Castle, the Roman Gavi-arch, the Roman city gate, Roman bridge and theatre and various churches. Then disembark from the coach and proceed on foot through the historical city center to include sites such as Juliet's House, Romeo's house, Piazza "Erbe" and Piazza "Signori" and the Scaglier tombs and last, but not least, Piazza Bra with the beautiful Arena.
Approximate value: 22 EUR per person
Dinner On Pescatori Island
There's no better way to get to know this lovely Borromean island of Isola dei Pescatori than by dining in one of the picturesque restaurants dating from 1905. Already in the year '900 there was a small tavern, where the locals met, with the men narrating their fishing adventures and the women dedicating themselves to the darning of the nets. In time the tavern was extended and nowadays the restaurant has a large room with a fireplace and also a lovely big terrace which stretches towards the lake. You will be taken to the island by boat from the mainland to enjoy a three course dinner with local specialties plus wine, mineral water and coffee. At the end of the evening return to the mainland by boat.
Approximate value: 45 EUR per person
Three Islands Cruise
Don't miss a chance to see the three Borromean Islands - Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori, which lie in a wide gulf surrounded by mountains on the western side of Lake Maggiore. The islands take their name from the aristocratic Borromean family who owned the land in the 16th and 17th centuries and each island offers a very different experience. After boarding the boat in Baveno you will first cruise around Isola Madre, with its exotic and lush gardens which almost totally cover the island. Proceed to Isola Bella, which is perhaps the most well-known of the islands. Here you will have a guided visit of the Palazzo which offers visitors an elegant setting and contains priceless works of art. After the visit of the Palace there will be time to wander around the stunning gardens, which form an extraordinary flowering monument laid out over a series of ornate and overlapping terraces. Embark again on the boat and cruise to Isola dei Pescatori, which is a charming island with quaint houses and cobbled streets. A stop will be made on this island to give you time to wander around and have time for lunch. The picturesque Church of Saint Vittore is worth a visit to see its 17th century paintings. After time on this last Borromean island you will cruise back to the mainland.
Approximate value: 40 EUR per person
Lunch On Monte Tamaro
After your orientation tour of Lugano, rejoin your coach which will take you to Rivera from where a 20 minute cable car ride will take you to Monte Tamaro. Not to be missed is a visit to the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli (designed by the worldwide famous architect Mario Botta) and then enjoy a lunch inside the mountain top restaurant or outside on the open terrace.
Approximate value: 50 EUR per person
Know Before You Go
These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.
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