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Best of the Italian Lakes

Operated by: Trafalgar

9 Days from $2,093 per person
MAY - OCT 2021
Lake Garda in the Lake District, Italy

Countries Visited

Italy ...more Italy

Locations Visited

Baveno, Milan, Como, Desenzano Del Garda, Bergamo, Verona, Lake Garda, Modena ...more Baveno, Milan, Como, Desenzano Del Garda, Bergamo, Verona, Lake Garda, Modena
  1. Day 1 Journey from Milan to Lake Maggiore

    The favourite summer retreat for the who's who of Italy for centuries provides an enchanting backdrop for your first day in Italy. Airport transfers will be provided at set times from Milan Malpensa Airport to your hotel in the charming resort of Baveno on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Enjoy a Welcome Reception this evening to meet your fellow travel companions and Travel Director before embarking on your At Leisure jaunt.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Simplon/Grand Dino
  2. Day 2 Admire Beautiful Lake Como

    Journey through Italy's exquisite Lake District to scenic Lake Como. Walk along the beautiful Como waterfront or relax by the lake indulging in a tasty gelato. Then it's time to ease into la dolce vita, ambling along the glamorous Baveno Marina - the gentle sounds of this lakeside setting are a soulful way to enjoy your afternoon. Spend free time exploring Baveno with its Romanesque bell tower and octagonal baptistery.

    meals Breakfast
  3. Day 3 Continue to Lake Garda

    The enchanting lanes of Bergamo, near the foothills of the Alps, yield architectural and artistic treasures which we will have an opportunity to explore this morning. Wander past centuries-old Renaissance façades and into the exquisite Piazza Vecchia built on the site of an ancient Roman forum. See the ornate Contarini Fountain and 12th-century Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. We continue our love affair with the Italian Lakes, travelling to Lake Garda for a relaxing five-night stay. This evening, we Connect With Locals at a Be My Guest experience featuring local fare with the Serenelli family. Learn about their local history over dinner and the formation of the Red Cross as you explore their farm.

    meals Breakfast, Be My Guest
    hotel Oliveto
  4. Day 4 Explore Verona

    Romance in the air, we journey to Verona engaging in the tragic tale of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers at Juliet's Balcony. Our walking tour with a Local Specialist will also take us past the Roman arena, still in use today, followed by some free time to explore the city alone. See the seven medieval towers of Castelvecchio, relax under the shady trees in Verona's expansive Piazza Bra or clamber up Lamberti's Tower for magnificent views.

    meals Breakfast
  5. Day 5 Discover the Treasures of Mantua

    A leisurely start to your day could see you stroll along the lakefront and enjoy a quite coffee. Later today, you'll embark on a half-day excursion to Mantua, a European 'Capital of Gastronomy' renowned for its significant role in the history of opera. Surrounded by lakes, this historic city with its UNESCO-listed centre is a delight to explore as you'll come to discover during your visit. See architectural treasures and artefacts, elegant palaces and Renaissance cityscapes before returning to the picturesque lakeside setting of Lake Garda.

    meals Breakfast
  6. Day 6 Lake Garda Your Way

    Indulge in a full day at leisure to soak up the picture-perfect setting of Italy's largest lake. Journey along its tranquil shores, stopping at lakeside villages to savour the intoxicating aroma of lemons around every turn. Enjoy the flavours of delicious local olive oils and cheese at local markets, stroll along flower-lined lakeside paths or visit the lake's extraordinary sights, including the 13th-century Scaliger Castle or the Grottoes of Catullus. Perhaps join an Optional Experience to visit the magnificent Dolomite mountain range, a World Heritage Site comprising 18 peaks over 10,000 feet high.

    meals Breakfast
  7. Day 7 Admire Ferraris in Modena

    Sparkling Lambrusco, salty prosciutto and the intense aromas of parmigiano await in the gastronomic hub of Modena, which we explore today in the company of a Local Specialist. Wander past pastel-hued façades in Modena's Old Town into the magnificent Piazza Grande which, along with its 12th-century cathedral and Torre Civica, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dive Into Culture and experience the deliciously sweet and sour flavours of some of the world’s best balsamic vinegar when you uncover the talents of the artisans of Acetaia Malpighi in the heart of a city that was the birthplace of Ferrari and Pavarotti and is home to Michelin Star restaurants and tortellini. Our gourmet interlude nearing its an end, we visit the Enzo Ferrari Museum where we'll Dive Into Culture and explore the history of this Italian icon. This evening, we enjoy a leisurely dinner at our hotel.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
  8. Day 8 Onwards to Milan

    In search of spires that reach the sky, we leave our tranquil lakeside setting behind for the chic northern capital of Milan. Admire the extraordinary Gothic Duomo, La Scala Opera House and 19th-century Galleria with its impressive glass and iron-domed roof. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to jostle with the ambitious Milanese for your spot on the runways of Via Montenapoleone, Via della Spiga and Via Sant'Andrea. This evening we indulge in a Farewell Dinner, joining our fellow travellers to celebrate the end of an exquisite holiday together.

    meals Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
    hotel Starhotels Business Palace
  9. Day 9 Farewell Italy

    Our leisurely holiday through the Italian Lakes has come to an end. We say arrivederci to Italy and our newfound friends. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.

    meals Breakfast
Best of the Italian Lakes
Price Includes

Dining Highlights

  • 8 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners (including Be My Guest)

First class travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and up to half your evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Handcrafted Highlights

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Explore Verona and Modena with a Local Specialist
  • Discover Bergamo and Milan
  • Visit Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda, Mantua and the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena
  • View the Piazza del Duomo in Bergamo, Juliet's Balcony and the Roman Arena in Verona, the Cathedral in Modena and the Duomo and La Scala Opera House in Milan
  • Connect with Locals Join the Serenelli family for a Be My Guest dinner featuring home-grown produce. Learn about their local history and the formation of the Red Cross as you explore their didactic farm. (Day 3)
  • Dive into Culture Gain a deep appreciation for Modena’s celebrated balsamic vinegar, learning how they make the perfect combination of sweet and sour at the Malpighi Showroom. (Day 7) Celebrate all things Ferrari, past, present and future, at the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Modena. This pit stop includes intriguing exhibitions and an immersive experience that you'll never forget. (Day 7)

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

September 2021
AARP Members Save $100
Sep 24 Fri
Oct 2 Sat
AARP Members Save $100
TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
$2,325 $2,093 Save $233
October 2021
AARP Members Save $100
Oct 8 Fri
Oct 16 Sat
AARP Members Save $100
TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

Italian Lakes

Discover Lake Como

Enjoy views of elegant villas and gardens as you cruise with your Local Specialist along Lake Como, one of the most beautiful spots in the Italian Lake District.
Adult Price: € 45

Discover The Borromean Islands

We've organized a private launch to take you to the beautiful islands of Lake Maggiore. Here, with your Local Specialist, you'll see the Isola Madre, the Isola dei Pescatori, and on the Isola Bella, we visit the magnificent palace of the Borromean Princes (this optional is only operated between mid-March and the end of October).
Adult Price: € 45

Lake Garda Discovery

Discover the largest of the Italian Lakes as we take a route along its scenic shoreline. You’ll get to enjoy views of mountains, lush countryside and its glistening blue waters as you cross the lake, taking in historical towns along the way.
Adult Price: € 43

Sudtirol and the Dolomite Mountains

Come with us as we follow the Adige Valley to Bolzano, capital of the southern part of the Tyrol. With our Local Specialist, we'll see the city, have time to shop in the arcaded streets and take a cable car to the top of the Renon. At the top, we'll ride on the century-old train, where we'll enjoy incredible panoramas from this famous mountain plateau.
Adult Price: € 62

Lake Garda

Spectacular Countryside and Dinner

We'll venture off the beaten track to view Borghetto, one of Italy’s most picturesque villages, located below an impressive medieval bridge spanning the River Mincio. The area is famous for its ‘love knot’ pasta. Later you’ll savor this and other gourmet specialties, accompanied by excellent wine at a renowned local restaurant.
Adult Price: € 65


Treasures Of Milan

A fantastic opportunity to take in some of the highlights of elegant Milan. Amongst other sights, we'll visit La Scala, the world's most famous opera house, where Giuseppe Verdi, Maria Callas and others have left their mark. Our wonderful Local Specialist will bring the city’s eventful past to life.
Adult Price: € 45

Independent Reviews
Robert Chaput
Sunday, October 6, 2019
Booking was fine. Tour was not fully described.
too much bus time. too little lake time.
Trusted Customer
Saturday, October 13, 2018
The tour director is very responsible and knowledgeable lady who made the trip more enjoyable.
The optional experiences were pricey, specially the boat tour of Lake Cumo which did not worth the money.
Trusted Customer
Saturday, October 13, 2018
The main tour director, Patrizia was excellent. However, the time constraints in some of the cities forced us to choose between seeing certain attractions or having lunch. Italy is all about food and it's a shame we didn't experience more of it. There was never any time for shopping. If we participated in all of the optional experiences, there was no free time at all. I was extremely disappointed to have missed a visit to the Bolzano Archaeology Museum to see Otzi the ice man due to the long lines and trip schedule. This was to be one of the highlights of my trip that I was really looking forward to. The local guide should have been aware of the possibility of long lines and advised us accordingly. We could have skipped the church and walk in order to see this important exhibit. On another note, the farewell dinner was a disgrace. While the food was barely edible, the service was even worse. Half the people at our table were still waiting for their first course when others had finished. The only saving grace was the tiramisu. I have traveled extensively with various tour groups including Insight, Globus, Monograms, Gate 1, Ritz and Tauck. Of all these groups, only Trafalgar does not give singles their own seat on the bus. Also, a tour group of 48 people is a bit much . For these reasons, I will not use Trafalgar again and will not recommend them to my friends.
As noted above, there were some big misses. While it was nice to have 5 days in the same hotel, this meant 4 hours on the bus each of those days. Hotels closer to the towns we visited would have been appreciated.
Kathryn Williams
Sunday, June 3, 2018
The people I talked with were each and every one very kind and helpful in answering my questions and responding to requests. I was rather amazed that there was not much information from GET between sign-up and the "Its time to go pack" (final papers, schedule, suitcase tags). I know Trafalgar actually offered this trip so don't know how much input came from GET but I must give the Tour Director a less than average rating. Too, the selection of the second hotel was not good. The hotel was fine, the location was nott. For a tour advertised as the "best of the Italian Lakes" and not be on or near a lake for 5 of its days (no lake view, no way to get to attractions just isn't right. I could go on but would rather talk to someone about my thoughts on this trip. The service given by GET was good. And, overall the tour was enjoyable--especially the first two days at Lake Maggiore. Those days were totally awesome. The add-on excursion to Bolzano was also well done.
A good tour director probably would have made this tour much better. Our tour director counted heads well but that is about all the service he gave. He rambled on--start to give some info abt the places we would see but would go off onto something else When we got to the local we would realize he did not give us a clue as to what to do, what to see, how to get to the most important attractions, etc. A remark he used often was here we are, "Just wander and around and spend money". Mostly we were turned over to local guides for a time then given some time to :wander around and spend money: but each of the destinations had attractions that were either "must see" or a museum or something that would add interest or memories to the visit but we didn't get clues or hints about those. I've been on a number of guided tours. Again I kept expecting more and getting less than expected from this tour director. He wasn't bad or offensive, he was just there. This tour offered "special discoveries" or little extra surprise moments for the tour participants--little extras the tour guide would basically include---there was not a single such happening on this tour. Now, Did I have a good time. Yes. Did I enjoy Italy? I did. The places on the tour for the most part were worth seeing/doing. Several of the local guides were not particularly good. But I appreciated their efforts. And, I was glad to be there.
David Comfort
Saturday, October 14, 2017
The travel service provided by Grand European travel is simply the best. Michelle, our travel specialist, knows what extras we want when we travel and sees to all the smallest details for Loretta and me. I would recommend Grand European Travel to everyone.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much!  We are so happy to see that you enjoyed the Italian Lakes trip.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
This was one of the best trips we have taken in Europe.
David Light
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Your service was generally very good. 1. The instructions where to meet after arriving at Milan Airport was not clear and had to wait around. 2. At the first night dinner at the hotel, there were no member introductions, so we didn't know about half of the group were from Australia and Canada until much later. For that dinner at the Grand Hotel Dino, Elaine ordered fish, and it was was not good at all. I ate only a little although I like fish and eat often at home. Another person ate only one bite an gave up. David ordered Lamb which turned out be very tough and was very disappointed. 3. The expected trip schedules were changed often by the tour director and sometimes confusing. On the Free Day on Wed, she scheduled a side trip, so we did not have any rest day. It was rather a strenuously scheduled trip, rather than leisurely trip. She did not redo the schedule on paper because she wanted to save paper
We enjoyed every place we visited.
Trusted Customer
Saturday, May 27, 2017
I didn't like traveling with a severely handicapped woman. I like Grand European Travel service and would use their service again, and I would recommend them to others.
I had a very enjoyable trip. The mountains are gorgeous.
Trusted Customer
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Except for the Dolomites the trip was disappointing. The tours were uninteresting. Too much walking in general. After finishing the daily tours we walked quite far to the coach and again for the evening meal.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're very sorry to see you did not enjoy this trip. All of the trips we offer include a great deal of walking. We do try to prepare our guests for that in all of our materials. We do hope that despite the walking, you were able to enjoy some of the trip. We appreciate your feedback. Grand European Travel
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
See above
Trusted Customer
Thursday, September 15, 2016
I wasn't on this trip
Trusted Customer
Sunday, November 15, 2015
We have traveled with Grand European several times and think that they do a good job. The tour director, Danilo, was very good and very helpful. We will hopefully travel with them again in the future.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking the time to provide your honest feedback. We will share your comments with our quality control team in hopes that they can improve the schedule of the trip. Grand European Travel
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
This trip was a little "busy." The arrangement and scheduling of trips could have been better. The order of some things seemed awkward and out of place in some instances.
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