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Best of the Italian Lakes

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Lake Garda
Tour Style: First Class
10 Days from $1,938 per person

Once the popular vacation retreat of Europe's nobility, today a stylish sojourn for those who enjoy an idyllic setting of pretty lakeside villages and deep blue waters set against the foothills of the Alps. Enjoy a tasty cappuccino on Como's lakeside promenade and explore 14th century Marostica, the rich flavors of Modena, and Milan, the world's fashion and design capital.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. The favorite summer retreat for the who's who of Italy for centuries provides an enchanting backdrop for your first day in Italy. On arrival at Milan Malpensa Airport transfers will operate at 9.30am, 1pm and 3.30pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the  hotel in the picturesque thermal 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 through this picture-perfect region.

  3. Ease into la dolce vita, ambling along the glamorous Baveno Marina – the gentle sounds of this picturesque lakeside a soulful way to start your day before enjoying some free time to explore Baveno with its Romanesque bell tower and octagonal baptistery. Meander through Italy's exquisite Lake District to scenic Lake Como, for centuries the link between Central Europe and the Mediterranean. Its historic atmosphere is palpable as you walk through the beautiful waterfront of Como town or relax alongside the lake sipping cappuccinos and indulging in a tasty gelato before returning to your hotel this afternoon.
  4. The enchanting cobblestone 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 to see the ornate Contarini Fountain and 12th century Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica. We continue our love affair with the Italian Lakes, traveling to Lake Garda for a relaxing five-night stay. This evening, we enjoy a delicious Be My Guest Dining experience with a local family. 

    meal(s):BB, BG
    hotel:Villa Maria
  5. Romance in the air, we meander to Verona engaging in the tragic tale of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers at Juliet's Balcony during a walking tour of the town with a Local Specialist which will also take us past the Roman Arena, still in use today. We have time to enjoy a gentle exploration of the city on your own terms. 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 of this beguiling city.

  6. We embark on a full-day excursion today to the ancient walled town of Marostica, most renowned for its living chess event held every second year, although the gigantic chessboard is visible in the Piazza Castello all year round. We enjoy a leisurely exploration of the city's fascinating sights, including its old city walls, Lower and Upper Castles and Romanesque bell tower. We venture to the banks of the River Brenta for an unhurried visit to Bassano del Grappa, renowned for its white brandy (Grappa) and magnificent scenery. This evening we return to the picturesque lakeside setting of Lake Garda.
  7. Indulge in a full day at leisure to soak up the picture-perfect setting of Italy's largest lake. Meander along its tranquil shores, stopping at quaint lakeside villages and breathing in the intoxicating aroma of lemons around every turn. Enjoy the flavors of delicious local olive oils and cheese at bustling markets, amble along flower-lined lakeside paths or visit the lake's extraordinary sights, including the 13th century Scaliger Castle, Grottoes of Catullus or the 5th century wooden statue of St. Peter near Bogliaco. Perhaps take an Optional Experience to visit the magnificent Dolomite mountain range, a World Heritage Site comprising 18 peaks at an altitude of over 3,000 meters.
  8. Sparkling Lambrusco, salty prosciutto and the intense aromas of parmigiano await us in the gastronomic paradise of Modena, which we explore today in the company of a Local Specialist. Amble 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. Sample the intoxicating flavors of a city that was the birthplace of Ferrari and Pavarotti, home to Michelin Star restaurants, tortellini and delicious balsamic vinegar. Our gourmet interlude at an end, we take a short drive to the Ferrari Museum for a Cultural Insight into the history of this luxurious Italian icon founded by Enzo Ferrari. This evening, we enjoy a leisurely dinner at our hotel. 

    meal(s):BB, DW
  9. 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, ornate La Scala Opera House and 19th century Galleria with its impressive glass and iron domed roof before enjoying 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 enjoy a Farewell Dinner, joining our fellow travelers to celebrate the end of an exquisite vacation together.
    meal(s):BB, FD
    hotel:Starhotels Business Palace
  10. Our leisurely jaunt through the Italian Lakes has come to an end. We say arrivederci to Italy and your companions. Return transfers on the last travel day will operate from Baveno and arrive at Milan Malpensa Airport at 7.30am and 10.30am. Conditions apply.


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Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.
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Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
10 May 18 19 May 18 checkmark $2,150$1,989pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
17 May 18 26 May 18 checkmark $2,150$1,989pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
31 May 18 9 Jun 18 checkmark $2,195$2,030pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jun 18 16 Jun 18 $2,195$2,030pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
14 Jun 18 23 Jun 18 $2,225$2,058pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Call 1-877-622-9109
21 Jun 18 30 Jun 18 $2,225$2,058pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
28 Jun 18 7 Jul 18 checkmark $2,250$2,081pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 18 15 Sep 18 checkmark $2,250pp Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 18 22 Sep 18 checkmark $2,250$2,081pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
20 Sep 18 29 Sep 18 checkmark $2,175$2,012pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
27 Sep 18 6 Oct 18 checkmark $2,175$2,012pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
4 Oct 18 13 Oct 18 checkmark $2,095$1,938pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
11 Oct 18 20 Oct 18 checkmark $2,095$1,938pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Call 1-877-622-9109

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $340 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $40 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $88 per person.

Airport transfer: On arrival at Milan Malpensa Airport, transfers will operate at 9:30am, 1:00pm and 3:30pm to Baveno, Lake Maggiore. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Milan Malpensa Airport at 7:30am and 10:30am.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Meal Summary

8 nights, 8 hot buffet breakfasts, 4 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Meet Giovanna and her family for a traditional dinner and tales of Lake Garda life in the quaint town of lakeside town of Lazise

Cultural Insight

  • A celebration of all things Ferrari – present and future – the Ferrari Museum in Maranello includes a permanent exhibition dedicated to Formula 1 complete with cars and a pit stop wall

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Verona and Modena

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Verona, Modena
  • Orientation of Bergamo, Milan
  • Visit beautiful Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda, the towns of Bassano del Grappa, Marostica, the Ferrari Museum in Maranello
  • View the Piazza del Duomo in Bergamo, Juliet's Balcony in Verona, the Romanesque Cathedral in Modena, the Duomo and La Scala Opera House in Milan
  • See the Roman Arena in Verona


Saturday, October 14, 2017
Service rating : 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
Vacation : This was one of the best trips we have taken in Europe.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Service rating : 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
Vacation : We enjoyed every place we visited.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Service rating : 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.
Vacation : I had a very enjoyable trip. The mountains are gorgeous.
  • U.S. citizens traveling to Italy must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering Italy.

  • The currency in Italy is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in Italy, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Italy. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. In fact, each of the 20 regions has its own distinctive cuisine. Traditionally, lunch (pranzo) is the most substantial meal of the day. A full meal consists of antipasto (starter), a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a secondo piatto (meat or fish) with a side, or contorno (vegetable or salad), then frutta (fresh fruit). Finish with espresso and maybe a limoncello or grappa.  Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water. Tap water is safe to drink, but not always tasty. We recommend you buy bottled mineral water. ‘Acqua non potabile’ means the water is not safe to drink.  Find out about some local specialties to try in Italy’s top destinations below.

  • In Italy, the weather changes very quickly, with temperatures varying from morning to night. We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • At bars and restaurants, tipping is less common or generous as in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave an extra euro or two for your waiter.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Optional Experiences are subject to change and seasonal availability. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip and pricing. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can only 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.

Discover The Borromean Islands

We've organised a private launch to take you to the beautiful islands of Lake Maggiore. Here 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).

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.

Bolzano and the Dolomite Mountains

Come with us and follow the Adige Valley to Bolzano, capital of the southern part of the Tyrol. Here you'll have time to shop in the arcaded streets, take a cable car to the top of the Renon and ride on the century-old Tramvia, or Funivia in the local parlance, where you can enjoy incredible panoramas from this famous mountain plateau.

Lake Garda

Spectacular Countryside and Dinner

We take a scenic drive from Lake Garda to the tiny village of Borghetto on the banks of the River Mincio, famous for it’s medieval bridge and ancient water mills. In this idyllic location, we'll enjoy a delicious meal of local specialties with wine and soft drinks included.


Treasures Of Milan

Join our Local Specialist at the impressive Castello Sforza museum, where you’ll see the 'Pieta of Rondanini' by Michelangelo, among other great works. Your tour finishes with a visit to the world renowned 'La Scala' opera house and museum.When La Scala or the Castello is unavailable, you’ll visit the Museum of Milan.

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