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Country Roads of Northern Italy

Operated by: Insight Vacations

10 Days from $2,812 per person
APR - OCT 2023
Lake Como with mountains in background, Lake District, Italy

Countries Visited

Italy ...more Italy

Locations Visited

Milan, Verona, Trento, Bolzano, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Conegliano, Venice, Sirmione, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore ...more Milan, Verona, Trento, Bolzano, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Conegliano, Venice, Sirmione, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Italy

    After a warm welcome at Milan’s Malpensa Airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 09:30 and 12:30. Meet your Travel Director at 15:30 and join a local historian to naviguate through Milan's history and the life of Leonardo da Vinci. See the impressive facade of Milan Cathedral and the world famous La Scala Opera House. Linking the two is the elegant glass vaulted shopping arcade of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, lined with luxury boutiques. Mingle and get to know your fellow travellers during your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Crowne Plaza Hotel Milan City.
  2. Day 2 Fair Verona and Trento

    Cross the fertile plains of Lombardy to fair Verona, the home of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers. Explore its maze of elegant squares and see the well-preserved Roman Arena, still used for opera performances.Explore Verona with Insight Choice. Choose a walking tour through the grand piazzas, see the statue of Dante and admire the Gothic tombs of the Scala family. Alternatively, embark on a Shakespeare-themed walk to discover famous moments from the story of Romeo and Juliet, stopping at Juliet's famed balcony. Continue on to Trento, regarded as one of Italy's most appealing cities to live in.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel NH Trento.
  3. Day 3 Climb up to Cortina d’Ampezzo Relaxed Start

    Follow the Adige River north into the magnificent mountains and the distinctive limestone peaks of the Dolomites. Arrive at the town of Bolzano, where Italy and Austria culturally collide and you are at leisure to explore the arcaded streets and squares. Continue along the zig-zagging scenic route to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy’s most exclusive ski resort and a beautiful alpine haven during summer.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel de la Poste, Cortina d'Ampezzo.
  4. Day 4 The Dolomites at Leisure Relaxed Start

    Enjoy a day at your leisure in this fashionable playground of the rich and famous, surrounded by towering cathedrals of rock. Take in the fresh mountain air as you stroll the pedestrianised Corso Italia, lined with designer stores and backed by the impressive green and white bell tower of the parish church. Why not ascend to the summit of one of the nearby peaks for magnificent panoramic views of the Dolomites?

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel de la Poste, Cortina d'Ampezzo.
  5. Day 5 Through Prosecco Country to Venice

    Travel down through more majestic Dolomite scenery to one of the world’s most breathtaking wine regions. Protected by the Alps to the north and caressed by the warm breezes from the Adriatic, the vineyards around Conegliano Veneto produce Italy’s most prized sparkling wine. Stop in Conegliano, where great care is taken to ensure these hand-picked grapes produce the world's finest prosecco. See how production differs from its more famous French counterpart, champagne. Be tempted with a taste of the crisp and aromatic flavours and learn how to make the perfect bellini. Continue on to the unique and remarkable island city of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic and check into your hotel.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio, Venice.
  6. Day 6 The Magic of La Serenissima

    Wake up ready to embrace this romantic city. Join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience during a visit to a traditional arts centre, where you can see how beautiful handcrafted glass is made by expert glassblowers, safeguarding traditional skills.What better way to see Venice than from a private boat, cruising past palazzos and churches to St. Mark’s Square? See the gilded basilica, the Doge's Palace and Lord Byron’s Bridge of Sighs. No visit to Venice would be complete without a gondola serenade through the myriad of beautiful canals. Relax and enjoy traditional local songs, as you drift along in romantic awe. Spend the afternoon as you wish. As night falls, why not savour the magic of St. Mark’s Square with its orchestras and al-fresco cafes?

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio, Venice.
  7. Day 7 Sirmione and Como Relaxed Start

    Bid farewell to this enchanting city and continue past the university town of Padua to the peaceful shores of Lake Garda, the largest of Italy's lakes. Visit the charming resort town of Sirmione, clustered around the 13th century Scaligero Castle on a narrow peninsula jutting out into the lake.Follow the southern fringes of the Alps to reach the spectacular Italian Lake District and your hotel on the shores of Lake Como, where you will enjoy views on the lake from your room. Later, you have a choice of cuisine and ambience from a hand-picked selection of local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Barchetta Excelsior, Como.
  8. Day 8 Como at Leisure and Lake Maggiore Relaxed Start

    Enjoy a morning at leisure in Como. Nestled in the foothills of the Alps, this is a prime spot to catch a glimpse of Europe’s rich and famous.Journey onwards to Lake Maggiore's Baveno, renowned for its charming 16th century square and narrow cobbled streets.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Simplon, Baveno.
  9. Day 9 Italian Lakes at Leisure Relaxed Start

    Relish a full day to relax and enjoy this popular resort and beautiful lake. Napoleon came here to plan his Italian Campaign, and Mussolini and Chamberlain met here before World War II to sign the Treaty of Stresa. Perhaps take a cruise out to the lovely Borromean Islands? Isola Bella is where Carlo Borromeo built his charming Palace. Savour delicious Farm-to-Table cuisine during your Celebration Dinner, accompanied by some exquisite Italian wines. Raise a glass to your travels and newfound friends.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Simplon, Baveno.
  10. Day 10 Depart Milan

    Your journey draws to a close in the morning and transfers arrive at Milan's Malpensa Airport at 07:30 and 10:30.

    meals Breakfast
Country Roads Northern Italy Guided Tour Map
Price Includes

Dining Summary

  • 4 Dinner with Wine (DW)
  • 9 Breakfast (B)

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Verona: See the statue of Dante and the Gothic tombs of the Scala family on a walking tour through Verona's grand piazzas.
  • Verona: Embark on a Shakespeare-themed walk to recount famous moments from Romeo and Juliet's story. See the bronze statue of Juliet and her famed balcony before ending in Piazza dei Signori, the main square where the star-crossed lovers tragedy took place.

Authentic Dining

  • Milan: Enjoy a special Welcome Dinner with wine, as you get to know your fellow travellers.
  • Veneto: Visit a local winery and delight in a tasting of their magnificent prosecco. Meet the vignerons and learn how to make the perfect Bellini.
  • Como: Choose your own ambience and cuisine from a handpicked selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
  • Lake Maggiore: Meet Stefano, the last true fisherman on Lake Maggiore, before sitting down to a Farm-to-Table Celebration Dinner with local wine.

Insight Experiences

  • Milan: A local historian brings Milan's history to life, including the contributions of Leonardo da Vinci, during a guided walking tour.  See the impressive facade of the Milan Cathedral and the world famous La Scala Theatre.

Make Travel Matter

  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing, now practised by precious few masters. Watch artisans create delicate works of art using rare traditional practices. The workshop's master craftsmen teach visitors about the traditional craft of glassblowing and its history which dates back to the 15th century. Every visit helps to support the workshop and the survival of this traditional craft.  The workshop advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Trento: See the pristine streets lined by stone castles during your an orientation of this unique, historical city.
  • Verona: See the statue of Dante and the Gothic tombs of the Scala family on a walking tour through Verona's grand piazzas.
  • Verona: Embark on a Shakespeare-themed walk to recount famous moments from Romeo and Juliet's story. See the bronze statue of Juliet and her famed balcony before ending in Piazza dei Signori, the main square where the star-crossed lovers tragedy took place.
  • Bolzano: Explore the streets and squares of this alpine town, with your Travel Director.
  • Cortina d'Ampezzo: Enjoy the stunning scenery of the Cortina, a small town framed by magnificent alps as your Travel Director conducts an orientation.
  • Venice: With your Travel Director cruise to St. Mark's Square and see the Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs and St. Mark's Basilica.
  • Venice: Delight in the magic of this charming city as you are serenaded, travelling through the atmospheric canals by gondola.
  • Sirmione: On Lake Garda, visit this quaint resort and see the 13th century Saligers' Castle.
  • Como: Take in the exquisite views of the lake and its alpine backdrop as you enjoy an orientation of this magnificent town.
  • Baveno: During your orientation with your Travel Director see the cobbled streets and 16th century square.

Travel Director

  • : "I really love about showing guests the huge variety that Italy has to offer, from quaint countryside villages to cities full of stupendous art and architecture."
  • : "One food I really love introducing my guests to is tramezzini sandwiches because they are a real art form in Venice. For the locals it is a quick inexpensive bite to get them through the day...best eaten standing up at the bar!"
  • : "One fun fact people don't usually know before they come to Italy is that the Italian alphabet only has 22 letters."

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

June 2023
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Jun 16 Fri
Jun 25 Sun
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Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
$3,195 $2,812 Save $383
AARP Members Save up to $100
Jun 30 Fri
Jul 9 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
$3,195 $2,812 Save $383
July 2023
AARP Members Save up to $100
Jul 28 Fri
Aug 6 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
$3,195 $2,812 Save $383
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.


Available on Day 3

Bolzano Visit and Ötzi the Iceman

With our Local Expert, we'll discover some of the spectacular highlights of Bolzano, including the Archaeologic sensation, media star, research topic and museum object: Ötzi in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. Ötzi is a glacier mummy from the Copper Age, who, thanks to extraordinary circumstances, has been preserved to the present day.
Adult Price: € 40

Cortina d'Ampezzo

Available on Day 4

Dinner in the Mountains

This evening we'll drive through the countryside to the foot of the Tofane Mountain in the heart of the Dolomite Ranges, where we'll enjoy fantastic cuisine in a superb setting. We'll soak in the atmosphere of a popular local restaurant while enjoying traditional Northern Italian hospitality and sampling delicious regional specialties and local wine.
Adult Price: € 70

Available on Day 4

Grand Tour Of The Dolomites

Explore the colourful peaks and sheer valleys of the Dolomites – one of the most impressive mountain ranges in the Alps. Your full-day of discovery includes a thrilling cable car ride to the summit of one of the peaks for breathtaking 360 degree views. In a unique combination of nature and history, learn about the incredible war waged in the mountains with a visit to a WWI museum. Complimentary coffee and strudel is included.
Adult Price: € 63
Note: This optional is weather and season dependent.


Available on Day 5

Burano Excursion & Meal

Leave the hustle of St Mark's Square behind on a delightful private cruise around the islands of the Venetian lagoon. Alight at the island of Burano, a photographer's paradise, famous for its candy coloured houses, artisan lace makers and leaning bell tower that would give Pisa a good run for its money. Enjoy a superb meal sampling the local specialities with wine included. An excursion not to be missed!
Adult Price: € 72

Available on Day 6

Hidden Venice

To only experience Venice's big set pieces - St Mark's Square; the Rialto; the Grand Canal - is to miss out on a hidden world full of surprises! Join a Local Expert for a fascinating walk through some of the lesser known quarters of Venice. The back lanes and ‘campi’, small squares, where tourists seldom tread are full of history and great places to sample local life.
Adult Price: € 34

Available on Day 6

Venetian Splendour

Venice is one of the most unique cities in the world and, after the crowds have left, it's at its most beautiful. We board our private water taxis and are whisked down the most famous canal in Venice - the Grand Canal! We witness the beautiful and spectacular palazzi adorning the most famous ‘street’ in Venice then travel under the remarkable Rialto Bridge to arrive in the centre of it all, Piazza San Marco! There we have seats reserved outside a famous Venetian cafe, in front of a live orchestra! We enjoy a drink and gaze out at illuminated St Mark's sights while being serenaded. This is Venice at its most unique and magical An evening not to be missed, with images and sensations you'll never forget!
Adult Price: € 59

Italian Lakes

Available on Day 8

Lake Como and Bellagio Visit

Lake Como is the most picturesque of all the great Italian lakes, deeply treasured in the hearts of all the Italians. To enjoy its beauty, a private boat is the best way! You'll cruise past the magnificent villas of the rich and famous, stopping in Bellagio where there will be time to relax and enjoy this charming “pearl of the Lake” that sits spectacularly at the centre of the three branches of Lake Como.
Adult Price: € 49

Available on Day 8

Lake Orta Cruise

With our Local Expert, we'll experience the historical and spiritual heart of Lake Orta, one of the hidden gems of the Italian Lake District. From the comfort of our private launch, we'll enjoy the natural beauty of the lake, its backdrop of wooded hills and the mystical sacred island of San Giulio.
Adult Price: € 43

Available on Day 9

Isola Bella

The premier attraction of Lake Maggiore is the Borromean Islands. We'll take a private boat over to Isola Bella, the largest and most famous island, renowned for its incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens. Our Local Expert will take us on a guided tour of this privately-owned palace, with free time to admire the gardens. A must!
Adult Price: € 49
Note: This optional is only able to be operated between mid-March and the end of October.

Independent Reviews
Theresa Iverson
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
October 3, 2018 Dear Ms. Lee, RE: Recent Insight Travel – 9/13-23rd – Country Roads of Italy My Husband and I are a three-time Insight traveler with two trips taken this year , one in June and the recent subject trip noted above that we just returned from. Of all three trips, the recent trip failed to meet our expectations as in the prior two. Overall, all the travelers were displeased and should be reflected on the survey. With the initial greet by the Tour Director (Director, first impression) to the accommodations and excursions, we wished we would have passed on this trip. Trip was scheduled for 9/20 but was moved up 1 week, an inconvenience but we accepted as we could not travel in October timeline that was offered. Find below key factors that impacted our unsatisfactory experience: •Director did not greet us inside the airport, only after seeing a few other traveler’s inquiry we went outside the airport and saw our bus and inquired. The Director and Bus Driver were there, however never offered to assist with bags nor proper intro nor check off to ensure we were all accounted for. In fact, we never got, as in previous travels, an intro email on the Director where we can find him etc. The Bus Driver was too busy on his phone and that was a common theme the entire trip, too busy using his phone. •Once at the Hotel, WE not the Driver or Director assisted in bag retrieval from the bus. •Check in was very unorganized and it took us over 45 minutes to check-in and Director did not assist in facilitation. •Welcome dinner, a bust the food was horrible and limited. Many complained. •Our visit to Verona, the Local Guide (Local) was 30 minutes late and when he greeted us he called us “lazy Americans”, of which the Director did nothing (The Local as experienced but clearly didn’t want to be there that day).. We all complained profusely for this behavior. He noted it and said he would let head office know not use again. oOn this same tour we lost a guest and the Director or the Local was not phased or concerned while all the others guests were. She was finally located, but again in other trips this WOULD not have happened. •Our visit to Baveno we opted for two optional excursions. Isla of Pescadore was not to our liking, first the island closes after lunchtime, our excursion was dinner. We go to the island at 5:15 and our restaurant didn’t open until 6:30, there was nothing to do on the island but wait… ghost town. Second optional was the next day to Isla of Bella we told the Director given our experience the night before we would not be going. •Hotels were less than par and not in areas that allowed for walking around/site seeing oHotel in Trento – clearly don’t understand why we stayed there not even near the city and had to take a bus, then we went to Bolzano (should have stayed there) which was 45 mins away from Trento and next excursion. oHotel in Venice – horrible – 25-minute walk to anything but more importantly to San Marco square – It was dark, musty/moldy and a place you didn’t want to wander at night, it didn’t appear safe – old monastery but still not 4 or 5 star – Last year went on the South Italy trip and stayed in a very nice Hotel in Venice and right on the canal – What happened??? oHotel in Milan last night was the best and more accustom to this accommodation along with the farewell dinner the best. We all wondered did Insight save money on where we stayed and ate for the final night and dinner? •All optional excursion restaurants are not recommended in the future – Burano was the worst restaurant – service did not meet our service standards – confused, late with food, missing guest’s meals to not everyone being served all at the same time. I trust our experience is a one-off experience as we talked to many on our trip that all raved about Insight travels, their hotel picks to the optional excursions. We are contemplating a two back to back excursion to France for a total of 23 days in May but we are cautious and thinking we should go consider another vendor. We have spent significant amount of money this year on two trips, including taking my Mother on our June trip to the Highlights of Spain to have an experience like this is truly not acceptable. The Director was a very nice young man, however not experienced enough to travel with well-traveled guests, he gave it his best try but missed the mark on many fronts. Guest were always looking out for each other, we ended up counting number of guests on excursions to ensure we were all accounted for etc., he finally caught on in this effort. He didn’t do well with informing us what to expect for the day or leave out key things we may need to prepare for. When we had time to explore after a Local or excursion, he failed to give us time or meeting place to reconvene. Given our well-traveled guests, we felt we were prodding him along. 5 For the $10,000 plus we paid for this trip we are very very dissatisfied. Please know we/all of us on the trip were patient and helpful to the Director, provided feedback to assist in him stepping up his game, finally we just knew our expectations weren’t going to be met and we all just agreed a trip not gone well. Given our experience we are requesting a significant credit of the subject trip mentioned for our time and unfortunate experience that would be used for our pending two trips back to back we’re considering to France ($16,000) and have on hold with Dave Frontella until 10/8 with air. Lastly, talk about a great customer experience, Dave Frontella has assisted us with all three trips and he exemplifies the true experience, helpful, resourceful and provides tips to make our travel experience amazing. Sincerely, Ron and Theresa Iverson
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking the time to write. Our Guest Relations department received a copy of your feedback as well and will be in touch with you shortly.
Thursday, October 4, 2018
See our prior comments on rating the travel.
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