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Country Roads of Northern Italy

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Lake Como, Italy
Tour Style: Premium
11 Days from $2,696 per person

Fall in love with Shakespeare's Verona, the dream-like elegance of Venice, the breathtaking beauty of the Dolomites and Italian Lake District, and the majesty of Milan.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (please ask about our great deals).

  2. After a warm welcome at Milan's Malpensa Airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 09:30 & 12:30. In the afternoon join a Local Expert in the heart of Italy's renowned fashion capital to see the impressive façade of the cathedral and the world famous La Scala Theater. 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 travelers during your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. 

    meal(s):DW
    hotel:Crowne Plaza, Milan
  3. Cross the fertile plains of Lombardy to fair Verona, the home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, with its maze of elegant squares and well-preserved Roman Arena, which is still used for Opera performances. Join a Local Expert in the Piazza delle Erbe or Square of Herbs, a lively market square surrounded by beautiful buildings. View the frescoed Casa Mazzanti and lofty Lamberti Tower and continue to the Piazza dei Signori, the civic and political heart of the city, graced by a statue of Dante and see the Gothic tombs of the Scala family beyond. Take the opportunity to recite Shakespeare's immortal words and see Juliet's well-worn statue beneath the balcony where the Capulet family is said to have lived. Continue on to Trento, which is regarded as one of Italy's most appealing cities to live in.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:NH Trento
  4. 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 the arcades 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.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Hotel Ancora, Cortina d'Ampezzo
  5. 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 pedestrian 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 by cable car for magnificent panoramic views of the Dolomites?

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hotel Ancora, Cortina d'Ampezzo
  6. 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 at Carmina where meticulous viticulture and manual harvesting produce distinguishable proseccos. See how production differs from its more famous French counterpart, Champagne. Be tempted with a taste of the crisp and aromatic flavors and learn how to make the perfect Bellini. Continue on to the unique and remarkable island city of Venice, Queen of the Adriatic. Visit an arts center on Giudecca Island to witness the age-old skill of glassblowing, before checking into your hotel.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio, Venice
  7. Cruise along the scenic canals, lined with ornate palaces - memories of a bygone golden. Alight by the Bridge of Sighs, named in the last century by Lord Byron. Turn the corner into St. Mark's Square, dominated by its magnificently decorated Byzantine basilica, and overlooked by the great clock tower where bronze Moors figurines beat out the hours on a huge bell. No visit to Venice would be complete without a ride on a gondola; delight in being serenaded as you journey through the romantic canals. The rest of the day is at your leisure and there is free time to shop or perhaps cruise out into the Lagoon to try local fish and wine specialties?

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Eurostars Residenza Cannaregio, Venice
  8. Bid farewell to this enchanting city and take the scenic route along the Brenta Canal, lined with classical villas by Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio. Continue past the university town of Padua to the peaceful shores of Lake Garda, the largest of Italy's lakes. Near the tip of a narrow peninsula, jutting out into the lake, visit the charming resort of Sirmione, clustered around the 13th century Scaligers' Castle. Follow the southern fringes of the Alps to reach the spectacular Italian Lake District and your hotel on the shores of Lake Como. Later, you have a choice of cuisine and ambience from a hand-picked selection of local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening. 

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Hotel Barchetta Excelsior, Como.
  9. Enjoy a relaxed morning in Como, the playground of Europe's wealthiest people. Nestled in the foothills of the Alps, the lake plays host to the most glamorous social sets and is a great place to people watch. Head on to Lake Maggiore's Baveno, noted for its narrow cobbled streets and charming 16th century square.

    meal(s):BB
    hotel:Simplon Hotel, Baveno
  10. 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. Savor delicious Farm-to-Table cuisine during your Celebration Dinner, accompanied with Italian wine and toast to your travels with your newfound friends.

    meal(s):BB, DW
    hotel:Simplon Hotel, Baveno
  11. Your tour draws to a close in the morning. Transfers arrive at Milan's Malpensa Airport at 7:30 am & 10:30 am.

    meal(s):Buffet Breakfast
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We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.
  • Definite Departure
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26 Apr 18 6 May 18 $2,995$2,696pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
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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 $740 p.p.

Triple Room Discount $60 p.p. 

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $116 per person.

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.

  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • 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

9 Buffet Breakfasts (BB) and 3 Dinner with Wine (DW) all with tea and coffee. 

Signature Experiences

Milan:

  • Join a Local Expert in the heart of Italy's renowned fashion capital to see the impressive façade of the cathedral and the world famous La Scala Theatre. Linking the two is the elegant glass-vaulted shopping arcade of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, lined with luxury boutiques.

Venice:

  • To the tune of accompanying musicians, you are serenaded through the atmospheric canals by gondola.
  • Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing as you watch artisans create delicate works of art

Verona:

  • Venture through this medieval city, guided by a local historian. Experience the atmosphere of Piazza delle Erbe with its beautiful
    buildings, view Piazza dei Signori and visit the reputed home of the Capulets to stand beneath Juliet's balcony.

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  • 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 48 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. 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.

Bolzano

Ötzi the Iceman Museum Visit

Adult Price: € 40

Archaeologic sensation, media star, research topic, museum object: Ötzi is a glacier mummy from the Copper Age, who, thanks to extraordinary circumstances, has been preserved to the present day. We'll enjoy a guided visit to discover Ötzi's life, along with his clothing and equipment, in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.

Cortina

Grand Tour Of The Dolomites

Adult Price: € 63

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. (Weather and season dependent).

Venice

Magical Venice

Adult Price: € 54

Venice can be Europe's most romantic city in the evening, offering dramatic landscapes with buildings that dazzle as the sun sets and the lights go on. Sit back and take it all in as private water taxis whisk you to the centre of it all, Piazza San Marco, where we have seats reserved outside a famous Venetian cafe, in front of a live orchestra and in view of those illuminated St Mark's sights. Our private water taxis will also take us the length of the Grand Canal, under the Rialto Bridge and back to our hotel, having seen Venice at its most magical.

Hidden Venice

Adult Price: € 34

St Mark's Square, tick, the Rialto, tick, Grand Canal, tick... To only experience Venice's big set pieces 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.

Burano Excursion & Meal

Adult Price: € 70

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!

Italian Lakes

Isola Bella

Adult Price: € 41

The premier attraction of Lake Maggiore is the Borromean Islands. We take a private boat over to Isola Bella, the largest and most famous island, renowned for its incredible palace and stunning Botanical Gardens. A guided tour of this privately owned palace with free time to admire the gardens is a must.

Lake Como and Bellagio Visit

Adult Price: € 44

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.

Lake Orta And Dinner

Adult Price: € 68

Journey by coach to experience the historical and spiritual heart of Lake Orta, one of the hidden gems of the Italian Lake District. From the comfort of your private launch, enjoy the natural beauty of the lake, its backdrop of wooded hills and the mystical sacred island of San Giulio. This is followed by an enchanting dinner of classic local cuisine. A wonderful evening in one of the Lake District's most enchanting places.

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