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Country Roads of Northern Italy

Operated by: Insight Vacations

10 Days from $2,786 per person
Lake Como with mountains in background, Lake District, Italy

Countries Visited

Italy ...more Italy

Locations Visited

Milan, Verona, Trento, Bolzano, Conegliano, Venice, Sirmione, Como, Baveno ...more Milan, Verona, Trento, Bolzano, Conegliano, Venice, Sirmione, Como, Baveno
  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 Expert in the heart of Italy’s renowned fashion capital to see the impressive facade 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. Mingle and get to know your fellow travellers during your Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.(Dinner with Wine)

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

    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 to explore 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. Continue on to Trento, regarded as one of Italy's most appealing cities to live in.(Breakfast)

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

    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 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.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Ancora, Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  4. Day 4 The Dolomites at Leisure.

    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 by cable car for magnificent panoramic views of the Dolomites?(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Ancora, 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 at Carmina where meticulous viticulture and manual harvesting produce distinguished proseccos. 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.(Breakfast)

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

    Visit an arts centre on Giudecca Island to witness the age-old skill of glassblowing. Then, travel 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?(Breakfast)

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

    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. Near the tip of a narrow peninsula, jutting out into the lake, visit the charming resort of Sirmione, clustered around the 13th century Scaligero’s Castle. 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.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

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

    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.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hotel Simplon/Hotel Dino, Baveno, Italian Lakes.
  9. Day 9 Italian Lakes at Leisure.

    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 with Italian wine and toast to your travels with your newfound friends.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hotel Simplon/Hotel Dino, Baveno, Italian Lakes.
  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.(Breakfast)

    meals Breakfast
Price Includes

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Authentic Dining

  • Veneto: Taste crisp and aromatic prosecco with the expert vignerons at a local winery and learn the secret to making the perfect Bellini.
  • Como: Choose your own ambience and cuisine from a handpicked selection of restaurants on your Dine-Around Evening.
  • Baveno: Your Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant is a true delight. Savour delicious Farm-to-Table meals, partnered with sumptuous Italian wines.
  • Dining Summary: 9 Breakfasts (B) and 4 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

Insight Experiences

  • Venice: Witness the ancient skill of glassblowing as you watch artisans create delicate works of art.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Milan: Explore Italy’s renowned fashion capital with your Local Expert. See the magnificent facade of Milan Cathedral, La Scala Theatre and the glass-vaulted shopping arcade of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, lined with luxury boutiques.
  • Trento: See the pristine streets lined by stone castles during your an orientation of this unique, historical city.
  • Bolzano: Explore the streets and squares of this alpine town, with your Travel Director.
  • Cortina: 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: To the tune of accompanying musicians, delight in being serenaded 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 it's backdrop of the Rhaetian Alps 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.

Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request Trip prices are based on double occupancy; single supplement discounts are available on select departures, call us at 1-877-622-9109 for more info
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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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