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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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 Theatre. Linking the two is the elegant glass vaulted shopping arcade of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, lined with luxury boutiques. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.
(Relaxed Start) Cross the fertile plains of Lombardy to ‘fair' Verona, the home of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers, with its maze of elegant squares and well-preserved Roman Arena (still used for Opera performances). Join a Local Expert in the Piazza delle Erbe (Square of Herbs), a lively market square surrounded by beautiful buildings. View the frescoed Casa Mazzanti and lofty Lamberti Tower. 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 get cozy with Juliet's well-worn statue beneath the balcony where the Capulet family is said to have lived. Tonight, we stay in Trento, consistently rated one of Italy's most livable cities. Continue on to Trento.
(Relaxed Start) The day's route follows the Adige River northwards into the magnificent mountains and the distinctive limestone peaks of the Dolomites. Lunchtime finds you in the arcaded streets and squares of Bolzano, where Italy and Austria culturally collide. After time to explore, continue along the zigzagging scenic route to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy's most exclusive ski resort.
(Relaxed Start) A day to spend as you please 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, 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 Dolomite panoramas?
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 produce Italy's most prized sparkling wine. Be tempted with a taste of the crisp and aromatic Prosecco, and see how production differs from its more famous French counterpart. Continue on to the unique and remarkable island city of Venice. Before checking into your hotel, visit an arts centre to witness the age-old skill of glassblowing.
(Relaxed Start) Sightseeing takes you along canals lined with ornate palaces - memories of a golden age now long past. 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 basilica, and overlooked by the great Clock Tower where bronze Moors beat out the hours on a huge bell. No visit to Venice would be complete without a gondola serenade through the romantic canals. Later there is free time to shop or perhaps cruise out into the Lagoon to try local fish and wine specialties?
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 European Alps to reach the spectacular Italian Lake District and your hotel on the shores of Lake Como. In the evening, choose from a selection of restaurants for your dining pleasure.
(Relaxed Start) Enjoy a relaxed morning in Como, the playground for Europe's wealthiest people. Nestled in the foothills of the Alps, the lake plays host to the glamour set 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.
(Relaxed Start) A full day to relax and enjoy this popular resort and beautiful lake, a favourite retreat of the rich and famous. Napoleon came here to plan his Italian Campaign, and Mussolini and Chamberlain met here before World War II to sign the Treaty of Stresa. Why not take a cruise out to the lovely Borromean Islands, to the Isola Bella where Carlo Borromeo built his charming Palace? As evening descends, you have reservations for an end-of-tour Celebration Dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
Your tour draws to a close in the morning. Transfers arrive at Milan's Malpensa Airport at 7:30 am & 10:30 am.
9 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Restaurant Dinner (RD), 1 Dine-Around (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|6 Jul 17||16 Jul 17||$2,875pp||Request Quote Book Now|
|7 Sep 17||17 Sep 17||$2,825pp||Request Quote|
|21 Sep 17||1 Oct 17||$2,825pp||Request Quote Book Now|
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.
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