The Jewels of Northern Italy & Switzerland
9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

DESCRIPTION

Situated in Italy’s Northeast, the Veneto and Lombardy Regions serve as ideal home-base destinations to discover these amazing areas, famed the world over for renaissance architecture and breathtaking scenery. Magic and mystique await in Venice, Italy’s island city of enchanting palaces, bridges, and canals with the majestic Doge’s Palace and Piazza San Marco. Verona enchants with its picturesque cobblestone streets, churches and world-renowned Arena di Verona, the Roman Empire’s third largest amphitheater. The crystal blue clear waters of Lake Como beckon, featuring breathtaking scenery of the Italian and Swiss Alps. As a perfect closing, stylish Milan takes center stage as we explore the fashion capital of Italy. Join us for a once in a lifetime trip to explore Northern Italy, its lakes and Switzerland!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Renaissance architecture & history of Veneto
  • Majestic Italian & Swiss Alpine vistas
  • Cooking class
  • Venetians gardens & villas of Treviso
  • Romantic Venice
  • Impressive St. Mark’s Square
  • Splendid Doge’s Palace
  • Stunning St. Mark’s Basilica
  • Legendary Bridge of Sighs
  • Spectacular Lake Garda
  • Historical Verona
  • Ancient town of Sirmione
  • Scenic cruise on Lake Como
  • Enchanting Bellagio
  • Beautiful Lake Maggiore
  • Elegant Stresa
  • Majestic Lake Lugano
  • Lugano, popular Swiss subtropical resort
  • Monte San Salvatore Funicular ride
  • Beautiful Swiss scenery
  • Milan, Italian capital of fashion & design
  • Majestic Duomo
  • World-class Scala Opera House

Photo and Video



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


Day 1 Depart USA
Depart the USA for Italy. Meals and refreshments served on board.

Day 2 Arrive Italy/Veneto Region
Your adventure begins upon arrival in the captivating country of Italy. This is one of the few places in the world where you will experience art and life combining so effortlessly. It’s the land of Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Botticelli but it's also the home of Ferragamo, Armani, and Zegna, and the birthplace of Ferrari, Maserati, and Ducati. Food, fashion, art and architecture, fast cars, and more – you'll quickly learn that the root of Italian happiness is a dedication to “la dolce vita” – the sweet life! Departing the airport, we head for our hotel located in the beautiful Veneto countryside. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure and join us tonight for a Welcome dinner at the hotel. (D)

Day 3 Veneto Region - Treviso City Tour
Today you will tour Treviso on a morning city excursion, a bustling city with piazzas, the Terraglio river, museums, churches and elegant renaissance Venetian gardens and villas. In the city center, we see the Duomo, surrounded by its old defensive walls; it is a superb example of the complex stratification of architectonic styles. There will be time at leisure to explore the city at your own pace before we return to the hotel. Later this afternoon our Cultural Discovery Series will take you to the hands-on Cooking Class with our hotel chef who will present you the health benefits of the Mediterranean cuisine and teach you how to make some of the most delicious local dishes. Afterwards, enjoy your dinner paired with local wines. (B,D)

Day 4 Veneto Region - Venice Tour
Explore the romantic City of Canals on a guided tour through classically elegant Venice. With more than 400 bridges, your water and land exploration will visit the must-see sights including St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace, and the Bridge of Sighs. Shop the handmade glass shops before trying on a mask in the masquerade shops that dot the streets under the majestic architecture of this inspired place. (B)

Day 5 Veneto Region - Lake Garda, Sirmione & Verona Tour/Lake Como
Today you will gaze upon the largest lake in all of Italy, Lake Garda. First, however, we tour Verona, where Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers’ tormented relationship Romeo and Juliet is set. Verona enchants with its picturesque cobblestone streets, dozens of churches and world-renowned Arena di Verona, the Roman Empire’s third largest amphitheater where opera performances are still performed to this day. Then onwards to spectacular Lake Garda, surrounded by mountains formed by glaciers from the last Ice Age. On a full day excursion, you will explore the ancient town of Sirmione, located on the South end of the lake, home to the popular Virgilio and Catullo Spa Complexes. Then onwards to Lake Como to check-in to your hotel and relax. (B)

Day 6 Lake Como - Cruise and Bellagio Tour
Today you enjoy a scenic Lake Como Cruise to one of the most famous resort towns in Italy, Bellagio. The village is characterized by centuries-old buildings, stone lanes and picturesque cobbled stairways filled with shops showcasing the finest Italian wares. Enjoy some time to explore Bellagio at your own pace before returning to your hotel. (B)

Day 7 Lake Como
This morning, after breakfast, enjoy the day at leisure or take an optional excursion to Stresa. Travel through the Italian Lake district to Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Enjoy a boat ride to Isola Bella, a small island 400-yards from Stresa famous for its Baroque palace and elaborate Italian gardens. Later you will enjoy a tour of Stresa and free time to stroll the resort town’s elegant lakeside. This afternoon arrive back at your hotel for an evening at leisure. (B)

Day 8 Lake Como - Lugano, Switzerland Tour & Monte San Salvatore Funicular
This morning travel to Lugano, Switzerland, an Italian-style city set on the edge of a bejeweled lake with views of the not-too-distant alps. Upon arrival, you will have a tour of Lugano. Then some free time to visits its posh designer boutiques, bars, and pavement cafes huddling in a maze of cobblestone streets that run along the edge of the lake. Then rise up to the sky, take a funicular ride up Monte San Salvatore. From the top, relish the stunning views of Lake Lugano, the surrounding mountains and Lombardy plains. This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner featuring great food and wine. (B,D)

Day 9 Lake Como to USA or extend your stay with an optional Milan, Italy extension
Morning transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B)

OPTIONAL MILAN, ITALY EXTENSION
Day 9 Lake Como/Milan, Italy
After breakfast you have a leisure departure from Lake Como. You will arrive in Milan and enjoy free time this afternoon to explore the global capital of fashion and design. (B)

Day 10 Milan - City Tour
Today you will embark on a captivating half day tour of Milan, the fashion and economic capital of Italy. Get to know Milan from its famed landmarks to its embracing entrepreneurial spirit. While soaking in the Italian culture, you will explore this vibrant city with your expert guide. Take in the vista of its medieval Sforza Castle, built by the 4th Duke of Milan, as you hear intriguing history about Milan. Visit the city’s renowned Duomo, the largest Gothic structure in Italy adorned with 135 marble spires, and see the Golden Madonnina that tops the highest spire. View the world-class Scala Opera House. Stroll along this fashion mecca's stylish Galleria Vittorio Emanuele shopping gallery. Continue the visit to Santa Maria delle Grazie Basilica to discover the enigmatic Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” or Casa Degli Atellani (Leonardo Da Vinci’s home) & Leonardo’s Vineyard.* Tonight, you will have time at leisure to savor the flavors of Italy in one of the many exquisite restaurants or cafés that line Milan’s fascinating streets. (B)

Day 11 Milan to USA
After breakfast this morning, transfer to the airport for your return flight home (B)

(B) – Breakfast, (D) – Dinner
Hotel and Itinerary are subject to change.
*You will view/visit either Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” or Casa Degli Atellani based on availability.


INCLUDES

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from New York
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 10 included meals consisting of 7 buffet breakfasts and 3 dinners
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: Tour of Treviso, Cooking Class, Visit to Lake Garda, Tour of Sirmione and Verona, Tour of Venice, Tour of Bellagio and Lake Como Cruise, Tour of Lugano, Switzerland and Monte San Salvatore Funicular. Optional tours available
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompasses cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy and social systems, and interaction with locals such as a hands-on cooking class
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival in Italy
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

OPTIONAL MILAN, ITALY EXTENSION TOUR FEATURES
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 2 included meals consisting of 2 buffet breakfasts
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAMS - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: City Tour of Milan
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

OTHER PROGRAMS

Russian Federation

IMPERIAL RUSSIAN WATERWAYS

12 DAYS/10 NIGHTS

Austria

TASTE OF TYROL - INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA

9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

France

PROVENCE & THE FRENCH RIVIERA

9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS