Family Vacation to Switzerland and Italy

A 8 day trip to Italy & Switzerland 
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Embark on an epic adventure in the Alps during your custom-tailored family tour of Italy and Switzerland. The compelling beauty of the alpine landscape emanates as much from the snowcapped peaks as from the lush high-altitude plains. Medieval villages overlook lakeshores decorated with reflections of colorful facades and covered bridges. Fishers cast wide nets in search of the daily catch while serene islands protect remarkable myths and the histories of noble families. Your family vacation in Switzerland and Italy surrounds you with majestic glaciers, fascinating woodlands, shimmering lakes, and the indelible charms of enchanting historical towns. Click here for more ideas for traveling to Switzerland that are available on our Switzerland vacations page.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland.
Beautiful garden in Italy.
Wooden chalets in mountains in Zermatt.
Lake Lucerne, Switzerland.
Chapel bridge on Lucerne historical city center.
Aerial view of Milan.
Twilight hour in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Railway in Switzerland.
Lake Maggiore, Italy.
Lucerne, Switzerland.
Lake Maggiore, Italy.
Matterhorn trail sign.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Italy – Milan, Lake Como, Stresa, the Alps

Switzerland – Andermatt, Lucerne, Zermatt, the Alps, Mount Titlis, Engelberg

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Stresa – Arrive in Milan and Enjoy a Private Transfer to Stunning Stresa

The town of Stresa rises from the shores of Lake Maggiore with quiet cobbled lanes and elegant historical mansions winding beneath soaring peaks of the Italian Alps approximately 700 feet above sea level. During the first millennium, fishers and peasants lived along the edges of the water before the Borromeo family of the Milanese aristocracy made the region affluent and famous by the mid-15th century. Your flight arrives in Milan at Malpensa International Airport, where your private transfer greets you at customs. The family will travel along the scenic roads leading into the alpine forests. The pristine cobalt water of Lake Maggiore reflects the surrounding greener from the trees, the silver from the dramatic rocky peaks, and the colorful facades shining along Stresa’s waterfront promoting an air of elegance.

The streets retain the decadence of the belle époque and the legends of the creative community from the 19th century who enjoyed vacations from the bustling streets of Milan along the tranquil lakeshores of Stresa. The scent of nutmeg and cream emanates from a small gelateria. Locals sip espresso in the shade of Piazza Cadorna within the old city center. After settling into the comforts of a luxurious hotel, the family enjoys a vibrant welcome to Italy with a sweet treat. You find a delicious gelateria close to the lapping waters of the lake. The interior carries the aromas of vanilla, chocolate, and raspberries. The kids get excited about the different flavors ranging from decadent confections to bright fruits.   

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 2: Stresa – Delight in an Italian Cooking Class and Cruise Gorgeous Lake Como

In the morning, the hotel dining room fills with an abundance of refreshing scents, from the freshly brewed espresso to fresh-baked pastries. The kids delight in the opportunity of having a flaky brioche for breakfast accompanied by the tangy and sweet flavor of delicious, orange juice. After breakfast, your private driver escorts the family on a short ride to Como, the famous town on the eponymous lake known for maintaining enchanting charms and attracting international celebrities. The historical city center hides behind the preserved walls dating back to the 12th century.

Boutique shops showcase chic fashion showcasing silk garments made locally, and quiet cafes display elegant confections in the windows. The cobblestone alleyways wind away from the serene promenade along the lakeshore leading to Piazza Cavour and Piazza San Fedele. The façade of Basilica San Fedele was reconstructed in 1914, but the remainder of the building has preserved the integrity of its 12th-century construction adorned with a 16th-century rose window. The family enters a vintage home at the heart of the city center. Your guide greets the family with a wide smile making the kids feel at home in the Italian kitchen.

Your instructor introduces you to the ingredients used in the region before you begin making a traditional Northern Italian pasta with flour, duro flour, eggs, salt, and olive oil. The kids love the sticky feeling of the dough as they knead the mixture into a silky-smooth texture. The dough rests for 30 minutes before you stuff it with a blend of ricotta, basil, parmesan and lemon zest for a delectable ravioli the entire family loves. After the class, you board a boat from the shores of Como looking back at the Neoclassical villas and Baroque palaces decorating the banks of the alpine lake. The spires of Romanesque churches tower over remnants of the classic city while small medieval villages take shape along the upper-ridges of the ascending mountains.

What’s Included: accommodation, transportation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Stresa – Cycle around Stresa, Cruise Lake Maggiore, and Taste Local Wines

The sun stretches over the hills in the east and shines striations of pink, purple, and blue across the reflective waters of Lake Maggiore in the morning. After breakfast, the family sets out onto the streets of the charming city with bikes exploring the lake’s marvelous shoreline at your own pace. You notice the Borromean Islands rising out of the water and ferries travel between the distant shores. The cable car climbs out of the town to the top of Mottarone. The kids enjoy the activity, and the Italian landscapes enchant you during the ride. You board the ferry to Isola dei Pescatori, which translates to “Fishermen Island.”

The breeze carries the aroma of freshwater off the lake, along with the refreshing climate caused by the water’s alpine chill. The Church of San Vittore punctuates the skyline on the island above the narrow alleyways nestled between the two-story homes decorated with long balconies traditionally used for drying fish. Restaurants showcase the customs of the village with menu items devoted to the fish caught fresh that morning while promoting the culinary heritage of the region. Red rooftops glint against the blue water populated by small fishing boats wading in the gentle current.

The kids listen intently to the stories of fishers who continue to sail across the vast waters of Lake Maggiore’s 82 square miles. You return to Stresa and relax in the friendly comforts of a family-owned wine shop in town. The owner happily introduces you to the specialty foods, ingredients, and wines of the Piedmont region paring four different wines equally impressive savory and sweet items. The kids snack on grape juice and delicious cookies as you sip a Barbaresco grow in limestone-based soil and hosting a bouquet of baking spice, violet, and a hint of leather.

What’s Included: accommodation, transportation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Zermatt – Travel the Simplon Pass to Switzerland for Fondue in Zermatt

Visitors and locals travel in the bucket life to Monte Sasso del Ferro in the morning interested in enjoying the peaceful journey with panoramic views of Lake Maggiore. Instead of traveling to the top of Monte Sasso del Ferro, your private transfer greets the family at the hotel after breakfast and escorts you through the Simplon Pass to Zermatt, home of the fabled Matterhorn. The pass has linked Italy and Switzerland since the Stone Age and utilized by smugglers, armies, and mercenaries until the 17th century due to the narrow Gondo Gorge, which was considered impossible to pass.

The first pass road traveled over the pass in the early 20th century with a railway tunnel traversing 10 miles through the mountains. You pass the stone plate roofs of Simplon village and venture over the border where the Pennine Alps and the Lepontine Alps converge. The narrow switchbacks along the mountainous road are both thrilling and terrifying, striking the family with awe as your driver carefully travels closer to Zermatt. The town shimmers with greenery in the enclosed valley framed by dramatic mountains around the Valais region. The car stops at a carpark approximately three miles from the town where you board an electric shuttle ferrying visitors and locals into the village center.

The town boasts stunning hiking trails, remarkable ski runs, and captivating views of the Matterhorn. For lunch, the family settles into a cozy restaurant filling with the scent of melted cheese. The server introduces you to the art of fondue with origins shared by the French, Swiss, and Italians. The dish dates back to the 17th century and allows the family time to play with your food by dipping skewers of bread, meats, vegetables, and sweets into different types of cheeses known for having complimentary flavors.

What’s Included: accommodation, transportation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Zermatt – Relish a Zip Lining Excursion before the Gornergrat Bahn Train

The dining room at breakfast fills with the decadent aroma of rich hot chocolate. The kids sip the delightful treat while enjoying the views over the valley. You make your way into the beauty of Switzerland after breakfast with a ropes course and a zip lining adventure, promising a fun-filled burst of adrenaline. The park is located at the edge of the village hosting 31 zip lines on which you can travel and 95 obstacles obstructing your objective on the ropes course.

The kids take the lead when climbing over rivers on the series of rope bridges or dangling on rope swings up to 40 feet above the ground. A staff member clips your harness to the zip line and makes sure you are safely attached. You let go of the platform and glide through the air with the cold breeze glowing against your cheeks. You have a 360-degree panorama of the park, the vast grasslands of the valley, and the sensational peak of the legendary Matterhorn towering above the surrounding mountains.

After the flying over the branch of the grand Rhone Valley, you feel nothing could compare until you board the Gornergrat Cogwheel Train traveling from the lush countryside with open views of the remarkable mountain terrain. The panorama provides a sensational look at the Matterhorn peak, as well as the glinting icy frame of the Gorner glacier situated at the foot of Monte Rosa massif. 

What’s Included: accommodation, transportation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Lucerne – Explore Charming Andermatt and Bask in a Chocolate Experience

Your private transfer greets the family in the morning after a quiet train ride to Taesch and escorts you to the tranquil town of Andermatt. The scenic drive encompasses the iconic pastoral landscape of the Urseren Valley where cows graze on the verdant grassland at the foot of Gotthard Pass. The cozy charms of the village contrast the drama of the surrounding wilderness encompassed by the four-way crossroads connecting the region’s different passes. The village retains its enchanting storybook appeal with shingled, sloped rooftops and wooden facades. The main boulevard in the city center passes chocolate shops and restaurants, cafes and boutique shops. You reach the city of Lucerne, located on the banks of Lucerne Lake.

The heart of the city retains the medieval streets and elegant historic architecture embodying the heritage of the region. The colorful covered wooden bridges span the water reflecting 14th-century ingenuity and 17th-century décor with more than 100 pictures hanging from the rafters with visions of saints and town history. The neighboring 13th-century water tower rises 111 feet tall reminiscent of the former fortifications protecting Lucerne. The family enters the fascinating Swiss chocolate adventure, an interactive world of sweets discovering the history, aromas, and flavors of cocoa. The spectacular journey ends with sampling the famous tastes of Swiss chocolate, with the thick, luscious coating of the candy coating your palate. 

What’s Included: accommodation, transportation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Lucerne – Discover Adventure at Mount Titlis and Visit a Cheese Factory

The sunlight washes over the timber-framed buildings of Old Town in the morning returning the bright green to the shutters of the Town Hall first erected in the early 17th century. The hipped roof represents the typical slopes of the Swiss-style architecture. After breakfast, you ride the rotating cable car up Mount Titlis, the highest peak in central Switzerland reaching 10,000 feet above sea level. The kids marvel at the view from the gondola as it rotates for an impressive panorama of the verdant valleys, rugged mountains, shimmering lakes, and glistening glacier.

The mountain holds many exciting excursions, such as snow tubing, hiking, and even walking along the cliffs on the highest suspension bridge in Europe but the family chooses to visit the glacial cave by traveling below the glacier’s surface. You press your fingers to the walls finding a cold, smooth surface. The turquoise color of the ice glints in the light. Ice crystals flicker. The cave is up to 5,000 years old and sustains a chilly 29 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. The beautiful blue hues of the walls fluctuate with the light resembling a rippling wave.

You travel down the hill to reach the village of Engelberg, home to the only cheese factory in the country situated inside a monastery. The producers continue to make the cheese by hand. You can watch the staff boil the milk, strain the curds, and work on making the distinct flavors of the celebrated alpine cheeses and homemade yogurts. The tangy aroma of goat’s milk cheese emanates from the bistro, and the gift shop offers visitors the chance to try the rich, creamy flavor of raclette.

What’s Included: accommodation, transportation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Lucerne – Transfer to the Zurich Airport and Depart for Home

Before your private transfer meets the family in the hotel lobby, you want to take one last walk around the charming city of Lucerne. Near Löwenplatz stands the famous Lion Monument, which displays a large, intricate figure of a lion lying over a broken shield. The statue was crafted in 1820 commemorating the 26 officers and 700 Swiss Guard troops killed while protecting King Louis XVI during the French Revolution. Your private escort to the airport greets you at the hotel, and when the family is ready, the driver delivers you to Zurich Airport for your flight home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$2,695
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.