Venice, Milan, Lake Como, Lake Orta, Cinque Terre
Flexible and customizable for private departures.
This tour is for everyone who’s ever wished for two weeks of utter relaxation; for everyone who’s ever sought out the tiny towns and hamlets instead of the well-worn tourist trails; for everyone who’s ever longed for an authentic travel experience. This is the trip for everyone for whom Italy is so much more than Florence and Venice and Rome, and it’s the trip that you’re sure to remember for the rest of your life.
Venice – Landing Outside the Floating City
Once your plane touches down on the edges of Venice, you’ll leave all expectations behind and enter a city that is unlike any you’ve ever known, where cars are absent and everywhere boats glide through the canals with dash and verve. A private water taxi will take you to your darling Venetian hotel, located a stone’s throw away from the romantic Piazza San Marco, where you’ll have the chance to recover from your journey before enjoying a fabulous welcome dinner in the heart of magical Venice.
Venice – Exploring the Queen of the Adriatic
Set out to wander the meandering waterways of romantic and resplendent Venice, led by a local guide, who will show you all of the city’s best-known attractions. Marvel at the opulence and exquisite detail that fills St. Mark’s Basilica, and learn about Venice’s glory days at the Doge’s Palace right next door. You’ll walk through the marble halls and up stern and elegant staircases, over the famous Bridge of Sighs and into the infamous Venetian prisons, which are now restored and filled with fascinating exhibits. Your tour concludes in fine fashion with a boat trip to the nearby island of Murano, where you’ll get a chance to see some of the best artisan glassblowers in the world at work.
Milan – Across the Gorgeous Italian North
Today takes you through the phenomenal expanse of the inimitable north of Italy, past charming towns like Padua and Bologna and through stunning scenery, the rolling hills and farmlands giving way to the ponderous peaks of the mountains to the north. Your first-class passage comes with the best of amenities, making this morning’s train ride seem like a gentle rocking from one fairy world to another, from the canals of Venice to the busy streets of magnificent Milan.
Once in Milan, you’ll alight from your train and join your fellow adventurers on a private transport to an elegant and charming hotel in Varenna, one of the beautiful communes that lie on the shore of spectacular Lake Como, a sapphire stretch of water that is the deepest lake in Italy. After setting your things down in your room, you can walk the streets and lanes of Varenna, or relax in the hotel before a delicious and enjoyable dinner.
Como – Captivating Lake Como
Hit the water and cruise the coast as you set your sights on some of the best resort towns in Italy, names that have since become synonymous with timeless class. Ferry to incredible Bellagio, the “Pearl of the Lake,” where you can find the most remarkable villas in the country, and stop by Como to do some shopping for fine home goods, artisan crafts and wares, and superb silks. Despite the amazing offerings at these delightful villages, you might find that your favorite part of the day was cutting through the azure waves of Lake Como, the wind in your hair and the light Italian sunshine on your face.
Como – A Sojourn to Switzerland
Pack your passport and head to the train station as today you turn north, through the scenic mountainous borderlands and into the realm of Switzerland, bound for St. Moritz, a hotspot for the international Jet Set for decades. You can meander the scenic streets, framed by some of the highest peaks in the Alps and lined with the boutiques of fine fashion houses and jewelers, before enjoying a delicious lunch in the heart of the city, where the offerings are always varied and always excellent. Board the train in the early afternoon, and return home to Varenna in plenty of time to enjoy a delicious dinner.
Alternatively, you might choose to remain in Varenna, enjoying the beautiful weather or discovering the breathtaking gardens at Villa Monastero, exploding in color, and offering an incredible view over the lake. This incredible villa is sure to leave you gazing at its unspeakable elegance and enviable location.
Orta San Giuliu – Discovering the History of Italy’s Lake District
You leave the shores of dashing Lake Como and turn to the scenic village of Orta San Giuliu on Lake Orta, one of the most gorgeous lakes in the area that is, sadly, often overlooked due to nearby Lake Maggiore. During your journey, you’ll make a brief detour in Stresa, a characteristic northwest Italian town where a young American named Ernest Hemingway recovered from wounds suffered World War I. He later wrote a book loosely based on the experience and titled it A Farewell to Arms.
You arrive on the shores of Lake Orta this afternoon, taking in Orta San Giulio’s appealing piazza right on the lake and the town’s incredible accommodations, offering sparkling amenities and inspiring views over this beautiful stretch of Italian countryside.
Orta San Giuliu – Setting Out for San Giulio
Make for the center of Lake Orta to encounter the charm and romance of Isla San Giulio, a speck of land jutting scenically above the rolling waves of Orta. Here you’ll find the Basilica of Saint Giulio, a 12th-century masterpiece that looks over the enormous old seminary that was built in the 1840s, and the serene and stirring “path of silence.” Enjoy an afternoon of languid pursuits: sunning on the hotel’s terrace, shopping in the small town where you’ll find only pedestrians, or simply nursing a cappuccino and a view over the stunning scenery beyond. Return to the shores in the late afternoon.
Cinque Terre – The Intimacy and Romance of the Italian Riviera
Turn from the lake country to the Mediterranean coast as you head for the incomparable five villages of Cinque Terre, the Riviera resort communities that are among the most picturesque seaside towns on Earth. Enter at Monterosso al Mare or Porto Venere before setting out to explore the winding streets and plunging cliffs of these five miracles, still relatively untouched by corporate development – and tourists. This is an Italian resort town as it existed years ago when life was slower and everyone took care to make sure they only offered the best.
Cinque Terre – The Wines of Northwest Italy
Today you explore the culinary side of the Mediterranean coast, as you’ll discover some of the best food and drink offerings from this part of Italy. Sample some of the white wine that Cinque Terre is famous for, chilled and crisp and fresh, or try a simple pasta and pesto, a sauce invented, refined, and perfected in nearby Genoa.
You might also choose to take a boat ride to the town of Porto Venere, where you’ll find relics of the town’s medieval past – like the Gothic Church of St. Peter – and reminders of its more recent times, like the gorgeous Grotta dell’Arpaia, better known as Byron’s Grotto after the famous Romantic poet. Simply wandering the streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site is sure to delight, and there are a number of excellent cafes and restaurants should you find yourself in need of refreshment.
Cinque Terre – One Last Day by the Shores of the Mediterranean
Though you loathe to leave the splendid shores and hate to say goodbye to these captivating coasts, today is your final day in this little portion of paradise. Return to your favorite village for a perfect cappuccino or an aperitif, watching the people and enjoying the flow of life here. Hit the beach and spend your day in the peaceful pulse of the Monterosso sun. Snap some more pictures of this unforgettable landscape, the crashing shores of the sea giving way to the dramatic rises of the buttes and foothills beyond. Whatever you choose to do today, you can be sure that it’s sure to be special in Cinque Terre.
Milan – Into the Heart of Northern Italy
Today you return inland, trekking toward the heart of Italy’s industrial north, the country’s second capital and the home to some of the most beautiful architecture – and best shopping – in the entire world: Milan. Make your way to the boutique hotel that is steps from the church that boasts Leonardo’s famous fresco The Last Supper on one of its walls, drop off your bags, and set out the soak up every bit of Milan that you can.
No trip to Milan would be complete without a visit to its titanic cathedral that rises out of the city like white fire, leaping to the sky in jagged flicks and licks. The Gothic Duomo is decorated on the outside with thousands of statues – tiny recreations of famous saints and popes, great figures in the history of the Roman Catholic Church – while the interior houses a stunning collection of stained glass windows. Make a quick stop by the famous La Scala, Milan’s opera house, that is one of the greatest music venues on the globe, before setting out for the scintillating Galleria Victoria Emanuel, Milan’s main shopping mall, filled with some of the finest fashion houses in the world, many of which come from Milan itself.
This evening, enjoy dinner at one of the city’s incredible restaurants, but be sure to save room for dessert: the gelato in Milan is among the best in Italy.
Milan – Saying Goodbye in Milan
Today you end your unforgettable journey to Italy, taking you to some of the country’s largest cities and most remote towns, showing you the best of culture, the best of cuisine, and the best of nature. From the Venetian lagoon to the craggy cliffs of Cinque Terre, this is a northern Italian vacation that is sure to leave everyone in awe.
- Get a private tour of amazing Venice from a knowledgeable local, who will tell you all the best stories and will show you all the best sights, from the Piazza San Marco to the Bridge of Sighs
- Explore the shores and waters of luxurious Lake Como, reveling in lakeside towns, like Bellagio and Ravenna, or simply enjoying the immaculate weather and the one-of-a-kind scenery
- Make your way through the mountains and into spectacular Switzerland, where you’ll spend the afternoon at the famed resort town of St. Moritz, dining, shopping and enjoying the pleasures of this Alpine treasure
- Turn to Lake Orta, where the quaint and captivating Isla San Giulio awaits, before visiting the renowned villages of Cinque Terre in the heart of the Italian Riviera
- Discover the hidden gems of Cinque Terre, like the medieval-era port at Portonevere and the excellent vineyards and wineries that produce a white wine of local fame
- Hit the highlights of marvelous Milan, including its impressive Duomo, its singular opera house, and one of the most exclusive shopping malls in the world
From the rugged coast of Cinque Terre to the gentle wake that ripples through the canals of Venice, this is an Italian excursion that will leave you feeling completely pampered and perpetually care-free. It’s a 12-day jaunt through Northern Italy’s best cities and most bucolic towns. You’ll get culture and the joy of the great outdoors, stunning architecture and stick-to-your-ribs food, the treasures of the city and the pleasures of the country. When it comes to Italy, you truly can have it all.
Discover the secrets of romantic Venice, one of the world’s most unique cities and the home to gorgeous piazzas and stunning architecture. Relax and unwind by Lake Como, taking in the gentle country pleasures of villages like Ravenna and Bellagio. Make a quick jump to St. Moritz and see that Cinque Terre is so much more than just the five most scenic villages in Italy. From the sunrise over the Grand Canal to the stars over the Mediterranean Sea, this is sure to a vacation that never leaves you wanting for magic and memories.
$3,295 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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