Immerse yourself in the essence of Italian life in the fabled Lake District for one whole week, with charming accommodations in the heart of lovely Como at the Palace Hotel. Cruise by private boat on Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, and Lake Orta. Excursions feature Bellagio, Villa del Balbianello, Stresa, Isola Bella and the Sacro Monte di Orta. Visit Milan’s Duomo and Teatro alla Scala and see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Enriching lectures and the exclusive Village Life® Forum with local residents bring personal perspectives of the region’s modern life and cultural heritage. Bologna and Florence Post-Program Option.
Day 1 Depart the U.S. or Canada
Day 2 Milan, Italy/Como—Arrive in Milan, Italy, and transfer
to Como, the perfect “home” for our soggiorno in the
spectacular mountainous Italian countryside. Check into
the charming Palace Hotel on the shore of Lake Como.
Join your traveling companions for a Welcome Reception.
Day 3 Como—Stroll beside medieval towers and walls,
Renaissance palaces and churches, Neoclassical
19th-century villas and small family-owned negozi, or shops,
leading to the Piazza Cavour and the tranquil lakeside
promenade. See the magnificent Duomo di Como
and the 12th-century Romanesque Basilica di San Fedele.
Day 4 Lake Maggiore/Borromean Islands/Stresa—Enjoy
a private boat cruise amidst charming Lake Maggiore
islands graced with elegant villas and striking natural
beauty. Visit the crown jewel of the Borromean
archipelago, Isola Bella, occupied by the 17th-century
Palazzo Borromeo. Enjoy spectacular mountain views
from Stresa, a must for any “Grand Tour” that was also
the setting for Ernest Hemingway’s iconic novel
A Farewell to Arms
Day 5 Milan—Visit Milan’s exquisite late-Gothic Duomo
and the world-famous Teatro alla Scala opera house,
a Neoclassical jewel of gilt boxes and glittering
chandeliers. By special arrangement, visit the UNESCO
World Heritage site of Santa Maria delle Grazie to
experience the enduring genius of Leonardo da Vinci’s
masterpiece, The Last Supper.
Day 6 Lake Como/Villa del Balbianello/Bellagio—Cruise by
private boat across the sparkling waters of Italy’s deepest—
and perhaps most spectacular—lake while learning about
its fascinating history and allure. Enjoy time to explore
Bellagio at your own pace. Across Lake Como from
Bellagio, visit the magnificent Villa del Balbianello and its
unique terraced gardens. Savor the delights of a northern
Italian dinner in a local ristorante.
Day 7 Lake Orta/Orta San Giulio/Sacro Monte di Orta—
Enjoy a tour to the heart of Orta San Giulio’s medieval
village center to admire Baroque palazzos built by Italian
nobility. Visit chapels dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi atop
the summit of UNESCO-inscribed Sacro Monte di Orta.
Cruise across the cobalt-blue water in a private boat to
Isola San Giulio, taking in views of Italian villas and gardens
along the way. Visit the 12th-century Romanesque-style
Basilica San Giulio and return to Orta San Giulio for time
at leisure in this beguiling village.
Day 8 Como—The day is free for independent pursuits.
This evening, join your travel companions for the
Farewell Dinner in the hotel.
Day 9 Como/Milan/Return to the U.S. or Canada
After breakfast in the hotel, transfer to the airport
for your return flight to the U.S. or Canada.