LAKES AND TOWNS
Day 1 Venice
Arrive in Venice, the “Queen of the Adriatic, ” built atop 118 islands in the Lagoon of Venice. Your opulent hotel is located on the Canal San Marco.
Days 2 & 3 Venice
Sightseeing on Friday is on foot and concentrated around the center of Venetian activity: St. Mark’s Square and Basilica. Known as the “Church of Gold, ” the Basilica is one of the most richly embellished churches in the world with its marble, mosaics, gold and priceless works of art. Next to the Basilica is the rose-and-white marble Palazzo Ducale where you find Tintoretto’s famous Paradise, the world’s largest oil painting. Inside the palace, climb the Sansovino stairway of gold and cross the “Bridge of Sighs”. Prisoners were taken across this bridge to face torture or execution. Explore Venice on your own. Ride in water taxi to the Cathedral of St. Giorgio from where you can admire the panorama of Venice or walk to Rialto Bridge, over the Grand Canal from where you can enjoy watching the boat traffic. Nearby are wonderful Rialto markets where everything, from fruit to fish to vegetables, is sold. Then enjoy the Renaissance atmosphere of Venice at night with a romantic gondola ride.
Day 4 Padua, Verona & Lake Como
This morning leave Venice for the splendor of Italy’s Lake District. The first stop is Padua for a visit to the 13th-century Basilica del Santo, which houses the relics of St. Anthony, and the Capella degli Scrovegni. Continue west to Verona, lying on the Adige River and the setting for Shakespeare’s classic love story, Romeo and Juliet. Visit Juliet’s legendary home and see the balcony where she stood. Enjoy the green foothills, mountain peaks and mirrored lakes as we drive to Cernobbio on Lake Como, where you experience one of the world’s most celebrated hotels.
Day 5 Lake Maggiore
Lake Maggiore, famous for its colors and scents, offers visitors beautiful sceneries. You will visit the two famous islands of the Borromeo Gulf: Isola Bella with its Baroque Borromeo Palace and the picturesque fishing village on Isola dei Pescatori, still inhabited by a small fishing community.
Day 6 Lake Como
Explore the resort town of Cernobbio and the Lake Como region. Visit the charming lakeside town of Bellagio with its pastel buildings, vibrant flowers and quaint cobbled streets. Relax amid the luxury of your palace hotel.
Days 7 & 8 Milan
Wednesday morning you are free to explore Lake Como on your own. In the afternoon we drive to Milan.
On Thursday discover Milan’s palazzos and impressive Il Duomo. Built in the shape of a Latin cross, this is one of the largest cathedrals in the world. See Leonardo da Vinci’s renowned mural, The Last Supper at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie.