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Venice and the Italian Lakes - Itinerary
September 2 - 10, 2023 

September 2 - 10, 2023
9 Days / 8 Nights

This tour starts in Milan and ends in Venice

$4,540 per person/double occupancy
$1,580 optional single supplement
$380 optional pretour night (includes a private airport transfer): single or double room
Includes all fees and taxes

This tour may be combined with Classic Tuscany tour to Italy
(September 11 - 19, 2023)


Click on the image to enlarge the map

This tour starts at 3:00PM on Saturday, September 2, 2023 in Milan.
Your flight should arrive no later than 1:00PM.

Day 1: Arrival: Milan to Lake Como and Welcome Dinner

On your arrival at the Milan airport, you will be met by your chauffeur for a private transfer to our lakeside hotel located on Lake Como. Lined with villas set in tropical gardens, verdant hills, and the snowy Alps in the distance, the poetic Lake Como signifies grandeur, tranquility, and understated elegance, and it has been a resort since the days of the Roman Empire. After arriving, you'll have some time to rest after your flight and enjoy the beauty of your new surroundings, before meeting your fellow travelers to enjoy our welcome dinner at an elegant lakeside restaurant. We'll toast our upcoming journey and share in anticipation of the Italian adventures that await us. 
Meals: Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Lenno, Lake Como

Day 2: Bellagio 

After breakfast today, we'll set out to explore the chic Bellagio, the "pearl of Lago di Como", considered a place of romance and a playground of the glitterati for decades. After visiting the Romanesque church of San Giacomo, we'll take a leisurely walk along the lake's shore to the nearby Villa Melzi, whose terraced gardens have replaced the vineyards that once surrounded it, and it now boasts more than 500 species of exotic plants. After lunch at a local cafe, consisting of local specialties, such as freshly caught fish with risotto and ravioli, there will be ample time to stroll Bellagio's narrow streets that lead down to the lake, linger at a café or shop for silk accessories that made Bellagio famous ever since the times of Marco Polo.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel Lenno, Lake Como

Day 3: Villa Balbianello - Tremezzo - Varenna

Today, we'll start the day with a private cruise on Lake Como, sailing along its shores studded with Belle Epoque villas, palaces, and gardens. We'll visit Villa Balbianello, one of the most seductive grand houses on the lake, complete with fountains, statues, and lush flower gardens. Then, we'll continue to the town of Tremezzo, where we'll enjoy an opulent lunch at a restaurant overlooking the peaceful waters of Lake Como. After lunch, we will visit the amazing Villa Carlotta, Lake Como's best-known villa, Villa George Clooney notwithstanding. Built in the 17th century, this place of rare beauty perfectly combines stunning interiors of stuccos, ceiling frescoes and a great art collection with luxuriant, terraced gardens tumbling down to the lake. Afterwards, we'll continue by boat to Varenna, perhaps the loveliest spot on the whole lake, shaded by pines and palm trees and dominated by narrow stepped alleyways and waterfront cafes. We'll have time to explore the beauty of Varenna at our leisure, before the boat brings us back to our hotel. The evening will be free to take a swim in the hotel's pool, be pampered at its spa, or simply relax and enjoy the tranquil splendor of Lake Como.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel Lenno, Lake Como

Day 4: Milan

This morning, we'll set out to explore the city of Milan. Associated with Barbarossa, Napoleon and Victor Emmanuel II, the city has a fascinating history: founded by Celtic tribes in the 7th century B.C., then conquered by Rome in 222 B.C., today it's Italy's most prosperous city, synonymous with high fashion, design, and art. During the tour of the city, we'll see Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, the La Scala Opera House, and the magnificent Duomo Cathedral, where we'll take the elevator up to its roof to walk among the forest of 3,200 statues, spires, pinnacles and pillars and to admire the stunning view of the city. We will continue to the Galleria Vittoriio Emmanuele II, "Milan's drawing room" and afterwards walk through the vibrant city center to visit the Santa Maria della Grazie church, which is home to one of the world's most recognizable works of art: Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, painted directly on the wall of the refectory and lovingly restored from its original 15th-century completion. After this inspiring experience, we will transfer back to our lakeside villa and enjoy a relaxing dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Hotel Lenno, Lake Como

Day 5: Verona - Transfer to Venice

In the morning, we'll leave Lake Como, and travel the scenic route through the culturally rich and visually stunning Veneto region. En route, we'll stop in Verona, one of Italy's most beautiful cities, known as piccola Roma. Here, we'll enjoy a guided tour, including the pink marble Roman Arena, where grandiose operas are still regularly staged and Casa di Giulietta, where we'll breathe in the spirit of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Afterewards, we'll enjoy a gourmet lunch at one of the city's exquisite little cafes. In the afternoon, we'll continue to Venice, and after a romantic ride in a water taxi along the ancient waterways, we'll arrive at our canal-side luxury hotel. In the evening, we'll celebrate the magic of Venice with a Venetian dinner, where the culinary emphasis will be on seafood, with such regional specialties as risotto with cuttlefish, pasta and bean soup, thick spaghetti with duck ragout, and the Venetian coffee-and-cream dessert tiramisu.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Saturnia & International, Venice

Day 6: Venice: San Marco District

Our first day in Venice will be devoted to Venetian history. We'll start with an introductory guided walk of the city to admire Piazza San Marco, the Grand Canal, the Bridge of Sighs, Teatro La Fenice, the Rialto Bridge, the Campanile and other significant locations in the San Marco area. Afterwards, we'll enjoy a private tour of the iconic St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace, formerly the seat of Venetian government, the very symbol of Venice and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. During our free afternoon, you can either indulge in more art and visit the Accademia Gallery or Peggy Guggenheim Collection or you can wander along the ancient, narrow streets in search of that perfect Venetian mask or a piece of Murano glass.
Meals: Breakfast
Hotel Saturnia & International, Venice

Day 7: Venice: Frari Church - Scuola Grande - Ca'Rezzonico - Gondola Ride - Vivaldi Music Concert

Having gained the appreciation for the Venetian history, today we'll explore the world of Venetian art, which over many centuries defined this city. After a leisurely walk through the "secret Venice", we'll take a private tour of the Frari Church showcasing Titian and Bellini masterpieces and Scuola Grande di San Rocco with Tintoretto's dramatic cycle of paintings. The art of Venice tour will culminate with a guided visit to Ca' Rezzonico, a palazzo on the Grand Canal, dedicated to art of the 18th century Venice. Afterwards, we'll relax over lunch of Venetian specialties in a local trattoria, and in the afternoon, we'll enjoy the quintessential Venetian experience: a romantic gondola ride, followed by a Vivaldi music concert in the atmospheric interiors, where it was originally performed.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Hotel Saturnia & International, Venice

Day 8: Murano - Burano

Today, we'll travel over water to the island of Murano, where we'll learn about the history of glass making, visit glass makers' studios and artisans' shops, where skilled glass blowers follow the exact procedures of their predecessors to produce stunning masterworks famous the world over. Then, we'll continue to a colorful island of Burano known for its lace-making traditions and spend some quiet time experiencing the way of life that used to be that of Venice itself. In the afternoon, there will be time to explore the enchanting Dorsoduro district with Santa Maria della Salute Church, before we celebrate our adventure with a canal-side Venetian farewell dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Saturnia & International, Venice

Day 9: Venice - Departures

In the morning, we'll say good-bye to Venice with two private water taxi transfers to the Marco Polo Airport, or, if you are joining the Classic Tuscany Tour, we'll take a water taxi to the Santa Lucia train station, from where we'll take a train to Florence.
Meals: Breakfast

The tour ends on Sunday, September 10, 2023 in Venice. Please reserve your return flight after 8:30AM.
We will have two water taxi transfers to Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE): one at 6:00AM for ladies departing after 8:30AM, and another at 8:00AM for ladies departing after 10:30AM. If you need to get to the airport at other times, you will be responsible for your transfer to the airport.

Itinerary specifics subject to change.