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2019 Tours Coming Up
2020 Tours Coming Up
Italy: Venice and the Italian Lakes - Overview
DATES & COST 

September 15 - 23, 2019
9 Days / 8 Nights

This tour starts in Milan and ends in Venice

$3,860 per person/double occupancy
$1,460 optional single supplement
Additional nights:

Milan: $280 single or double room
Venice: $480 single or double room
Includes all fees and taxes

TOUR DIRECTOR 
TOUR DIRECTOR
TOUR MAP 
Click on the image to enlarge the map

This tour may be combined with the Classic Tuscany tour to Italy (September 24 - October 2, 2019)


Milan is a magnet for designers, artists, photographers and models, but the city's history goes back to when Gauls defeated the Etruscans in 400 B.C., and when in 222 B.C. it became part of the Roman Empire. In the 1300s, the Visconti family brought a period of glory and wealth to the city, and it was during their reign that the amazing Duomo, which became the symbol of Milan, was built. Even though Milan is an ancient city with a medieval center, it is complemented with baroque palazzos and high design contemporary architectural masterpieces and the world of fashion and glamour.

The poetic Northern Italian Lakes district is a place of romance, a playground of the glitterati for decades. Lake Como is framed against a delightful backdrop of majestic mountains that seem to slide into the water, hidden by deep blue shadows, except for the high peaks awash in apricot alpenglow. The towns and the opulent villas lining the water's edge seem to float on the mirror smooth lake, as they echo a bygone era and the mild climate supports the vibrant colors of Alpine wildflowers and lush semi-tropical gardens cascading down to the lake. Nowhere else do stunning scenery, mellow air and rich history come together with such romantic results.

The timeless beauty of Venice has put painters and poets under its spell for centuries. The city is filled with fabulous architectural wonders: the stunning Doges Palace, the Rialto Bridge, Piazza San Marco, the grand palazzos along the Grand Canal, the rich churches upholstered with masterpieces. But the real magic of Venice is in its moonlit canals, in the music of Vivaldi, light reflected on the water, the secret passageways in the maze of narrow streets, the barely audible splashes of water, the ever-present scent of candles in Byzantine churches, silent gondolas at sunrise, shimmering and delicate Prosecco wine, and in the translucence of the sea captured in Murano glass.  

The Venice and the Italian Lakes Tour offers an intimate, in-depth look into Northern Italian history, art and cuisine. Accompanied by passionate and knowledgeable local guides, we'll experience the most magical aspects of Milan, Northern Italian Lakes and Venice. In Milan, we'll walk among the stone forest of spires and statues on top of Milan's Duomo, tour La Scala Opera House, dine at a historic cafe in Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II, and see Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. In Lake Como, we'll visit opulent villas and gardens cascading down to the lake, take a private boat cruise, tour Bellagio and Varenna and admire vistas of the gentle hills and the rugged Alps. In Venice, we'll take a romantic gondola ride, attend a Vivaldi music concert, marvel at the opulence of the Doges' Palace and St. Mark's Basilica, discover our favorite Titian at Frari Church, find our "secret" canal-side walk and the perfect Murano glass masterpiece. We'll stay at a luxury, canalside hotel, sample local Prosecco wines and the amazing Venetian cuisine while listening to stories of forbidden love, intrigue, spies and courtesans.

  • We'll spend 1 night in a modern hotel in Milan, 3 nights in a lakeside boutique hotel on Lake Como and 4 nights at a luxury canalside hotel in the San Marco district of Venice;
     
  • We'll explore Milan's Duomo, see Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, take a private boat tour around Lake Como, visiting Varenna and Bellagio.  We'll stop in Verona to tour its Roman Amphitheater and Juliet's House.  In Venice we'll explore St. Mark's Basilica and Piazza San Marco, the Doge's Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, the Rialto Bridge, the Frari Church, Scuola Grande di San Rocco, then enjoy a romantic gondola ride;
     
  • We'll get an insider's view of Northern Italy, enjoying historian led tours of Milan, Verona and Venice and an art historian tour of the Byzantine art in Venice;
     
  • We'll visit the silk shops in Bellagio and the artisan glass blowers' shops in Murano and be amazed at the skill of the glass blowers who follow strict procedures of their predecessors, going back to 1291;
     
  • We'll dine in carefully selected gourmet restaurants, get to know the Northern Italian cuisine, known for seafood, wine, olive oil, chocolate, fresh produce, and local Prosecco wine.
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE 
  • Private history and art tours in Milan, Bellagio, Verona and Venice;
  • Cultural activities as per itinerary: private boat tour of Lake Como, gondola ride, Vivaldi music concert
     
  • Visits of Milan's Duomo, La Scala Opera House, Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper, Villa Balbianello, Villa Melzi, Villa Carlotta, Verona's historical center, Venice's Doges' Palace, St. Mark's Basilica, Frari Church, Scuola San Rocco and Ca'Rezzonco;
     
  • Experienced tour director, professional local guides, guided tours, all sightseeing and admission fees;
     
  • Private airport transfers on arrival in Milan and group water taxi transfers on departure from Venice;
     
  • All guides', drivers' and restaurants' tips;
     
  • Private, comfortable bus transportation between Milan, Lake Como, Verona and Venice. All transportation in Milan, Lake Como and Venice.
NOT INCLUDED 

Additional costs may include: optional single supplement, optional travel insurance, additional accommodations, early hotel check-in, meals not listed in the itinerary, optional activities not listed in the itinerary, optional tour director's gratuity, telephone charges, room service, minibar, laundry, personal expenses, etc.

The cost does not include airfare.

HIGHLIGHTS 
  • Walking on Milan's Duomo terraces with their thousands of spires, pinnacles and sculptures
  • Seeing Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper in person
  • Visiting La Scala Opera House
  • A stroll through Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II
  • Private boat tour on Lake Como
  • Staying at a lakeside hotel on Lake Como
  • Visiting Bellagio, Varenna and the lakeside villas: Balbianello, Carlotta and Melzi
  • Verona's House of Juliet and the Roman Arena
  • St. Mark's Square, St. Mark's Basilica and the Doges' Palace
  • Romantic gondolas and the gondoliers
  • Murano glass blowers and Burano's lace makers
  • Vivaldi music concert
  • The genius of Titian and Tintoretto
  • Prosecco and Venetian cuisine
What Makes This Trip Special  
  • Carefully designed itinerary, including signature Milan, Lake Como and Venice experiences
  • Accommodation in upscale, perfectly located hotels, including a canalside Venice hotel
  • Carefully chosen restaurants, offering the best of Northern Italian cuisine, and including drinks
  • Knowledgeable and passionate private guides
  • An experienced tour director
  • Private, comfortable transportation
  • Exclusive, private experiences, not available to larger groups
  • A small group of maximum 16 women
  • No forced shopping
Testimonials 

I had a great time. All the women were very friendly and helpful. We all had a great time together. – Diane from California

Lake Como and Venice were magical! I tell everyone who asks about my trip that it couldn’t have been better. – Jane from Washington

S+S Travels thoroughly impressed me and made my first overseas trip very memorable. Thank you! Kerry was wonderful, I can’t think of a single thing she could have done differently, she took good care of us, made the trip fun / enjoyable. - Sharon from Michigan

I had a fabulous time! Lake Como was breathtaking, Venice was magical, and the short stay in modern vs. medieval Milan was the perfect way to start off our journey. Although we had a busy daily itinerary, there was still enough free time built into each day to catch one's breath and have the freedom to do other things. Our guides were incredibly knowledgeable, but it was really Teresa who made it all happen. She’s a treasure and I can't say enough good things about her. I'm sure her job is not easy, but she made it all look effortless, and really made the trip a huge success. I have enough great memories from this trip to last a lifetime, and I look forward to traveling with Sights and Soul again...hopefully soon! - Amy from New York

A truly wonderful experience, providing exposure to the beauty of Lake Como and the grandeur of Venice! - Cheryll from Maine

This was my third S+S tour and it lived up to my expectations. A good combination of guided tours + free time. Our lunch in Verona was a highlight. Met a great group of like-minded women travelers. - Nancy from Virginia

We loved Lake Como, and we loved the hotel and the special view we had there. I will never forget the wonderful group we were part of – they are so very special to me, every one of them – you brought us all together and it was magic!! - Beverley from Massachusetts

I had a wonderful time and finally understood why girls like summer camps. - Kathy from Vermont

Love it! Love it! Love it! I love traveling with your groups, will always. You choose the most talented tour leaders (patient), food, attractions, all are 1st class all the way, down to transportation. I will never travel with another group. - Dean from Texas

A truly wonderful experience, providing exposure to the beauty of Lake Como and the grandeur of Venice! - Cheryll from Maine

Thank you so much for choosing such a wonderful person such as Teresa to lead our group through Italy! She always had a smile on her face, cheery words and an upbeat attitude, all the attributes required by a great leader. Visiting Italy and seeing all the sights and participating in all the activities you put together were excellent. My soul is rejuvenated! - Barb from Missouri

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Why travel with other women?
Many women do not have families or compatible friends who wish to travel. When going on a main-stream tour, women often find that most activities are geared towards couples and quite often they feel left out. Singles' tours are not always what women are looking for. If you do not have a traveling companion, there is also the issue of the expensive "single supplement", sometimes as much as 50 or even 100 percent of the tour cost. By going on women-only tours, women can easily avoid paying for the single supplement by sharing a room with another woman traveler.
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