This locally hosted tour showcases Italy’s most romantic destinations, with Lake Maggiore as the piéce de resistance.
About the Tour
On this tour of Rome, Venice, Florence, and Lake Maggiore, you’ll experience Italy’s greatest architectural and natural wonders. From the snowcapped mountains and deep blue water of Lake Maggiore to the towering Duomo, Italy is a delight to the senses and a catalyst to the imagination. You’ll step back in time as you walk the ruins of Ancient Rome and Florence, where the Italian Renaissance was born. In Venice, the romance and serenity of the Floating City will leave you spellbound. Stresa, a charming town nestled on the shores of Lake Maggiore, is the perfect place to relax and admire panoramic views of Italy’s largest lake and its alpine backdrop. With your transportation and accommodation expertly pre-arranged and with insider advice from your Local Hosts to help you plan your days, you’ll be free to enjoy the unparalleled romance and culture of your Italian vacation.
- Transportation on high-speed rail (first-class)
- 12 nights hotel accommodation in pre-screened, centrally located hotels
- Daily breakfast buffet
Locally guided sightseeing and orientation at each destination
- Rome highlights include a visit to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum
- Florence highlights include a visit to the Academy of Fine Arts to see Michelangelo's David
- Venice highlights include a visit to Doges' Palace, the Bridge of Sighs, a glassblowing demonstration, and entrances to the Marciana Library, the Correr Museum and National Archaeological Museum
- Lake Maggiore highlights include a boat ride to the palace and gardens of Isola
- Friendly, knowledgeable Local Host at each destination
Day 1 - Rome, ItalyBenvenuto-welcome! Your Local Host is on hand to help you maximize your time in Italy's capital city.
Day 2 - RomeYour morning guided sightseeing, with headset, is rich in religious and ancient history. Visit the Vatican Museums to see amazing treasures. In the Sistine Chapel, where the Conclave is held to elect new Popes, view Michelangelo's The Last Judgment and his famous ceiling paintings. Also on the agenda today, enter monumental St. Peter's Square and Basilica, built in 313 AD above St. Peter the Apostle's tomb and home to Michelangelo's masterpiece Renaissance sculpture, the Pietà. Cross the Tiber River and continue your immersion in history at the iconic Colosseum, built for 50,000 spectators, and the Roman Forum, where the oldest structures of the ancient city are located. (Please note the Vatican Museum is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays, therefore your included guided sightseeing will be moved to an alternate day. Please be aware of this variation if making independent arrangements for your time at leisure.)
Day 3 - RomeAsk your Local Host for the best way to discover the “Eternal City” today. You may wish to try “The Magic of Rome” with the Catacombs, visit the Borghese Gallery and gardens, or relax while sipping a glass of locally produced Frascati wine.
Day 4 - Rome-FlorenceTravel by high-speed train (first-class) to Florence.
Day 5 - FlorenceMorning guided sightseeing, with headset, includes a visit of the Academy Of Fine Arts with Michelangelo's original David. Walk through Piazza del Duomo; sculpture-studded Piazza della Signoria, the center of the city's political life since the 14th century; and Santa Croce Square. Also admire medieval Ponte Vecchio, the arched, stone merchant bridge spanning the Arno River.
Day 6 - FlorenceA full day at leisure to visit one of the city's wonderful museums; take an excursion to San Gimignano; see the secret passages of Palazzo Vecchio, experience Florence by night, or shop at Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, famous for its centuries-old formulas, remedies, and tonics. Your Local Host can help you plan your day.
Day 7 - Florence-VeniceTravel by high-speed train (first-class) to Venice.
Day 8 - VeniceMorning guided sightseeing, with headset, features St. Mark's Square and Basilica with its exceptional gold mosaics. Visit Doges' Palace and the poignant Bridge of Sighs. Watch skilled glassblowers fashion their delicate objects in the age-old manner and learn why glassmaking was so important in Venetian history. Entrances to Marciana Library, and the Correr and Archaeological Museums are included; ask your Local Host for details.
Day 9 - VeniceToday you may want to shop for famous Murano glass items, or admire the views from atop St. Mark’s Bell Tower. Your Local Host will have many ideas.
Day 10 - Venice-Lake MaggioreTravel by high-speed train (first-class) to Milan, then transfer to your hotel in beautiful Stresa on Lake Maggiore.
Day 11 - Lake MaggioreOn your morning guided sightseeing, take a short boat ride to the opulent palace and monumental gardens of Isola Bella. Once a rocky island and home to a community of fisherman, it was purchased by Carlo III Borromeo in 1630 and eventually transformed into the beautiful location it is today. Carlo III named the island after his wife, Isabella, and it is still owned by the Borromeo dynasty to the present day.
Day 12 - Lake MaggioreYour Local Host will have many recommendations for your day at leisure. Perhaps visit the Umbrella Museum in nearby Gignese.
Day 13 - Lake MaggioreYour vacation ends with breakfast this morning (nearest airport is Milan Malpensa).
Dei Borgia, Rome
Located in the heart of Rome just a few steps from the iconic Colosseum, this 80-room, refined Liberty-style hotel offers a welcoming and elegant atmosphere in the popular Monti district where family-run trattorias, hip wine bars, and vintage boutiques can be found in abundance. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout, a breakfast buffet is served every morning in the bright breakfast room, for well-being and relaxation there is a Spa & Wellness area and Italian aperitifs can be enjoyed at the in-house bar. Elegant air conditioned guestrooms mix Old World style with contemporary touches.
Hotel Cellai, Florence
Located in the historic heart of Florence, this upscale 55-room boutique property is housed in a restored 19th-century townhouse with elegant parlors, vaulted wooden ceilings and original Tuscan artwork. There is a bar in the antique library that works on an honor-system, a charming rooftop garden with city views and Free Wi-Fi internet access is available throughout. Breakfast is served in a lavish mirrored room on a long table decked out with silver candelabras and complimentary tea, coffee and cake are served between 5 and 7 pm daily.
Carlton on the Grand Canal, Venice
A plush traditional Venetian style hotel set in a majestic four story building with refined interiors such as Murano glass wall lamps and gilt-edged furniture. Perfectly placed on the Grand Canal, with a vaporetto stop right outside and close to the main train station, this property offers great transportation access with the Rialto Bridge close by. Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the property which has an elegant fine-dining restaurant, a lobby bar, and a lovely rooftop terrace where drinks are served with views of the spired city skyline as a backdrop. 145 air-conditioned classically styled guestrooms offer coffee/tea-making facilities.
Grand Hotel Bristol, Lake Maggiore
This grandiose 253 room hotel exudes a stylish elegance with its marbled lobby and Bohemian-style crystal chandeliers. Wi-Fi access is avilable in all the guestrooms and public areas of the hotel with a fee (payable locally). The impressive outdoor swimming pool has panoramic views of the lake and mountains and there is also an indoor swimming pool and 2 jacuzzis. Local & international cuisine can be enjoyed in the hotels refined restaurants and bar.
Tour Dates & Prices
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