That great crumple in Southern Europe’s tectonic geography – the Alps – spills down into northern Italy, leaving a picture-perfect landscape of shimmering lakes and some of the country’s most impressive cities in its wake. From the high fashion of Milan and Verona's Shakespearean treasure to the sheer beauty of the great lakes of Como, Garda and Maggiore, let our specialists create a northern Italy holiday to remember.
Northern Italy's urban gems
The refined gateway to it all is reposed Milan. Here you’ll find a rich past evidenced in the elaborate architectural conceits of its cathedral and a dynamic present in the cool of its bars and chic of its boutiques. But a one-city region this is not. Verona, initially a Roman development, came into its own in the Middle Ages with the wrathful Scaliger lords giving rise to a collection of stunning Gothic elaborations, influencing many of Shakespeare’s finest works in the process.
Heading south, Bologna’s terracotta-capped maze of monuments, heritage osteria taverns and medieval streets give way to the competing gastronomy of leafy Parma and Romanesque Modena. In between the two, there are 800-year-old castles and balsamic vinegar producers adored the world over.
The Italian Lakes
Leaving the cities behind, no trip to the region would be complete without a visit to its great lakes – Como, Garda and Maggiore. The last ice age has rendered the foothills of the Alps into vast swathes of blue, broken only by floating palaces and ringed by bursts of Mediterranean greenery, Belle Époque villas and idyllic fishing villages.
Lake Como, Italy
It’s the kind of beauty that has attracted everyone from Roman holidaymakers to Romantic philosophers, who would undoubtedly pen similarly lyrical verses on today’s Michelin-starred restaurants and innovative wineries.