Let scenic drives and stays in Belle Époque gems showcase the best of the Italian Lakes and their next-door city greats
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- Uncover the castles, village charm and vineyards of the Italian Lakes
- Follow Europe’s nobility with stays in grand waterside properties
- Explore on pretty country drives
- Discover Verona’s spectacles both Roman and medieval
- Compare Milan’s fashionable swagger with its Gothic grandeur
- 1 Night Milan
- 3 Nights Stresa
- 3 Nights Como
- 3 Nights Gardone Riviera
- 1 Night Verona
August holidays | History & culture | Natural world | Self-drive
This is a comprehensive introduction to the dramatic beauty of northern Italy, explored on scenic drives and stays in world-class hotels. Highlights include Belle Époque lakeside gems with complimentary ferries. You’ll begin with Milan’s historic extravagance before following in the footsteps of Europe’s aristocracy to the Italian Lakes – Maggiore, Como and Garda. Here, snow-capped peaks look down on island-dotted waters fringed by vineyards, sun terraces and idyllic fishing villages. End with Verona whose rich heritage is evidenced by everything from Roman wonders to medieval grandeur.
Day by day itinerary
Begin your holiday in style with complimentary airport lounge access. You'll then fly into Milan where you'll be met by a private driver and brought to your central accommodation. You’ll be perfectly poised to explore. There’s da Vinci’s Last Supper housed in a 15th-century church, the pearly white façade and 135 spires of the Gothic cathedral and, of course, an inexhaustible list of boutiques. Further artistry can be found in the city’s galleries and its famed food scene.
Stay: Hotel Manin, Milan (Superior)
After breakfast, collect your hire car and drive to Stresa on the banks of Lake Maggiore, swapping urbane sophistication for rural beauty. You'll stay right on its palm-tree-lined shores, enjoying rooftop bar indulgence. It's the chance to step back to the days of the Grand Tour, when the Italian Lakes became the playgrounds for wealthy Europeans. Be sure to make use of your hotel’s ferry to explore, perhaps stopping off at at the Borromean Islands. Named for the aristocratic family that’s owned them since the 16th century, they’re beautified by Baroque palaces and lavish gardens.
Stay: Villa e Palazzo Aminta, Lake Maggiore (Deluxe)
Drive on to Lake Como on routes that hug its shores, skipping through short tunnels only to emerge to yet more sublime views. Along with near-ancient basilicas and monastic botanical gardens, pretty villages line its coast where locals feast on lake fish and paths wind between red-roofed buildings and cypress groves. While the turn-of-the-century grandeur of your hotel impresses with golden friezes balcony views.
Stay: Grand Hotel Imperiale, Lake Como (Superior)
Garda is the largest of Italy's lakes and considered by many to be the most beautiful. Whether it's tasting your way through the southern vineyards, enjoying a day trip out into the armour-plated peaks of the Dolomites or visiting Rocca Scaligera, a fairytale castle that juts out onto the lake itself, there's plenty to keep you occupied. You'll stay at the Savoy, a Belle Époque favourite of Winston Churchill complete with 300m of sun-deck-lined waterfront.
Stay: Savoy Palace, Lake Garda (Superior)
Meals: B D
Make the short drive to Verona where you'll head into the hills above the city to enjoy the panoramic views from your accommodation. You’ll then have time to wander the city’s medieval streets and squares, taking in 14th-century plazzos of Romeo and Juliet fame before stopping at the Arena di Verona. This 2,000-year-old Roman amphitheatre continues to host some of the world's great opera performances. Speak to your specialist about booking your ticket.
Stay: Relais Fra' Lorenzo, Verona (Superior)
After breakfast, return your car rental to Verona Airport, in time for your flight home.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
from £1,955 pp. incl. flights
from £2,620 pp. incl. flights
- Complimentary UK airport lounge access
- Return flights between the UK and Milan, back from Verona
- Private transfer from Milan airport
- 1 night accommodation in Milan on a B&B basis
- 9 days car hire
- 3 nights at Lake Maggiore on a B&B basis
- 3 nights at Lake Como on a B&B basis
- 3 nights at Lake Garda on a Half Board basis
- 1 night in Verona on a B&B basis
Surcharges: Surcharges may apply to this itinerary during major fairs in Milan, and weekend stays at certain times of the year
Terms & Conditions
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
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