Get picked up at home and whisked off to your departure point (within 50 miles).
Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
Fly to Milan and after meeting your tour representative, transfer to your hotel in the historic city of Genoa, one of Italy's main seaports. This evening, enjoy dinner at your hotel, your base for two nights.
After breakfast, set off on a guided tour of Genoa, once a great maritime republic and the birthplace of explorer Christopher Columbus. With a local guide, explore the lanes and squares of the medieval old town, and stroll along the palazzo-lined UNESCO-listed Via Garibaldi - Genoa's most famous street. Admire the Palazzi dei Rolli, the handsome 16th, 17th and 18th century palaces that flank the street, and this afternoon, head inside three of these architectural jewels, the Palazzi Rosso, Bianco and Tursi, to marvel at their priceless artworks and lavish interiors.
Travel to Turin, a cosmopolitan city on the Po River, backed by the snow-tipped Alps to the north. Explore the impressive Piazza Carlo Felice and Piazza Carignano, dominated by the Baroque Palazzo Carignano, and visit the Egyptian Museum in the Palace of the Academy of Sciences, home to the world's second-largest collection of Egyptian artifacts. Enjoy a guided tour to see highlights such as the tomb of the architect Kha and a magnificent statue of Ramses II, and then explore the arcaded Piazza Castello, overlooked by the Regio Theatre, Palazzo Madama and Royal Palace. Admire the towering Mole Antonelliana, Turin's emblematic tower, and then continue to the Lake Maggiore area for the next two nights.
Following breakfast, enjoy a boat tour on shimmering Lake Maggiore, Italy's second-largest lake, cruising to the Borromean Islands, a cluster of lush islets cast into the western waters. Go ashore at Isola Bella to tour its splendid Borromea Palace, and explore its ornamental gardens before calling at Isola dei Pescatori, the 'Fishermen's Island'. Next, travel to enchanting Lake Orta, encased in forested hills and one of Italy's best-kept secrets. Visit the lovely lakeside town of Orta San Giulio, with its faded townhouses and squares, and feast your eyes on Isola San Giulio, a tiny islet crowned by a Romanesque Basilica.
Set off for Lake Garda, stopping on route at Lake Como, regarded by many as Italy's most beautiful lake. Ringed by mountains that help preserve its mild climate, the lake is framed by lemon groves, palm-dotted gardens, sumptuous villas and jewel-like towns. At Varenna, ride a ferry to Bellagio, nicknamed the 'Pearl of the Lake'. Enjoy time to stroll around the town's cobbled streets and lakefront, and take a ferry to Cadenabbia to visit the Villa Carlotta. Enjoy free time to explore this 17th century villa and terraced gardens brim with flowers, statues and orange trees. Later, depart for your hotel in the Lake Garda area, where you stay for two nights.
Absorb scenic Lake Garda, Italy's largest lake as you head for Sirmione, a delightful peninsula town. Admire its 13th century castle and then soak up panoramic views of its turrets and the gentle lakeshores on a one hour cruise. This afternoon, continue to Verona, the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and one of Italy's loveliest cities. Led by a local guide, dip into Piazza Bra, the fountained square dominated by the 1st century Roman Arena, and see the Piazza Erbe, Piazza dei Signoria, Juliet's Balcony and other landmarks.
Leave Garda today and visit Milan, one of the world's fashion capitals and packed with monuments attesting to its rich artistic heritage. Visit the 15th century Castello Sforzesco, home to precious collections of art and antiquities, and view the interior of the Duomo, a Gothic masterpiece. See other highlights, including La Scala opera house, before travelling on to Milan for your last night.
Today transfer to Milan Airport for your return flight to the UK.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for-like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
We've been creating unforgettable holidays since 1994. We are a member of ABTA and all our flight-inclusive holidays are fully protected by the CAA's ATOL scheme.