Itinerary Highlights
  • Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda - combining the elegance of Italian palaces with the poetry of the Great Lakes
  • A secret guesthouse and exceptional cuisine: Verona is the perfect last stop
  • Our bonuses include: car hire and GPS, private Lake Como cruise, Concierge service, top tips, and must-sees
  • Personalise your trip with a private tour of the Borromean Islands, a cooking classes at a chef's house, or an opera in Verona

Contact one of our Italy specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120

A TRIP AROUND THE LAKES

To romantic souls, lovers of beauty and hedonists, the Great Lakes region offers the promise of a beautiful journey. Some will spend these few days exploring the lush gardens and elegant resorts, others will lounge on their deckchairs watching the tides lap at the shores, all with the stunning mountain peaks as a backdrop. Lake Maggiore, the most famous of the Italian lakes, is bordered by splendid early 20th century villas and gardens planted with rare species. Just off Stresa - the most elegant and private of the lakeside towns - the small Borromeo Islands archipelago boasts architectural curiosities and lush gardens, as well as wonderful examples of botanical art. The landscapes of Lake Como, nestled in the Prealps and sheltered by mountains, offer picturesque scenery.
The banks of the lake, stretching between Switzerland and the plains of outer Milan, are composed of snow-capped mountains and shores with a mild climate. Aristocratic villas, palaces, Romanesque abbeys and small fishing ports are dotted along the shoreline. Lake Garda, with its Mediterranean climate, has more of a seaside feel. Its landscapes are very diverse, with cliffs in the north falling sharply into intense blue waters, and a more hilly environment in the south. The journey ends in Verona, a beautiful and petite UNESCO World Heritage-lsited city that is nestled in a meander of the Adige River. Stay in a hidden apartment in the historic centre, and discover the beautifully preserved architectural treasures of this charming city, from the Roman, Gothic and Renaissance periods.

YOUR TRIP

Our selection of iconic hotels - establishments where high society once danced and lounged - allows you to sample the lifestyle of the Great Lakes. On Lake Maggiore, the palace draws its elegance from its simplicity and unique location just by the rock face. At Lake Como, we love the Art Deco inspiration of the interiors, the splendid waterfront park and the excellent cuisine on offer. Finally, at Lake Garda, the traditional villa perched up above the lake looks out onto terraces and hilltops planted with olive trees, laurel trees and lemon trees. Several activities - a private Venetian speedboat cruise on Lake Como, a gastronomical visit to Verona, and more - can be added according to your wishes. Guests will be given a hire car to travel freely around the area, as well as the contact details of our local Concierge, who can be reached at any point throughout the journey.

Route

Everything is 100% tailored to you
DAY 1

Flight to Milan - Lake Maggiore

Collect your hire car and drive to the west coast of Lake Maggiore. Enjoy a two-night stay in a palace built in 1870, on the most elegant and private shore of Lake Maggiore, where nobles and aristocrats chose to build their sumptuous villas in the 19th century. The private pier and elegant facade set the tone for this hotel, whose majestic appearance is emphasised by its simplicity and privileged location by the rock face. The gently sloping English gardens lead you to the lakeside. For swimming, there are two options: the beach on sunny days or the indoor pool with Mediterranean decor.

DAY 2

Lake Maggiore

The most famous and definitely one of the most majestic of the Italian lakes. Early 20th century villas are dotted along on its banks, surrounded by lush gardens. The Borromean islands are small, nostalgic paradises with their sumptuous palaces and exotic atmosphere.
Optional - A private boat trip to the Borromean Islands, and a cooking class at the home of an Italian chef followed by a meal.

DAY 3

Lake Maggiore - Lake Como

Drive to Lake Como, first along the south bank of Lake Maggiore and then through beautiful mountain scenery. Enjoy a two-night stay in one of the most decadent Italian palaces - a two-hectare park with century-old trees, finely crafted Art Deco decor, delicious menus, a heavenly spa, not to mention what some call the most beautiful view of the lake.

DAY 4

Lake Como

Included in the itinerary - A private cruise on a vintage Venetian speedboat. An exclusive boat with mahogany hull and slender shape, a unique object constructed in 1961 and owned by your hotel. After being used to transport aristocrats across the Venetian canals, it was restored by local artisans and transported to Lake Como. Sheltered under the peaks of the Prealps, the cruise offers an enchanting spectacle of peaceful and clear water, green shores and tiny colourful villages. From Bellagio to Menaggio through Cadenabbia and Varrena, enjoy the mild climate and local delicacies.

DAY 5

Lake Como - Lake Garda

Drive south then east towards Lake Garda via Bergamo (home to Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Accademia Carrarata) and Brescia (home to Duomo Vecchio, Pinacotheque Tosio Martinengo). Enjoy a two-night stay on the western shore of the lake, in a beautifully preserved villa that has retained all its original charm from the days when the international aristocracy would spend their holidays here. The interiors are refined, oozing old-fashioned charm. The terraces sprawl out into the intense azure of the lake, surrounded by hills planted with olive trees, pink laurels, magnolias, cedars and lemon trees.

DAY 6

Lake Garda

Not to be missed - Just an hour's drive away, Lake Iseo is dominated by the majestic silhouette of Monte Isola, a small island from where you can enjoy exceptional views of the lake. You can climb to the hermitage of Madonna della Ceriola for the panoramic views, and take a seat at the bar of an osteria to sip a glass of wine.
Also worth seeing - The patinated facades of Salo and the promenade along its shores, the Art Deco villas of Gardone Riviera, the Scaliger fortress in Malcesine, and the vineyards of Bardolino.
Optional - A private visit of the Vittoriale estate, the last home of the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio.

DAY 7

Lake Garda - Verona

A quick journey to Verona, crossing Lake Garda by boat or bypassing it by road, before venturing to the peaceful and charming small city. With a very different feel from Venice, Verona combines laid-back living and historical heritage. Overnight accommodation in the heart of the city in private apartments, designed with clean lines and contemporary furnishings.
Optional - An opera performance in the arenas as part of the Verona Festival.

DAY 8

Verona - Milan - Return flight

Included in the itinerary - Veronese gastronomy. A gastronomical tour with a private guide, discovering cuisine from the generous and original Venetian tradition. The province's diversity has always provided a bounty of agricultural products of extraordinary quality, such as the delicate olive oil of Lake Garda or the excellent wines of the region. Included in the itinerary: the Melegatti Palace which produces Pandoro, the traditional Christmas pastry; the Rossi pastry shop; the market of Piazza Erbe; Piazza dei Signori.
Drive to Milan, return your hire car at the airport and catch your flight home.

A la carte

PRIVATE TOUR OF THE BORROMEAN ISLANDS

The Borromean Islands form a small archipelago on Lake Maggiore. These islands, still owned by the Borromeo family, have become the symbol of Lake Maggiore and are a must-see for visitors. You'll get the chance to visit three of the islands. During the private cruise, discover Isola Bella, an island transformed into a palace and garden; then the small fishing village of Isola dei Pescatori; and, finally, Isola Madre with its English palace and garden. The outing includes lunch on Isola dei Pescatori.
Optional - With private guide

COOKING CLASSES AT THE HOME OF AN ITALIAN CHEF

Meet the chef at Gravellona Toce to visit her home in the Borgo de Ornavasso - the birthplace of the Walser movement. After a tour of the market and a presentation of the products, prepare a traditional dish (gnocchi, summer lasagne or risotto) - the chef will also prepare antipasti and a dessert. Then enjoy the meal together, topped off with an Italian coffee.
Option

THE VITTORIALE ESTATE AND THE HOUSE OF POET GABRIELE D'ANNUNZIO

Located on the shores of Lake Garda, Vittoriale degli Italiani is made up of monuments, streets, gardens, rivers, and even an open-air theatre. This is where the poet Gabriele d'Annunzio chose to live and be buried. The house has a beautiful position on the Gardone Hills, offering breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings. The interior decoration is splendid; the many rooms of the Prioria (Priory House) exude the master of the house's love of luxury and refinement. Some rooms contain rare and ancient objects, fabrics, cushions, luminous vases, jewellery, books and furniture.
Optional - With private guide

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The estimated cost for this trip is £3,300 to £4,200 per person. The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost will vary depending on several factors, including the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote. The average price for this trip is £3500 per person.
  • International flight to Milan
  • Airline taxes and fuel surcharge
  • Car hire for eight days
  • Two-night stay at Lake Maggiore in a double room with breakfast included
  • Two-night stay at Lake Como in a double room with breakfast included
  • Two-night stay at Lake Garda in a double room with breakfast included
  • Overnight stay in Verona in a double apartment (accommodation only)
  • Private Lake Como Venetian speedboat cruise with a private guide
  • Half-day gastronomical tour of Verona, with private guide
  • Our local Concierge service
  • Our app, loaded with your itinerary, hotel details and recommended places to visit
  • A few of the benefits of travelling with us
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    Contact one of our Italy specialists