Lake Maggiore - Veneto - Tuscany - Umbria - Amalfi Coast

The Italian Grande Tour

Destination
Lake Maggiore - Veneto - Tuscany - Umbria - Amalfi Coast
Dates From
22/04/2020
Duration
17 Nights
18 Days
Price From
$8,357
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Package Tour Map

SMALL GROUP TOUR

*** ON SALE!! TAKE $300 OFF PER PERSON THE PRICE LISTED!! BE QUICK AS THIS OFFER IS ONLY VALID UNTIL THE 31ST OF OCTOBER 2019 ***

Explore Italy’s evocative regions as you travel from Milan to Rome discovering regional delights and stunning scenery along the way. Cruise on Lake Como, stay in a dreamy Italian castle, explore the idyllic villages on the Cinque Terre, drink wine in Tuscany and of course stay on the stunning Amalfi Coast.

  • * Stay 4 nights beside Lake Maggiore in the magnificent Italian Lakes District
    * Explore the magnificent gardens of Villa Carlotta and travel by boat across Lake Como to Bellagio
    * Visit the ancient mountain village of Macugnaga set high in the stunning Alps
    * Cruise on Lake Maggiore to Isola Bella and visit Isola Pescatori and visit the palatial Borromeo Villa and Gardens
    * Stay 2 nights in either a centuries old Italian Castle or a grand Venetian Villa in Mira
    * Enjoy lunchtime beside splendid Lake Garda, the largest Italian Lake
    * Spend a day exploring the romantic canals and squares of  Venice
    * Stay 5 nights in the Tuscan spa town of Montecatini Terme
    * Enjoy a day discovering the beautiful city of  Florence
    * Relax with an entire day at leisure in Tuscany
    * Explore the scenic villages of the  Cinque Terre and the medieval walled city of Lucca
    * See the famous  Leaning Tower of Pisa and Cathedral
    * Sample the regional wines, olive oil and delightful local produce in a Tuscan farmhouse
    * Stay 2 nights in the Umbrian Hills staying in medieval Spoleto
    * Discover the fairytale ‘town of towers’San Gimignano and the beautifully preserved streets of medieval Siena
    * Explore Assisi and visit the wonderfully restored  cathedral with a local guide
    * Relax with an afternoon at leisure in Spoleto
    * Stay 3 wonderful nights in Minori on the Amalfi Coast
    * Marvel at the ancient ruins of  Pompeii
    * Cruise across the Bay of Naples and explore the beautiful island of Capri
    * Experience the world famous, cliff hanging ‘Amalfi Coast drive’
    * Visit the picturesque towns of Amalfi and Ravello on the stunning  Amalfi Coast

Inclusions

  • All excursions, scenic drives, sightseeing and entrances as described
  • Fully escorted by our experienced Tour Manager
  • Travel in a first class air-conditioned touring coach
  • 17 nights specially selected hotel accommodation
  • Hotel porterage (1 bag per person)
  • 29 Meals – including breakfast daily (B) and 12 dinners (D)
  • Tea, coffee and a complimentary beverage with all included dinners
  • Hand Selected Experiences - private boat Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Venice, cruises Cinque Terre, Capri and olive oil tasting in a Tuscan farmhouse
  • Local guides as described in the itinerary
  • All tips to your Tour Manager, Driver and Local Guides
  • Personal audio system whilst on tour
  • Free WiFi on most coaches and at hotels

Itinerary

Day 1: Stresa Welcome

Commencing in central Milan at 2pm we will transfer you to Stresa on wonderful Lake Maggiore, where you will stay the next four nights. Join us tonight for a welcome drink before dinner. This is an ideal chance to meet, and get to know, your Tour Manager and fellow travellers.

Day 2: Villa Carlotta & Lake Como

This morning we drive to the town of Como and follow the shore of the lake to Tremezzo, where we visit the world famous Villa Carlotta. This wonderful Villa is set in 70,000 square metres of romantic Italianate Gardens and faces across Lake Como to the Bellagio peninsula. The classic gardens boast fountains and pergolas and in spring time is famous for its rhododendrons and azaleas. Later we board our private boat and enjoy a cruise on Lake Como, past a number of striking lakeside villas, to delightful Bellagio. This beautiful town is situated at the tip of the peninsula separating the lake’s two southern arms, with the Alps visible across the lake to the north. It’s time to relax in this delightful town which boasts peaceful villas and gardens nestled by the lakeside, elegant shops and walkways plus stylish al fresco dining at its very best. Later we return to Stresa. Dinner tonight is included in a local restaurant.

Day 3: Macugnana & Lake Side Orta San Giulio

There is nothing like a day in the mountains – especially amongst some of the highest and most dramatic in the Alps! Following a deep valley we soon reach the mountain village of Macugnaga, close to the Swiss border. Used as a location in many films, the village is famous for its beautifully preserved wooden huts and chalets, and the stunning backdrop of the Monte Rosa (Pink) Massif and the 4638 metres high Dufourspitze – Europe’s second highest mountain. Your time is at leisure to explore the village and surroundings, and perhaps take a mountain cable car ride (subject to operating) to enjoy lunch and the extraordinary views. Later today we also visit the delightful town of Orta San Giulio beside the beautiful, and some say most romantic of all the lakes – Lake Orta. Your evening is at leisure in Stresa.

Day 4: Islands of Lake Maggiore

Boarding our private boat we visit the famous islands of Lake Maggiore. First stop will be Isola Bella where we have included entrance and a guided tour of the palatial Borromeo villa and gardens, which dominate the island. The villa boasts Murano glass chandeliers, gobelin-covered chairs, intricate tapestries and paintings. The spectacular formal gardens rise behind the ornate villa, with patterned flower beds falling in terraces, with statues and ornamental stonework completing the Italianate style. Next we visit Isola Pescatori (the Fisherman’s island). Lunchtime is at leisure on this small, picturesque island with its quaint cafés and restaurants set amongst the old houses with wooden balconies, tiny boats and fishing nets. The afternoon and evening are at leisure in delightful, lakeside Stresa.

Day 5: Lake Garda & CastelBrando, or Mira (near Venice)

Bidding farewell to Lake Maggiore we drive east and arrive at Lake Garda late morning. This is the largest of the Italian lakes and the meeting point of three Italian regions. With a circumference of about 100 kilometres, the lake is surrounded by lemon and citrus groves. There will be time at leisure for lunch in one of the colourful and diverse lakeside towns. Depending on your selected departure date, you stay in either the foothills of the Dolomites in the superb CastelBrando, or in a noble residence in Mira, nearby Venice, for the next two evocative nights.

*15 May, 5 June, 21 August, 4 September departures stay at Villa Margherita. 29 May departure stays at Villa Francheschi in  Mira. All other departures stay at CastelBrando.

Day 6: Venice Sightseeing & "My Time"

After a leisurely start we visit nearby ‘Venezia’ (Venice) – arguably one of the most romantic cities in the world. At Tronchetto we board a private boat to take us to St Mark’s Square, where we join our expert local guide for a walking tour. The rest of the day is free to meander through the myriad of narrow, water lined streets and alleys spanned by humped back bridges.

Day 7: Montecatini Terme in Tuscany

A leisurely start today as we travel south to Tuscany. We arrive in the charming spa town of Montecatini Terme mid afternoon. This was once a favourite ‘cure resort’ of the crowned heads of state from all over Europe. We stay here for the next five nights, in a traditional family run, 4-star hotel, close to the major sights. As a highlight, this evening we drive into the picturesque Tuscan countryside, where we have arranged dinner at a local olive oil farmhouse estate.

*1 May, 15 May, 5 June, 10 July, 21 August, 4 September, 18 September & 2 October departures stay at the Francia & Quirinale Hotel. All other departures stay at Ercolini & Savi Hotel.

Day 8: Florence Sightseeing & "My Time"

Today is dedicated to nearby ‘Firenze’ (Florence). We are joined by a local guide who will bring to life this truly beautiful city, which is otherwise known as the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’. Your tour starts with a visitto the famous Accademia Gallery, home to Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and numerous other extraordinary Italian, Florentine and Renaissance works of art. We see the Duomo and take in the magnificent statues in the Piazza della Signoria. Your afternoon is entirely free to enjoy Florence at your own pace. Espresso coffee on Piazza Santa Croce where Michelangelo is buried? A gelato whilst strolling across the Ponte Vecchio? Don’t forget the excellent shopping.

Day 9: Medieval Lucca, Pisa & Olive Oil Tasting in a local farmhouse

Our first stop today is in one of the most typically ‘Tuscan’ towns in the area, Lucca – a medieval walled city, filled with palaces, churches, ancient houses and the former home of Puccini, where he wrote Turandot. Walk on top of the city walls for the very best city views, or visit Piazza San Michele and stroll along the shops of Borgo Giannotti. Later we visit Pisa with its famous Leaning Tower, Cathedral and Baptistery in the magnificent Piazza dei Miracoli. This afternoon we visit a local farmhouse to enjoy an olive oil tasting accompanied by Tuscan wines and a selection of antipasto including local meats, cheese and bread – all specialities of this region.

Day 10: Cinque Terre Sightseeing

A delightful day is planned as we explore the famous Cinque Terre. The name means ‘five lands’ and comes from the five unspoilt fishing villages that cling to the cliffs, overlooking the sea. We have arranged a coastal boat ride for you to admire the spectacular scenery and almost inaccessible fishing villages, and to visit Portovenere and Monterosso. Our return journey to Levanto, to meet our coach, is by train.

Day 11: "My Time" in Tuscany

The whole of today has been purposely left entirely at leisure. This is a perfect opportunity for you to do as little, or as much as you want! Maybe take the local train back to the museums and shops of Florence. Alternatively explore Montecatini’s old centre and parklands, or pamper yourself in one of the spas. Perhaps just relax in your hotel or sip wine in a café and watch the world go by!

Day 12: San Gimignano, Siena & Spoleto

We make the short drive across Tuscany to the fairytale ‘town of towers’ San Gimignano, famous for its 13th and 14th century Tuscan towers. Exploring the pedestrian walkways of this hilltop town is an absolute delight. Lunchtime will be at leisure in the beautifully preserved streets of medieval Siena amongst the great sights such as the gothic town hall and the Piazza del Campo, scene of the famous Palio horse race.

Next we wind up to the hills of Umbria and the wonderful walled town of Spoleto where we stay the next two nights. Medieval Spoleto is easily explored on foot. There are numerous romanesque churches and cobblestoned alleyways lined with shops, bars and trattorias.

Day 13: Assisi Sightseeing & "My Time" in Spoleto

We spend this morning in the nearby beautiful Umbrian city of Assisi. Badly damaged by earthquakes in 1997 the city, dominated by two medieval castles, undertook a remarkable programme of restoration which soon brought it back to all its glory. On arrival in Assisi we are joined by a local guide for a tour of the Basilica of St Francis with its magnificent frescoes. Afterwards there is time for you to explore Assisi at your own pace. Returning to Spoleto, the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Perhaps take a leisurely walk along the path around the castle and across the medieval viaduct in to the Umbrian countryside. This is the real Italy!

Day 14: Ancient Pompeii & The Amalfi Coast

Driving south past Vesuvius we visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii, where a local guide takes us through the city that was buried under volcanic ash in AD 79. Paintings, furniture, mosaics, sculptures, graffiti and even loaves in ovens are wonderfully preserved. From here it’s only a short drive to the Amalfi coast and the port town of Minori, where we stay for the next three nights. A perfect base for visiting all the local sights and soaking up the unique atmosphere of the Amalfi Coast!

Day 15: Ferry Ride along the Amalfi Coast to the Island of Capri

Enjoy your day as we take you on the ferry along the Amalfi coast, and across to Marina Grande on the island of Capri, which the Roman emperor Tiberius made his capital. On arrival we meet our local guide and board a bus which takes us up to the top of the island to explore the charming village of Anacapri. In the main town, Capri, we visit the Giardino d’Augusto overlooking the Faraglioni, before ‘My Time’ amongst the boutiques and galleries. Your evening is at leisure in Minori.

Day 16: Amalfi Coast Cruise to Amalfi & Ravello

The Amalfi coast is famous for its twisting, winding scenic drive with picturesque villages and towns hugging the cliffs and craggy coves. This morning we cruise from Minori along the dramatic coastline and spend time exploring Amalfi. Your afternoon is at leisure in Minori.

Early evening we will drive up to perhaps one of the most scenic towns along the Amalfi coast, Ravello. Perched on the mountain, commanding panoramic views across the coast, Ravello is evocatively described as being “nearer to the sky than it is to the sea”, and has been a favourite haunt of artists and composers for centuries. After free time to explore, we dine on the terrace at the elegant Villa Fraulo.

Day 17: Rome & the Mighty Colosseum

Arriving in the ‘Eternal City’’ of Rome we drive right into the heart of the ancient empire, past ancient buildings, magnificent squares and monuments, to enjoy a visit to the mighty Colosseum. Later we check into our central Rome hotel. Our finale will be a special farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 18: Rome

Your tour ends today after breakfast.

DATES & PRICES

Starts Ends Price Status Book
22/04/202009/05/2020$8,357 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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29/04/202016/05/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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06/05/202023/05/2020$8,357 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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13/05/202030/05/2020$8,357 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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17/05/202003/06/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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20/05/202006/06/2020$8,357 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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27/05/202013/06/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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03/06/202020/06/2020$8,357 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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17/06/202004/07/2020$8,357 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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08/07/202025/07/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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12/08/202029/08/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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19/08/202005/09/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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26/08/202012/09/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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02/09/202019/09/2020$8,357 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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05/09/202022/09/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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09/09/202026/09/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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13/09/202030/09/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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19/09/202006/10/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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23/09/202010/10/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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30/09/202017/10/2020$8,657 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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07/10/202024/10/2020$8,357 p/p, twin shareAvailable
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Exclusions

Single supplement (if required)
City Tax: some City Councils may introduce a tourist tax that has to be paid directly at the hotel
Meals and beverages other than those specified
Tips/Gratuities
Everything which is not clearly specified under inclusions

* Please note, price is subject to fluctuation and availability is subject to change until booked and confirmed *