The Italian Lakes

Milan | Northern Italy Lakes Coach Tour

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4 days from


From cosmopolitan Milan, the financial and fashion heart of Italy, to the fairy tale style castle & village of Sirmione - natural beauty, elegant architecture & relaxing boat trips - the fabulous Italian Lakes region has it all. We take the beauty of the Lakes, the grandeur of the mountains and mix it with the romance of Verona, and this tour brings it all together in the most comfortable way.

Day 1: Milan | Lake Orta | Stresa | Como

Departing from Starhotels Ritz in Milan at 8:30 am the tour heads towards Lake Orta, a small and charming lake situated on the Northeastern side of the region Piedmont. Stop in the beautiful village of Orta San Giulio for a short visit. Then, tour by boat to reach the island of San Giulio, located just in front of the village: it is the pearl of Lake Orta and almost entirely occupied by the Monastery Mater Ecclesiae, famous for studies on antique books. After a short visit, ferry back to Orta and departure by bus to Stresa, on Lake Maggiore, one of the largest Italian ones. Wedged between the pre-Alps and of clear glacial origin, Lake Maggiore is framed in its lower section by the soft hills of the region of Novara, and in the upper section, by high mountain peaks, some of which with perpetual snow. These features create an average temperature during all seasons, milder in winter and cooled down in summer by the breezes that blow on the water’s surface changing its colour, allowing many subtropical flowers and plants to adapt to the milder climate of the area. Arrive in Stresa, an international tourist resort situated in a central but also panoramic and picturesque position along the lakeside roadway, just in front of the ‘Borromee’ islands. Free time for lunch and in the afternoon, enjoy a tour of the Pescatori island (Fishermen island) by boat. The island was named after the main activity which over the centuries has characterized this fishermen town. Although only a few families still maintain the original activity, the identity of the small community appears intact. Tourists are fascinated by its simple houses, narrow lanes, stone portals and attractive underpasses. We will continue to Isola Bella (the Beautiful Island), where you might opt for a visit to the Borromeo Palace with its magnificent gardens. Return to Stresa and at the end of the visit, departure to Como for an overnight stay. 

Day 2: Como | Bellagio | Varenna | Bergamo | Brescia

After breakfast at your hotel, there will be a short visit to the walled town of Como which has a good historic centre and many lively squares with cafes. Just half an hour from noisy, bustling Milan, Lake Como is a jewel-like oasis of tranquillity, a magical combination of lush Mediterranean foliage and snowy alpine peaks. You’ll also see the industrialized Brianzola hill, downtown Como, and the small houses in the village.  Lake Como itself, sometimes called Lario, has long been famous for its y-shape, its three branches intersecting at Bellagio, that you will visit via boat. Separating the lake’s two southern arms with the alps dominating the horizon to the north, Bellagio is home to some of the most charming landscapes in Italy. Spend some time strolling this picturesque village with its small streets, luxury hotels, villas, and gardens, stopping for lunch in one of the many cafés in town (not included). Back on the boat, you will make your way to Varenna that afternoon, where you will have a panoramic tour before moving on to Bergamo, a truly historic and artistic jewel characterized by its urban structure: the “città bassa" (lower town) is modern and dynamic, while the famous “città alta" (upper town) houses the city’s medieval history. After a short walking tour in the city centre, depart to Brescia and check-in at your hotel. (B) 

Day 3: Brescia | Sirmione | Riva del Garda | Verona

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before departing for the largest of the Italian lakes, Lake Garda, to enjoy a panoramic tour of the lake's west coast. Lake Garda offers the visitor splendid natural scenery, full of colour and is surrounded by the Dolomites of Brenta in the north and the gentle slopes of the hills in the south. Rich vegetation flourishes thanks to the Mediterranean climate: lemon trees, oleanders, magnolias and bougainvillaea. The cultivation of vineyards and olive groves produces good wines and olive oil. Arrive in Sirmione where the lake offers its best panorama, really sunny with the intense blue of its waters and the green of its trees. Here you will enjoy a boat trip on the lake offering excellent views of Sirmione Cape, the castle and Catullo's ruins. Back on land, enjoy some free time for lunch before departing for Riva del Garda on the north side of the lake, where you will see its Venetian-style historic centre. Verona will be your final stop of the day, where you will check in to your hotel for the night. (B)

Day 4: Verona | Milan

Breakfast at the hotel followed by a visit to the famous city Verona. Verona is a work of art in itself - a fascinating crossroad of historical periods & cultures (both classical and Germanic), a blend of Nordic & "Mediterranean" influences, the city is at the same time both ancient and modern. A walk through its narrow streets allows one to get in touch with its varied and fascinating past: traces of its splendid Roman origins, its prevailing medieval structures dating back to the time of knights and castles, its magnificent Renaissance palaces, as well as the impressive fortifications which protect it. A suggestive blend of art and history that continuously fascinates the onlooker. After some free time for lunch, departure to Milan which marks the end of your Italian Lakes Tour. An optional private transfer to the airport is available or ask your travel agent about extending your stay with CIT Tours. (B)

Set departures!

Departure dates:  May 13 & 27; June 3, 17 & 24 ; July 8 & 22; August 5 & 19; September 9, 16 & 23; October 14 & 21, 2022  During trade shows in Verona a supplement applies: