Milan, North Lakes & Bernina Express


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Milan | Milan, North Lakes & Bernina Express

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6 days from


On this 5-day escorted tour, you'll visit cosmopolitan Milan, be awed by the stunning vistas & charming towns of Lakes Como and Garda, and stroll the cobbled streets of romantic Verona. A train ride through the majestic Alpes onboard the iconic Bernina Express completes this unforgettable north Italy vacation!  

Day 1: Arrive in Milan

Welcome to Milan! Meet our driver at Milan Malpensa Airport and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel. In the afternoon, meet your professional local guide at the hotel and set off on a three-hour walking tour through the heart of Milan. Going down via Spallanzani, you will reach Porta Venezia (literally Venice Gate), one of the historical gates to the city. It has medieval and maybe even Roman origins, and it gives the name to the city district all around it. An urban legend has it that the other name it is known as - “Porta Renza” - stems from Renzo Tramaglino, co-protagonist of the novel The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni, who enters Milan exactly from this access. You will proceed toward Corso Venezia and take a shortcut inside Giardini Indro Montanelli, a public garden. Opposite the gardens, you will go past GAM, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna (modern art museum). Proceeding along Viale Manzoni, you will head for La Scala opera house (Teatro della Scala), inaugurated on 3 August 1778. The theatre underwent major renovations from early 2002 to late 2004. Then, get ready to take in the stunning Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano). Your tour guide will illustrate its main features. The last stop will be the majestic Castello Sforzesco, a medieval fortress built in the 15th century by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza. In its vicinity, we have chosen a refined bakery for you to be able to relax and taste a typical "aperitivo" (happy hour). After the aperitivo, you will be free to enjoy the remainder of the evening as you please and make your own way back to the hotel.

Day 2: Milan | Bernina Express | Milan

This is the day of your Bernina Express tour, on board “the train that snakes its way up to the mountain peaks". After breakfast at the hotel, meet our driver and reach Tirano where you will board the train for the 2-hour journey along one of the most beautiful railway routes in the world with its unsurpassed alpine views. Just like sitting in a theatre, you will admire unique views from your seat on board the Bernina Train, a piece of history (it is 100 years old) and a World Heritage train. As the train winds its way over the Alps, occasionally passing through mountain tunnels, and puffing its way past a myriad of towns and villages, a number of highlights will catch your attention. Look out at the Swiss Alps as you ride along the Bernina pass and after two hours you'll arrive at St. Moritz, where you will enjoy free time to explore on your own. Meet up with your driver at a meeting point in St. Moritz, for the return drive to Milan. (B)

Day 3: Milan | Como | Bellagio | Bergamo

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then prepare for a short visit to Como, a tourist destination for its vicinity to Lake Como and the Alps. Amazing views over the lake and the alpine valleys are guaranteed! The lake itself, sometimes called Lario, has long been famous for its y-shape and for Bellagio, which you will reach by boat. This little gem town lies at the intersection of the lake’s two southern arms, with the Alps dominating the horizon to the north, and is home to some of the most charming landscapes in Italy. Spend some time exploring this picturesque village and its small streets, luxury hotels, villas, and gardens, and have lunch at your leisure in one of the many restaurants or cafés. Back on board, you will make your way to Tremezzo/ Villa Carlotta where you will meet the driver and begin the drive to Bergamo. truly historic and artistic jewel, Bergamo is characterized by its urban structure: the città bassa (or lower town) is modern and dynamic, while the famous città alta (or upper town) houses the city’s medieval heart. Check into your Bergamo hotel, where dinner will be included tonight. (B.D)

Day 4: Bergamo | Sirmione | Riva del Garda | Bergamo

Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, is the next destination. After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a panoramic tour of the lake’s west coast, taking in the splendid natural landscape, like the Brenta Dolomites and the gentle slopes of the Moraine Hills of Lower Garda. Enjoy the area’s rich vegetation, including lemon trees, oleanders, magnolias, and bougainvillea, and be sure to taste some of the locally-made olive oil and wines. Next, you will move to Sirmione, where Lake Garda and its surroundings are at their finest. See the sun reverberating on the lake’s blue waters, the tree-lined shores, Sirmione Castle as well as the ruins of Catullus’s villa or Grottoes of Catullus during a boat tour. Once you’re through, you will have some free time to have lunch before departing for Riva del Garda. Located on the north side of the lake, you will see its quaint Venetian-style historical centre. Return to Bergamo for dinner at the hotel and overnight accommodation. (B.D)

Day 5: Bergamo | Verona | Franciacorta | Milan

After breakfast, reach “Fair Verona”, a museum en plain air. A local professional will be waiting for you and take you on a guided tour. The fascinating mix of historical periods and cultures (both classical and Germanic) is a blend of Nordic as well as Mediterranean influences that are both ancient and modern. A walk through its narrow streets will allow you to get in touch with Verona’s varied and fascinating past: traces of its splendid Roman origins, its medieval structures, its magnificent Renaissance palaces, as well as the impressive fortifications protecting it. The combination of art and history will amaze you. Two of William Shakespeare's plays are set in Verona: “Romeo and Juliet” is by far the most famous one. We suggest taking a look at the so-called Juliet’s home (and its balcony, said to have been the legendary balcony of the famous “Oh Romeo, Rome” tragedy scene). This medieval building is located on Via Cappello, which was named after the family who resided in the edifice in the 14th century. After the Verona tour, we will drive toward the territory of Franciacorta, whose soil consisting of gravel and sand over limestone is ideal for the cultivation of grapes and for winemaking. This is why we chose this place for your next stop. Here you will enjoy a light lunch and taste some local food as well as the renowned local wine. After this experience, we will head for Milan, where you will spend the final night of this unforgettable tour. (B.L)

Day 6: Milan

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before making your own way to the airport or railway station. Arrivederci! (B)

Guaranteed departures!

Friday - May 17 & 31; June 07 & 28; July 12 & 19; August 02 & 16; September 06 & 27; October 11 & 25, 2024