• ARTS & LAKES IN LOMBARDY

ARTS & LAKES IN LOMBARDY.en

     

 

DAY 1: Lake Maggiore

Arrival at the airport (Malpensa or Linate). Meeting and greetings. Transfer by private bus to the hotel at Lake Maggiore area. Accommodation in the rooms; Lunch on your own. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

 

DAY 2: Lake Maggiore (FD guide)

Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer by private bus to Stresa. Meet your professional guide. Embarkation on the boat and departure towards Isola Bella. Visit of the 17th century Baroque Palace and of the scenic gardens which have made the island famous and which to this day bear witness to the splendours of an era. The gardens form an extraordinary, flowered monument laid out over a series of ornate and overlapping terraces, a classic and inimitable example of seventeenth century "Italian garden". The next stop is in Isola Superiore dei Pescatori (Fishermen Island), the only isle steadily inhabited. An antique, rustic, village, from the tortuous and narrow lanes, occupies it almost entirely. Lunch in a typical restaurant on the island.  In the afternoon embarkation towards Isola Madre. This is the largest of the Borromeo Islands and it is the most characteristic due to its collected, tranquil, and enchanted atmosphere. Its gardens, where all manner of peacocks, parrots and pheasants roam freely, are full of rare plants and exotic flowers, helping to create the charm of a tropical land. At the end back to Stresa by boat and proceed to the hotel by bus. Dinner and overnight.

 

DAY 3: Milan (HD guide)

Breakfast at hotel. In late morning transfer by private bus to Milan, Accommodation at the hotel. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon meeting, the guide that will lead the group to discover the jewels of this marvelous City.  The itinerary starts from the Duomo, symbol and soul of Milan. The works were begun in 1386 and took almost six centuries before their completion. In white marble, the majestic construction has more than 3400 statues that make the Duomo the most important symbol of the “Flowered Gothic Art” in the world. Its imposing structure classifies the Duomo as one of the biggest religious building in Europe. The “Madonnina", the famous gilded statue, 4 meters tall, graces the top of the Duomo's highest pinnacle and is one of the symbols of the Milanese tradition. Walking through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, it is possible to reach the square where rises one of the world’s most famous opera houses, the Teatro alla Scala, a neoclassical structure designed by the architect Giuseppe Piermarini.  The visit goes on in via Mercanti, sole surviving route proof of the medieval town, to discover one of the most suggestive and picturesque corner of the old Milan. Then the tour gets to Castello Sforzesco, one of the most important buildings in Milan; Galeazzo II Visconti erected it as a defensive fortress during  1360 and 1370. The Castle hosts the rich Pinacoteca, with masterpieces by Mantegna and Cesare da Sesto, and the Ancient Art Museum of the Castle, that includes sculptures such as the Pietà Rondanini, the last piece by Michelangelo. At the end back to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.

 

DAY 4: Milan (HD guide)

Breakfast at hotel. Meeting the guide and visit the beautiful church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. The immense value of the church is enhanced by the fact that his refectory houses one of the most famous paintings of Leonardo’s "Last Supper", which after the recent restoration work has found new splendor. (Advance reservation required). Lunch on your own and  afternoon at leisure to  visit the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan's most outstanding museum  recognized as one of the major art collections in the world; shopping in the fashion district of Milan, the so called 'Quadrilatero'. In these streets and their environs one can find the greatest concentration of famous fashion designers outlets, both Italian and foreign. Way back to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

 

DAY 5: Pavia – Cremona (HD guide)

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer by private bus to Pavia, a university city with fine Romanesque and medieval buildings and an interesting historic center. Founded by the Romans, Pavia reached its greatness over 1300 years ago when it became the capital of much of the Italian peninsula. Meet the guide and visit to main attractions:  The Castello Visconti, at the northern end of the medieval center, was built in 1360 and used as a residence. Although only two of its four massive towers remain, it is still a very impressive castle. Pavia's Duomo has the third largest dome in Italy, but it was only completed in the nineteenth century. Both da Vinci and Donato Bramante contributed to the church's design. It has a very impressive interior. The Church of San Michele (7th Century) was rebuilt in the Romanesque style in 1090 after an earthquake destroyed it. For centuries, the church was the favored coronation venue of northern Italian monarchs, including Charlemagne and Barbarossa. The University of Pavia started as a school in the ninth century and became a university in 1361. Christopher Columbus and Alessandro Volta are among its graduates.  The Certosa di Pavia, 8km north of the city, is an extravagant religious complex. The monastery is one of the most notable buildings from the Italian Renaissance period. In the afternoon departure by private bus towards Cremona. Accommodation at the hotel. Dinner and overnight.

 

DAY 6: Cremona (FD guide)

Breakfast at hotel. Meet the guide and visit Cremona, a city famous all over the world for its production of high-quality violins.  Cremona has a picturesque historic center with most sights clustered around the main square, Piazza del Comune. The tour includes:  all the medieval buildings facing Piazza del Comune (Cathedral, Baptistery, Torrazzo Tower, City Hall, Soldiers' Loggia), the inside of the Cathedral (cycle of frescoes dating back to the early 16th Century and recent findings), the inside of the Palazzo Comunale (City Hall) with the Collection of Ancient Instruments made by Andrea Amati, Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù. It is usually possible to book and enjoy a short performance of one of the ancient violins (added fee: € 1,50 / person, working days only, reservation in advance), - the inside of the Baptistery with the original dome and the Collection of  Pietre Romaniche (Romanesque sculptures) of the Cathedral  - the unforgettable visit of one of the 130 workshops of violin-makers, to learn the traditional cremonese method of violin-making, based on the internal template - the visit of the magnificent Chiesa di S. Sigismondo (to be reached by coach), completely covered with frescoes mostly dating back to the 16th Century. Lunch on your own. Dinner and overnight.

 

DAY 7: Cremona – Mantova – Desenzano (Lake Garda) (FD guide) 

Breakfast at hotel. In the morning departure by private coach to Mantova. Upon arrival meet your guide and visit the city. The tour includes the immense Palazzo Ducale, the residence of the Gonzaga family during the nearly 400 years of their rule over the city. A town within the town, a treasure chest “worthy of travelling a thousand miles to see it “as in the words of Torquato Tasso. Among the highlights, Pisanello’s frescoes, the Hall of Mirrors, an altarpiece by Rubens, Raphael’s Tapestries and “the most beautiful room in the world”: Andrea Mantegna’s Camera degli Sposi. Lunch on your own. An afternoon stroll through the main square takes to the Basilica di Sant’Andrea, designed by Leon Battista Alberti in the 15th century. The nearby Rotonda di San Lorenzo is worth of a visit as an interesting example of a Romanesque church. From the middle Ages, a big jump in time more than in space, takes to the beautiful Scientific Theater built by Antonio Galli Bibiena and inaugurated by Mozart in 1770. At the end departure towards Lake Garda. Accommodation at Desenzano.  Dinner and overnight.

 

 

DAY 8: Garda lake cruise

Breakfast at hotel. Meeting the guide, transfer to the pier and departure on board of the boat to discover the Lake Garda, the most Mediterranean of the Italian Alpin lakes. The riviera are full of villages and little town that preserve ancient proofs of the past. With its Romanesque parishes, the baroque churches, the sanctuaries, the monasteries and the heritages, the Garda offers itself as a spiritual location. Our itinerary starts from Sirmione well known location for its climate and the beauty of the landscape. Interesting to see: the rests of the Villa Romana, called “Grotte di Catullo” and the Castello Scaligero, a fortress with drawbridges, towers and walls. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon, visit of Gardone Riviera, famous location rich of gardens and tropical plants. Visit to the residence of Gabriele D’Annunzio, called “Vittoriale degli Italiani”, a monumental complex that hosts, in the rich park, an open theatre based on the Greco-Roman style, and the mausoleum preserving still the rests of the Poet. At the end continuation towards Salò. Walk in the historical centre of Salò, with elegant buildings dated 15th–17th century. One of the most important artistically and historical proof is the Palazzo della Magnifica Patria built in 1524 and the Duomo, edified at the end of 13th century. Way back to Desenzano. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

 

 

 

DAY 9: Garda Lake – Franciacorta hills - Brescia (FD guide)

Breakfast at hotel. Departure by bus towards Brescia. Along the itinerary stop in the Franciacorta, the region that produce some of the country’s most famous wines. The area derived its name from curtes francae – a group of medieval villages that fell under the protection of Benedictine monks and were exempt from paying taxes. The priests left their mark: churches, monasteries, convents and shrines, as well as castles and former nobles’ villas, making this an excellent place to explore, for both its history and its cuisine, punctuate Franciacorta’s vineyard terraces and tiny towns. However, the most fun thing to do is to visit one of the many vineyards and see how wine is made. Wine tasting. Lunch on your own. Afterwards travel to Brescia formerly the Roman castrum of Brixia. Pope Paul VI and pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli come from Brescia. Meet the guide that will show you through the city's castle, the foundations of which date back to the Roman times. The Luigi Marzoli museum displays fascinating arms and armor. A walk in the historic city of Brescia will lead us to the Roman Theater at the Tempio Capitolino (73 AD). The Duomo Nuovo ("New Cathedral") and Duomo Vecchio ("Old Cathedral"), in Palladian and Romanesque styles, house beautiful sacred paintings and frescoes. The Piazza della Loggia is a Renaissance square is the site of the town hall built in 1492. Accommodation at the hotel. Dinner and overnight.

 

DAY 10: Brescia - Bergamo (HD guide) – Como Lake

Breakfast at hotel. Transfer by private bus to Bergamo. Upon arrival, meet your guide and city tour.  Founded on a hill in the protohistoric age, Bergamo's old town remains perched on a hill, enclosed by walls, while the modern city center sprawls across the plains below. Cable railways take people from downtown either to the Castle or to the upper town. Stretching for over 3 miles (five kilometers), the well-preserved town walls surrounding Bergamo are existing evidence of bulwarks dating back from the fifth century. Celts, Goths, Romans and Lombards succeeded on the hill, but the four centuries under Venetian domination remain the most significant period, when Venice and Bergamo were very close, historically and culturally. Your guided walking tour will pass through Piazza Vecchia, the heart of the old town. You will have a view of historical and religious monuments including Palazzo del Comune, Palazzo della Ragione, the Cathedral, St Maria Maggiore, the Colleoni Chapel and the Baptistery. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon the tour goes on towards Lake Como. Accommodation at the hotel. Dinner and overnight.

 

 

DAY 11: Full day Lake Como  

Breakfast at hotel. Meet the guide, embarkation and departure by boat for a mini-cruise. The lake banks in Como are bordered by several villas of 18th century surrounded by marvelous gardens that are witnesses of the charm of the area during the centuries influencing painters and poets. Picturesque little stoned towns on the banks of the lake, where time seems has stopped to run. During the navigation, the tour guide will show the most  suggestive points of the lake: Villa Olmo, Villa d’Este, Villa Balbianello, (owned by FAI, Italian Fund for Environment) and furthermore. Stop in Bellagio.  Walk through the little streets and suggestive steps where there are interesting shops. Lunch in a typical restaurant. Afternoon: In the afternoon, the tour gets to Tremezzo to visit Villa Carlotta and its famous botanical garden. Way back to Como by boat. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.

 

DAY 12: end of tour

Breakfast at hotel. Time at leisure. Transfer by private bus to the airport (Linate or Malpensa). Departure.

 

Hotel stars

Min. 16 pax

Min. 20 pax

Min. 25 pax

Single suppl.

 

 

 

 

 

HOTEL 3*

1.655,00€

1.480,00€

1.365,00€

 € 250.00

HOTEL 4*

1.770,00€

1.600,00€

1.490,00€

€ 390.00

 

                                                                 

The Rate Includes:

 

-        11 overnights in selected hotels (3/4 stars) - double room on B&B basis

-        11 dinners in hotels or restaurant (3 courses drinks not included)

-        Private bus available for transfers from/to airport and for the visit as per our program

-        Admission at per our program

-        Official Guide HD or FD as per our program

-        Private boat to visit the Borromean Islands (Lake Maggiore)

-        Public boat for cruise on Lake Garda

-        VAT and service

 

 

The Rate does not include:

-        Meals and drinks not included, city taxes,  tips, personal expenses and anything not specifically mentioned in "The rate includes"