Departing at 7:15am from the hotel Massimo D’Azeglio by a deluxe coach, you will arrive in Assisi, where you can explore this tiny town, surrounded by walls built in the middle ages, at your own leisure. Make time to visit the basilica of St. Francis, where you will see masterpieces by Giotto and Ciambue, and to have lunch (not included). Board the bus for Siena, a medieval town surrounded by ancient walls that is known for the Palio, an annual summertime horse race around the shell-shaped town square, Piazza del Campo. Next, you will continue on to Florence, where you will check in to your hotel before enjoying dinner and a well-earned night of rest.
After breakfast, you will spend the day venturing around beautiful Florence, the “cradle of renaissance, where, with the help of Michelangelo, italian art reached its pinnacle. Based on etruscan-roman origins, the city flourished in the middle ages as a free “comune” and was further refined by the renaissance. You will be fascinated by its numerous monuments, churches, and buildings, as Santa Maria del Fiore, more commonly referred to as the Duomo. On your visit, you will be amazed by its magnificent dome built by Filippo Brunelleschi. Cross a small piazza to see the campanile tower (partly designed by Giotto) and the baptistery, with its bronze doors that Michelangelo dubbed the “gates of paradise.” In the heart of the city, you will see Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo della Signoria (also known as Palazzo Vecchio), and the basilica of Santa Croce. Lunch in a typical Tuscany restaurant in Santa Croce square. Spend the afternoon strolling the cobblestone streets of Florence on your own or take a short trip to Pisa (optional), one of the four main historical marine republics of Italy. There, you will tour the square of miracles, which houses the Duomo, the leaning tower, and the baptistery. Overnight stay.
Depart for Bologna after breakfast in Florence. There, you will wander through the city’s 38 kilometers worth of elegant arcades (or porticos), for which Bologna is famous. From Piazza Malpighi, we will walk to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore (Neptune square and Major square) in the heart of the city, where you will find Neptune fountain; King Renzo Palace; Podestà Palace; and the basilica of San Petronio, one of the biggest in the world. In the afternoon, continue toward Padova, with its original Sant’Antonio basilica. Later, you will arrive in Venice, world-renowned for its classic gondola boats and its elegant, refined art. Check in to your hotel and enjoy your first venetian dinner and overnight stay.
It’s on to Milano after breakfast at your hotel. Once there, you’ll have the day to explore this metropolitan city before checking in to your hotel for some rest.
Departure at 08.30 am from NH Touring in Milan to the Lake Orta, a small and charming lake situated in the North – eastern 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, just in front of the village: it is the pearl of the lake, almost entirely occupied by the Monastery Mater Ecclesie, 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, it 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 make possible an average temperature during all seasons, milder in winter than in the inner areas and cooled down in summer by the breezes that blow on the water’s surface changing its colour. Due to its mild climate, many species of flowers and plants typical to the sub-tropical climate could adapt to the lake areas climate. Arrival in Stresa, an international tourist resort situated in a central but also panoramic and picturesque position along the lakeside roadway, stands just in front of the ‘Borromee’ islands. Free time for lunch. In the afternoon, 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 few families still maintain the original activity, the identity of the small community appears intact. Tourists are fascinated by its simple houses, the narrow lanes, the stone portals and the attractive underpasses. We will continue to the Bella Island, where we may visit the Borromeo Palace with its magnificent gardens. Return to Stresa (free time for lunch, not included). At the and of the visit departure to Como. Overnight in the hotel.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before setting off on a short visit of Como, a small town with amazing natural panoramas of mountains, lake Como, and wild alpine valleys. You’ll also see the industrialized Brianzola hill, downtown Como, and the small houses in the village. The lake itself, sometimes called lario, has long been famous for its y-shape, its three branches intersecting at Bellagio, where 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 the most renowned beach 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 division of urban structure: the “lower town” (città bassa) is modern and dynamic, while the famous “upper town” (città alta) houses the city’s medieval history. After a short walking Fantasia tour of in the city center, depart to Brescia, where you will settle in to your new hotel for the night.
After breakfast at your hotel, you will have a panoramic tour of the lake’s west coast, taking in the splendid natural scenery: brilliant colors, the Dolomites of Brenta, and the gentle slopes of the Morainic hills. Enjoy the area’s rich vegetation, including lemon trees, oleanders, magnolias, and bouganville, that flourishes thanks to the mediterranean climate. So be sure to taste some of the olive oil and wines made locally. Next, you will move on to Sirmione, where you will see the lake Garda and its surroundings at their finest. See the sun shining off of the lake’s blue waters and tree-lined shores, the Sirmione cape, the castle, and the catullo’s ruins during a boat tour. Back on land, you will have 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 center. Verona will be your final stop of the day, where you will check in to your hotel for the night.
Fuel up on breakfast at your hotel before setting out to see the famous city of Verona, a work of art in itself. This fascinating crossroad of historical periods and cultures (both classical and germanic) is a blend of both nordic and mediterranean influences that is 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 fascinate you. Spend some time eating lunch before departing for Milan, where your tour will come to an end.
*From Venice to Milan, up to five people will be transferred by train.
Aug 17, 24HIGH SEASON Mar 30 Apr 13*, 27 May 11, 25 Jun 08, 15, 22 Jul 06, 20 Sep 14, 28 Oct 12*, 26 *During trade shows in Milan Supl. € 150,00pp (no comm.) Overnight in Milan centre not guaranteed.
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