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Romantic Escape into Lakes & Gardens

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Lake

Lake

Villa Taranto

Villa Taranto

Domodossola

Domodossola

Lake Como

Lake Como

View from Bellagio

View from Bellagio

Villa Carlotta

Villa Carlotta

Cities: Lakes Maggiore and Como, Bellagio and Stresa

Length of Tour: 6 days

Accommodations: Lake Maggiore and Lake Como

Day 1

Lake Maggiore and Stresa

Arrival on Lake Maggiore and check in to hotel in Stresa. Take a short ride to visit the Villa Taranto, famous for its’ magnificent botanical gardens. The Gardens’ beauty is the result of the hard work and dedication of Captain McEacharn in 1931. Villa Taranto is home to nearly 20,000 plant varieties, representing more than 3,000 species. Dinner and overnight.

Day 2

Borromean Islands

Breakfast at the Hotel and meet your local guide. Transfer to the lake where you take a ferry to the Borromean Islands to visit Isola Bella. Isola Bella (the beautiful island) is the most famous of the Islands. The Island appears mounted as a jewel on the mirror of the lake. You are immediately struck by the splendor of Palazzo Borromeo before your eyes continue to follow the Italian-style garden built over ten terraces sloping down to the edge of the lake. If time permits, take a short trip to Isola dei Pescatori (the island of the fisherman). Return to Stresa for dinner and overnight.

Day 3

Domodossola

We suggest taking the train from Stresa to Domodossola, where you will board the local train known as the "Centovalli" (100 valleys), for a pleasant ride through the Vigezzo Valley. You will pass precipices, waterfalls, daring bridges, vineyards and chestnut tree forests. The train journey ends at Locarno, where you can enjoy a short walk through the center of this nice, Swiss town. Catch the ferryboat on Lake Maggiore back to Stresa. The ferry trip from Locarno to Stresa is picturesque, and is a fitting end to the day. Dinner and overnight.

Day 4

Lake Maggiore and Lake Como

Breakfast at the Hotel, and depart for Menaggio. Check in to your hotel. In the afternoon we suggest you make your first approach to the lake by visiting the splendid Villa Carlotta. Dinner in a small local restaurant and overnight stay.

Day 5

Lake Como and Bellagio

Breakfast and transfer to Como. We recommend a ferry trip to Bellagio, which is known as "The Pearl of Lake Como." Bellagio is also famous for the beautiful villas that dominate the scenery. The most famous, and beautiful is the 14th century Villa Serbelloni. Another villa worth visiting is the neo classical Villa Melzi (1810) with its English style garden. Return to Como by ferry. Dinner and overnight.

Day 6

Lake Como and Lugano

Transfer by car to Lugano and meet with your guide for a walking tour through this romantic, Swiss town. In the afternoon, enjoy some time at your leisure for further exploration and/or shopping. Return to hotel. Dinner and overnight.

Day 7

Lake Como

Como too has its own pedestrian area where you can shop and enjoy pleasant walks. The most famous and populated street is dedicated to the former king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele III. One can find the most exclusive shops and boutiques selling Italian clothing and accessories. Do not not forget Como′s famous silk items. Wonderful fabrics for both clothing and furnishings can be purchased in specialized boutiques on via Bernardino Luini and via Diaz.