9. 5-Day North Lakes: Milan & Bernina Express Experience
Spend 5 days and 4 nights touring the lakes region of northern Italy. Admire the scenic beauty of Milan, Como, Bellagio, Bergamo, Sirmione, Riva del Garda, and Franciacorta by land and water. Explore the historic city of Verona on a guided tour. Day 1: Milan with happy hour Welcome to Milan! Meet our driver at Milan Malpensa Airport and enjoy a private transfer to Starhotels Ritz. 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. 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). At the end of the aperitivo, the tour will be over and you will have some free time before returning to the hotel on your own. The overnight stay is in Milan. Day 2: Milan, Bernina Express, Milan (B) Just like sitting in a theater, 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. After breakfast at the hotel, meet our driver and reach Tirano. Get on board there and start this ride along one of the most beautiful railway routes in the world, with its unsurpassed alpine views. The journey will need two hours to complete. 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 to St. Moritz, and then enjoy free time to explore it. Meet your driver to return to Milan (meeting point in St. Moritz). Overnight stay in Milan. Day 3: Milan, Como, Bellagio, Bergamo (B, D) 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 2 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 your journey to Bergamo, a truly historic and artistic jewel 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-in at your Bergamo hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. Day 4: Bergamo, Sirmione, Riva Del Garda, Bergamo (B, D) Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, is the next destination. After breakfast at your hotel, we recommend taking a panoramic tour of the lake’s west coast, taking in the splendid natural landscape, like the Brenta Dolomites (the Brenta Group has been officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the gentle slopes of the Moraine Hills of Lower Garda. Next, 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, and 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 center. Dinner and Overnight stay in Bergamo. Day 5 Bergamo, Verona, Franciacorta (light lunch and wine tasting) Milan (B, L) After breakfast, reach “fair Verona”, a museum en plein air. A local professional will be waiting for you and take you on a guided tour. After the Verona tour, drive towards the area of Franciacorta, this is where you will enjoy a light lunch and taste some local food as well as the renowned local wine. After this experience, you will head for Milan, where our services will end.