Did you ever get home from a trip bubbling over with the urge to tell everybody about it? Our guest Bill Carter did, and we’re thrilled that he shared his official Italian Lake District Tour Review with us. Instead of using our words to describe Orta, Lake Como, Lugano and the rest, let me turn it over to Bill with special thanks to him for sharing his enthusiasm!

– Edward Piegza, President and Founder


I thought I would send you a note to tell you what a great time we had on our Italian Lake Region tour with Classic Journeys. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say it was incredible.

We have come to fully enjoy and appreciate Classic Journeys’ singular approach to walking tours with this being most of the group’s third tour with your company. We like the small, intimate groups rather than lots of people….excellent accommodations and food, wonderful sights and events and outstanding guides. So, when you offered to put together a trip for our traveling group, we jumped at it.

Italian village on a lake

Although the entire Lake Region tour was wonderful, there were a few things that made it spectacular.

1. Orta – Although the visit to all four lakes were great and inspiring, Bellagio and Orta were the best…but Orta is a gem and one we would not have found on our own. The real lake region…. no tourists, no Hermes, no Louis Vuitton, no side shows…. just beauty, history, art and culture around every corner… a real treasure.

2. The local guides – Whether arranged by Giampiero or Classic Journeys, they were truly outstanding… Bellagio, Lugano, Orta. We had two other guides that had to come from the enterprises we were visiting and the difference was so obvious. Our guides were so much better, so much more conversant, spontaneous, knowledgeable, sensitive, friendly and positive. They made us feel a part of their “home”, showed us things mere tourists never saw, things we would have totally missed, e.g. the little church with the “Last Supper”.

3. The latitude that Giampiero had with his budget to do special things for and with the group….it is a winner!! Giampiero had flexibility with his budget and could consequently surprise us with treats and special events specifically tailored to the group. We were lucky enough to be in Bellagio on the day of their local, old style boat races and Giampiero had us meet (I am sure by no accident) the Bellagio two-man crew and then arranged a private boat for us to have front row seats and a glass of wine on the lake at the race. We totally got into it… hooting and yelling and cheering the Bellagio team to an “Italian” victory – a description the group will understand.

4. And the best was Giampiero….. The best guide in all of Italy if not Europe. He challenged, in the best way, our minds and our bodies every day. He felt the pace of the group and every individual and catered to our needs and wants. We never lacked for interesting things and entertainment and he made us feel so at home in every way. He is 5-star and an absolute winner for Classic Journeys. His enthusiasm and energy are so catching.

CJ guide Giampiero with guests

It was a great trip and we will probably start planning another with you. Please thank Priscila for helping us put it all together.

Bill Carter

Our 7-day/6-night Italian Lake District tour includes visits to Bellagio on the banks of Lake Como, Mont Bre overlooking Lake Lugano in Switzerland, Lake Orta, and more.