A Renaissance mirage, the villa floats on a mirror-smooth lake. It’s morning. The mountains that slide into the water are still hidden in deep blue shadows, except the peaks high above that are tipped in apricot alpenglow. Italy’s Lake District always makes us poetic, and this Classic Journey cultural walking tour visits the three most inspiring lakes: Como, Maggiore and Orta. Since the Roman emperors, these gracious waterside resorts have drawn visitors. The climate is mild, loaded with the vibrant colors of Alpine wildflowers and lush semi-tropical gardens. Our footpaths sometimes traverse mountaintop meadows and often hug the crystal clear waters. We spend generous parts of several days on leisurely cruises and visit fine villas, palaces and fishing villages. Nowhere else does stunning scenery, mellow air and rich history come together with such romantic results.
We meet in Milan and immediately transfer to Bellagio (3 nights), the lovely historic center of the Italian Lake District region's silk trade, and settle into our lakeside hotel. In a region known for its incredible villas, our first walk leads to one of the finest—Villa Serbelloni—where we've arranged a private visit to its rose gardens. Later, a countryside walk with lake and mountain views culminates at a villa for a wine tasting.
After boating to Como, we enter Switzerland briefly where a wildflower walk ends with the reward of a lakeside gelato.
DAYS 4-7 - STRESA / MILAN
Back to Italy, we end the day in Stresa (3 nights), situated on one of the most beautiful of the Italian Lakes. We'll hop a motor launch on Lake Orta to reach San Giulio, a perfect little island with a thousand-year-old monastery. The Borromean Islands in Lake Maggiore are studded with palaces and gardens. We reach them by boat and spend a whole day exploring, mooring for lunch at rustic Isola Dei Pescatori.
Among several lovely walks on country roads and bridle paths we enjoy, one of our favorites leads past silvery olive groves to a shepherdess who invites us in for a tasting of the local cheese. On our final day, you'll have time to amble in Stresa and do some shopping if you like before we transfer to Milan.
Starting Point:Milan – 11:30 am – Lobby of Hotel De La Ville
Ending Point:Milan – 2:00 pm – Milan Central Train Station
Dates & Prices
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Select our “Family Departure” to travel with other families.
- All breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners
- Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip and handle behind-the-scenes logistics
- Admissions to tastings, historic sites and other scheduled events as noted in the detailed daily itinerary
- Gratuities for hotels, meals, and baggage
- All land transportation during the trip
Above & Beyond Benefits
Privileged Access Events
- One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.
Perfect Pairings Dinners
- A special dinner prepared by one of our favorite chefs with a procession of wines tailored to each course.
Wine on Us
- In many regions, we uncork wonderful local wines at every dinner, compliments of Classic Journeys.
- When your group arrives, we whisk you and your bags to your room immediately. No waiting – no tipping.
- 6 days
- Starting at $5,795
- 6 days
- Starting at $5,395
- 7 days
- Starting at $5,295
- 7 days
- Starting at $5,195