The Northern Lakes Tour
7 days itinerary
LAKE TOUR – HIGHLIGHTS
Your base for seven incredible nights in the Italian Lakes District will be a unique and exclusive villa with breathtaking view, located on the lake shore, in the historical center of an amazing village of the Como Lake. The mansion is a former silk spinning mill, dating back to XVII century, beautifully and thoughtfully refurbished and converted into a modern, and welcoming place to stay. In few words: Industrial Chic Aesthetic.
You will visit iconic locations and historical sites, as well as world famous natural
beauties You will experience an exclusive cooking lesson and a regenerating yoga class in villa and the finest authentic regional food & wine every day You will meet and connect with local artisans Meals at the villa will be prepared and served by an expert home cook who will gladly give you advices and pointers. Menus will be absolutely seasonal and prepared with local authentic ingredients.
Saturday – Arrival at the Villa
You will be collected from MPX airport in a luxury mini van and driven to Lake Como, at your exclusive villa, your home away from home, to settle in and admire the view. That night you will enjoy dinner at the villa cooked by a trained cook.
7:00 pm Welcome Cocktail & Orientation 7:30pm Welcome Dinner at the Villa (served)
Sunday – Central Lake, boat food and villas tour
8:00- 9:00 am – Breakfast Available 9:15 am – A private Boat will take your to Bellano for a Central Lake, boat food and villas tour
Lunch in a lakefront restaurant
5:30 pm – The tour ends in Bellagio; back to the villa by private boat
7:30 pm – Aperitivo and Dinner at the Villa
NOTES ON THIS TOUR: Lake Como is a treasure of nature, culture, wonderful landscapes and mouthwatering local food. The central and western parts of the lake are dotted with superb villas, with gardens decorated with marble statues and exotic plants, a tribute to the ancient noble families from the golden years of the Renaissance, Romanticism and Belle Epoque, some of which are now private homes to the rich and famous. This full day tour will allow you to discover the “pearls” of the mid lake area and view and visit some of the most famous waterfront villas, all accompanied with the tasting of delicious local products. The tour starts with a trip to a fascinating original mill on the hills above Varenna where you will be offered a tasting of the world famous locally produced olive oil, typical Valsassina cheese, cold cuts and wine followed by a guided walking tour of Varenna with its Celtic origins and steep alleys. Lunch will be served in a lakefront restaurant where you will sample typical freshwater fish starters and delicious pasta (a non-fish menu will also be available). An unforgettable private motorboat cruise will give you the chance to relax in the afternoon admiring the spectacular mountains and the stunning villas, once the homes of aristocrats, now the playgrounds for the jet set. You will disembark at Villa del Balbianello for a guided visit, a real gem not to be missed, stunning shooting location for a number of famous films such as “Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones” and “Casino Royale”. Cruise onward to Bellagio where you shall be guided through the wonderful Villa Melzi gardens, followed by a stroll along the lakeside. The tour will end at approximately 5:30 pm in this world-renowned village.
Monday – Food Experience in Villa
8:00 – 9:30 am – Breakfast
Enjoy a free relaxing morning
1:00 pm – Lunch at the villa
5:00 pm – Food Experience
7:30 pm- Aperitivo and Dinner at the Villa
NOTES ON THE FOOD EXPERIENCE: While drinking a glass of wine and taste some typical snacks, you will chat with your home cook about food, cultural local habits, food stories and food top tips and – if you like to – you’ll be assisted by the expert hands of your lovely home cook who will guide you through the preparation of some typical local recipes; at the end you will be served an aperitivo and dinner and … you will also be able to taste your own self-made delicacy (of course together with what your cook will prepare in addition for you).
Tuesday – Como Food Tour
8:00 – 9:00 am Breakfast Available
9:15am – transfer to Como
10:00 am – Como Food Tour + light lunch in Como
3:00 pm – back at the Villa, welcome coffee and Free relaxing afternoon
7:00 pm- Aperitivo and Dinner at the Villa (delivered)
NOTES ON THIS TOUR: A unique food tasting experience! More than a simple “walk and eat” tour: our professional English-speaking guides will give you the local insider view of the history, culture and architecture, which makes up this fascinating city. Enjoy a cultural and gastronomic journey strolling along the alleyways of the historical city center in our pleasant sub-tropical climate. Admire the principal monuments such as the great Gothic-Renaissance Duomo, the “Broletto” – town hall Palace, the eighteenth-century “Teatro Sociale” and the church of San Fedele – a fine example of Romanesque style, all whilst pausing at the most popular food shops to enjoy the dishes and flavors most appreciated by locals. Meet your friendly guide in front of the Hotel Metropole Suisse and begin wandering through historic
neighborhoods to take in the vibrant cultural atmosphere while sampling tasty focaccia, followed by a choice of local cheeses. If you are a cheese lover you are in the right place: with the mountains in proximity, dairy delights can be found here. Visit one of the most famous “enoteca” to sample a delicious local wine together with an exquisite tasting of the finest local sliced meats such as bresaola, prosciutto, salame and mortadella. Our expert guide will explain the various wines produced in the area. Learn all about the cooking process from your expert guide as you savor a tasting of typical fresh lake fish in one of the most popular restaurants in Como. This is the best time to sit, relax and get to know your travelling companions while enjoying a delicious pasta dish accompanied with a glass of local wine finishing with our famous Italian espresso.
Wednesday – HISTORY & WINE TASTING TOUR
8:00 – 9:00 am- Breakfast available
9 :30 am – departure for an HISTORY & WINE TASTING TOUR
3:00 pm – back to the villa for a relaxing free afternoon
7:00 pm – Aperitivo and Dinner at the Villa
NOTES ON THIS TOUR: Did you know that Lake Como played an important role in the history of our country and was protagonist during World War II? Its mountain paths and local smugglers who knew them by heart were fundamental to rescue a number of Jewish families who found shelter in the nearby Switzerland. During this tour, you will meet your tour guide in Dongo to hear about the town’s history and to visit the Museum dedicated to local partisans and to the facts which took place here in the last days of the war: far from being boring, the museum is a virtual and interactive journey into the depths of one of the most controversial pages of Italian history. Thereafter, you will drive north for a brief stop in Gravedona to admire the amazing lakefront church Santa Maria dei Tigli and finally you’ll arrive to a local panoramic winery where the owner will be glad to lead you to a cellar visit and a thorough tasting of their wine production, coupled with local olive oil, cheeses and cold cuts.
Thursday – Visit Lake Maggiore and its islands
Tour the Borromeo family’s grand baroque Palace and stunning fairytale terraced gardens, sprinkled with statues, obelisks, ageless stone stairs and balustrades
8:00 – 9:00 am – Breakfast available 9:00 am departure from your villa by minivan 10:30 am – arrival at Lake Maggiore, STRESA LIDO. Meet the boat driver and departure by boat to Isola Bella first and Isola dei Pescatori after 11:00 am – Meet the guide at the ticket office of Palazzo Borromeo at Isola Bella It will take approximately 2.5 hours at Isola Bella .When you are almost ready to leave, youmust call the boat driver so he can take you to Isola dei Pescatori 1:00 pm – Lunch at Isola dei Pescatori. MENU A LA CARTE (price not included) – You can choose one of the numerous nice restaurants on the island. The most fancy and renown is the Restaurant Verbano, which is at the very end of the island. If you want to go there, please decide in advance as a reservation is needed (http://www.hotelverbano.it/it_IT/home/ristorante#). Just before you are finished with your lunch, you should phone your drivers (both boat and car) to come and pick you up. 3:30 pm – Go by boat directly to Stresa Lido where your car driver will pick you up and drive you back home to your villa.
Friday 8:00-9:30am – Breakfast available
10:00am – yoga class
13.30pm – Lunch at the villa (delivered)
Boat trip Villas Watching
3:00pm – 2h boat trip “Villas Watching” – pass by marvelous villas, including George Clooney’s villa (Oleandra) on a beautiful top lux boat
5:00pm – stop at Villa d’Este for a drink (menu a la carte – price not included)
6:30pm – back to the Villa by boat
7:30 pm – Aperitivo and Dinner at the Villa