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Tour Description

  • 8 days
  • selfguided
  • multi-centres

Two contrasting areas in Italy make up this impressive itinerary. On the one hand, there is the veiled Lake Orta, cloaked by the imposing (yet beautiful) shadow of Lake Maggiore; with its endearing lakeside towns and vast lush gardens, there's no surprise 'Lake Cusio' is a hit with the more discerning travelers. On the other hand, you have the bustling city of Genoa, a distinguished figure in the maritime trade for several centuries which is still apparent today given the sheer size of its old port. This is the perfect combination for those wanting a unique Italian experience.

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At a glance
  • Split your time between tranquil Lake Orta and Genoa, the country’s largest seaport
  • Venture through historic piazzas and hidden alleyways
  • Make the most of your hire car to visit neighbouring towns

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1: UK - Lake Orta

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Map of Day 1: UK - Lake Orta

After collecting your luggage, pick up your hire car from Malpensa airport and enjoy the journey, cruising up through northern Italy, winding your way towards the captivating village of Orta San Giulio, which will be your base for the next 4 nights.

Day 2: Lake Orta

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Map of Day 2: Lake Orta

Many of the attractions are located in Orta San Giulio, so there's no need to rush today - instead, enjoy your morning sipping on a frothy cappuccino and indulging in a freshly served breakfast.

The afternoon can be spent wandering the old town and gazing upon the light hue of the cream splashed houses surrounding the central square of Piazza Motta. For an enhanced view of the lake, make the short climb up the unmissable Palazotto, a fresco-emblazoned structure, underpinned by several stilt like pillars and situated in the heart of the Piazza Motta. End the day with a visit to one of the many cosy trattorias nestled in amongst the cobbled streets; expect risotto to feature heavily on the menus as northern Italy's cuisine is renowned for its traditional rice based dishes.

Day 3: Lake Orta

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Map of Day 3: Lake Orta

Rise early this morning and meander towards the Piazza Motta to catch a glimpse of the sun rising over Isola San Giulio, a small island cultivated by history and occupied by the 12th century Basilica di San Giulio. Adorned with striking frescoes and enriched in history which resonates through the village, the Basilica is well worth the short 500 meter boat trip across from the mainland. 

Day 4: Lake Orta

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Points of Interest

Map of Day 4: Lake Orta

Save some energy for a trip up the steep hill which leads to the enchanting Sacro Monte 'town'. Aligned with 20 small chapels and accompanied by spectacular views overlooking the lake, this hillside makes for a great spot to go trigger happy with your camera. 

This would be a good time to make the most out of your car hire and head up through the scenic eastern shore, visiting all the ancient settlements along the way like Pettenasco and Omegna.

Day 5: Lake Orta - Genoa

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Points of Interest

Map of Day 5: Lake Orta - Genoa

Say goodbye to Lake Orta and make tracks for Genoa. After checking in to your centrally located hotel, spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the narrow lanes and staring in awe at the Romanesque Cathedral of San Lorenzo, with its interior dotted in complex frescoes and exterior lined in black and white symmetrical stripes. For your evening meal, head to Piazza de Ferrari, where there are plenty of restaurants abutting one another that you can choose from.

Day 6: Genoa

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Points of Interest

Map of Day 6: Genoa

Today, combine a bit of history with a little bit of modernism. First, skirt your way around the cities port until you reach the modern Acquario di Genova, where you can spend a few hours admiring the marine life at one of Europe's largest aquariums. Then, turn your attention to yet another feature of the old town - the renowned street of Via Garibaldi. Its 16th century museums and renaissance buildings will give you a greater understanding of the city, and for all art enthusiasts, look no further than the Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Doria Tursi - all of which house art collections.

Day 7: Genoa

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Map of Day 7: Genoa

On your last full day in Genoa, why not take the opportunity to visit the Boccadasse quarter; here you will find a charming fishing village that provides a much needed break from the busy metropolis of Genoa.

Day 8: Genoa - UK

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Map of Day 8: Genoa - UK

Time to pack your bags and say arriverderci to your Italian adventure.

Extend Your Stay

Take in more of the destination or relax in a spa at the end of your trip by adding few extra nights stay in one of these hand picked hotels.

Call to discuss and book your tour 01293 762410 *