Fly into Milan Malpensa Airport and transfer to your chosen hotel at Lake Como. The journey takes approximately an hour and a half, so you’ll soon be out on an evening stroll, sampling local wine alongside focaccia and taleggio cheese. Enjoy your hotel’s amenities and find scenic spots for a photograph of the sunset over the lake, then head into the centre for a bite to eat at one of the eateries. Risotto alla milanese or risotto con pesce persico are two typical dishes to sample.
Your first full day in Lake Como is all about seeing a selection of the many local sights. The easiest way to get around is by water taxi, so we recommend purchasing a central lake ticket from one of the kiosks, which will allow you to explore at your own pace. A few of the must sees include Bellagio, a town with a jaw dropping location where the lake splits into two, the 19th Century Piazza Garibaldi in Menaggio and the artisan shops in Varenna. Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo is also a stunning stop owing to its ornate botanical gardens, lakefront setting and art collection.
Finish off with an aperitivo at a lakeside café and dinner at a trattoria or one of the Michelin starred restaurants for a treat.
If you’ve seen the latest version of James Bond Casino Royale, then you may come across a familiar sight when you visit Villa Balbianello. It’s a splendid 18th Century mansion in Lenno, which you can explore on a pre booked excursion. You’ll take a private boat over the lake to the villa where you’ll soon see the terraced gardens cascading into the water. Its setting on the tip of the Dosso d’Avedo peninsula also adds to the exuberance of the experience. Afterwards, head into the town of Menaggio for a coffee and an hour or two of exploring before returning to your hotel.
Today, travel out into the countryside for a breath of fresh air. Hiking and walking trails zig zag the valleys just beyond Lake Como, and one of our favourites is the Greenway, an 11.2km walk that takes you from Colonno to Cadenabbia di Griante. It skirts the western shore of the lake, passing through ancient villages, the towns of Lenno, Ossuccio and Tremezzo as well as historic churches and plenty of panoramic viewpoints. Rest your feet over a well-earned beer at the end and treat yourself to hearty evening meal once the sun has set.
Cross over the border into Switzerland on a picturesque journey to the elegant alpine resort of St Moritz. Firstly, stop for a coffee in the Italian town of Tirano right next to the border, then make your way into the pretty town of Poschiavo – which sits between a glacier and a lake – from where you can catch the Bernina Express train. Trundle alongside the Alps, White Lake, Black Lake and glaciers on your way to Diavolezza, and finish your journey to St Moritz by bus. After a day of discovery, make the most of your last night in Lake Como with a candlelit dinner before packing your bags to go into the city the next day.
Set off on an easy hour and a half journey into Milan, find your hotel and settle into city life. Get your bearings around the boulevards and piazzas with a stroll and stop along the way for a slice of rich panettone with an espresso on the side. Enjoy window shopping and looking at menus of the restaurants where you can dine out in the evening. Make sure you’ve pre-booked tickets to see The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci if you want to see it, this way you can avoid the queues.
Rise early, have a traditional Italian cappuccino and pastry for breakfast, and step out into the city before everything gets going. Make a beeline for the Duomo Cathedral – the third largest church in Europe - and climb the steps to the rooftops in peace before gazing out over the city as it wakes up. You’ll be near the glass covered Galleria Vittoria Emanuele II, where you can take a look at the latest trends in the high end boutiques and enjoy the grand surroundings.
If you’ve pre-booked our La Scala Museum and Theatre tour you’ll explore Italy’s most prominent opera house and take a peek behind the scenes with an expert guide. Take a break over a gelato, then make one last sightseeing stop at Sforza Castle if you have the energy.
It’s your final day in Milan. Make your way to the airport in time to catch your flight back home.
The price is based on 2 adults sharing, travelling in May 2024. Our Italy Experts can personalise all of our Twin and Multi-Centre holidays for a date and destination that suits you. For a bespoke quote, give one of our Personal Travel Planners a call on 01293 765055.
Quote reference number: 53134810