Our 10 night Venice and Lake Garda multi centre holiday, perfect for couples, introduces you to one of the world’s most glorious cities before whisking you off to the magical shores of Italy’s largest lake.
Start your Italian adventure in Venice, a city of immense grandeur, which offers you an experience like no other. Soak up the atmosphere in Piazza San Marco or explore the less boisterous Cannaregio for a taste of local life.
Make the short journey to Lake Garda and immerse yourself in its wonderful scenery and charming lakeside towns which are just waiting to be explored. Among the favourites are historic Limone sul Garda in the north and picturesque Malcesine on the eastern shore.
Take a water taxi from Marco Polo International Airport to one of our carefully selected hotels and check in. Formalities completed, it’s time to get to know La Serenissima, its obvious charms and its secret places.
A wonderful way to spend your first evening in this city of culture is to take in a performance at the Teatro La Fenice Opera House, a historic venue which Maestro Pavarotti described as a “jewel and architecturally the most beautiful theatre in Italy.” Donizetti and Rossini once staged operas here and Verdi premiered the dramatic and initially controversial La Traviata. Be sure to pre-book the tickets with one of our travel experts so as not to miss out.
Spend the day visiting some of Venice’s best known landmarks, including the Bridge of Sighs, the Basilica di San Marco and the fascinating Museo Correr. These historic places offer an excellent introduction to the city, while the back streets are ideal for those wanting to explore further. The Cannaregio, is a quieter neighbourhood with artisan shops, small galleries, synagogues and a Jewish museum. Alternatively, you could visit the 14th Century Church of the Madonna, dell’Orto where Jacapo Tintoretto once worshiped as a boy. A number of his works hang in the church.
As the sun goes down and Venetian tables are set for dinner you can eat like a local at one of the many bars and restaurants in the area.
We recommend a visit to Venice Lido, which was once a narrow sandy barrier between the Venetian lagoon and the Adriatic. Today it’s a trendy island with shops, restaurants and beautiful beaches. In September the Lido becomes host of the Venice International Film Festival.
Alternatively, you could pre-book Citalia’s Venice Islands Tour which takes you to Murano where you can see demonstrations of glass blowing and Burano, famous for its colourful fisherman’s cottages and its exquisite lacework. For history lovers Torcello’s 7th Century Cathedral of Santa Maria Dell’Assunta is just one of the highlights.
Today it’s time to say goodbye to Venice and travel, journey time around 1.5 hours, to your chosen hotel on Lake Garda. Day one on the Italian Lakes offers a chance to draw breath, make plans and explore all that’s going on in your nearest resort. For foodies, Lake Garda offers everything from Michelin star sophistication to intimate family run taverns serving simple and delicious local favourites. Enjoy a limocello straight from the freezer as the perfect way to end your first day.
Start the day with a cappuccino and a stroll along the lakeside or, if you’re feeling energetic, hire a mountain bike and take to one of the many waymarked trails in the area. There are routes for all abilities. Vines have been grown here for centuries, with Bardolino and Valpolicella among the best-known wines produced. Many of the local wineries offer tours and tastings. For shopaholics the Il Leone Shopping Centre offers everything from food to fashion, while the many little street markets are fun to explore for a more laid back approach.
The next few days are an opportunity to discover more about some of the lakeside towns and villages, each with their own unique character. On the southern shores Sirmione, a bustling little town, has a rich historical and cultural legacy. Its thermal spa, attractive shops and elegant outdoor cafés make it a perennial favourite with visitors.
As if to highlight the lake’s wonderful diversity, Riva del Garda on the northern shore, an area surrounded by mountains, offers hiking, cycling, climbing and windsurfing and is just the place for those with an adventurous spirit.
Leaving the waters of Lake Garda behind, you’ll be taken on a full day tour of the majestic Dolomites. With its jagged peaks, 18 of which rise to over 3,000 metres, sheer limestone walls and narrow valleys, it has been a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009.
You’ll visit the South Tyrol, Italy’s northernmost region, an area with lush forests, vineyards and hidden lakes. The mix of Italian and Germanic (Austrian) culture adds to the region’s unique character. With a chance to explore a local town, visit a glacier and take a cable car ride which promises the most spectacular views, it will be a day to remember.
As it’s your last full day we recommend something particularly special. Climb aboard The Mount Baldo cable car, which leaves from Malcesine and glides, in just 15 minutes, to an altitude of almost 2,000 metres. As it ascends, the cabin slowly rotates, giving you a 360 degree view of the lake. At the top enjoy a snack at the café and take in the view. It’s best to be there as early as possible to beat the queues. In the evening keep it simple with a great meal and drinks at one of the lakeside trattorias.
It’s time to take your final lakeside walk and say arrivederci to Lake Garda before heading to Verona for your return flight home.
If time allows squeeze in visits to city’s Roman amphitheatre or the Romeo and Juliet balcony on the Via Cappello.
Based on 2 adults sharing. Travelling October 2023.
Quote reference number: 53068638