A trip to Northern Italy is a trip to one of Italy’s most beautiful and romantic regions. You’ll start in Milan, well-known world-wide as the capital of art and design. You’ll get to see it all, from the glass-vaulted shopping arcade to The Last Supper and everything in between. You’ll relax on a day trip to Lake Maggiore on a private boat, with a visit to the magnificently beautiful, 16th century Borromean Islands. Then, on to Lake Como, where you may see the famous celebrities who populate the town. You’ll stay at a lakefront hotel, tour the lake and visit Bellagio, known for its art and its beauty. Next: to Verona, with a stop for lunch and wine tasting. You’ll tour this ancient city, before heading on to Venice – one of the world’s most romantic cities. You will see the sites of Venice on walking tours and gondola rides…enjoy a private boat trip to the islands of Murano and Burano – plan to shop for glass, lace and more. Finally, your private guide will take you on another private boat trip, this time to Venice’s airport for departure. You will have had the chance to absorb Northern Italy – and create true friends in Your Own Italy.
Highlights and What’s Included
• Private Mercedes transfers to and from the airport and train stations.
• Business Class seats on High-Speed trains.
• English-speaking tour guide throughout.
• 10 nights’ accommodations total. Your choice of hotels or apartments in historic center in Milan - 3 nights, Como - 2 nights, Verona – 2 nights and Venice – 3 nights.
• Private Walking tour of Milan with visit to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper.
• Day Excursion to Lake Maggiore and the Borromean Islands.
• Day Excursion on Lake Como to Bellagio and Villa Balbianello.
• Private Walking tour of Verona.
• Introduction to Venice walking tour with gondola ride.
• Private Tour of San Marco, the Marciana Library, the Clock Tower and Doge’s Palace.
• Private Boat Tour of the islands of Murano and Burano with glass-making demonstration.
DAY 1: Private Transfer from Milan’s Airport and Introductory Tour of Milan
On arrival you’ll be met and transferred by private car to your hotel in the heart of the Milan, a global capital of art and design and the second largest city in Italy, after Rome. Once you are relaxed from your travels, your guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you on an introductory walking tour of what is considered Italy’s most stylish city. On your walking tour, you’ll stop by the alluring Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a 19th century glass-vaulted shopping arcade. It is known as the ‘salotto di Milano’ or ‘Milan’s drawing room’ -- and has always been as a common meeting point for the people of Milan. It is filled with fashionable shops and cafes – and you MUST plan to shop while you’re there.
DAY 2: Tour of Milan’s Unique Sites
Your private guide will pick you up at your hotel and accompany you to see many of Milan’s most unique sites. The first stop is the medieval Sforza’s Castle, a grand medieval Castle and fortress. It was once the seat and residence for Milan’s ruling family and now houses several of the city’s museums and art collections. Next, you will head to Santa Maria delle Grazie Church, to see Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, certainly one of the world’s most famous works of art. You will stop for lunch, then tour the splendid Duomo, one of the world’s largest, most striking Gothic cathedrals. The roof and façade of this amazing build includes 135 spires and 3,200 statues. (How many can you count?!) The walking tour will end at Milan’s famous Opera House, home of the world-renowned La Scala Theater. Founded in 1778 and still in use today, some of the world’s greatest musicians and opera singers have performed here, including Pavarotti and other more recent stars. Giuseppe Verdi was here, often premiering his famous operas.
DAY 3: Day Excursion to Borromean Islands
This is the day you’ll enjoy a day trip to the stunning Lake Maggiore. The journey from Milan will take just over an hour in your private car. Then, a private boat will take you out on the lake, which is located at the foot of the Alps, straddling the border of Italy and Switzerland. You will tour the Borromean Islands with your private guide. These are a group of three small islands and two islets on Lake Maggiore, a favorite attraction due to their beautiful palaces, gardens and picturesque setting. Their history dates to the early 16th century and are the perfect way to continue your vacation in Northern Italy.
DAY 4: Transfer to Como
Depart from Milan today by private car to Lake Como, a journey which should take between an hour and an hour and a half. After arriving at your lakefront hotel, you will have the rest of the day to explore the charming medieval heart of the town. Lake Como has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times. It is now a very popular tourist destination, offering multiple artistic and cultural attractions. It includes many villas and palaces – as well as the homes of many famous people hugging the shores of the lake. Lake Como has been called the most beautiful lake in the world for its microclimate and environment with prestigious villas and villages. This is luxury unlike anything else you will find in the world.
DAY 5: Day Excursion on Lake Como and Bellagio
In the morning, you’ll set off with your private guide and boat driver to explore Lake Como. One of the highlights will be a visit to Villa Balbianello, a stunning lakeside retreat where the James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ was filmed. After this you’ll head to the picturesque town of Bellagio, often referred to as the ‘pearl of the lake’, to enjoy some free time. Bellagio is a village on a promontory jutting out into the lake. It’s known for its cobbled lanes, elegant buildings and Villa Serbelloni Park, an 18th-century terraced garden with lake views. Nearby are the Tower of the Arts, a venue for exhibitions and performances, and the Romanesque San Giacomo Church. Close to rocky Loppia Beach, the Museum of Navigational Instruments displays sundials and compasses. After visiting Bellagio, your boat with take you back down the lake to your hotel.
DAY 6: Transfer to Verona with Visit to Wine Producing Villa
Departing from Lake Como by private car, you will head east to Verona, a journey of approximately two hours. On the way you’ll stop for lunch and wine tasting at a wine- producing villa near Verona. As you’ll find throughout Italy, the food and wine will be incomparable. Your driver will then take you to your hotel in the historic center of Verona, a medieval town on the beautiful Adige River. Famous as the setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” it includes 14th-century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard is said be “Juliet’s House.” The city also includes a 1st-century Roman amphitheater, which currently hosts concerts and large-scale opera performances.
DAY 7: Tour of Verona
This morning a guide will meet you at your hotel for a private three-hour walking tour of Verona. Verona is an exceptionally romantic city with a rich architectural heritage. It is strategically set at the crossing of two vital trade routes, on the Adige River, and has been an important cultural and commercial hub since the 3rd century. Today, Verona’s streets still reveal the rich, multi-layered history, with a medieval core, a labyrinth of cobbled laneways and grand squares with ancient Roman structures. The most complete of these is the wonderful Roman amphitheater, where the city’s world- renowned summer opera festival is held every year. Your private guide will show you all the sites, tell you about the history and answer all your questions.
DAY 8: Transfer to Venice and Tour of Hidden Venice
Your driver will pick you up and accompany you to the Venice. Upon arrival your tour guide will meet and lead you to your private taxi-boat. You will never forget the splendid entrance on the Grand Canal into one of the most unique cities in the world. After relaxing in your hotel room you will be taken on a walking tour of the labyrinth also known as “hidden Venice” to enjoy the piazzas, or campi in Venetian, shops and cafés. Your introduction to Venice will culminate an enchanting glide through the canals of Venice. Are you a lyricist? A tenor will join your gondola ride and sing opera as you sip on a glass of wine.
DAY 9: Tour of Venice’s Unique Sites
Your private tour guide will introduce you to the main attractions of one of the most unique cities in the world. You will have a first-hand presentation of the Piazza San Marco (famous for its yearly flooding in the winter); You will visit St. Mark’s Basilica, with the richness of its marbles and mosaics. The Doge’s palace, fourteenth century building from where the ancient Venetian republic exerted the control over the city. Passing through the famous Bridge of Sighs, you will reach the Prisons Palace. Your tour will culminate with a climb to the top of its bell tower for the magnificent views of the city.
DAY 10: Explore Murano and Burano
You will be picked up at the dock of your hotel by a private boat and speed along the Venetian Lagoon to two islands famous for their handicrafts and architecture: Murano and Burano.
Known for its glassware shops and factories, Murano boasts a long and still-thriving tradition dating back to 1291, when glass artisans moved their kilns from the old city center. Explore the island on foot and stop at a glass factory to watch a skilled glassblower create works of art. View the magnificent splendor of Murano’s palaces and Veneto-Byzantine style churches, some with mosaics and ornamental motifs designed in the 12th century, and catch a glimpse of San Michele – Venice’s 19th-century cemetery – across the water. Before re-boarding the boat, you’ll have time to visit a museum showcasing the world-famous Murano glass.
Afterward, journey to the island of Burano and admire the picturesque fishermen’s houses painted in bright pastel colors. In this miniature Venice, you’ll find the famous lace – abundant since the 16th century and once considered the most refined in Europe. Browse local shops and find lace on display at a museum dedicated to the craft of lace. You will enjoy lunch in a restaurant on the canal with the colorful backdrop of the fuchsia pink, deep blue and vibrant yellow houses that characterize this lovely island town.
DAY 11: Departure
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and accompany you by private boat to Venice’s airport for departure. We salute you with a warm and heartfelt “arrivederci”! See you again! Now that you’ve traveled with us, know that you have friends here in Your Own Italy.
• At times St Mark’s basilica is closed due to high water or religious ceremonies. During high water the tour will take place, but it might happen we have to partly adapt the tour to the weather conditions. On those occasions when St Mark’s Basilica is open with high water, skip the line tickets will not be accepted as all visitors have only 1 door open to get in the church.
• Guaranteed skip-the-line entrance to St. Mark’s Basilica are available only from April to October St. Mark’s Basilica does not offer a fast entry service to anyone in other periods, considered off peak season.
• There is a dress code for churches and basilicas. Shoulders and knees must be covered; shorts, miniskirts and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. It is recommended that you not take large bags or backpacks on tours that include churches as storage accommodations are not always available.
• This tour takes place in an historical area and is not fully accessible for wheelchair users or people with walking disabilities. However, please contact us directly and we will be able to take you on alternative routes suitable for you.
• Please wear comfortable footwear as the tours on your vacation involve a lot of walking.
• Contact Your Own Italy for customization options on your vacation.
• Refer to our website for details on our Cancellation Policy.
- When should we start planning our trip?
- Ideally, we ask for at least 3 months' advance notice, especially in the high season (May to September). Arrangements can be made on shorter notice, but you run the risk of missing out on the availability of our favorite hotels and guides. We want the best for our clients, and the more time we have, the more we can guarantee just that.
- What are YOI's payment terms?
- For our customized vacations, we require a 20% deposit upon approval of the itinerary we have presented to you. The balance is due 30 days prior to your arrival date.
- What happens after I've made a reservation through your website?
- Upon submitting your reservation through our website, you will be provided with a voucher with a reservation number that will be used for payment by credit card on the online portal of Blue Pay, our credit card processor.
- Should I purchase travel insurance?
- We strongly encourage you to buy travel insurance at the time of booking, in the event you must cancel and forfeit funds or in the unfortunate case of injury or loss. We also recommend checking with your credit card company, which may offer travel coverage.
- What kind of information will we receive before our trip?
- Approximately one month prior to your departure date, you will receive a Your Own Italy travel packet consisting of a detailed day-to-day itinerary, our list of recommended restaurants, a “Helpful Hints Guide” for Italy, and your specific destinations, plus detailed information and contacts for your accommodations, tours, excursions, and transportation.
- Can you give me a cost breakdown of my customized vacation and what is included?
- The vacations we create are bundled packages and therefore we do not provide a cost breakdown. Our local suppliers often give us a bundled price for the services provided and so we do the same for our clients. We arrange for all your accommodations, transportation, local tour guides, restaurant reservations, and any other fun activities and experiences from the moment you arrive until the day of your departure.