8 nights from £1,095pp.
Selected departures May to September 2012.
You'll love this tour if you like:
- Stunning lakes and mountains scenery
- Beautiful, historic cities - Padova, Vicenza, Verona, Mantova
- Exploring harbourside restaurants and cafes
- Charming family-run hotels
- Boat trips - on Lake Garda
Lago di Garda, Italy's largest and in the opinion of some, most beautiful lake, sits majestically in Alpine foothills. Surrounded by charming lakeside towns full of lovely Italianate architecture, with a dramatic backdrop of mountains, Lake Garda is a scenic contrast to the wealth of history and culture provided by the rest of the tour.
You will explore some of the beautiful northern Italian cities, including Verona, a world heritage site due to its beautiful architecture, and Padova. You will also visit the sanctuary of Madonna della Scoperta and enjoy a farewell lunch of delicious Italian cuisine.
Your base for the tour will be at the three-star Hotel Benaco in the historic centre of the town of Desenzano. With lovely gardens and swimming pool, there is no better place to relax before heading down to the waterfront for a leisurely dinner.
Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsflet to Paris and transfer by coach to your hotel for an overnight stay on bed & breakfast basis
Day 2: Travel by TGV to Milan and onwards to Desenzano. On arrival transfer on foot (approx 200m) to your hotel for check in for 7-night stay on bed & breakfast basis
Day 3: Free to enjoy Desenzano to explore the market or perhaps take a boat trip on the lake
Day 4: Tour of the lake with wine tasting included
Day 5: Full day tour to Verona
Day 6: Full day tour to Vicenza & Padova
Day 7: Free in Desenzano for further exploration of the town and the lake
Day 8: Full day tour to Mantova & the Madonna della Scoperta & farewell lunch at a typical local ristorante
Day 9: Depart – luggage transfer from hotel to Desenzano train station – by train to Chambéry. Transfer by coach to hotel for overnight stay
Day 10: Transfer to station for TGV to Paris and onwards by Eurostar to Ebbsfleet or St Pancras
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according tolocal conditions and tour manager’s discretion
- Return Eurostar and TGV from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Desenzano via Paris/Chambery
- 1 night's accommodation on bed and breakfast bais at the 3-star Mercure Gare du Lyon or Kyriad Bercy, based on shared occupancy of twin room
- 1 night's accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the 3-star Mercure Chambery Centre, based on shared occupancy of twin room
- 7 nights' acccommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the 3-star Benaco Hotel, Desenzano, based on shared occupancy of twin room
- Transfers and full touring itinerary as detailed including one lunch
- Tour manager throughout
- Single room supplement
- Holiday insurance
- Standard Premier/1st Class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg
- Meals other than those stated
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls.
- Porterage and gratuities.
|Departure Date||Duration||Status||Per Person||Single Supplement||Board Basis|
|06-May-2012||9||Available||£1,195||£225||Bed and Breakfast|
|21-Oct-2012||9||Available||£1,195||£225||Bed and Breakfast|
Places of InterestLake Garda & Desenzano
A full day tour of Lake Garda offers a scenic contrast to the wealth of history and culture on the other excursions on this tour. Flanked by picturesque villages along its shoreline with a dramatic backdrop of mountains and hillsides dotted with vineyards, the lake is regarded by many as the most beautiful, as well as the largest, of the Italian lakes. The lakeside towns are a delight too, such as Riva and pretty Sirmione. The base for the tour is Garda’s largest town, attractive Desenzano which offers lovely lakeside restaurants and some interesting sights including the remains of a Roman villa, High Speed Monument, Archaeological Museum and Church of Santa Maria Maddalena which is home to a version of the Last Supper by Tiepolo.
One of the highlights of this tour is a visit to one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, to rival Florence or Venice. Renowned as the city of Romeo and Juliet and for its opera festival held each summer, Verona is an ancient and beautiful city in its own right. Highlights include Juliet’s legendary balcony, the magnificent Roman arena, the church of San Zeno Maggiore, and lovely piazzas including the heart of the city, the Piazza delle Erbe.
Mantova & Madonna della Scoperta
Another of northern Italy’s most beautiful cities is on the agenda today as you head to Mantova. Described as “the most romantic city in the world” by Aldous Huxley, Mantova, surrounded by lakes and often described as “piccola Venezia” (little Venice), has an immaculate medieval centre that includes the impressive Palazzo Ducale and an evocative skyline of ancient towers. This wonderful and final day continues with a farewell lunch in a rustic trattoria on a farm in the hills around Lonato, scene of bloody battles in 1860 which led to the formation of the Red Cross thanks to the work of local villagers in assisting the wounded. The sanctuary of Madonne della Scoperta provides a post-lunch finale to the tour.
Vicenza and Padova
Another day of glorious architecture and art as you visit Palladio’s city of Vicenza and the beautiful university city of Padova. A delightful city, overlooked by most tourists, Vicenza is the home and bears the influence of the architect Andrea Palladio with a host of his hallmark buildings giving the city a distinctive look. Most important among the sights are the Monte Berico church, the Basilica in the beautiful main square, the Corso Andrea Palladio lined with his buildings including his home, and the Teatro Olimpico, Europe’s oldest indoor theatre. Padova, renowned for its university, has a wealth of sights, particularly the wonderful Giotto frescoes at the Scrovegni Chapel, the imposing Duomo and Baptistry, Palace of Reason, several beautiful squares and the Palazzo del Capitano