North Italy Tour

Destination: Padua, Venice, Milan, Rome, Florence, Verona, Siena, Bologna, Brescia

From US$ 2,310 8 days excluding flights

Day 1 Rome, Assisi, Siena, Florence  
Departing at 7:15am from the hotel Massimo D’Azeglio by a deluxe coach,  you will arrive in Assisi, where you can explore this tiny town, surrounded by  walls built in the middle ages, at your own leisure. Make time to visit the  basilica  of  St.  Francis,  where  you  will  see masterpieces  by  Giotto  and  Ciambue, and to have lunch (not included). Board the bus for Siena, a  medieval town surrounded by ancient walls that is known for the Palio, an  annual summertime horse race around the shell‐shaped town square, Piazza  del Campo. Next, you will continue on to Florence, where you will check in  to your hotel before enjoying dinner and a well‐earned night of rest.  

Day 2 Florence
After breakfast, you will spend the day venturing around beautiful Florence,  the “cradle of renaissance, where, with the help of Michelangelo, italian art  reached its pinnacle. Based on etruscan‐roman origins, the city flourished in  the  middle  ages  as  a  free  “comune”  and was  further  refined  by  the  renaissance. You will be fascinated by its numerous monuments, churches,  and buildings, as Santa Maria del Fiore, more commonly referred to as the  Duomo. On your visit, you will be amazed by its magnificent dome built by  Filippo Brunelleschi. Cross a small piazza to see the campanile tower (partly  designed  by  Giotto)  and  the  baptistery,  with  its  bronze  doors  that  Michelangelo dubbed the “gates of paradise.” In the heart of the city, you  will see Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo della Signoria (also known as Palazzo  Vecchio),  and  the  basilica  of  Santa  Croce.  Lunch  in  a  typical  Tuscany  restaurant  in  Santa  Croce  square.  Spend  the  afternoon  strolling  the  cobblestone streets of Florence on your own or take a short trip to Pisa  (optional), one of the four main historical marine republics of Italy. There,  you will tour the square of miracles, which houses the Duomo, the leaning  tower, and the baptistery. Overnight stay.  

Day 3 Florence, Bologna, Padova, Venice  
Depart for  Bologna after breakfast  in Florence. There, you will wander  through the city’s 38 kilometers worth of elegant arcades (or porticos), for  which Bologna is famous. From Piazza Malpighi, we will walk to Piazza del  Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore (Neptune square and Major square) in the  heart of the city, where you will find Neptune fountain; King Renzo Palace;  Podestà Palace; and the basilica of San Petronio, one of the biggest in the  world.  In  the  afternoon,  continue  toward  Padova,  with  its  original  Sant’Antonio basilica. Later, you will arrive in Venice, world‐renowned for its  classic gondola boats and its elegant, refined art. Check in to your hotel and  enjoy your first venetian dinner and overnight stay.  

Day 4 Venice, Milan 
It’s on to Milano after breakfast at your hotel. Once there, you’ll have the  day to explore this metropolitan city before checking in to your hotel for  some rest.  

Day 5 Milan, Lake Orta, Stresa, Como  
Departure at 08.30 am from NH Touring in Milan to the Lake Orta, a small  and charming lake situated in the North ‐ eastern side of the region Piedmont.  Stop in the beautiful village of Orta San Giulio for a short visit. Then, tour by  boat to reach the island of San Giulio, just in front of the village: it is the pearl  of the lake, almost entirely occupied by the Monastery Mater Ecclesie,  famous for studies on antique books. After a short visit, ferry back to Orta  and departure by bus to Stresa, on Lake Maggiore, one of the largest Italian  ones. Wedged between the pre‐alps, and of clear glacial origin, it is framed  in its lower section by the soft hills of the region of Novara, and in the upper  section, by high mountain peaks, some of which with perpetual snow. These  features make possible an average temperature during all seasons, milder in  winter than in the inner areas and cooled down in summer by the breezes  that blow on the water’s surface changing its colour. Due to its mild climate,  many species of flowers and plants typical to the sub‐tropical climate could 
adapt to the lake areas climate. Arrival in Stresa, an international tourist  resort situated in a central but also panoramic and picturesque position  along the lakeside roadway, stands just in front of the ‘Borromee’ islands.  Free time for lunch. In the afternoon, tour of the Pescatori island (Fishermen  island) by boat. The island, was named after the main activity which over the  centuries has characterized this fishermen town. Although only few families  still  maintain  the  original  activity,  the  identity  of  the  small  community  appears intact. Tourists are fascinated by its simple houses, the narrow lanes,  the stone portals and the attractive underpasses. We will continue to the  Bella Island, where we may visit the Borromeo Palace with its magnificent  gardens. Return to Stresa (free time for lunch, not included). At the and of  the visit departure to Como. Overnight in the hotel.  

Day 6 Como, Bellagio, Varenna, Bergamo, Brescia  
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before setting off on a short visit of Como, a  small town with amazing natural panoramas of mountains, lake Como, and  wild alpine valleys. You’ll also see the industrialized Brianzola hill, downtown  Como, and the small houses in the village. The lake itself, sometimes called  lario, has long been famous for its y‐shape, its three branches intersecting at  Bellagio, where you will visit via boat. Separating the lake’s two southern  arms with the alps dominating the horizon to the north, Bellagio is home to  the  most  renowned  beach  in  Italy.  Spend  some  time  strolling  this  picturesque village with its small streets, luxury hotels, villas, and gardens,  stopping for lunch in one of the many cafés in town (not included). Back on  the boat, you will make your way to Varenna that afternoon, where you will  have a panoramic tour before moving on to Bergamo, a truly historic and  artistic jewel characterized by its division of urban structure: the “lower town”  (città bassa) is modern and dynamic, while the famous “upper town” (città  alta) houses the city’s medieval history. After a short walking Fantasia tour  of in the city center, depart to Brescia, where you will settle in to your new  hotel for the night.  

Day 7 Brescia, Sirmione, Riva Del Garda, Verona  
Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, is the next destination. After breakfast  at your hotel, you will have a panoramic tour of the lake’s west coast, taking  in the splendid natural scenery: brilliant colors, the Dolomites of Brenta, and  the gentle slopes of the Morainic hills. Enjoy the area’s rich vegetation,  including lemon trees, oleanders, magnolias, and bouganville, that flourishes  thanks to the mediterranean climate. So be sure to taste some of the olive  oil and wines made locally. Next, you will move on to Sirmione, where you  will see the lake Garda and its surroundings at their finest. See the sun  shining off of the lake’s blue waters and tree‐lined shores, the Sirmione cape,  the castle, and the catullo’s ruins during a boat tour. Back on land, you will  have free time for lunch before departing for riva del Garda on the north side  of the lake, where you will see its venetian‐style historic center. Verona will  be your final stop of the day, where you will check in to your hotel for the  night.  

Day 8 Verona, Milan  
Fuel up on breakfast at your hotel before setting out to see the famous city  of Verona, a work of art in itself. This fascinating crossroad of historical  periods and cultures (both classical and germanic) is a blend of both Nordic  and mediterranean influences that is both ancient and modern. A walk  through its narrow streets will allow you to get in touch with Verona’s varied  and  fascinating  past:  traces  of  its  splendid  roman  origins,  its  medieval  structures, its magnificent renaissance palaces, as well as the impressive  fortifications protecting it. The combination of art and history will fascinate  you. Spend some time eating lunch before departing for Milan, where your  tour will come to an end.  *From Venice to Milan, up to five people will be transferred by train.  

ID: IT-1-02-002