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ITALY

Walking the Italian Lakes: Tranquil Waters at the Foot of the Alps

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Italy

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Walking/Hiking

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Road Scholar
Program #17290RJ
12 Days | 11 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
The highest elevation is Day 8 is between 3300 and 3600 ft.

Equipment Requirements
Sturdy walking/hiking shoes are required (ankle-high shoes are not required, but highly recommended). Please see the "Walking Boots" note for additional information on proper footgear.

Itinerary for Oct 4 — Oct 15, 2015

Expand all
Day One: Sunday, October 04 - In Transit
In Transit: Overnight flight to Europe.

Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: For three generations, the Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino has been owned and operated by a local family in the heart of Stresa. The hotel is in the beautiful Piedmont region, very close to the lake and with a beautiful view of the Borromee Islands.

Contact info:
Via A.M. Bolongaro, 9
Stresa (VB), 28838 Italy
phone: +39 0-323-3025 4
web: www.hotelfiorentino.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, air conditioning, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, garden restaurant, laundry services and free wireless Internet access.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: N/A
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, October 05 - Arrivals
Note: 1.5 hours total walking.

Arrive To: Meet your group by 10:00 AM for the group transfer (approx. 1 hour) via private coach to Stresa (656 feet). If time permits after check-in, a light lunch will be served followed by an orientation walk (1.5 hours) in Stresa. Learn about the Stresa area during the walk. Welcome reception prior to dinner.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: For three generations, the Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino has been owned and operated by a local family in the heart of Stresa. The hotel is in the beautiful Piedmont region, very close to the lake and with a beautiful view of the Borromee Islands.

Contact info:
Via A.M. Bolongaro, 9
Stresa (VB), 28838 Italy
phone: +39 0-323-3025 4
web: www.hotelfiorentino.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, air conditioning, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, garden restaurant, laundry services and free wireless Internet access.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: N/A
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, October 06 - Isola Bella
Note: 5 hours walking and visiting palace time.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: This morning enjoy spectacular views of the Borromean Gulf as you walk along old mule tracks to a medieval tower. Hear a field lecture on the formation of the Borromean Gulf and Piedmont region.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch take a boat ride on the Borromean Gulf. Excursion to one of the most famous islands, Isola Bella, with its 18th-century Borromean Palace and perfectly preserved Baroque garden.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: For three generations, the Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino has been owned and operated by a local family in the heart of Stresa. The hotel is in the beautiful Piedmont region, very close to the lake and with a beautiful view of the Borromee Islands.

Contact info:
Via A.M. Bolongaro, 9
Stresa (VB), 28838 Italy
phone: +39 0-323-3025 4
web: www.hotelfiorentino.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, air conditioning, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, garden restaurant, laundry services and free wireless Internet access.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: N/A
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, October 07 - Orta San Giulio / Sacro Monte
Note: 3 hours total walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Today coach to Lake d'Orta and the town of Orta (961 feet) to begin the walking field trip around the picturesque streets of this little town. Visit the sacred Monte d'Orta, a hilltop sanctuary built in 1500 A.D. and located in a special nature reserve. Hear field lectures on the history of Orta and the sacred Monte d'Orta.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon in Orta to explore the center of town. Return to Stresa by coach.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: For three generations, the Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino has been owned and operated by a local family in the heart of Stresa. The hotel is in the beautiful Piedmont region, very close to the lake and with a beautiful view of the Borromee Islands.

Contact info:
Via A.M. Bolongaro, 9
Stresa (VB), 28838 Italy
phone: +39 0-323-3025 4
web: www.hotelfiorentino.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, air conditioning, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, garden restaurant, laundry services and free wireless Internet access.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: N/A
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, October 08 - Hillsides of Lago Maggiore
Note: 3.5 hours total walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Today's walk begins right at the hotel. Walk along marked trails through wooded areas, over uneven ground, cobblestones, tree roots, and occasionally steep terrain around Monte Croce (1693 feet), and also along the wooded hillsides south of Stresa. We will enjoy memorable views of Lago Maggiore. Learn about the flora and geographics of the Monte Croce area during a field lecture.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Optional walk to Lesa (1 hour). Return back to Stresa by public bus.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located on Lake Como in the center of Menaggio, the Hotel Bellavista is a stylish hotel that enjoys a magnificent panoramic view across the heart of the lake. Guests of the Hotel Bellavista have easy access to the ferry boat, water bus and local bus.

Contact info:
via IV Novembre, 21
Menaggio (Como), 22017 Italy
phone: +39 0344 32136
web: www.hotel-bellavista.org

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, air conditioning, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a veranda restaurant, bar, solarium, swimming pool, terrace, tea room and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Friday, October 09 - Lago di Lugano / Gandria / Transfer to Menaggio
Note: 2.5 hours total walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast leave Lake Maggiore behind and depart for Lake Como. Enroute there is a stop at Lugano (896 feet) for an effortless walk along the shore of Lago di Lugano to the quaint little village of Gandria.

Lunch: Enjoy a picnic lunch at the lake shore before continuing by coach.

Afternoon: Arrive in the afternoon at Menaggio (660 feet). Check-in at the hotel followed by an orientation stroll through the center of town and along the lake shore. A field lecture will introduce you to the area of Lake Como and the village of Managgio.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Welcome orientation.

Lodging: Hotel Bellavista

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located on Lake Como in the center of Menaggio, the Hotel Bellavista is a stylish hotel that enjoys a magnificent panoramic view across the heart of the lake. Guests of the Hotel Bellavista have easy access to the ferry boat, water bus and local bus.

Contact info:
via IV Novembre, 21
Menaggio (Como), 22017 Italy
phone: +39 0344 32136
web: www.hotel-bellavista.org

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, air conditioning, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a veranda restaurant, bar, solarium, swimming pool, terrace, tea room and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Saturday, October 10 - San Domenico / Loveno
Note: 3 hours total walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: This morning ride the private coach to Breglia (2650 feet), a small mountain village. Begin the walking field trip on an easy circular trail that leads through the woods to the chapel of San Domenico (2700 feet) with spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Continue the walk to the Santuario della Madonna di Breglia before returning to the village of Breglia. From here transfer by private coach to Loveno for a walking excursion of this old and unspoiled little village with narrow cobbled streets and noble villas. Today's field lectures are called "San Domenico: Place of Pilgrimage" and "History of the old and unspoiled village of Loveno."

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch, join a hands-on introduction to the Bocce game. Return to Menaggio on foot.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Bellavista

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located on Lake Como in the center of Menaggio, the Hotel Bellavista is a stylish hotel that enjoys a magnificent panoramic view across the heart of the lake. Guests of the Hotel Bellavista have easy access to the ferry boat, water bus and local bus.

Contact info:
via IV Novembre, 21
Menaggio (Como), 22017 Italy
phone: +39 0344 32136
web: www.hotel-bellavista.org

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, air conditioning, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a veranda restaurant, bar, solarium, swimming pool, terrace, tea room and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Sunday, October 11 - Val Bregaglia / Soglio / Chiavenna
Note: 4 hours total walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Traveling over the Alps on one of the ancient trading routes, a private coach leads us away from the lakes and over the border to Switzerland. Enter the Valley of Bregaglia with its lovely landscape, characteristic houses and architectural monuments; testimonies of the once significant history of the valley. Stop at Stampa (3300 feet) where the famous Giacometti brothers (painters and sculptors) called home. Walk on a rough goat trail with high uneven steps to Soglio (3600 feet), the most graceful village in the area. Located on a sun terrace high above the valley, the town offers memorable views. Take in a field lecture about the ancient trading routes over the Alps and the Valley of Bregaglia. A second field lecture will inform you of the famous Giacometti brothers and their home town of Stampa.

Lunch: Picnic on the trail.

Afternoon: Continue the field trip down to Castasegna (2260 feet) at the border of Switzerland and Italy. Return to Menaggio by private coach with a stop at Chiavenna (1100 feet), geographical, cultural and economic center of the area.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Bellavista

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located on Lake Como in the center of Menaggio, the Hotel Bellavista is a stylish hotel that enjoys a magnificent panoramic view across the heart of the lake. Guests of the Hotel Bellavista have easy access to the ferry boat, water bus and local bus.

Contact info:
via IV Novembre, 21
Menaggio (Como), 22017 Italy
phone: +39 0344 32136
web: www.hotel-bellavista.org

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, air conditioning, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a veranda restaurant, bar, solarium, swimming pool, terrace, tea room and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Monday, October 12 - Como / Cittadella Seta
Note: 2 hours total walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: This morning transfer by private coach to Como (653 feet). On arrival at la Cittadella Seta, the silk city presents its charming side with an extensive shore promenade, the Roman quarter in the back and the Baroque cupola of the Cathedral. Enjoy an excursion of this city and hear a field lecture about the history, culture and economics of Como.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Enjoy free time this afternoon in Como. Perhaps you would like to ride by funicular to Brunate (2350 feet) for more impressive views of the surrounding mountains, ice capped peaks of the Alps, and Lake Como. Tickets for the independent return by boat back to Menaggio will be provided.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Bellavista

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Located on Lake Como in the center of Menaggio, the Hotel Bellavista is a stylish hotel that enjoys a magnificent panoramic view across the heart of the lake. Guests of the Hotel Bellavista have easy access to the ferry boat, water bus and local bus.

Contact info:
via IV Novembre, 21
Menaggio (Como), 22017 Italy
phone: +39 0344 32136
web: www.hotel-bellavista.org

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, radio, air conditioning, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a veranda restaurant, bar, solarium, swimming pool, terrace, tea room and free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Tuesday, October 13 - Menaggio / Bellagio
Note: 3 hours total walking.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Leave Menaggio by ferry boat to quaint Bellagio for a cooking class at a typical agriturismo. Our walk starts from Bellagio and leads through small hamlets and a forest of chestnut trees. There will be steep uphill walking over uneven terrain (loose rocks and uneven cobblestone steps) en route to our destination, "Baita Belvedere." We will be taught how to prepare a typical farmer's meal and will enjoy our lunch while overlooking the beautiful bay of Bellagio. Hear field lectures on Bellagio (the "Pearl of Lake Como"), the garden of the Villa Melzi, and Italian cuisine.

Lunch: Lunch at la Baita Belvedere.

Afternoon: In the afternoon you may decide to be transported to Bellagio or join the optional walk back to Bellagio (2 hours). Free time in Bellagio and individual return by ferry back to Menaggio.

Dinner: Farewell drink and dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Bellavista

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The four-star Novotel Milano Malpensa Airport Hotel is a modern hotel that offers comfort and convenience to all its guests. It is located 25 miles from the center of Milan and provides a free shuttle to the airport.

Contact info:
Via Al Campo, 99
Cardano Al Campo
Milano Malpensa, 21010 Italy
phone: +39 0331266611
web: www.novotel.com

Room amenities: Each room has a television, telephone, mini bar, safe, free wireless Internet access and a hair dryer.

Facility amenities: The hotel offers a 24-hour cafe restaurant, bar, fitness center, outdoor pool and free wireless Internet access.

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: N/A
Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Eleven: Wednesday, October 14 - Villa Carlotta / Transfer to last hotel
Note: 2.5 hours total walking and visiting time.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: On our last morning transfer by public bus for a visit of the famous Villa Carlotta, a classical mansion from the end of the 17th century with an extensive botanical garden. Hear a field lecture on Villa Carlotta. Return to Menaggio by public bus.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: Transfer by private coach to the Novotel Milano Malpensa Airport Hotel. Enjoy some free time for the rest of the afternoon. Your program staff can assist you with ideas of what to see and do, and with transportation into the city center.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Lodging: Novotel Milano Malpensa Airport Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day Twelve: Thursday, October 15 - Departures
Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Independent shuttles to the airport for your flight back home.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Menaggio
Funicular to BrunateFrom Menaggio, the group will be visiting Como for a day. During a free afternoon, you may wish to take a funicular ride to Brunate, where impressive views of the mountains, ice capped peaks and the lake can be seen. Program staff can assist with return boat tickets while on the program.

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
10 nights of accommodations
26 meals: 10 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners
14 Expert-led lectures
14 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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