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

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Road Scholar
Program #17290RJ

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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. 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.
Michael from Asheville, NC Number of programs attended: 17
Date attended: 09/21/14 - 10/02/14
This is one of our favorite Road Scholar programs! Our leader, Katrin, was great! She has the patience of a saint and so accommodating. The lakes are beautiful and because we had spectacular weather so were the views. You have some steep uphill hiking, but everyone could go at their own pace and even opt out on some of the steep down hills by going on the bus.

Sally from Los Alamos, NM Number of programs attended: 16
Date attended: 09/21/14 - 10/02/14
This is a very special program. The leader is outstanding and our group was wonderful - so friendly and caring. I loved the outdoor activities and we managed to have beautiful weather. Did Road Scholar arrange for that!!?? I would highly recommend to anyone who loves to hike and would enjoy the incredible scenery of the Lake District

Sandy from Binghamton, NY Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 09/21/14 - 10/02/14
This program offers a terrific combination of scenery, exercise, learning and interesting inaction with a group. There was plenty of flexibility on the hikes to that people who wished to stop could return via bus/van and people who wanted to push ahead could do so as long as they followed the guides' directions.

Mary from Georgetown, MA Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 09/21/14 - 10/02/14
The mix of fine walks, great companionship, and good food in an ideal setting make this tour worth recommending. We were blessed with great weather and exceptional leaders. The fact that the trails we took and some of the places we visited would have been difficult for us to find on our own adds to the value. The uphill portions of the walks were taken slowly so we could pace ourselves. Be sure to bring very comfortable hiking boots.

Erica from Delaware, OH Number of programs attended: 19
Date attended: 09/21/14 - 10/02/14
Great program which I enjoyed very much. Lovely weather, good hikes, and good company. The level of the hiking was about what I expected and comfortable for me but the pace of the whole group was a bit slow. Hotels and meals were excellent.

Barbara from Golden Valley, MN Number of programs attended: 20
Date attended: 09/21/14 - 10/02/14
Program ability level was rated well below the actual ability level required. Many very long up hill climbs.

Susan from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 5
Date attended: 05/18/14 - 05/29/14
"Walking the Italian Lakes: Tranquil Waters at the lot of the Alps:" Take this journey if you like walking through beautiful mountain scenery, touring magnificent edifices, both religious and secular (very secular!), and tiny mountainside towns. It really is as picturesque as you might have imagined. From this trip, my husband and I learned that we can count on Road Scholar to provide all the features of an exciting yet comfortable vacation. Hats off to our excellent tour leader, Katrin Derbsch, who led us with knowledge and humor on varied and interesting itineraries, and provided plenty of learning about Italy, past and present. Our walks were somewhat challenging (as described in the RS brochure)--uphill, but not punishing--and rewarding with grand vistas and, in May, blankets of wildflowers. Our hotels were not fancy, though no international tycoon could ask for a better view than that of the Hotel Bellavista in the lovely town of Menaggio. The Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino was clean and cozy, set in the commercial center of bustling Stresa. The food was good, and there was plenty, including a special four-course country dinner prepared at the top of a mountain overlooking Lake Como. Bellissimo!

Steven from Lombard, IL Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 05/18/14 - 05/29/14
Excellent program, program leader and local guides were knowledgeable and entertaining. Hiking was well planned with strenuous days interspersed with less strenuous ones. Certainly helped that the weather was excellent for hiking (must be the result of all the churches and shrines we visited). Great group of participants - fun and interesting to be with. Day trip to Switzerland and hiking in the Alps a highlight. Excellent accommodations, meals and transportation. Superbly organized and run, would highly recommend to anyone. Hated to leave Menaggio.

Susan from Meriden, CT Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/18/14 - 05/29/14
This was our first experience with Road Scholar. We travel often, having already been to the central and southern areas of Italy on three other trips, and we enjoy walking/hiking. The Lake region in Northern Italy was a destination that we wanted to visit,so we decided to book this trip. Well, this travel adventure exceeded all of our expectations! The walking and hiking were perfect. There were comfortable walking days with interesting lectures along the way that explained the culture, history of the area, and information about the plants and environment. Then we were challenged by more difficult hiking days where we ventured into woodlands, villages, and the mountains in Italy and parts of Switzerland. The scenery was spectacular! Each day we felt more immersed into the Italian culture as we enjoyed the delicious food and learned so much about this beautiful region. Our Program Leader, Katrin Derbsch was excellent! She handled everything with ease and we enjoyed her personal reflections, calm manner, and gentle sense of humor. Our regional guides, Patricia and Paulo, both were residents of the area and extremely knowledgeable. They explained about each region, answered all our questions, and also kept us entertained. Our group of 19 got along well and it was really interesting to hear about other traveling experiences and to get to know people with similar interests. I would highly recommend this hiking/learning adventure.

Gerald from Portland, OR Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 05/18/14 - 05/29/14
If stimulating, sometimes challenging, hiking in spectacular environments appeals to you, consider this program. Add ample historical and cultural lectures and visits and very good food. And, making all of this work to your benefit is the exceptional Program Leader, Katrin Derbsch.

Harry from Burke, VA Number of programs attended: 8
Date attended: 05/18/14 - 05/29/14
This was an excellent program with a good mix of walking and sightseeing. Days of difficult walking were separated by easier days. The difficult days involved an average of about 6 miles and 900' elevation gain, some on very difficult steep rocky terrain and steps. There were some steep difficult descents. Hard days required good hiking shoes and walking sticks. Easy days were up to 3 miles with up to 200' elevation gain on easier terrain. Some people wore open-toed sandals on those days without needing walking sticks. There were also a number of city and town walks and tours. Most people had lake views at the hotel on Lake Como, but 25% did not. There were a number of scenic boat rides on the lakes and lots of visits to churches, old villas, gardens, and old town strolls. Food was very Italian, ie: pasta at every lunch and dinner. Free wine flowed freely at included lunches and at Lake Como, but was not included at Stesa hotel dinners. As always with RS tours, a solo man fends for himself and eats or walks around alone whenever it is not a group activity or meal as the couples don't want him along and the females bond together and don't want him along either. The tour leader was excellent and gave exact instructions to the group concerning every activity.

Elizabeth from Farmington Hills, MI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/04/14 - 05/15/14
Italy's Lake district is breathtaking. The amount of walking and hiking was just what I wanted and afforded great opportunities for photographs.

Roxanne from Okemos, MI Number of programs attended: 12
Date attended: 10/06/13 - 10/17/13
This area is a beautiful part of Italy. There are options available for length and elevation of walking/hiking; however, it's designed for outdoor participants. The culture and architecture fit well into the program.

Diane from Ellicott City, MD Number of programs attended: 13
Date attended: 10/06/13 - 10/17/13
The Italian Lakes are beautiful to behold. A bonus was visiting and hiking in Switzerland. We had a wide variety of walks, hikes and other activities. The food was good and the accommodations comfortable. Our Group Leader, Katrin, was outstanding--fun to be with and extremely well organized.

Mary from Springfield, VA Number of programs attended: 10
Date attended: 09/22/13 - 10/03/13
This program was a delight. The scenery and towns and hamlets were so beautiful and so well detailed by our local guides. The opportunity to walk and hike the countryside enhances what one sees and experiences. The family-owned hotels added to the magic of the trip. They were comfortable and so well situated.

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"With the Alps in the background, we climbed into Switzerland." Uploaded By: Susan
"With the Alps in the background, we climbed into Switzerland." Uploaded By: Susan

Uploaded By: Steven

"Enjoying gelato with a Road Scholar friend." Uploaded By: Eileen

"Hiking" Uploaded By: Eileen

"Villa carlotta overlooking Lake Como" Uploaded By: Eileen

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You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
10 nights of accommodations
27 meals: 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 9 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
21 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences


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