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La Dolce Vita: The Italian Lakes of Como, Garda, Maggiore

Program Number: 16740RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/9/2013 - 9/22/2013; 10/6/2014 - 10/19/2014; 5/4/2015 - 5/17/2015; 5/18/2015 - 5/31/2015; 9/14/2015 - 9/27/2015; 9/28/2015 - 10/11/2015; 10/12/2015 - 10/25/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $3,795.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 29; 12 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Since the days of Pliny the Elder (A.D. 23-79), the stunning Lakes Region of Italy has attracted the world’s rich and famous, who built glorious villas along its shores against a backdrop of rugged Alps. Venture to three of the region’s lakes — Como, Garda and Maggiore —and uncover a wealth of human achievement and natural beauty, from aristocratic villas and castles to serene waters, snow-capped mountains and breathtaking waterfalls.




Highlights

• With a local expert, explore the remarkable villas and gardens that grace the shores of the Italian lakes region.
• At the Civic Museum of Bolzano, view the Bronze Age “Oetzi the Iceman.”
• Savor delectable dishes and wines of the Trentino Alto Adige, Piemonte and Lombardia as you explore the lake regions of Northern Italy.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles a day.




Date Specific Information

9-9-2013, 10-6-2014, 5-4-2015, 5-18-2015, 9-14-2015, 9-28-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



10-12-2015

See beautiful fall foliage and flora with fewer crowds.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Riva del Garda, 5 nights; coach to Stresa, 3 nights; coach to Como, 4 nights; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Verona
Coach to Riva del Garda (Lake Garda)
5 nights

Take a boat ride across the lake to the town of Malcesine and learn about its 13th-century fortifications, Castello Scaligeri. Experience the breathtaking alpine water falls of Varone, surrounded by the majestic Dolomite Mountains. View the frescoes of Castello del Buonconsiglio and Torre dell’Aquila. Discuss the Italian Social Republic and the capture of Mussolini. At the Civic Museum, see up close the famous Bronze Age iceman “Oetzi,” whose frozen body was found in a melting glacier in 1998.



Coach to Stresa (Lake Maggiore)
3 nights

At the Villa Taranto, an expert showcases the 19th-century villa and its botanical gardens that are among the most beautiful and well-preserved in Europe. Learn about the Baroque palace and the stunning terraces of landscaped gardens on Isola Bella, part of the Borromean Islands of Lake Maggiore. With a local expert, discuss the culture of the lakes region, including cuisine, history and contemporary life.



Coach to Como (Lake Como)
4 nights
Coach to Milan for departure

Board a boat for a cruise to various villas and villages on the shores of Lake Como. Visit Villa Carlotta, the towns of Bellagio and Balbianello. Enjoy the luminous waters, the multicolor palette of flowering bushes and trees, and views of the majestic Alps. Visit the silk museum and learn about the silk factories, one of the industries that enriched this area.




Italy

“Dolce far niente,” the “sweetness of doing nothing.” This ode to leisure is a distinctly Italian phrase, and yet the expression does not do justice to the hard-work ethos of the nation’s inhabitants. The monuments, art and civilization bequeathed to the people of modern Italy are a testament to the industry of their forebearers, and the legacy lives on in today’s Italians, who work hard to better enjoy the sweetness of repose.



Accommodations
Riva del Garda: Hotel in the town center, overlooking the port and historic clock tower. Stresa: Hotel located in pedestrian center of town. Como: Family-owned hotel along the shores of Lake Como.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Mara Farina

Mara Farina received her doctorate in modern history from the University of Bologna. She has published essays and articles in several publications on gastronomy, oenology and local destinations, and enjoys exploring destinations around the globe with her family. She lives near Mantua and has close ties to Parma as well.
 
Patrizia Spini

Patrizia Spini graduated from the University of Milan with a degree in Political Science. As a local expert, she has led explorations throughout all European countries, but now prefers to showcase the Lakes of Lombardy where she was born and resides today with her husband and two children.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Europa
  Riva del Garda, Lake Garda, Italy 5 nights
   Hotel Moderno
  Stresa, Lake Maggiore, Italy 3 nights
   Hotel Metropole & Suisse
  Como, Lake Como, Italy 4 nights
 Hotel Europa
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: A Best Western property, the Hotel Europa overlooks the small port and lakeside promenade; the charming town center is right outside the hotel door.
  Contact info: Piazza Catena, 9
38066 Riva del Garda (TN),   Italy
phone: +39 0464 555 433
web: www.hoteleuropariva.it
  Room amenities: Every room has a private bathroom, individual heat/air conditioning controls, satellite TV, radio, safe for valuables.
  Facility amenities: Air conditioning throughout the hotel. Relaxing lounge and bar. An elevator from the lobby goes directly to the lakeside promenade. The hotel has bicycles to loan for exploring the small town of Riva. The hotel provides laundry service (dry cleaning or wash/fold). Free Wi-Fi access and an internet point in the lobby.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: varies by season To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hoteleuropariva.it. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Moderno
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Hotel Moderno is in the tranquil pedestrian zone, surrounded by shops and cafes, and only a few steps from the lake and ferry port.
  Contact info: Via Cavour 33
96100 Stresa (VB),   Italy
phone: +39 0323 933 773
web: www.hms.it
  Room amenities: Private bathrooms, hair dryer, TV, in-room safe, individual controls for A/C and heat.
  Facility amenities: Air conditioned. Complimentary internet point in the lobby. Free wi-fi access in the lobby. Bar and lounge in the lobby.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Metropole & Suisse
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel is located on the waterfront of Lake Como and convenient to the attractions of Como's historic center.
  Contact info: Piazza Cavour, 19
Como,   Italy
phone: +39 031 269 444
web: www.hotelmetropolesuisse.com
  Room amenities: Private bathroom, free wi-fi access, satellite TV, individual temperature control, minibar, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries.
  Facility amenities: Free Wi-Fi access throughout the hotel. Internet point in the lobby. Bar and restaurant with outdoor seating.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: price varies by season To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelmetropolesuisse.com. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lunch provided for morning arrivals. Hotel check in 2:00 pm. Meet in hotel lobby at 4:00 pm for Orientation. You will be staying at Hotel Europa that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast, transfers to airport. Check out of hotel by 11:00 am. You will be staying at Hotel Metropole & Suisse the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: The closest train station to Riva del Garda is Rovereto. Verona is connected to Riva del Garda by public bus (few runs daily).
To Start of Program
  Location:  Riva del Garda, Lake Garda
  Nearest city or town:  Verona
  Nearest highway: Autostrada
  Nearest airport:  Verona
  Transportation to site: To reach Riva del Garda on your own from the Verona airport, take a taxi (fare EUR 25) or one of the frequent shuttles (fare about EUR 5 ) to Verona Porta Nuova train station. Purchase a train ticket for Rovereto. Ride is 40 min., fare is approx. EUR 15. From the Rovereto train station, take a taxi to the hotel in Riva del Garda; fare is about EUR 60 for the 20 minute ride. Max 4 passengers to a taxi. A taxi directly from the Verona airport to Riva del Garda will cost approx. EUR 180.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Como, Lake Como
  Nearest city or town:  Milan
  Nearest highway: Autostrada
  Nearest airport:  Milan Malpensa
  Transportation from site: To reach the Milan Malpensa airport on your own, it is possible to book a private shuttle from Como; fares approx. EUR 175 pp. Public transportation details: taxi from hotel to Como train station, train to Saronno, 20 min. fare approx EUR 9. Change trains and board Malpensa Express train to the airport terminal. Ride is 20 minutes; fare about EUR 9.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart from points in North America.
(Monday, September 9)
   
 In Transit: Overnight flight across the Atlantic Ocean with arrivals the following day.

Day 2: Arrival/Welcome Reception
(Tuesday, September 10)

Note: Coach ride may take over one hour.



   
 Morning: Coach transfer from airport in Verona to Riva, town on the north end of Lake Garda.
 Lunch: Lunch at Ristorante Nazionale, just steps from the hotel on the lake.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a welcome reception, meet the group leaders and your fellow travelers in an informal gathering in the hotel lobby. A short walk in the neighborhood and lakefront follows, indicating location of ATMs, pharmacies, and stores.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Europa
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Orientation/Trentino Alto Adige lecture
(Wednesday, September 11)

Note: The town of Riva is generally flat and easy to walk. Care should be taken to walk over the uneven surface of cobblestoned streets.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Your group leader will distribute the most updated and detailed program schedule and give an overview of your itinerary. A lecture introducing the Trentino/Alto Adige region follows.
 Lunch: Lunch at Ristorante Nazionale.
 Afternoon: Guided visit of the Museo Civico and Pinacoteca located in La Rocca, a medieval fortress placed on the lake, bounded by a canal with a draw bridge. Free time to explore the village on your own before heading back to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Europa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Trento
(Thursday, September 12)

Note: Trento has a large traffic-free area so the group will walk to and from the sites in the town.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Guided visit of Trento, remembered as the location for the Council of Trent (1545-63) intended to counter the protestant reformation. The visit includes the Castello del Buon Consiglio and Torre dell'Aquila, where you can admire the cycle of frescoes called of "the months" (15th century). They are the work of the anonymous "Master of the Months," from Bohemia, who left us a precious insight into court life, with chivalrous and rural scenes of the time. For each month of the year there is a reconstruction of emblematic gestures that overlap to depict two different worlds: that of the peasant and that of the nobility. On the one side, the harvesting, the grape picking, the slaughtering of pigs; on the other, the processions, the parlor games, the tournaments.
 Lunch: At Trattoria Due Mori sample Northern Italian cuisine with Austrian/German influences.
 Afternoon: En route back to Riva del Garda visit a winery. Enjoy local wine and strudel.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Free time to walk along the lake shore.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Europa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Boat Trip to Malcesine
(Friday, September 13)

Note: The tourist boats have open decks and inside seating.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: A cruise across the lake to the charming town of Malcesine. The castle of Malcesine has been reconstructed by the Scaligers, and again by both Venetian and Austrian military engineers. In the museum there are exhibits about the history and origin of Lake Garda. From the top of the Castle's tower enjoy a breathtaking view of the town.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Having returned to the hotel, a lecture on the Republic of Salo' will inform you about the months prior to the end of WWII and the capture of Mussolini by partisan forces. This lecture will be followed by a briefing on the transfer to Stresa.
 Dinner: Dinner at Ristorante Nazionale.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Europa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Dolomites / Bolzano / Ice Man Museum
(Saturday, September 14)

Note: The coach ride through the mountain pass. No hiking is involved. At the summit of the road (not the mountain summit) the coach stops for about 30 min. and you can walk a bit on the grassy mountain side or enjoy the view from the bar/souvenir shop.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: On the ride to Bolzano, experience the breathtaking view of the Dolomite Mountain range.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: In Bolzano, tour the Civic Museum, home to the Otzi 'iceman,' the wounded hunter from the Copper Age, whose frozen body was found in a melting glacier in 1998.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Europa
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Transfer to Stresa
(Sunday, September 15)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach along the west coast of Lake Garda on the way to Stresa on Lago Maggiore.
 Lunch: Lunch on the shores of Lake Iseo, a glaciated lake surrounded by mountains and waterfalls - a place of natural beauty. The fertility of the lands produces characteristic wines.
 Afternoon: Coach continues to Stresa. Orientation walk around the town's charming center. Late afternoon classroom discussion on life in Italy today.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Moderno
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Villa Taranto / Taste of the Lakes
(Monday, September 16)

Note: You can choose the amount of walking as you visit the ornamental gardens.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: A field trip to Villa Taranto in the nearby town of Verbania Palanza. Tour the 19th century villa and its botanical gardens that are among the most beautiful and well preserved in Europe. The gardens date back to 1931 when Scottish Captain Neil McEacharn bought the property with the intention of converting it into one of the finest botanical gardens in the world.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: A local expert offers a classroom session on Life on the Lakes and leads the visit to Palazzo Bolongaro. Later in the afternoon, enjoy a tasting of local wines and snack foods at a wine shop in Stresa.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Moderno
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Borromean Islands
(Tuesday, September 17)

Note: The tourist boat to the islands is a small craft with indoor seating. From the boat dock there are stone steps (no elevator) to reach the villa and ornamental gardens.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Guided visit to the Borromean Islands. Isola Bella, the most impressive of the islands, is dominated by a Baroque palace. Terraces of landscaped gardens spill down onto the lake like an elaborate giant wedding cake. Roaming white peacocks add beauty to the landscape.
 Lunch: Lunch at a characteristic restaurant on one of the small islands.
 Afternoon: Island hopping guided visit continues to the other points of interest and beauty. Boat back to Stresa late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Moderno
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Transfer to Como by way of Lake Orta
(Wednesday, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: By coach we will go to the village Orta San Giulio, on Lake Orta where our guide will explain the history of the village and show us the frescoes decorating the Palazzo della Comunita'. This quaint lake is overshadowed by its larger brothers, but is equally delightful, in its own small way.
 Lunch: After lunch at Ristorante Venus in Orta San Giulio continue by coach to Como.
 Afternoon: Check in to hotel then meet for an orientation walk of Como.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Metropole & Suisse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Villa Carlotta / Heart of Como
(Thursday, September 19)

Note: Uneven pavement in the terraced gardens of Villa Carlotta. Walking on uneven pavement in the historical center of Como



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Panoramic coach ride to Villa Carlotta on the shore of Lake Como. The terraced gardens are particularly impressive in the spring when the azaleas and rhododendrons are in full bloom.
 Lunch: Lunch at Ristorante Imbarcadero at the hotel.
 Afternoon: A local expert leads the visit in Como of the Duomo and Porto Antico. Late afternoon informal session on the writers who lived or wrote about the Lake District.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Metropole & Suisse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Bellagio
(Friday, September 20)

Note: Tourist boats have both open deck and inside seating. You can choose the amount of walking as you visit the island. From the dock to the sites there is an unevenly paved graded walk.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: From Como we board a boat and stop at some of the villages on the lake's shore. Our guide will lead a visit of the town of Bellagio, set on the cusp of the two branches of the lake, affording it a spectacular lake shore lane for a relaxing passeggiata, the Italian stroll. Option to explore the gardens of the Villa Melzi.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local cafe.
 Afternoon: Guided visits continue via boat rides and walks until we return back to the hotel in Como.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Metropole & Suisse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Cable rail ride to Brunate
(Saturday, September 21)

Note: Optional walk along trails that follow the ridge of Brunate.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Take a ride on the cable rail car to the top of a tall hill that overlooks Lake Como. You can opt to walk on the trails that follow the ridge of the hill.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore the city and pack in preparation for the following morning's departure.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Metropole & Suisse
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departure
(Sunday, September 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel; continental style for participants with early morning departure.
 Morning: Coach to and departure from Milano Malpensa airport.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Farewell to Arms


Author: Ernest Hemingway


Description: Set in snowy Switzerland and the rainy Italian Lake Country during World War I, this semi-autobiographical novel chronicles the romance between a British nurse and an American ambulance driver.



D.H. Lawrence and Italy


Author: D.H. Lawrence


Description: This omnibus Penguin Classics edition includes Lawrence's three travel tales, each very different in tone and all wonderful: Sea and Sardinia is a nostalgic look at traditional ways of life; Twilight in Italy, an evocation of Lawrence's memorable stay on Lake Garda; and Etruscan Places his musings on ancient sites, including the painted tombs of Tarquinia.



Eyewitness Guide Milan and the Lakes


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: This superb guide to Milan and the Italian lakes features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the area's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.



Italian Lakes Map


Author: Litographia Artistica Cartographica


Description: A detailed map of the Italian lakes region, including Orta, Lugano, Como and Maggiore, at the excellent scale of 1:100,000, produced in Italy.



Italy, A Short History


Author: Harry Hearder


Description: Elegantly written, generous and informative, this compact book takes in the sweep of Italian history from the Roman Republic through the Renaissance, World War II and up to the present.



La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind


Author: Beppe Severgnini


Description: Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses the apparently never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.



Leonardo da Vinci, The Mind of the Renaissance


Author: Alessandro Vezzosi


Description: A pocket-size encyclopedia, this colorful book illustrates and documents the life and work of Leonardo, including a long section of excerpts from his writings.



Milan Map


Author: Streetwise Maps


Description: A detailed travel map of Milan.



On the Making of Gardens


Author: George Sitwell


Description: A handsome edition of Sitwell's 1909 meditation on the Renaissance gardens of Tuscany, Rome and the Lake District. It's not a handbook but rather an inspiring analysis of the transformation -- and magic -- of gardens.



The Art of the Renaissance


Author: Peter Murray


Description: A classic, illustrated survey of the world of the Renaissance and its art. With chapters on Florence and its artists, the Netherlands, early illustrated books and many individual artists.



The Devil in the Hills


Author: Cesare Pavese


Description: This book, the most personal of the many stories, poems and novels of Pavese, follows the summer adventures of three young men in the hills, vineyards and villages of the author's native Piedmont.



The Italian Renaissance


Author: J. H. Plumb


Description: A well-written history of the Renaissance, its artists and thinkers, with chapters on Florence, Milan, Rome and Venice, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Women of the Renaissance.





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