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Italy

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

Program No. 16740RJ
Learn the story of the Italian Lakes Region as you voyage to iconic islands, savor renowned cuisine, visit the museum home of “Oetzi the Iceman” and explore unique villas and gardens.
Length
14 days
Rating (4.97)
Activity Level
Starts at
4,449
Flights start at
1,000

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Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 10 - Apr 23, 2023
Starting at
4,449
Apr 24 - May 7, 2023
Starting at
4,549
May 8 - May 21, 2023
Starting at
4,549
May 22 - Jun 4, 2023
Starting at
4,599
Aug 28 - Sep 10, 2023
Starting at
4,599
Sep 11 - Sep 24, 2023
Starting at
4,599
Sep 25 - Oct 8, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Oct 9 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
4,449
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 10 - Apr 23, 2023
Starting at
5,249
Apr 24 - May 7, 2023
Starting at
5,379
May 8 - May 21, 2023
Starting at
5,379
May 22 - Jun 4, 2023
Starting at
5,439
Aug 28 - Sep 10, 2023
Starting at
5,439
Sep 11 - Sep 24, 2023
Starting at
5,439
Sep 25 - Oct 8, 2023
Starting at
5,379
Oct 9 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
5,249

At a Glance

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.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles a day.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore the remarkable villas and gardens that grace the shores of the Italian lakes region with a local expert.
  • 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.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
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.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Patrizia Spini
Patrizia Spini View biography
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.
Profile Image of Lorenza Scorti
Lorenza Scorti View biography
Lorenza Scorti earned her degree in literature and art history from the Università degli Studi di Milano, and uses her expertise to work as a licensed group leader in the city of Milan and the region of Lombardy for the past twenty years. Currently a resident of Milan, Lorenza is especially proud to showcase her hometown of Como, where she especially likes showing visitors the villages around Lake Como where she was born and raised.
Profile Image of Mara Mori
Mara Mori was born and raised in the Reggio Emilia region of Italy. She currently lives in Lombardy with her family who own a restaurant in the area. Mara earned a doctorate in modern history from the University of Bologna and wrote her thesis on ancient maps and drawings of the Po River. She has published numerous essays and articles on gastronomy, wine and winemaking, and travel. She also taught history and geography at an Italian high school.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Walking in the Dolomites
by Gillian Price
A comprehensive walker's guide to the Dolomites geared to a wide variety of difficulty levels. Illustrated with photographs and maps.
Italian Journey
by Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe
Reports on his travels to Italy from 1786-1788 (first published in 1817). Look for: From Brenner to Verona via Bolzano, Trento, Torbole, Malcesine (the itinerary during our stay in Riva del Garda)
Iceman: Uncovering the Life and Times of a Prehistoric Man Found in an Alpine Glacier
by Brenda Fowler
The complete story of the discovery of and controversy surrounding the frozen corpse of a prehistoric man found in the Tyrolian Alps.
The Italian Summer: Golf, Food, and Family at Lake Como
by Roland Merullo
Merullo shares this congenial account of a summer with his family in Italy and Switzerland, offering delicious descriptions of wonderful meals, colorful characters -- and rounds of golf at some of the most beautiful courses in Europe. He is a golf fanatic.
A Farewell to Arms
by Ernest Hemingway
Set in snowy Switzerland and the rainy Italian Lake Country during WWI, this semi-autobiographical novel chronicles the romance between a British nurse and an American ambulance driver. This edition collects all of the alternate endings, along with early drafts of other essential passages
Eyewitness Guide Milan and the Lakes
by Eyewitness Guides
A superb guide to Milan and the Italian lakes featuring 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.
Summer at the Lake
by Erica James
Set on the shores of Lake Como, this romantic novel centers on three characters whose love lives are entangled with the enchanting place -- Floriana, whose former lover is getting married there, Esme who first fell in love there and Adam, who heads there when his girlfriend leaves him.
Medusa, An Aurelio Zen Mystery
by Michael Dibdin
In this ninth book in the thoroughly enjoyable Aurelio Zen series, our worldly detective investigates a mysterious corpse in a long-abandoned military tunnel in the Dolomites.
The Italians
by John Hooper
Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in this illuminating portrait.
Luigi Barzini
by The Italians
Although Barzini wrote this excellent portrait of the Italians in the 1960s the book still presents valid insight into Italians today
Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook
by Lonely Planet
A handy, palm-sized guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
On the Making of Gardens
by George Sitwell
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 Betrothed
by Alessandro Manzoni
The novel, set in Lombardy during the Spanish occupation of the late 1620s, starts at Lake Como. Manzoni is considered the father of modern Italian.
Italy: A Short History
by Harry Hearder and Jonathan Morris
From Amazon: "Intended for the student of Italian history and culture as well as the general reader, this new edition presents a clear and concise account of the principal developments in Italian history from the Ice Age to the present day. Dr. Jonathan Morris has updated the late Professor Hearder's long-established and highly successful work with an authoritative account of development in Italy over the past decade."
D.H. Lawrence and Italy
by D.H. Lawrence
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.
Italianissimo
by Louise Fili, Lise Apatoff
Divertingly illustrated, this A-to-Z guide profiles 50 very Italian customs and concepts from the notion of beauty (bellisimo) to the Italian disregard for lines (Fare La Coda).
The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front 1915-1919
by Mark Thompson
From Amazon: "With elegance and pathos, historian Mark Thompson relates the saga of the Italian front, the nationalist frenzy and political intrigues that preceded the conflict, and the towering personalities of the statesmen, generals, and writers drawn into the heart of the chaos. A work of epic scale, The White War does full justice to the brutal and heart-wrenching war that inspired Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms."
Cadogan Guide Lombardy & the Italian Lakes
by Dana Facaros
Cadogan brings travelers Lombardy and the Italian Lakes in all their glory, from the powerhouse of Milan to the idyllic beauty and tranquility of Lake Garda and the Renaissance cities of the Lombard Plain.
Culture Smart! Italy
by Charles Abbott
A concise, no-nonsense guide to Italian customs, etiquette and culture along with helpful travel advice.
Italian Lakes Map
by Litographia Artistica Cartographica
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.
History of Contemporary Italy
by Paul Ginsborg
From Amazon: "From a war-torn and poverty-stricken country, regional and predominantly agrarian, to the success story of recent years, Italy has witnessed the most profound transformation--economic, social and demographic--in its entire history. Yet the other recurrent theme of the period has been the overwhelming need for political reform--and the repeated failure to achieve it. Professor Ginsborg's authoritative work--the first to combine social and political perspectives--is concerned with both the tremendous achievements of contemporary Italy and the continuities of its history that have not been easily set aside."
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
by Beppe Severgnini
Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. The book opens with a snapshot of Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.
Italian Lakes Map
by Lithographia Artistica Cartographica
A detailed map of the Italian Lakes region, including Orta, Lugano, Como and Maggiore, at the excellent scale of 1:1000,000, produced in Italy
Meals
28 Meals
12 Breakfasts
8 Lunches
8 Dinners
The following choices may be available when requested in advance: Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Lodging
Lodgings may differ by date. Select a date to see the lodgings specific to that date.
Display
Oct 09, 2023 - Oct 22, 2023 (Riva del Garda, Lake Garda to Como, Lake Como)
  • Apr 10, 2023 - Apr 23, 2023 (Riva del Garda, Lake Garda to Como, Lake Como)
  • Apr 24, 2023 - May 07, 2023 (Riva del Garda, Lake Garda to Como, Lake Como)
  • May 08, 2023 - May 21, 2023 (Riva del Garda, Lake Garda to Como, Lake Como)
  • May 22, 2023 - Jun 04, 2023 (Riva del Garda, Lake Garda to Como, Lake Como)
  • Aug 28, 2023 - Sep 10, 2023 (Riva del Garda, Lake Garda to Como, Lake Como)
  • Sep 11, 2023 - Sep 24, 2023 (Riva del Garda, Lake Garda to Como, Lake Como)
  • Sep 25, 2023 - Oct 08, 2023 (Riva del Garda, Lake Garda to Como, Lake Como)
  • Oct 09, 2023 - Oct 22, 2023 (Riva del Garda, Lake Garda to Como, Lake Como)
5 nights
Riva del Garda
In Riva del Garda, you’ll be residing in a splendid location overlooking the small port and town clock tower; the charming town center is right outside the hotel door.
3 nights
Stresa
Business class hotel facing Lago Maggiore with Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre in plain view. The port to board the tourist boats is a mere 150 yards away. Family owned hotel with a personal touch and pride. The hotel features a heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise work out room with stationary equipment. Fine dining is available at the restaurant. Enjoy a stroll along the Lungo Lago, the street along the banks of the lake to the nearby old city center.
4 nights
Como
Nestled in Como between the Swiss border and the city of Milano is the Hotel Metropole Suisse. Located in the main square, heart of the town, and directly on the Como lake, the hotel boasts four generations of Cassani family ownership.
5 nights
Riva del Garda
In Riva del Garda, you’ll be residing in a splendid location overlooking the small port and town clock tower; the charming town center is right outside the hotel door.
3 nights
Stresa
Business class hotel facing Lago Maggiore with Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre in plain view. The port to board the tourist boats is a mere 150 yards away. Family owned hotel with a personal touch and pride. The hotel features a heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise work out room with stationary equipment. Fine dining is available at the restaurant. Enjoy a stroll along the Lungo Lago, the street along the banks of the lake to the nearby old city center.
4 nights
Como
Nestled in Como between the Swiss border and the city of Milano is the Hotel Metropole Suisse. Located in the main square, heart of the town, and directly on the Como lake, the hotel boasts four generations of Cassani family ownership.
5 nights
Riva del Garda
In Riva del Garda, you’ll be residing in a splendid location overlooking the small port and town clock tower; the charming town center is right outside the hotel door.
3 nights
Stresa
Business class hotel facing Lago Maggiore with Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre in plain view. The port to board the tourist boats is a mere 150 yards away. Family owned hotel with a personal touch and pride. The hotel features a heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise work out room with stationary equipment. Fine dining is available at the restaurant. Enjoy a stroll along the Lungo Lago, the street along the banks of the lake to the nearby old city center.
4 nights
Como
Nestled in Como between the Swiss border and the city of Milano is the Hotel Metropole Suisse. Located in the main square, heart of the town, and directly on the Como lake, the hotel boasts four generations of Cassani family ownership.
5 nights
Riva del Garda
In Riva del Garda, you’ll be residing in a splendid location overlooking the small port and town clock tower; the charming town center is right outside the hotel door.
3 nights
Stresa
Business class hotel facing Lago Maggiore with Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre in plain view. The port to board the tourist boats is a mere 150 yards away. Family owned hotel with a personal touch and pride. The hotel features a heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise work out room with stationary equipment. Fine dining is available at the restaurant. Enjoy a stroll along the Lungo Lago, the street along the banks of the lake to the nearby old city center.
4 nights
Como
Nestled in Como between the Swiss border and the city of Milano is the Hotel Metropole Suisse. Located in the main square, heart of the town, and directly on the Como lake, the hotel boasts four generations of Cassani family ownership.
5 nights
Riva del Garda
In Riva del Garda, you’ll be residing in a splendid location overlooking the small port and town clock tower; the charming town center is right outside the hotel door.
3 nights
Stresa
Business class hotel facing Lago Maggiore with Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre in plain view. The port to board the tourist boats is a mere 150 yards away. Family owned hotel with a personal touch and pride. The hotel features a heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise work out room with stationary equipment. Fine dining is available at the restaurant. Enjoy a stroll along the Lungo Lago, the street along the banks of the lake to the nearby old city center.
4 nights
Como
Nestled in Como between the Swiss border and the city of Milano is the Hotel Metropole Suisse. Located in the main square, heart of the town, and directly on the Como lake, the hotel boasts four generations of Cassani family ownership.
5 nights
Riva del Garda
In Riva del Garda, you’ll be residing in a splendid location overlooking the small port and town clock tower; the charming town center is right outside the hotel door.
3 nights
Stresa
Business class hotel facing Lago Maggiore with Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre in plain view. The port to board the tourist boats is a mere 150 yards away. Family owned hotel with a personal touch and pride. The hotel features a heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise work out room with stationary equipment. Fine dining is available at the restaurant. Enjoy a stroll along the Lungo Lago, the street along the banks of the lake to the nearby old city center.
4 nights
Como
Nestled in Como between the Swiss border and the city of Milano is the Hotel Metropole Suisse. Located in the main square, heart of the town, and directly on the Como lake, the hotel boasts four generations of Cassani family ownership.
5 nights
Riva del Garda
In Riva del Garda, you’ll be residing in a splendid location overlooking the small port and town clock tower; the charming town center is right outside the hotel door.
3 nights
Stresa
Business class hotel facing Lago Maggiore with Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre in plain view. The port to board the tourist boats is a mere 150 yards away. Family owned hotel with a personal touch and pride. The hotel features a heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise work out room with stationary equipment. Fine dining is available at the restaurant. Enjoy a stroll along the Lungo Lago, the street along the banks of the lake to the nearby old city center.
4 nights
Como
Nestled in Como between the Swiss border and the city of Milano is the Hotel Metropole Suisse. Located in the main square, heart of the town, and directly on the Como lake, the hotel boasts four generations of Cassani family ownership.
5 nights
Riva del Garda
In Riva del Garda, you’ll be residing in a splendid location overlooking the small port and town clock tower; the charming town center is right outside the hotel door.
3 nights
Stresa
Business class hotel facing Lago Maggiore with Isola Bella, Isola Pescatori and Isola Madre in plain view. The port to board the tourist boats is a mere 150 yards away. Family owned hotel with a personal touch and pride. The hotel features a heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, exercise work out room with stationary equipment. Fine dining is available at the restaurant. Enjoy a stroll along the Lungo Lago, the street along the banks of the lake to the nearby old city center.
4 nights
Como
Nestled in Como between the Swiss border and the city of Milano is the Hotel Metropole Suisse. Located in the main square, heart of the town, and directly on the Como lake, the hotel boasts four generations of Cassani family ownership.





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