17290
Italy
Hiking and Walking the Italian Lakes: Tranquil Waters at the Foot of the Alps
Dive into the local culture of Northern Italy on expert-led walks, exploring local cuisine, lakeside villages, medieval architecture and timeless Italian traditions.
Program No. 17290RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
2,899
Flights start at
750
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12 days
11 nights
26 meals
10 B 7 L 9 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Stresa
L,D
Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino

Activity note: Hotel check in is at 2:00 PM. Up to 1.5 hours total walking through town.

Morning: Meet your group for the transfer (approx. 1 hour) via private coach to Stresa (656 feet).

Lunch: If time permits after check-in, a light lunch will be served at the hotel followed by an orientation walk (1.5 hours) in Stresa. Learn about the Stresa area during the walk.

Afternoon: Before dinner, attend a welcome orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel. Water is included in the program cost at all meals.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Isola Bella
Stresa
B,L,D
Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino

Activity note: Up to 6 miles of hiking and walking for approximately 3.5 hours on trails and inside the palace. There will be some unavoidable stairs.

Breakfast: At the hotel. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water.

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

Lunch: Served meal at a local restaurant in Suna.

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

Dinner: Served meal at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Orta San Giulio, Sacro Monte
Stresa
B,D
Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino

Activity note: Up to 6 miles of hiking and walking for approximately 3 hours on cobblestones and uneven pavement. There will be some unavoidable stairs.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Take a coach to Lake d'Orta and the town of Orta (961 feet) to begin the walk 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. Before lunch, take a boat over to the island of San Giulio for a short visit of the church and walk of silence.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Take this opportunity, in Orta, for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities, which can be found in the first Information Packet or on the Road Scholar website. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Return to Stresa by coach.

Dinner: Served meal at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Hillsides of Lago Maggiore
Stresa
B,L,D
Hotel Ristorante Fiorentino

Activity note: Up to 7.5 miles of hiking and walking for approximately 3.5 hours on trails, cobblestones and uneven ground.

Breakfast: 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 geography of the Monte Croce area during a field lecture.

Lunch: Served meal at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Optional walk to Lesa (1 hour), a small town on the lakeshore. Return back to Stresa by public bus.

Dinner: Served meal at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Lago di Lugano, Gandria, Transfer to Tremezzo
Tremezzo
B,L,D
Hotel Bazzoni

Activity note: Up to 5.5 miles of hiking and walking for approximately 2.5 hours on paved roads, trails and cobblestones. There will be some unavoidable stairs.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast leave Lake Maggiore behind and depart for Lake Como. En route 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 at Tremezzo (660 feet) in the afternoon. Check in to the hotel followed by an orientation walk 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 Tremezzo.

Dinner: Served meal at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
San Domenico, Loveno
Tremezzo
B,L,D
Hotel Bazzoni

Activity note: Up to 5 miles of hiking for approximately 3 hours on trails and cobblestones.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning, take a private coach to Breglia (2650 feet), a small mountain village. Begin the day's walk 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: Served meal at a local restaurant.

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

Dinner: Served meal at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Val Bregaglia, Soglio, Chiavenna
Tremezzo
B,D
Hotel Bazzoni

Activity note: Up to 8.5 miles of hiking for approximately 4 hours on rough trails and unavoidable stairs.

Breakfast: 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 Tremezzo by private coach with a stop at Chiavenna (1100 feet), geographical, cultural and economic center of the area.

Dinner: Served meal at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Como, Cittadella Seta
Tremezzo
B,D
Hotel Bazzoni

Activity note: Up to 3 miles of walking for approximately 2 hours on paved roads and cobblestones.

Breakfast: 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: On your own to see and do more of what interests you most 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 Tremezzo will be provided.

Dinner: Served meal at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Tremezzo, Bellagio
Tremezzo
B,L,D
Hotel Bazzoni

Activity note: Up to 6.5 miles of hiking for approximately 3 hours on natural trails, cobblestones, and loose rocks.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Leave Tremezzo 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: Served meal 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). On your own to see and do more of what interests you most in Bellagio and individual return by ferry back to Tremezzo.

Dinner: Farewell drink and dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Villa Carlotta, Transfer to last hotel
Milan
B,L
Novotel Milano Malpensa Airport Hotel

Activity note: Up to 3 miles of walking for approximately 2 hours inside Villa Carlotta and around the grounds. There will be some unavoidable stairs.

Breakfast: 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 Tremezzo by public bus.

Lunch: Served meal at the hotel.

Afternoon: Transfer by private coach to the Novotel Milano Malpensa Airport Hotel. On your own to see and do more of what interests you most, or take this time to pack for departures.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Departures
In Flight
B

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: Independent shuttles to the airport for your flight back home. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures.