Lake Maggiore and Lake Como: breath-taking villas and gardens
Located in northern Italy and shielded by the Alps, Lake Maggiore and Lake Como offer a mild climate. This area has always been a popular tourist destination, especially from the 16th century onwards, thanks to the European aristocracy looking for exceptional landscapes and settings. The “jet set” of that time had built beautiful villas, surrounded by superb botanic gardens overlooking the lakefront and lush with camellias, rhododendrons, roses, even rare or exotic species. With their unrivalled variety and richness, these gardens transform the sensory experience of spring into an art form.
Arrival of the group in the late afternoon in the region of Lake Maggiore. Accomodation at the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 2 – The Borromean Islands and Hermitage of Santa Caterina
Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Stresa. Boarding for the Borromean Islands excursion. First stop will be Isola Bella, to visit its Borromeo Palace, with its huge lounges and bedrooms on the the bel étage, the grottos covered with stones and shells and the garden with its varieties of exotic plants; Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen’s Island) or Upper Island, with its charming narrow streets and the small typical market where you can buy local handicrafts. Lunch at the restaurant. In the afternoon, visit of the Borromeo Palace of Isola Madre, and its magnificent garden. Return to Stresa in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 3 – Villa Taranto and Lake Orta
Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Pallanza for the visit of Villa Taranto, whose profusion of plant species, acclimatized on the shores of Lake Maggiore, will reveal an exotic exoticism. Continue to Lake Orta and lunch at the restaurant. Departure by boat for the excursion on the lake, transfer from Pettenasco to the island of San Giulio. Visit of the small island, called “del Silenzio”, dominated by its Basilica. After the visit, continue by boat to Orta, a very picturesque town, included in the circuit of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Return by boat to Pettenasco. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – Villa Carlotta and Villa Balbianello
Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Lake Como. Guided tour of Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo, to admire the variety of its botanical collections, as well as the polychrome flower beds of azaleas and rhododendrons. Lunch at the restaurant. Private boat trip to visit an exceptional garden: that of Villa Balbianello, accessible only by boat. It occupies the steep slopes of a peninsula, a belvedere surmounted by a loggia overlooking the Engadine and the Alps to the north, and reflecting in the luminous waters of the mirror of Venus, to the south, towards Isola Comacina. Accomodation at the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
Day 5 – Villa Melzi, Villa Cipressi and Villa Monastero
Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Cadenabbia. Crossing by ferry to Bellagio, to visit the beautiful garden of Villa Melzi. A long walk on the banks, dotted with centenary trees and beautiful massifs of azaleas and rhododendrons around an imposing neoclassical architecture, will allow you to appreciate the way they interact with the lake waters. Lunch in a restaurant and crossing to Varenna, to admire the gardens of Villa Cipressi and those of Villa Monastero, which appear as a balcony on the Bellagio peninsula using a series of terraces communicating with the lake. Made in the nineteenth century, as an accompaniment to the oldest residences, they testify the art of the gardens of this period and offer us a magnificent conclusion to the romantic atmosphere of this lake. Visit to the gardens of Villa Cipressi. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 – Return to your area
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure of the group and end of our services.