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Lake Como: Villas & Gardens

Lake Como: Villas & Gardens

7 days & 6 nights, Escorted Discovery Group

Menaggio

Stay in a beautiful lakeside location on Lake Como, surrounded by panoramic vistas and pristine waters. From here take a boat trip on Lake Como to the delightful town of Bellagio; travel on the Bernina Express, a scenic narrowgauge rail journey over the Bernina Pass skirting snow-covered mountain peaks and glaciers; and visit the Como silk museum to discover the art of silk making.

  • Day 1
    Arrive Milan - Como

    You will be met and driven from Milan Linate Airport to Como, a distance of approximately 42 miles and a journey time of about 1 hour.

    The Albergo Firenze - 7 Nights (D)
  • Day 2
    Bellagio

    This morning, take a cruise across Lake Como to Bellagio, known as the 'pearl of Lake Como' and situated on a peninsula between the two southern branches of Lake Como. Visit the Villa Melzi Park, a neo-classical summer residence built between 1808 and 1810. The gardens stretch along the shores of Lake Como while the villa, chapel and orangery have been transformed into a historical museum. The villa became the residence of Francesco Melzi d'Eril at the end of his political career and then his summer residence until his death. The interior is decorated and furnished by some of the most famous artists at that time while the English-styled gardens are beautiful and enriched with sculptures. Lunch at leisure, before returning to the hotel this afternoon.

    The Albergo Firenze (B)
  • Day 3
    Tremezzo - Lenno

    Take a boat ride to Tremezzo for a guided tour of Villa Carlotta, museum and botanical gardens, which lies on the western coast of Lake Como and has a wonderful view of the mountains and the villages of Bellano, Varenna and Bellagio. The Italian garden has staircases, balustrades, fountains and a tunnel of citrus plants. There is a fascinating romantic park on the hill with long paths and amazing lake views.

    The gardens are particularly noted for their flowering rhododendrons and azaleas as well as great camellia hedges, ancient cedars, cypresses and araucarias. As you wander through the garden you will see the rock garden, the valley of the ferns, the woods of ancient rhododendrons, the bamboo garden and the greenhouse, with an exhibition of agricultural tools.

    Continue to Villa del Balbianello. You might recognise the villa from scenes in the James Bond film 'Casino Royale' (2006). Built for Cardinal Angelo Maria Durini at the end of the 18th century, the villa stands on the tip of a steep promontory overlooking Lake Como, almost opposite Bellagio. The villa has a rich collection of Chinese, African and pre-Columbian art and precious English and French furniture from the 1700s. However, the true masterpiece of the villa is the panoramic terraced garden, dominated by the elegant loggia with three arches rising on the highest point of the promontory.

    Lunch at leisure. Return to Como and your hotel.

    The Albergo Firenze (B)
  • Day 4
    St. Moritz

    This morning, take the coach from Lake Como to Tirano, a distance of about 60 miles and a journey time of approximately 2.5 hours. Here, board the narrow-gauge Bernina Express train to St. Moritz, one of the most impressive scenic rail journeys in Switzerland and the highest railway line in the Alps. The panoramic sightseeing windows maximize the experience of travelling over circular viaducts. The train winds its way through tunnels, passing through Brusio and the Poschiavo valley, before climbing over the Bernina Pass and descending into St. Moritz, a journey time of 2 hours 33 minutes.

    Afternoon at leisure in St. Moritz before returning by coach to Lake Como, a distance of approximately 60 miles and a journey time of about 2.5 hours.

    The Albergo Firenze (B)
  • Day 5
    Como

    Take a morning walking tour of Como including a visit to the silk museum to view the exhibits and learn about the processes involved in creating the silk that Como is renowned for. Como's silk district creates 3,527 tons of silk annually. The museum displays machines, silks, samples and instruments that tell the story of silk production.

    The Albergo Firenze (B)
  • Day 6
    Como

    Full day at leisure. Perhaps take a train to Milan city center, the average journey time is 46 minutes and will cost approximately €4-8. Tickets can be purchased in advance and are often cheaper than purchasing them on the day. Visit Como's cathedral, largely Gothic in style, elements of Romanesque, Renaissance and baroque can also be seen. Built between the 14th and 18th centuries, it is crowned by a high octagonal dome.

    This evening join your group for a farewell dinner at the hotel.

    The Albergo Firenze (B, D)
  • Day 7
    Depart Como

    You will be collected at your hotel and driven from Como to Milan Linate Airport, a distance of approximately 42 miles and a journey time of about 1 hour.

    (B)
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