Day 1 Milan (Happy Hour)
.Welcome to Milan! Meet our driver at Milan Malpensa Airport and enjoy a private transfer to Starhotel Ritz. In the afternoon, meet your professional local guide at the hotel and set off on a three-hour walking tour through the heart of Milan. Going down via Spallanzani, you will reach Porta Venezia (literally, Venice Gate), one of the historical gates to the city. It has medieval and maybe even Roman origins, and it gives the name to the city district all around it. An urban legend has it that the other name it is known as - “Porta Renza” - stems from Renzo Tramaglino, co-protagonist of the novel The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni, who enters Milan exactly from this access. You will proceed toward Corso Venezia and take a shortcut inside Giardini Indro Montanelli, a public garden. Opposite the gardens, you will go past GAM, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna (modern art museum). Proceeding along Viale Manzoni, you will head for La Scala Opera House (Teatro alla Scala), inaugurated on 3 August, 1778. The theater underwent major renovations from early 2002 to late 2004. Then, get ready to take in the stunning Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano). Your tour guide will illustrate its main features. The last stop will be the majestic Castello Sforzesco, a medieval fortress built in the 15th century by the Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza. In its vicinity, we have chosen a refined bakery for you to be able to relax and taste a typical aperitivo (happy hour).
At the end of the aperitivo, the tour will be over and you will have some free time before returning to the hotel on your own. Overnight stay is in Milan.
Day 2 Bernina Express> Milan (B)
This is the day of your Bernina Express tour, on board “the train that snakes its way up to the mountain peaks".
Just like sitting in a theater, you will admire unique views from your seat on board the Bernina Train, a piece of history (it is 100 years old) and a World Heritage train. After breakfast at the hotel, meet our driver and reach Tirano. You will get on board there and start this ride along one of the most beautiful railway routes in the world, with its unsurpassed alpine views. The journey will need two hours to complete. As the train winds its way over the Alps, occasionally passing through mountain tunnels, and puffing its way past a myriad of towns and villages, a number of highlights will catch your attention. Look out at the Swiss Alps as you ride along the Bernina pass to St. Moritz, and then enjoy free time to explore it. Meet your driver to return to Milan (meeting point in St. Moritz).
Overnight stay in Milan.
Day 3 Milan> Como > Bellaggio> Varenna> Bergamo (B,D)
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then prepare for a short visit to Como, a tourist destination for its vicinity to Lake Como and the Alps. Amazing views over the lake and the alpine valleys are guaranteed! The lake itself, sometimes called Lario, has long been famous for its y-shape and for Bellagio, that you will reach by boat. This little gem town lies at the intersection of the lake’s two southern arms, with the Alps dominating the horizon to the north, and is home to some of the most charming landscapes in Italy. Spend some time exploring this picturesque village and its small streets, luxury hotels, villas, and gardens, and have lunch at your leisure in one of the many restaurants or cafés. Back on board, you will make your way to Varenna in the afternoon, where you will take a panoramic tour before moving on to Bergamo, a truly historic and artistic jewel characterized by its urban structure: the città bassa (or lower town) is modern and dynamic, while the famous città alta (or upper town) houses the city’s medieval heart.
Check in at your Bergamo hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 4 Bergamo> Sirmione>Riva del Garda> Bergamo (B,D)
Fuel up on breakfast at your hotel before setting out to see the famous city of Verona, a work of art in itself. This fascinating crossroad of historical periods and cultures (both classical and Germanic) is a blend of both Nordic and Mediterranean influences that is both ancient and modern. A walk through its narrow streets will allow you to get in touch with Verona’s varied and fascinating past: traces of its splendid roman origins, its medieval structures, its magnificent renaissance palaces, as well as the impressive fortifications protecting it. The combination of art and history will fascinate you. Spend some time eating lunch (not included) before departing for Milan, where your tour will come to an end.
Day 5 Bergamo> Verona>Franciacorta (light lunch and wine tasting) > Milan (B, L)
After breakfast, reach “fair Verona”, a museum en plain air. A local professional will be waiting for you and take you on a guided tour. The fascinating mix of historical periods and cultures (both classical and Germanic) is a blend of Nordic as well as Mediterranean influences that is both ancient and modern. A walk through its narrow streets will allow you to get in touch with Verona’s varied and fascinating past: traces of its splendid Roman origins, its medieval structures, its magnificent renaissance palaces, as well as the impressive fortifications protecting it. The combination of art and history will amaze you.
Two of William Shakespeare's plays are set in Verona: “Romeo and Juliet” is by far the most famous one. We suggest taking a look at the so-called Juliet’s home (and its balcony, said to have been the legendary balcony of the famous “Oh Romeo, Romeo” tragedy’s scene). It is a medieval building located in via Cappello. Capello is the name of a family who resided in the building during the 14th century.
After the Verona tour, you will drive towards the area of Franciacorta, whose soil consisting of gravel and sand over limestone is ideal for the cultivation of grapes and for winemaking. This is why we chose this place for your next stop. This is where you will enjoy a light lunch and taste some local food as well as the renowned local wine.
After this experience, you will head for Milan, where our services will end.