Italian charm and one of the world's greatest railway journeys
Spend a week on the shores of Lake Como, just north of Milan and arguably the most beautiful lake in northern Italy. Cruise the waters of the lake, relax in Bellagio and cross into Switzerland to visit little Lugano and ride the Bernina Express to exclusive, sophisticated St Moritz.
Today you'll fly to Milan and then board our coach for the transfer to Lake Como and your chosen hotel.
Soak up the splendour of Como's spectacular surroundings as we take the ferry across to Bellagio, on the lake's southern shore. Often listed as the most beautiful town in Italy, Bellagio's villas, gardens and lakefront promenade nestle in the wooded hills overlooking the lake.
After a short walking tour you'll be free to wander, stop for coffee, gelato or something a little stronger, and then take the ferry back across the lake in your own time.
Take a second boat trip on Lake Como's still waters, today. Relax as the wooden shoreline slips by, revealing the elegant villas and grand hotels that shelter along the water's edge, on a day that also includes a visit to the pretty gardens of Villa del Balbianello.
The cultural capital of Northern Italy, Milan, is the destination for today's optional excursion. A world famous centre for the fashion industry, Milan is also a treasure trove of culture, art and architectural splendour. The Sforzesco Castle, the famous shopping Galleria, La Scala - one of the world's greatest opera houses - and the great cathedral, Il Duomo are among its unforgettable sights.
A fantastic rail journey awaits, this morning, as you board the Bernina Express in Tirano. Cross the Italian border and follow the spiralling viaduct at Brusio, then glide through the alpine paradise of Switzerland's Italian-speaking southeast corner, across the 2253 metre-high Bernina Pass to St Moritz.
Here you'll have the chance to explore before returning to your hotel by coach.
Spend today relaxing in and around your hotel, or join our optional excursion and cross into Switzerland once more as we make our way to Lugano. Discover the stylish resort and its namesake lake on a short sightseeing tour, then explore, and perhaps take a ride to the summit of Monte Bre to enjoy the immense views across the lake and Alps.
Our final optional excursion explores the twin city of Bergamo. Here the 16th-century walls of Alta (the upper city) shelter the grand Palazzo della Ragione, churches and colonnaded library that surround Piazza Vecchia, and overlook the Neoclassical buildings of Bassa (the lower city). Don't miss the chance to enjoy a meal - or at least a snack - here, in a city famed for its food and fondly championed by Antonio Carluccio.
Say goodbye to Como and your hotel, today, as our coach arrives to carry you back to the airport for your flight home.
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour and 30 minutes.
Hotel transfer times
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
Combining hotel transfers
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
Changes to your hotels
Some regions of Italy have introduced a room tax of between 1 € and 3 € per person per night, payable directly by the guest to the hotel on check-out. You will be advised by your tour manager in resort if a particular hotel is implementing this charge.
Italian hotel room tax
Guests on half-board arrangements will be served a three-course evening meal, and can expect a first course of traditional pasta or soup, a main meat or fish course accompanied by one or two types of vegetable, and a simple dessert of fruit, cake or Italian ice cream. Breakfasts will usually consist of bread rolls, jam, cereal, ham, cheese, fruit juice, tea and coffee. Menus will vary from hotel to hotel, but choice will be more limited than in a normal restaurant. In some instances, individual guests who have booked with the hotel independently may be offered a different menu from those who are staying at the hotel as part of a package tour.
Meals in Italy
Since some attractions visited offer free admission to visitors at certain times of year, we do not include entrance fees. These will be payable locally where applicable. This applies to excursions that are included in the price of your holiday and to excursions booked as optional extras.