Day 1 : Welcome to Milan
Embrace the glamour of Milan, your introduction to the sights and sounds of northern Italy. Spend the day exploring this stylish city, home to many of the most renowned fashion houses in the world. Later, join your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception, evening orientation drive and hint of the friendship and adventures to come.
Accommodation : Starhotels Tourist
Day 2 : Discover Fashionable Milan
Wander through the sophisticated streets of Milan joining your Local Specialist on a tour that will reveal the city's iconic and unexpected highlights. See the Gothic Cathedral, glass-domed Galleria and La Scala Opera House, one of the finest opera houses in the world. Then it's time to pound the pavements and see Milan your way. Your Travel Director will share their personal favourites. Don’t miss an opportunity to join today's Optional Experience visit to Lake Como for a cruise past some of the region's most glamorous lakeside properties.
Day 3 : Journey to Parma
Leaving sophisticated Milan behind, today is the day to treat your taste buds. Gourmands will adore our Dive Into Culture visit to a prosciutto (ham) factory near Langhirano. There's time for a photo stop at Torrechiara fortress, perched high above the Parma Valley, before arriving at a family-run caseificio where we'll learn the ancient craft of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese production - perfected since the 1600s. On arrival in Parma, continue your day of tasting and feasting, deepening your knowledge of Parma's foodie heritage at an Optional Experience dinner of local specialties paired with Italian wine.
Accommodation : Sina Maria Luigia
Day 4 : Onwards to the Italian Riviera
Beyond its obvious attraction as a haven for foodies, Parma is also a fascinating historic centre which you'll come to discover this morning with your Local Specialist. Learn all about its history as a Roman settlement and medieval trading hub, including such sights as the Piazza Garibaldi, the site of a Roman Forum 2,000 years ago. You'll have some free time for lunch perhaps indulging one last time in the city's legendary cuisine, before heading to La Spezia on the Italian Riviera. Slow it right down this evening, taking in the tranquil seaside setting as you walk along its pretty promenade, with an evening to do as you wish.
Accommodation : La Spezia
Day 5 : Admire Colourful Cinque Terre
Today we explore the dramatic coastal setting of UNESCO-listed Cinque Terre on an included full-day excursion. The deep blue Ligurian Sea provides a stunning backdrop for the expanse of pastel pinks, yellows and oranges that cling to the rugged seaside cliffs. Starting in Porto Venere, we'll travel along the coast by boat, joining a Local Specialist who will share how the region's isolated position protected it from pirates in years gone by. Returning to our hotel in La Spezia, we'll enjoy dinner with our fellow travellers, sharing stories of the magnificent cliffside villages we've spent the day admiring.
Day 6 : Off to Genoa and Lake Maggiore
The maritime city of Genoa and birthplace of Columbus is your first stop today as you join a Local Specialist for a guided walking tour to view the city's majestic Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Visit Via Garibaldi, the historic centre of Genoa lined by ancient palaces, and enjoy time for lunch in the city centre, perhaps sampling some of the local focaccia before continuing to Lake Maggiore. Set against the backdrop of the Southern Alps, the quiet shores of this lake are your home for the next two nights, as they are for many well-heeled locals. Later, you could choose to join an Optional Experience to one of the Borromean Islands - Isola Bella, which includes a visit inside the aristocratic Borromeo Palace and its gorgeous terraced gardens.
Accommodation : Simplon Grand Dino
Day 7 : Lake Maggiore Your Way
Lap up gentle lakeside living during a full day spent at leisure in this picture-perfect setting. Spend the day relaxing or take an alpine train journey to see the magnificent panoramic views of the north. This evening, we cross the tranquil waters of Maggiore to secluded Isola Madre in the middle of the lake. Visit the picturesque Isola Madre Botanical Gardens with its rare plants before you Connect With Locals at a Be My Guest experience with Signor Telli. This private Piedmontese Farewell Dinner at La Piratera, a restaurant housed in a converted 800-year-old tower, is filled with captivating tales of 'The Pirate Island' and how Telli's grandmother came to open her restaurant in 1937 at the request of a local prince wanting to entertain VIPs in private.
Day 8 : Farewell Italy
While your holiday has come to an end, the special memories made with new friends will linger long after you return home. Say farewell to your Travel Director as you prepare to take your transfer from your hotel in Baveno to Milan Malpensa airport for your onward journey home. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.