DAY ONE – Depart the USA Today you'll depart the USA on your overnight flight to Milan, the fashion capital of Italy.
DAY TWO – Milan, Italy Upon arrival, you'll be met by a Mayflower Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. All flights should arrive by 4:00pm. The remainder of the day is at leisure to begin immersing yourself in the Italian culture. This evening, join your Tour Manager and traveling companions for an included dinner. (Dinner)
DAY THREE – Milan / Lake Maggiore The day begins by seeing some of the main sites and monuments of Milan on a guided walking tour. On a stroll through the Brera District, home to art museums and galleries, you'll see why this area is popular among artists and has a likeness to the Montmartre District in Paris. The Teatro alla Scala, one of the world's most famous theatres, is among the highlights of the Piazza della Scala, along with the monument to Leonardo da Vinci, a former resident of Milan. As you pass through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, be sure to notice the patriotic mosaics and statues that grace the interior of this impressive five-story, glass covered arcade. Step inside the Duomo di Milano, Italy's largest cathedral and the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Visit one of Milan's most important landmarks - the 15th-century Castello Sforzesco, which, during its heyday, was decorated by Donato Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci. This afternoon, the journey to the scenic Lake District begins with a departure by coach for Lake Maggiore. (Breakfast)
DAY FOUR – Lake Maggiore Today is spent discovering the three Borromean Islands, named after one of the most renowned Italian families, of Lake Maggiore. Set off by boat with a local guide to Isola Bella for a visit to the exquisite Borromeo Palace with its terraced gardens and amazing view of the turquoise and sapphire-blue lake below. Continue on to Isola dei Pescatori, a tiny, quiet island of narrow alleyways and old churches. Finally, cruise to the largest island, Isola Madre, to see Villa Borromeo, an aristocratic palace surrounded by a botanical garden with rare trees and exotic flowers. Return to the hotel this afternoon for dinner and overnight. (Breakfast and dinner)
DAY FIVE – Lake Maggiore to Lake Como via Sirmione Discovery of the lovely Lake District continues as you depart Lake Maggiore for Lake Como. En-route, visit Sirmione on Lake Garda. With its 13th-century castle Rocca Scaligera standing guard (complete with a moat and two drawbridges!), Roman ruins, and a historical center with narrow, winding lanes, it's a lakeside town that's sure to please. Upon arriving in Lake Como, you'll have free time before the included dinner this evening. (Breakfast and dinner)
DAY SIX – Lake Como Known as the 'jewel of the Italian Lakes', Lake Como lies at the foothills of the Alps and offers magnificent scenery. It was also the setting for the blockbuster movies Ocean's Twelve, Star Wars: Episode II and Casino Royale. Your local guide takes you on an orientation tour and a cruise to Bellagio, the 'Pearl of Lake Como', where you experience the dramatic beauty of the Italian Lakes' aqua blue waters. The remainder of the day is at leisure for your enjoyment of this scenic paradise. (Breakfast)
DAY SEVEN – Lake District to the Riviera This morning, depart the Lake District by motorcoach and journey to La Spezia with sightseeing along the Italian Riviera enroute. During the stop in Genoa, gateway to the Riviera, your local guide will show you the old quarter which was reconstructed in its original form: a medieval maze of narrow, winding lanes. In the small, charming fishing village of Portofino, you'll see why this picturesque seaside resort is internationally renowned. Continuing on to Rapallo, the oldest town of the area, see the 16th-century seafront fortress and the medieval bridge presumably crossed by Hannibal during the 2nd Punic War. Accommodations for the next two nights are in the port town of La Spezia. Dinner is included this evening. (Breakfast and dinner)
DAY EIGHT – Cinque Terre Today's adventure begins with a motorcoach transfer to the rail station for the train ride to Italy's 'Fab Five': picturesque Cinque Terre (meaning 'Five Lands'). Comprised of five fishing villages perilously perched along steep cliffs on a short stretch of coastline, this national park and protected marine area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Train rides through a series of coastal tunnels takes you between the villages. While visiting Monterosso (the oldest, dating from the early medieval period), Manarola and Vernazza, each with a charm and character of its own, you'll have time to explore and enjoy lunch on your own. After a day of discovering seaside villages from centuries past, quaint harbors, and the rugged coastline of Cinque Terre, return to the hotel for an evening at leisure. (Breakfast)
DAY NINE – La Spezia to Milan Enjoy a morning at leisure before the motorcoach departs for the return to Milan. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel with your Tour Manager and traveling companions. (Breakfast and dinner)
DAY TEN – Milan / USA It's time to bid 'arrivederci' to the beauty of Italy's Lake District and Riviera as you depart for the airport and flight home. (Breakfast)
Day Two – Hotel Sheraton or similar, Milan
Days Three and Four – Hotel Zacchera or similar, Lake Maggiore District
Days Five and Six – Hotel Cruise or similar, Como
Days Seven and Eight – Hotel NH La Spezia or similar, La Spezia
Day Nine – Hotel Sheraton or similar, Milan
This itinerary is approximate. The exact times, days and destinations may vary due to unforeseen circumstances.