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Lake Como is an experience not to be missed - discover idyllic shorelines and beautiful gardens. The Italian Lakes have always held a special attraction and Lake Como is one of Italy’s most popular destinations. Lake Como is Italy’s third largest lake and from its northern shores at the foot of the Alps to the Lombard shores in the south, the scenery is magnificent and full of contrasts. The soaring snow-capped peaks in the north give way to gentle rolling hills and colourful sub-tropical lakeside gardens and promenades to the south.
All around the lake there are sheltered bays, charming lakeside resorts and peaceful fishing villages. There are weekly markets to visit, shops and boutiques to browse around, colourful gardens to explore and pavement cafes to relax in as you watch the world go by.
We stay in the pretty resort of Cadenabbia, which is perfectly placed on the western shore of the lake and is ideal for enjoying everything the lake offers. It’s easy to get around from Cadenabbia, with lots of ferries criss-crossing the lake from one delightful harbour to the next, while steamers and local buses can take you to some of the lakeside towns and villages further along the lake.
Saturday We collect you from home to join your coach to travel to Folkestone for a journey through the Eurotunnel to Calais and on to our overnight hotel near Metz in France.
Sunday We continue through France and Switzerland and into Italy and check into Grand Hotel, Caddenabia for the next six nights.
Please note that in common with many destinations in Europe a local Tourist tax will be payable at the hotel, this will be approximately €1.50 per person per night. To be paid in cash direct to the hotel.
Monday At leisure in Caddenabia. We've included entrance to Villa Carlotta just a short stroll from our hotel. Built in 1690, you'll see a decorated house and botanical garden filled with fine art. Admire the views of Lake Como as you wander through the garden among camellias, century-old cedars, a rock garden, rhododendrons, and a bamboo garden. Discover 19th-century sculptures, including pieces by Canova and Thorvaldsen. On the villa's first floor, see Hayez's "The Last Kiss of Romeo and Juliet" painting--one the collection's masterpieces. Princess Marianne of the Netherlands bought this villa for her daughter in the mid-18th century, and the second floor features furniture, pictures, and decorations from that period. The ancient greenhouse is now a cafe.
Tuesday This morning we drive to Lenno and join our private boat to show you one of the loveliest villas and gardens on Lake Como. Villa Balbianello, on the tip of the Lavedo promontory, is perhaps in the most spectacular spot on the lake with beautiful gardens as featured in the James Bond film 'Casino Royale'. It was built at the end of the 18th century and today belongs to F.A.I. - the Italian equivalent of the National Trust. Visit the beautiful and exquisitely furnished interiors and the great collection of pre-Columbian objects, Chinese porcelain and terracottas, reverse-glass paintings, tapestries and carpets that belonged to its last owner, Count Guido Monzino, a keen explorer renowned for climbing Mount Everest in 1973.
Wednesday The day at leisure. A chance to take the ferry from Cadenabbia to beautiful Bellagio, the'Pearl of Lake Como'. Sometimes called the prettiest town in Europe, Bellagio always seems perfectly adorned, with geraniums ablaze in every window and bougainvillea veiling its staircases, or montées.
Thursday Today we visit Como town. Lying on the southern shore of the lake, Como town is a delightful resort with an attractive pedestrianised centre. The historical centre is in the area around the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, with its imposing marble façade, and where there is a seemingly endless choice of shops. The main Piazza has lots of pavement cafes and ice cream parlours and is the ideal place to relax after a morning’s shopping and sightseeing.
Friday Today, we will cross the Swiss border (remembering to bring our passports!) onto Lake Lugano and visit the stylish city of Lugano with its grand promenade, chic shops and cafés and amazing yachts.
Saturday Sadly we leave Italy and travel back to our overnight hotel near Metz in France. Dinner on arrival.
Sunday We continue north to Calais for our return Eurotunnel crossing to Folkestone and our onward journey to Wiltshire with suitable stops en route where your taxi will be waiting to return you to your home.
Grand Hotel, Cadenabbia
The Grand Hotel Cadenabbia is one of the finest hotels on Lake Como. Located on the lakeside in Cadenabbia, this large and historic property has the air of a bygone era and enjoys commanding views over the lake and Bellagio. The 190 bedrooms are all of a good size, elegantly furnished and feature TV, hairdryer, air conditioning and a safe. The hotel boasts its own swimming pool and spacious public areas, with the highlight being the rooftop bar, terrace and restaurant which together offer spectacular views across the lake. The hotel has a lift.
Look what's included!
8 nights Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Platinum coach travel with extra leg room
Home pick up
Excursions and visits as stated
Entrance to Villa Carlotta
Entrance to Villa Balbianello including boat transfers