This incredibly scenic 10-day vacation by rail takes you to the best of Italy’s Lakes Region, including sparkling Lake Maggiore, elegant Lake Como and crystal-clear Lake Garda. First, start with a night in Rome, exploring all the top sights of the classic Italian city. From Rome, take the scenic train ride to Stresa, on the shores of Lake Maggiore, and spend two idyllic days discovering the delights of this sunny lakeside town. Then journey on to stunning Lake Como, made famous in movies and as a favorite getaway for the rich and famous, and revel in its beautiful historic architecture and shimmering natural beauty. From Como, continue your train journey to Desenzano, on the southern shore of Lake Garda, for three more days of lakeside fun and relaxation.
- Explore Vatican City and the ancient walls of the Colosseum in Rome
- Discover beautiful Lake Maggiore and the charming lakeside resort of Stresa
- Relax and unwind on the shores of Lake Como, taking in the stunning beauty of the area
- Enjoy colorful Desenzano, on the southern shore of sparkling Lake Garda
- Rail travel throughout as specified in the itinerary
- 1 night hotel stay with breakfast in Rome
- 2 nights’ hotel stay with breakfast in Stresa
- 3 nights’ hotel stay with breakfast in Como
- 3 nights’ hotel stay with breakfast in Desenzano
- Private Walking tour Como
Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. Prices do not include rail from your hometown. Package prices are subject to change without notice, and all reservations are based upon availability at the time of booking. Single occupancy supplements will apply for solo travelers. Hotel and room facilities vary and may be subject to additional fees. Some hotels require payment of local city taxes on arrival. Please call for pricing. We accept all major credit and debit cards. Activities referenced in the itinerary during free time are for suggested purposes only and are not included. Seasonal activity (if applicable): During the off-season, some tours may not be available. In this case, a similar tour will be substituted. Passports are required when traveling outside the United States including crossing the Canadian border.
DAY 1 – ROME
Welcome to Rome! Upon arrival, check in at your hotel for an overnight stay and begin exploring Europe's largest open-air museum. Shrouded in legend, Rome is home to hundreds of ancient artifacts, architecture, beautiful churches and Basilicas such as St. Peter's and St. Martin's. Take a tour of the Vatican to discover the fascinating stories behind the smallest country in the world. Stop for a delicious Italian gelato in one of the pretty cafés by the Trevi fountain and then walk in the footsteps of gladiators at the famous Colosseum. (Overnight in Rome)
DAY 2 – ROME TO STRESA
After breakfast this morning, take the train from Rome to Milan, then on to Stresa, on the banks of Lake Maggiore. Upon your arrival in Stresa, check in at your lakeside hotel for a two-night stay. Like other northern Italian lakes, Lake Maggiore's credentials as a tourist destination go back hundreds of years. This idyllic spot has attracted visitors since the beginning of the 18th century, who come to soak up the sun, relax and enjoy the many attractions the area has to offer. Lakeside gardens bloom with a profusion of camelias, azaleas and rhodedendrons, and the lake's azure waters are home to numerous species of freshwater fish, some of which can be sampled in the local restaurants. (Overnight in Stresa) B
DAY 3 - STRESA
On the shores of the Borromean Gulf, Stresa is ideally situated as a base to explore the lake's villages, islands and natural beauty. A regular ferry runs from the town around the lake, and the Isola Bella, the most well-known of the Borromean Islands, is only ten minutes away by boat. Stresa itself is a lovely little lakeside town with many markets, churches and botanical gardens to explore. Take the cable car up to Monte Mottarone for stunning views of the Alps and glimpses of the other lakes in the region. Or simply stroll along the lake front to the Villa Pallavicino, a 19th century villa surrounded by landscaped parkland with beautiful plants, flowers and trees and a small zoo. Or just sit and relax in a café on the waterfront. (Overnight in Stresa) B
DAY 4 – STRESA TO COMO
Take the one-hour regional train from Stresa to Como today and upon arrival, check in at your hotel for a three-night stay. Lake Como's idyllic location, ringed by mountains, has made it a popular destination for the rich and famous since Roman times. The town of Como is one that combines beautiful historic architecture with stunning natural beauty. The Centro Storico, or old town, is a maze of picturesque little streets, squares and pavement cafés. Wander around the shops and boutiques or visit one of the many cultural monuments the city has to offer. (Overnight in Como) B
DAY 5 – COMO
After breakfast this morning, continue exploring this impossibly scenic area. Set out at 10am and meet your guide at the Piazza Volta. From there, embark on a private, 2-hour walking tour of Como, located on northern Italy’s gorgeous Lake Como. On this walking tour, you’ll be shown the city’s must-see sights, while your guide schools you in the region’s history. Visit Piazza Cavour and the lovely Piazza Volta (named in honor of the Como-born Alessandro Volta, the inventor of the battery). Explore Cortesella, the city’s medieval old town. Next, visit the Duomo, Como’s best-known landmark. Constructed from white marble, the beautiful cathedral is often described as the last Gothic cathedral constructed in Italy. Built over the course of several centuries, it showcases an intriguing blend of architectural influences. Your tour continues through Como’s Piazza San Fedele and past the city’s medieval fortification walls, beyond which lies the modern center of Como. As you wander through the city, enjoy views of the sparkling lake that makes this region famous. Your tour concludes back at the centrally located Duomo. (Overnight in Como) B
DAY 6 – COMO
Spend a final day sightseeing in and around Como. Relax at one of the many lake beaches, surrounded by restaurants and pizzerias, or take a cruise out on the calm lake waters for stunning views of the villas that line the shore. (Overnight Como) B
DAY 7 – COMO TO DESENZANO
Travel by train from Como to Desenzano, via Milan, enjoying the views along the way. Upon arrival in Desenzano, check in at your hotel for three-night stay. Boasting a distant view of the towering Alps, the resort town fits snugly at the southern end of Lake Garda, and is known for the remains of its Roman Villa, including elaborate mosaic floors. Visit the beautiful inland harbor, full of colorful little fishing boats, and enjoy a drink on the main square, Piazza Matteotti. (Overnight Desenzano) B
DAY 8 – DESENZANO
Enjoy discovering the surrounding region at your leisure today. As well as three large beaches, Desenzano boasts a hilltop castle accessible via narrow winding streets running from the lakefront. You can while away the hours taking a refreshing dip in the lake or catch a ferry to explore any of the surrounding charming towns, including nearby Sirmione. (Overnight Desenzano) B
DAY 9 – DESENZANO
Spend another day touring the Lake Garda area. Discover nearby Sirmione’s thermal pools, explore Roman ruins or ferry-hop between the charming villages that line the shore. Wine lovers should consider touring vineyards that feature in many sommeliers' top 10s: Valpolicella, Soave and Bardolino. Perhaps journey further south, to romantic Verona, sit beneath the stars and enjoy an world-class opera.
DAY 10 – DEPART DESENZANO
After breakfast this morning, check out of your hotel and continue with your travels. If you wish to extend your vacation or perhaps take this journey in reverse, one of our Rail Experts would be happy to help you with all the details. B
MEAL GUIDE: B - BREAKFAST, BR - BRUNCH, L - LUNCH, AT - AFTERNOON TEA, D -DINNER
The Metropole & Suisse Como is a traditional property owned by the Cassani family. Guest rooms are air-conditioned and decorated with wood furnishings and classical artwork. Guests can enjoy a drink in the wine bar or dinner at the Imbarcadero Restaurant which features a beautiful terrace overlooking the lake. The hotel benefits from a fantastic location on the shores of Lake Como, close to the town's main attractions.
Located in the centre of Rome, just a stone's throw from Termini Station, the Ariston Hotel provides a fantastic vantage point for exploring all the Italian capital has to offer. The hotel's colourful guestrooms are all decorated in a modern style, and come complete with LCD TVs, minibars and air conditioning.
La Palma Hotel is a modern hotel with traditional decoration. The hotel has 120 comfortable bedrooms. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, garden, pool and private beach. The hotel is on the shore of Lake Maggiore, close to Stresa train station.