Luxury Gourmet Experience on Italy's Lakes

Discover the stunning Lakes region in northern Italy with this tour of Lake Como and Lake Maggiore.

The Lakes region has a bit of celebrity status. Situated in the north of Italy, it’s frequented by the likes of George Clooney and Richard Branson. But they were far from the first; the lush picturesque area has been a favorite vacation destination by Italians and Europeans for centuries. With its wonderful micro-climate — due to the green valleys and snow-capped mountain peaks of the Alps — as well as abundance of flora and fauna, it’s picturesque and relaxing in every way. The mythic region is made even more magical by the old villas and plethora of gardens. Pair this beauty with a hearty cuisine and gastronomy — with dishes like risotto, pasta, stracotto, and ossobucco — and the region has the makings of an unbelievable trip, particularly in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

This exclusive trip starts in the medieval town of Menaggio and Lake Como, one of the best known lakes of the area and one of the most romantic cities in the region, Bellagio. The foodie tour continues in Stresa on the shores of Lake Maggiore, which stretches from Switzerland down into Italy. With stunning panoramic views, travelers will also get a chance to see the island jewels, the scenic Borromean Islands, among the lake’s dazzling blue waters and visit the island’s palaces and gardens. The tour concludes in the famous city of Milan, home to chic boutiques and fashion designers, as well as an array of art, including the famous Last Supper fresco.


Trip Details

Your two hands-on cooking classes will introduce you to the traditional cuisine of Northern Italy by learning dishes from two different chefs. Both classes include a full-course menu, and focus on regional specialties. While pasta will be on the menu, don’t be surprised to get a few tastes of rice, as it’s a staple in the region, as are game or wild fowl dishes. The hearty and delicious dishes will please your palate, as well as round out your trip, crafting memories to last a lifetime. (It is also possible to add an additional cooking class.)


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Itinerary

Old statue at villa Balbianello, Como lake, during your culinary vacation in Italy Day One

  • Private transfer from Milan to Lake Como.
  • On the way you’ll stop in Lenno to visit Villa Balbianello, the “jewel of Lake Como,” to visit their marvelous gardens and private village.
  • Arrive in Lenno or Varenna (depending on the week) and check in to your elegant 4-star hotel.
  • Tonight dinner will be at the hotel restaurant, where you can take in the breathtaking panorama of Lake Como. Drinks not included.
  • Overnight.

Culinary Tour in Italy - Bellagio StreetDay Two

  • Take the public boat to Bellagio (the “imbarcadero” – boat landing stage – lies just a few steps from your hotel). Bellagio is a picturesque village with small streets, luxury hotels, villas and gardens. At 10:00am meet Chef Luigi at the ferry gate in Bellagio and he will accompany you to his renowned restaurant.
  • You will have your private hands on cooking lesson with lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • In the afternoon take a walk to Villa Melzi and visit its beautiful gardens.
  • Return to Lenno or Varenna by public ferry.

Swimming pool at the Albergo Lenno during your culinary tour of ItalyDay Three

  • Breakfast.
  • Day at leisure to relax and enjoy the fascinating atmosphere of these wonderful places: by public boat you can reach Tremezzo, where we you suggest you the visit of the botanical garden of Villa Carlotta, or Lenno, a small hidden village with breathtaking panorama. (Or, if you would like, we can arrange a second cooking class with Chef Luigi in Bellagio.)
  • Overnight.

Bedroom at Villa Aminta during a deluxe culinary tour of LombardiaDay Four

  • Pick up in the morning at 8:00am for a private transfer by car with English-speaking driver to Stresa on Lake Maggiore.
  • Your accommodation will be at the 5-star hotel Villa Aminta on the shores of Lake Maggiore, right in front of the Borromee Islands. The Villa-hotel is conceived like a luxury Italian house and it is surrounded by an enchanting garden, your deluxe room has a private balcony and an incomparable view of Lake Maggiore and the Borromee Islands.
  • Morning cooking class at the hotel upon arrival with lunch to follow based on your efforts.
  • Free time in the afternoon.
  • Your dinner will be at the refined restaurant of the hotel: superb cuisine and magnificent view on the Lake (beverages not included).

View of Isola dei Pescatori visited on your cooking vacation in the Lakes DistrictDay Five

  • After breakfast, meet your guide for a full-day boat cruise to the Borromee Islands. First visit Pescatori island, which was named after the fishermen who made this area their home; the island is characterized by simple homes, narrow lanes, stone portals, and beautiful underpasses.
  • Sit down and enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant on the island. (Drinks not included).
  • In the afternoon, continue on to Isola Bella, where you’ll visit Borromeo Palace with its magnificent gardens.
  • Return to Stresa. Dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

A view the Duomo in Milan, which you can visit during your Italy cooking vacationDay Six

  • After breakfast, private car transfer with an English-speaking driver to the bustling city of Milan.
  • Check in to your accommodations at a 4-star boutique hotel that is located near the Duomo and the via Montenapoleone.
  • Enjoy some time on your own to explore Milan. Perhaps go shopping at one of the many chic boutiques in the city center, see the Last Supper fresco (tickets should be bought in advance), visit the Duomo to see an amazing view of the city from the cathedral’s roof, or visit some of the city’s many art galleries.
  • Lunch and dinner on your own.
  • Overnight.

Day Seven

  • Breakfast and check out.
  • Private transfer to Milan airport.

Trip Details

Included in the 6-Night Trip

Accommodations

  • 3 nights accommodations at a 4-star hotel in Varenna or Lenno
  • 2 nights accommodations at a 5-star hotel in Stresa
  • 1 night accommodation at a 4-star hotel in Milan

Food & Beverages

  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 lunches (drinks not included)
  • 2 dinners (drinks not included)

Classes & Instructors

Your two hands-on cooking classes will introduce you to the traditional cuisine of Northern Italy by learning dishes from two different chefs. Both classes include a full-course menu, and focus on regional specialties. While pasta will be on the menu, don’t be surprised to get a few tastes of rice, as it’s a staple in the region, as are game or wild fowl dishes. The hearty and delicious dishes will please your palate, as well as round out your trip, crafting memories to last a lifetime. (It is also possible to add an additional cooking class.)

Excursions

  • Full-day boat cruise to the Borromee Islands
  • Visit of Villa Balbianello
  • Self-guided excursion to Bellagio (ferry tickets not included)

Transfer Details

  • Private arrival transfer from Milan airport to Lake Como
  • Private departure transfer from Milan hotel to Milan airport

Miscellaneous

  • Transfers from Menaggio to Stresa, and from Stresa to Milan

Not Included

  • Beverages with meals
  • Public boat tickets
  • Tickets to the Last Supper (should be purchased well in advance)

Accommodation Information

Start your tour of the stunning Lakes region in either Varenna or Lenno, depending on the specific week. If in Varenna, the Royal Victoria will be your home. A lakefront hotel in a former 19th-century textile building, the hotel boasts beautiful lake-view rooms with private en suite baths, as well as a spa, restaurant, and bar.

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For weeks when the tour starts in Lenno we propose the Albergo Lenno, a beautiful, lake-front 4* hotel with lake-view rooms with updated en suite bathrooms.

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Them move on to truly stunning accommodations: the 5-star Villa Aminta on Lake Maggiore. With amazing views of the lake, and surrounded by a peaceful garden, the Villa is a relaxing getaway. All rooms are spacious and decorated with antiques as well as unique pieces like Murano lamps. Modern amenities include air conditioning, flat screen TV, telephone, mineral water, mini bar, safe, jacuzzi tub, WiFi, hair dryer, and more. The property also features two restaurants, swimming pool, and wellness spa.

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In Milan we use one of two hotels. Situated in the heart of the city, the 4-star Hotel Manzoni is a stylish hotel that offers 47 rooms, all decorated in Italian furniture, from the wood paneling to the padded leather. Room amenities include TV, telephone, WiFi, minibar, hair dryer, safe, full vanity, and air conditioner/heat. The property also has a restaurant as well as a wellness center.

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The second option in Milan is the elegant Hotel De Ville, which is wonderfully situated near the Duomo as well as some of the best designer-shopping streets in the city. All the public places are elegantly designed as are the 100+ rooms, which all have their own decorations and personality. Ensuite bathrooms are made with Italian marble, and all rooms feature amenities such as WiFi, TV, telephone, desk, air conditioning, safe, minibar, and hair dryer. The hotel also offers a swimming pool with a great view of the city, a well as a restaurant

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Pricing & Tour Dates

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Pricing:

6-night Program
US$4600 per person based on double occupancy

    30% deposit due to confirm booking.
    Balance payment due 60 days prior to tour start date. Questions? Please contact us!

    Single occupancy rate: please inquire.


    Tour Dates

    Available the following weeks April to October with a Sunday start date.
    †Join a week others have already confirmed.

    2019
    May 26-June 1
    June 2-8
    June 9-15
    June 16-22
    June 23-29
    June 30-July 6
    July 7-13
    July 14-20
    July 21-27
    July 28-August 3
    August 4-10
    August 11-17
    August 18-24
    August 25-31
    September 1-7
    September 8-14
    September 15-21†
    September 22-28
    September 29-October 5
    October 6-12
    October 13-19
    October 20-26
    October 27-November 2

    2020
    Available weekly April through October.

    Pricing & Dates

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