Picturesque, peaceful, and perfectly placed for our visits to
enchanting Verona and Venice, the lakeside town of Desenzano forms
the ideal base for a holiday, with a delightful setting on the
shores of tranquil Lake Garda - one of Italy's best-loved
Discover the breathtaking city of Venice, with its narrow lanes and winding canals, on a fascinating guided tour
Cruise to Isola del Garda to explore the Villa Borghese-Cavazza, and enjoy an aperitif in the stunning grounds
Soak up the alluring culture of Shakespeare's Verona on a guided tour of its historic centre
Sail across the sparkling waters of Lake Garda to Sirmione, the 'Pearl of the Lake', with free time to explore
Stay in pretty Desenzano, one of Lake Garda's most charming towns, with time to explore.
1 outbound overnight stay in Turin, 7 nights at the 4-Star Hotel Desenzano in Desenzano and 1 inbound overnight stay in Turin
Inclusive luggage transfers throughout 1x bag up to 25kg per hotel room (size and weight may vary)
To arrange for a second suitcase up to 25kg (size and weight may vary) - prices start from £65 per bag. Just let us know at time of booking.
Excursions & Entertainment
UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Food & Drinks
16 meals including 9 breakfasts and 7 dinners
What’s not included
Cancellation & Travel Insurance is not included in the price of the tour but can be arranged
Parts of this holiday make use of portable audio headsets on guided tours, allowing you to hear your guide clearly wherever in the group you are
Days 1-2 - London and Lake Garda
We meet at our St Pancras Departure Office, and board the
Eurostar to Paris. From here we continue by rail to Turin, where we
overnight. We continue by rail on Day 2 to Lake
Garda, arriving in the bustling town of Desenzano, located on the
wide, sea-like southern shores of the lake. We spend the next seven
nights here at the Hotel Desenzano, a charming family-run hotel
within walking distance to the lake.
Day 1 - Dinner
Day 2 - Breakfast, Dinner
Days 3-4 - Sirmione and Desenzano
This morning, we cruise across the lake to Sirmione, which
occupies a peculiar position on a thin peninsula jutting into the
lake. Surrounded on three sides by water, Sirmione is one of Lake
Garda's most delightful towns. The narrow winding lanes and pretty
piazzas are mostly pedestrianised, which makes strolling through
the town a pleasure. There is free time here, perhaps to explore
the imposing Rocca Scaligera - a 13th century castle surrounded by
a water-filled moat that dominates the Old Quarter of town and
offers beautiful views over the lake from its ramparts.
Spend a free day in Desenzano on Day 4. The
town has been a popular tourist destination since around the 1st
century, when wealthy families from Verona began to visit the lake.
The centre is filled with pretty squares lined with pavement cafés
and restaurants, offering the perfect opportunity to relax with a
glass of wine and savour some delicious local cuisine.
Day 3 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Breakfast
Days 5-6 - Exploring Venice
Travel by rail to the glorious 'Floating City' of Venice, which
sits on a shimmering lagoon and is famed for its gondola-filled
waterways, twisting lanes and undeniable romantic atmosphere. A
boat transports us to St Mark's Square, one of the most beautiful
city squares in the world, overlooked by St Mark's Basilica. We're
greeted by a local guide who introduces us to the city on a walking
tour, leading us around the quaint streets and small squares. The
afternoon is free to explore. You could view the Bridge of Sighs,
cross the famous Rialto Bridge, or visit the domed 'Santa Maria
della Salute' Church. Or, maybe indulge in a quintessentially
Venetian activity with a gondola ride along the famous
On Day 6, spend another day exploring the
narrow lanes and picturesque waterfront in Desenzano. You could
make your way to the Old Town and explore the pavement cafés, bars,
and shops that line the historic streets.
Day 5 - Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Breakfast
Day 7 - Isola del Garda
Cruise across the waters of Lake Garda to the wooded Isola del
Garda, the biggest island on the lake, dominated by the impressive
Villa Borghese-Cavazza. A superb example of neoGothic architecture,
the villa was designed by the architect Luigi Rovelli at the
beginning of the 20th century, and still proves just as splendid to
modern visitors. The island is still home to the Cavazza family,
and often guided tours are run by the Countesses themselves.
Explore the exquisite villa and extensive gardens with a guided
tour, seeing exotic plants jostling for position amongst verdant
foliage and beautifully manicured terraces which run down to the
water. We end our visit with an aperitif of local wine in the
stunning surrounds of the island.
Days 8-10 - Verona and London
Travel by rail to beautiful Verona - a romantic city which was
the setting for Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and boasts UNESCO
World Heritage status. Our guided tour introduces us to the city's
rich history, as we wander amongst Roman ruins and medieval
buildings, seeing Juliet's balcony and the Roman Arena. There is
free time following our tour to explore at your own pace. You could
discover the remarkable Gothic architecture of the Scaligeri tombs,
a series of Gothic monasteries where the remains of the Scaligeri
family, former rulers of Verona, are interred. Alternatively, you
could spend some time perusing the designer shops on the
fashionable Via Mazzini.
After breakfast on Day 9, travel by rail to
Turin, where we spend the night. On Day 10
continue by rail to Paris for the Eurostar back to London St
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be
found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices
& Availability' button. We write to all booked customers
approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise
the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.