11 locations, 5 regions, 3 UNESCO heritage sites: an itinerary from east to west aimed at enhancing and promoting the historical, cultural and natural beauties of central and northern Italy.
Have you ever thought of being able to fully savor the beauty of Made in Italy through an unusual tour that will allow you to visit the beauties of northern and central Italy? A journey from east to west, from Verona to Florence and from Genoa to Milan: a journey that from a lakeside location will take you to a city bathed by one of the most important rivers of the northern Italian territory and then to the shores of a place bathed by the sea, passing through three UNESCO natural heritage sites. Follow us on this magnificent tour, and live the experience with us.
The first day begins with the arrival in one of the most desirable cities of art in northern Italy: Verona. After the plane has landed, you will be accompanied to the hotel designated for overnight stay in the city: leave your bags and enjoy your stay in Verona from the late afternoon, having free time to choose which of the suggestive restaurants and taverns in the city to be able to dine. Rest, and the following morning get ready for the rich breakfast that will guarantee you the right energy to be able to face your first full day in Italy: you will visit the historic center of Verona, a city defined as a UNESCO heritage site, famous for telling the stories of unfortunate lovers Romeo & Juliet. After a morning spent discovering the place, you will then be accompanied to Sirmione, a suggestive town overlooking Lake Garda: despite being very close to the city of Verona, Sirmione is part of the province of Brescia, in Lombardy. The town is renowned all over the world for various reasons, both from a tourist point of view thanks to the thermal waters it offers and the Roman history it has preserved over time, and geographically due to the curious peninsula on which it extends its territory. The city boasts a rich historical and artistic heritage such as the Castle of Sirmione and the Catullus Caves, enclosed by a turquoise frame, for the thermal waters that surround it, but also green, for the parks and trees that play a visually suggestive role and in harmony with the ancient fortress and the open-air museum experience. After the visit of the city, you will return to Verona again, to be able to have dinner and for a last evening farewell.
Last breakfast at the hotel in Verona and then set off to discover Padua: about 90km (an hour's drive) from Verona, Padua is one of the most interesting urban centers in north-eastern Italy. By visiting Padua you will finally have the opportunity to visit the Basilica of Sant'Antonio, known worldwide as the "Basilica del Santo" or, more simply, as the "Saint". The Basilica is one of the main places of worship in the Veneto region and is presented as a magnificent architectural work that experiments with different styles: from the Romanesque to the Gothic, from the Byzantine to the Renaissance, up to the Baroque, fitting together elements of considerable artistic curiosity with extreme charm. After visiting the historic center of the city, you will have the time necessary to have lunch, and then in the early afternoon go to Ferrara, about 80km from Padua and crossing the borders of the Veneto region reaching the Emilia-Romagna region. The trend of the northern Italian art cities continues with a visit to the so-called "Renaissance city" which you will walk for the whole afternoon before leaving the same evening for Florence, the undisputed capital of Italian art: this is not before a rich dinner, naturally based on Italian pasta!
Breakfast at the host hotel in Florence and immediate departure for Pisa, known all over the world for the so-called "falling tower" given its unique and characteristic inclination: in reality Pisa, or rather, Piazza Duomo called Piazza dei Miracoli was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes the Cathedral (Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta) built between 1063 and 1118 in Pisan Romanesque style, the Leaning Tower (also called the Tower of Pisa), the Campo Santo and the Baptistery. After a few hours' stay in Pisa, you will find yourself traveling again to discover Lucca, an ancient city dating back to the VI (or VII) century BC and believed to be founded by the Etruscans. The historic center of the city is divided from the "new" center by city walls about 4km long, which surround the old part and keep it separate from the continuous expansion of the city. In the late afternoon you will return to Florence again, to enjoy a dinner in the city center and an obligatory evening stroll.
Wake up early in the morning, breakfast and excursion to the Cinque Terre (Five Lands). A few kilometers from the border between the Tuscany region and the Liguria region, the Cinque Terre are a stretch of rugged coastline following the city of La Spezia. In addition to having become a National Park over time, it has also become a UNESCO World Heritage Site of a naturalistic nature. The Cinque Terre places that you will not know the name of but which you will surely have once in your life seen as, starting from east to west, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. The splendid tour along the Cinque Terre coast includes a total free day to discover the entire territory and, if time permits, why not take a panoramic boat ride?
The day will end with the return to the hotel in Florence, which the next day you will leave to discover the Ligurian capital: Genoa, conservator of seventeenth-century buildings with an architectural style very similar to the English model. The whole day, together with lunch and dinner, will be totally free, in search of the most interesting views of the city.
After visiting the famous coast of the Cinque Terre, your stay in Liguria is not over: during the following day, a visit to two nearby towns characterized by a common naturalistic beauty awaits you: Rapallo and Portofino. After a short stay in the town of Rapallo, famous for its small swimming gulf, you will take a ferry to discover Portofino, one of the most chic Italian resorts. The entire residential area is part of the homonymous Regional Park, which overlooks the Marine Protected Natural Area. Location full of characteristic and fascinating paths that will make you discover another point of view of the peculiar jagged Ligurian coast, you will go as far as the Benedictine monastery of San Fruttuoso, dating back to the 11th century, and its beach. The day will end with the return to Rapallo and departure to Milan with arrival in the evening at the host hotel.
Breakfast in Milan, the city of art, fashion and entertainment par excellence, and, after the first meal of the day, you will begin the city tour by discovering some of the artistic beauties of the city, such as the Castello Sforzesco at the gates of Parco Sempione, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the suggestive Navigli area, the Duomo and the homonymous square, the Teatro alla Scala and the nearby shopping streets. Explore the city independently and in full freedom: certainly not to be excluded Piazza Duomo for a visit to the nearby Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and the Royal Palace, but also the Brera district and Piazza Game Aulenti. The second part of the day will be dedicated to the visit of Bergamo and the consequent ascent by cable car to Bergamo Alta, built on a hill protected by its own peculiar walls. The pulsating center of Bergamo Alta is Piazza Vecchia, considered by the architect Le Corbusier "one of the most beautiful squares in Europe". Return to Milan in the early evening, where you will spend the last night and then take the plane back to your residence the next day, clearly after breakfast at the hotel.
Thank you for traveling with us, through our journey to discover northern Italy. I can finally tell you that the Italian Grand Northern Tour is finally available!
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