All deserving of your discovery in their own right, these are the gems of Northern Italy. Since Roman times LAKE COMO has been popular with the rich and famous, an appeal that still remains today as it is widely regarded as one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes. Whilst the largest of the lakes, and one of the most popular, is LAKE GARDA and for good reason. A lake that has only been discovered by a lucky few is LAKE ORTA, with its dramatic play between mountains, weather, light and the enchanting island of San Giulio.
This lake offers a treat for the soul as well as the eyes. Meanwhile, if fair VERONA was in any other country it would be flooded with tourists thanks to its architecture, boutique shops and of course the annual Opera Festival. Meanwhile the bustling metropolis of MILAN is a global capital of fashion, business and baking in the northern Lombardy region. Home to centuries of art and culture, it’s wonderful destination for a city break.
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•Marvel at the masterpiece during your own private after hours viewing of Leonardo di Vinci’s The Last Supper
•Discover Shakespeare’s Verona on a fascinating walking tour of this fair city
•Enjoy a candlelit dinner followed by seats at the opera for the Verona Opera Festival and a carriage home
•Experience a different view of Lake Como, from the air with a sea plane ride over this beautiful location
When to visit Winter is much colder and less predictable until March. April can be lovely with spring flowers blooming. May, June and September offer great temperatures and are a little quieter as Italians traditional holiday is July and August when temperatures are at their peak.
How to get there British Airways flies daily to Milan from Gatwick and Heathrow with low cost airlines offering alternative timings and direct departures from Gatwick, Luton, Manchester and Edinburgh. Milan’s main airport, Malpensa, is approximately 1 hour from Milan city centre, Lake Como and Lake Orta. British Airways flies to Verona from Gatwick with low cost airlines offering alternative timings and direct departures from Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast. Transfers to Verona city centre or Hotel Villa del Quar take from 30 minutes.
This historic Art Nouveau palace offers the most beautiful view of Lake Como, facing Bellagio with the rose-tinted Grigne mountains as a backdrop. The hotel is nestled within a beautiful century-old park teeming with ancient magnolias, clouds of azaleas, tulips and geraniums. It’s what William Wordsworth described as a ‘spot of time’ – a sight of heart-stopping beauty that lasts a lifetime.
For pure Italian opulence in a commanding position on the shores of Lake Como, the Villa D’Este is utterly peerless and entirely worthy of its reputation as one of the finest hotels in the world. Built in the 16th century as the summer residence of a Cardinal, it became the favoured hotel of European royalty since opening it’s doors in 1873, its 152 rooms and suites offering true splendour and graceful living.
Situated on the shores of Lake Como, CastaDiva Resort & Spa is a haven from the real world. Lavish decoration is blended with luxurious comfort in rooms and suites embellished by silk and velvet to try and distract you from that stunning lake view. A little exploration and you are rewarded by a 1300sqm spa devoted to the four elements for individual and couple experiences, and a relaxation room suspended above a 19th century dock.
Centrally located, this renovated hotel is ideal for those wanting to explore Verona’s treasures on foot and stay in comfort in the city. And when we say comfort, we really mean luxury. The rooms and suites, each individually decorated, effortlessly combine traditional touches of the local Veneto region with modern fresh design and furnishings to create a restful haven.
Built in 1899 on the banks of Lake Garda, it is only the vast glass atrium which adorns the original, and lovingly restored, grand Palace in a stylish architectural juxtaposition that gives any clue of the chic modernity within.
The Hotel Palazzo Parigi is home to the Gourmet Restaurant, one of the most beautiful restaurants in Milan, where dining is theatre, and waiters make a dramatic entrance through a glass tunnel and dishes are presented as if on an altar. A hand painted ceiling and works of art create a rarefied atmosphere that’s the perfect stage for the artful Italian cuisine. But there’s so much else that makes this hotel special. Some of the 98 rooms and suites boast two romantic balconies.
The historic Manin Hotel has been owned and run by the same family, the Colombos, for over a century. It occupies a premier location in the centre of Milan, opposite the beautiful public gardens and close the city’s architectural and cultural attractions, including La Scala Theatre, the ‘Duomo di Milano’.
Along the shores of Lake Como far from the hustle and bustle of Milan and just minutes from beloved Bellagio, lies the picturesque fishing village of Lezzeno. And nestled among its colorful buildings, just behind the leafy square by the harbor, sits Il Palazzo del Vice Re.
Take a step back in time to regal luxury in Villa Sola Cabiati. Built in the 16th century, the Villa took on its Neoclassical appearance in the 18th century when it was renovated by the Dukes of Serbelloni. An Italian garden was laid to frame the lake views, and famous artists were commissioned to create stuccoes and frescoes. In this age of exuberant decadence, no expense was spared to make the Villa the most beautiful on Lake Como.
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